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Tech Tip: Answered Triple Clove Hitch

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by ratagonia, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. townsend

    townsend

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    If one wishes to review the constrictor knot, before making a decision whether to remain a dinosaur:wacky: or evolve to use the more efficient, simpler, less bulky, more secure, and beloved constrictor knot, see the following thread, with step-by-step instructions and pictures: http://canyoncollective.com/threads/constrictor-knot.21958/

    In all seriousness:), I can tie the constrictor knot blindfolded and instantly. And the constrictor knot isn't that difficult to inspect -- there is a perfect symmetry between the entry and existing strands of the rope (see discussion below).

    After reviewing the pictures in the thread above, these instructions should make sense:
    1) grab rope in hand (naturally, the rope runs across the top of the thumb when you grab it)
    2) make a second loop around the thumb (now there are two loops, the proximal loop [closer to base of thumb/hand] and the distal loop [the most recently-made loop is near to tip of thumb])
    3) run your finger (and thumb if you wish, so you can pinch the rope between thumb and index finger) under proximal loop and grab/pinch distal loop
    4) here is the finishing, "money" step: pull distal loop under proximal loop, and twist distal loop 180 degrees (AWAY from midline of body) and place that loop over the tip of thumb
    DONE. FINISHED. PERFECTO. MAGNIFICENT. YOU ARE NOW EXHIBITING A HIGHLY EVOLVED KNOWLEDGE OF KNOT TYING ACUMEN

    Note: this is extremely important. I am left-hand dominant. I naturally grab the rope with my left hand. But most of you are right-hand dominant -- you naturally grab the rope with your right hand (whether off ground or out of rope bag.) It is critically important the direction you twist the distal loop (after pulling it under the proximal loop).

    The principle is straight forward: the human body has a bilateral symmetry, divided straight down the middle by the midline. I don't care whether you are left-handed or right-handed; always turn the distal rope loop AWAY from MIDLINE.
    1) with left- handed grasp of rope: you turn the distal rope away from midline, or toward the left side of your body.
    2) with right-handed grasp of rope: you turn the distal rope away from midline, or toward the right side of your body.

    Once you understand the principle, you are then able to tie, blindfolded, a constrictor knot grabbing the rope with your dominant or non-dominant hand.

    Finally, on inspection, my thoughts on the constrictor knot:
    1) If you look at a finished knot closely (and I actually inspect it while resting on the tip of my thumb), there is a symmetry in knot constrruction.
    Basically, you have an entering strand < constrictor knot > exiting strand. The left side of the knot (where the rope enters the knot) has the same structure as the right side of knot (where the rope exits). Both existing and entering strands of rope have two points of contact within the knot. There is an "X" formed by two ropes crossing when the knot is viewed from the top. If you study the knot after tying it, I think you will see what I mean by the two points of contact (by two different strands of the knot).

    Nothing above is new -- I am basically restating and expanding on my original knot instructions.

    THIS IS NEW: In the interim, after I originally posted the step-by-step constrictor knot instructions, I experimented by deliberately tying the knot incorrectly. I think the most likely mistake would be to get confused on which direction to twist the distal loop (after pulling it under the proximal loop).

    So I posed the question: I am going to grab the rope with my left hand, make the second loop (around thumb), drag the distal loop under the proximal loop, and twist the rope TOWARD my midline (this is a VIOLATION of my principle). Does it REALLY matter?

    YES. You will produce a knot that looks like a constrictor knot, but it is distinctly different, and is NOT to be trusted. And you can clearly see this on inspection:
    1) This incorrectly-tied constrictor does not exhibit symmetry -- look closely at the path of the entering and exiting strands.
    2) One of the two strands of the rope does not have two points of contact within the knot. Do not trust this knot.

    I like to employ humor, and this post has some, but I am seriously about the proper way to tie and inspect this knot. If all my talk about the constrictor knot gives you a headache, sorry about that, as Taylor (AKA bootboy) states, use a knot you are familiar with and can 1) properly tie; and 2) confirm by inspection. (and hopefully, others in our party can inspect as well). Happy and safe canyoneering.

