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Passing the Knot...What Knot to Use

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Drock, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Drock

    Drock

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    Hello all, Noob here
    I have a question in regards to a scenario..here goes:

    Rope bag is tossed and I do not hear it hit but decide to roll over ledge anyway and it slopes and I cannot ascertain that rope has hit bottom. I get over slope lip and then notice rope never hit deck and am dangling, deciding to ascend or tie other rope to complete rappel. I decide to tie other rope to complete rappel, passing the knot. What knot? EDK, Figure 8, etc?
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  2. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    EDK is pretty standard for tying ropes together. Remember to tie and clip in to a catastrophe knot for the knot passing operation.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  3. Craig

    Craig Feeling My Way

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    Now the question is how do you pull down your knotted ropes.
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  4. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    There are advanced techniques but generally the best strategy is to carry enough rope.

    You admit to being new so it's likely that you'll be doing popular, well beta'ed canyons for now. Your strategy should be to carry enough rope and get comfortable with the basics. Milk before meat.

    Where do you plan to be doing canyons for now? Put your feelers out for partners that are willing to take you along and teach you. This community is a great place to start and learn.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  5. Canyon Monkey

    Canyon Monkey Useful Idiot

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    If you are unsure that the rope is on the ground you should rig a releasable contingency. If you get to the end of the rope and it is not on the ground the person on top can simply lower you the remaining way.
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  6. Drock

    Drock

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    Yes, now and the immediate future I plan on doing popular canyons to continue to build my skill set. I surely understand, 'know your limitations'. I posed the question because I was reading an archived thread about a member doing exactly this and I was curious about what knot had been used for the tie.

    I (we, girlfriend) always bring double the rope on the canyons the beta calls for in case we encounter a problem. I do appreciate the replies. That is a good question Craig.
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  7. Canyon Monkey

    Canyon Monkey Useful Idiot

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    An EDK is an acceptable knot to tie two ropes together for a double rope rappel or for the pull rope but I would use something more secure like a retraced eight or double fisherman's if I was passing a knot. Also having just 2x the longest rap does not provide you enough rope should you encounter a problem like a stuck rope.
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  8. Drock

    Drock

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    I should have said that we bring two ropes plus pull cord instead of double rope. Generally, if the longest rap is 200ft, we bring two 200ft ropes and a 200ft pull cord.
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  9. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I passed a knot in class 17 years ago, and it convinced me that I NEVER wanted to do that in the field. In 17 years, I have not had to do that.

    In its stead, we have learned to anticipate the problem, and set up a contingency anchor (essentially) above the knot. Thus if the rope does not reach, communication is made and the person on rappel is lowered until the rope reaches. EZ, simple, safe.

    Tom
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  10. Drock

    Drock

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    I can appreciate that, thanks Tom.
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  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Please be advised, canyon monkey weighs 1200 lbs. For those of us in the 200 lb range, a STACKED EDK is a life safety knot.

    Then again, there are several acceptable knots for joining two ends ("bends") - use whatever makes you feel comfortable.

    Tom
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  12. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

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    the-jungle-book-king-louie.
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  13. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Personally, if I know I'm going to need to pass a knot in two ropes tied together, I want a loop of rope at that junction. That way, I have a back up loop to clip into for safety when I do the change over.
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  14. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    I've done it at least 4 times in canyoneering:

    - 3 times in an exploration context (one time self-inflicted)
    - 1 time to faciliate a scared kid's first big rap

    So I'm happy to have kept up the skill set, while of course supporting Tom's notion of avoidance being the best policy. Same goes for most any rescue/emergency technique: good to know, but the primary focus should be on avoiding the need.

    re: joining knot for knot pass. As @Brian in SLC said, nice to have a loop there to clip into for safety while passing. A good one for that (esp. if multiple people will be passing it) is this:

    - Tie fig. 8 on bight in end of anchored rope
    - From the loop side of that knot, re-trace the other rope through the fig. 8 knot.

    The resulting join is strong/secure, has a loop, and easy to untie. In the pic below, the orange rope is anchored at the top.


    _afoto.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  15. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    While having to pass a knot is uncommon
    having the ability to lock off mid-rappel IS important.
    And also having the ability to then re-climb the rope (at least as far as needed to establish communication)
    might also be useful...
    :)
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  16. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Yeah buddy, I may know a little about one of those.

    Regardless of the likelihood coefficient, it's good knowledge to have, because the knowledge required to do it has many other practical uses. For the record, I've done it twice for real in my sorted vertical lifetime.

    The shared experience Hank and I had also included a 15 year old young lady on the team. She had never executed a knot crossing. In practice or in real! But she had one huge advantage, she understood how and had successfully executed a change-over on multiple occasions. Equipped with that knowledge, crossing for her became rudimentary.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
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  17. Alias_Rice

    Alias_Rice

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    I had to do it once due to my own stupidity. At the end of a long day in Imlay I failed to notice that a knot had formed in the rope about 15' off the deck of the last rappel until I was right on it. I felt like a bit of an idiot in front of the 100 or so tourists that wandered by, but I was glad I had practiced it before hand. Plus I am probably famous somewhere in Asia now.
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  18. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Hank, that's exactly what I've used. Quick clip with a tether into that loop...its a nice safety back up.
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  19. Drock

    Drock

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    Thanks for all the replies and I intend to practice passing the knot just to have that skill in case it needs to be used. As Bootboy commented, as of now I stick to the popular and well beta'd canyons so hopefully I wont have to encounter this particular problem. I was thinking that it probably occurs more in situations as hank moon described in an 'exploration' context. Since I'm nowhere near the 1200lb mark, I was thinking of the stacked EDK with a backup knot on one end of the tag might be appropriate.

    Thanks Hank for the picture and info for the fig 8, going to practice with that and see how it goes.
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