• Will Sweat Harm My Harness?
  • Should You Use Rope or Webbing to Connect to an Anchor?
  • Choosing Between C4s and Friends
  • Can You Lead On a Static Rope?
  • Can I Use Climbing Bolts For Anchors in a Gym?
  • Are Falls Held or Breaking Strength More Important In a Rope?
  • Does Poop Harm a Climbing Rope?
  • Are Homemade Draws Reliable?
  • Shopping for Economy Carabiners
  • When You Fly, Can You Carry On Climbing Gear?
  • Can I Trust Fixed Draws?
  • Which Helmet WIll Fit My Big Head?
  • Choosing Ice Screw Length
  • Are Adjustable Leg Loops Useful?
  • Should I clip ice screws with Screamers?
  • How do I Make a Bomber Anchor?
  • Can I Modify my Crampon Without Compromising the Integrity?
  • Hot Versus Cold Forging
  • Caring For Your FIngertips
  • Are Sewn Slings Stronger Than Knotted Ones?
  • When to Replace Climbing Webbing
  • Using Grip Dip To Color Code Gear
  • The Benefits of Cotton
  • How to Pull a Rappel Rope
  • How to Properly Orient a Carabiner Gate
  • Are My Fuzzy Quickdraws Safe?
  • How to Stretch Climbing Shoes
  • Are 1/2-inch bolts really better than 3/8-inch?
  • Should I Resole My Rock Shoes?
  • Hand Drill Advice
  • Lonely Climber Looking for Woman
  • Is My Invented Knot Safe?
  • Difference Between Double and Twin Ropes
  • Dealing With an Argumentative Partner
  • Will Antifreeze Ruin Rope?
  • Why Is a Rack Called a Rack?
  • Rock Shoes For a Big Guy
  • Do They Kill Geese To Get Down?
  • How to Wash a Rope
  • Do Cam Teeth Do Anything?
  • Can I Fix Delaminated Rock Shoes?
  • Can I Mix a Static With a Dynamic Rope for Rappelling?
  • Should You Lower Or Rap Through Anchors?
  • Should You Clip the Belay As Your First Lead Pro?
  • How Should The Middle Man Tie In?
  • How Do I Get a Good Climbing Man?
  • Do Falls Weaken Bolts?
  • Should I Rope Solo?
  • Should I Angle Ice Screws Down?
  • How Should Old Climbers Train?
  • Can I Make a Belay Loop?
  • Reusiing Ice Screw Holes
  • Overcoming Fear of Falling
  • Choosing a Stove Fuel
  • Will My Hiking Boots Work With Crampons?
  • Do Heavy People Shock Load the Rope?
  • Can Offset Cams Subsitute for Regular Cams?
  • Can I Resling My Cams Myself?
  • Are Older Alien Cams Safe?
  • Antifreeze
  • The Truth About Climbing Supplements
  • Can I Make My Leashed Tools, Leashless?
  • Rope Stretch Facts
  • How To Cut a Rope Without a Knife
  • Secrets of the Toprope
  • How to Sharpen Crampons
  • Should I Become a Climbing Guide?
  • Preventing Climbing Rope Wear
  • How to Remove an Old Bolt
  • How to Customize Ice Tool Picks
  • Double Rope Facts
  • Do It Yourself Fruit Boots
  • Climbing Rope Sheath Slippage
  • Rockfall Safety
  • Do Screamers Work?
  • Defining the Cheater Stick and Stick Clip
  • Climbing Skin Care
  • Selecting a Gym Rope
  • Quick Links for Climbing
  • Are Russian Cams Good?
  • When To Retire Climbing Gear and Ropes
  • Should I Get a Link Cam?
  • How to Get a Climbing Mate
  • Will Dog Urine Harm My Rope?
  • Using Steel Carabiners for Fixed Quickdraws
  • Petzl Tibloc and Climbing Rope Sheath Damage
  • Overcoming Anger
  • Fixing a Spinning Bolt
  •  
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    Bouldering in Ubatuba
    Bouldering in Ubatuba

    Is My Invented Knot Safe?

    01-Jul-2010
    By Gear Guy

    I have this knot I’ve invented, a take-off on the trace-8, and am wondering if it would weaken the rope? I tie a figure-8, and then thread the working end through my harness as usual. I trace the tail through per normal, but at the point where the working end follows the standing portion of the rope, rather than trace through just the end of the rope, I poke a bight through. I snug the knot and leave the bight long enough to overhand tie it onto the standing part of the rope.

    I have used the knot, but am unwilling to fall on it until I get some feedback.

    If you are still alive by the time you read this, abandon this doomed quest for a “better” tie-in knot. Screw with your tie-in knot and you’ll hit the ground faster than shit from heaven. What is with people who just aren’t satisfied with the trace-8 or double bowline? Are these knots scary? Do they not work? Trying to jimmy up your own knot is just crazy, and you know I’m a fan of do-it-yourself, especially for things like surgery, parenting and making beef jerky. But, I think you know this or you wouldn’t have written.

    Your knot, while it might be good, is untested, complicated (you’ll be more likely to screw it up) and bulky. Sure, the trace-eight is difficult to untie after you’ve yammed onto it, but we aren’t talking about knitting scarves or doilies. In our world a knot that is difficult to untie is actually a good thing. You think about that.

    To answer your question, which was about weakening the rope: Yes, your knot will weaken the rope. All knots, because their tight bends cause force concentrations, compromise rope strength. Recent tests conducted by Black Diamond show that the standard trace-8 weakens a lead rope by 25 to 30 percent, compared to 30 to 35 percent for a double bowline, the other popular tie-in knot.
    Rope strength reduction shouldn’t cause alarm, however, because the breaking strength of a typical lead cord exceeds two tons. Even at 70-percent strength, any rope is massive overkill considering a severe fall, one you’ll probably never take, registers around a 2,000 pound force, and most “sport” falls are about half that.

    You should, however, concern yourself with knots in small cord. For instance, 5mm perlon, such as the type you might use for a prusik, could have a breaking strength of just 1,200 pounds. Reduce that by 30 percent and the new strength of 840 pounds will barely hold a hop of a fall. (Look for more on cord and knots in an upcoming Gear Guy.) Pay attention when you are rigging anchors or incorporating small cord into your protection chain.

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