    ***Again, you should be 100% comfortable with tieing and inspecting the constrictor knot, and you should even be able to detect easily by inspection an incorrectly tied and asymmetrical (not but a true) constrictor knot. OTHERWISE, PLEASE DO NOT USE THE CONSTRICTOR KNOT.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
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  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Methinks thou dost protest too much.
  3. townsend

    townsend

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    Methinks thou should stick with the triple clove hitch.

    Me(also) thinks I'm glad you talked me into a large, not a medium NEOsport vest.
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  4. pyle762

    pyle762

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    I am also a huge fan of the constrictor. Here is a video that I made of how I tie it. It is very quick to tie and I can tie it faster than a normal clove hitch in a head to head race. Anyways, enjoy!
  5. townsend

    townsend

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    Whatever method works for you. BTW, could you tie the constrictor knot blindfolded, while walking in your bare feet on firey coals and then broken glass?
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  6. pyle762

    pyle762

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    thats-my-fetish-gifs.
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  7. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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  8. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    A clove hitch works fine, and is the standard 'biner block hitch (with many other uses besides). I see no general need for a triple clove, constrictor, or anything else. The use and advocacy of these alternative hitches seems to have originated from a single incident, with one other incident a question mark. I am unaware of any failures of a correctly applied clove hitch 'biner block. Note: best practice for 'biner blocks is to back them up for all but the last rappeller. Obviously a clove hitch in extremely stiff rope (e.g. a well-used Imlay Canyon Fire) is more likely to walk around and/or slip than one tied with more supple cord. In any case, slippage is not a problem if the hitch is backed up, as it should be. That said, there may be situations where one might want to use a block w/no backup, in which case a more secure hitch would make sense, esp. w/stiff rope.


    A triple clove hitch tying method:



    Note The hitch shown 12 sec. into the triple-clove video is a std. clove hitch


    A constrictor hitch tying method:

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  9. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Hank
    My weak brain can't seem to grok your constrictor method...

    Think this round goes to Pyle762
    :twothumbs:
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  10. SafetyCube

    SafetyCube

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    Hank's method is what I use. The twist is an important part of forming it correctly.
  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    But the Constrictor is soooooo simple. Let me explain it to you... how much time we got???
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  12. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    But...
    I Got it now! :woot: (thanks to Pyle):
    Make an 'S' curve
    Then the two 'sleeping puppies' lay their heads across each others backs
    Fold under
    Shazzam!
    :cool:
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  13. Jake Freimanis

    Jake Freimanis Ours is a quiet fear

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    Have your clove's really never started slipping around the corner of the biner? Mine never got as bad as the first link you posted but I started using triple's after I noticed mine slid down the spine several times. Is there some sort of orientation I can give the clove to make it not do this?
    Edit: To be more clear, I'm wondering if yours have really never done that and mine do have that problem occasionally then there must be something you're doing differently than me that I can fix.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  14. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    That is a disturbing picture of the creeping clove hitch, personally I've never used one in a block scenario. Not a fan of that knot for that application. Am a fan of the constrictor, although I didn't start using it until a few years back. I do prefer Brian's (pyle762) tying method, Hank's method just never would stick in my tiny brain...and he even personally tutored me on it. (Good teacher, bad student.)

    There are however two other disconcerting de-tails in that picture.
    One is way too short and the other is, well...
    Neon Stuff.
  15. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    I've never seen it happen. From the photo Kuenn just posted, a few possible contributing factors: slabby terrain, rap ring extension (lateral play), and (perhaps) a stiff rope (?) If I did see it happen w/o a good explanation, I'd probably start using the triple clove.

    p.s. I use 'biner blocks less often than in the past: DRT for shorter drops; often toggle the longer ones.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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  16. townsend

    townsend

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    Instead of continuing with the clove hitch vs. triple clove hitch discussion, and worrying about its orientation or moving along the spine, why not "see the light" and come on over to the constrictor camp?
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