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Climbing Friction Knots

Discussion in 'Commercial Tree Care and Climbing' started by Blinky, Dec 17, 2006.

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What's your preferred climbing/positioning knot?

  1. Blake's Hitch

    53 vote(s)
    32.3%
  2. Distel (screwed up Schwabisch)

    10 vote(s)
    6.1%
  3. Knut or TK (Knut with a twist)

    6 vote(s)
    3.7%
  4. Martin (Blake's on a split tail)

    16 vote(s)
    9.8%
  5. Prusik

    15 vote(s)
    9.1%
  6. Schwabisch (top heavy prusik)

    11 vote(s)
    6.7%
  7. Taughtline Hitch

    17 vote(s)
    10.4%
  8. TK (Knut with a twisted bight)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. VT or other French Prusik derivative

    32 vote(s)
    19.5%
  10. Other

    4 vote(s)
    2.4%
  1. Blinky

    Blinky ArboristSite Operative

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    As promised, a knot poll. This ain't a 'which is the BEST knot?' poll. It's probably safe to say there is no best knot, or, at least no way to determine what knot is the best. The idea is a statistical crossection of what knot AS members prefer and maybe some discussion about how you came to use a particular knot.

    I'm using a distel because Ryan Willock taught me DRT and that's what he uses. It suits me fine and I have no reason to try anything else though I've toyed with a Blake's and used Prusiks years ago climbing fixed ropes.

    There are only 10 poll choices so I'll name the ones I'm familiar with and leave an 'Other' choice so you can elaborate if you like. I got my terminology from an ISA article, 'Son of a Hitch' by Mark Adams... I think.

    If anybody wants to start a flame war, be my guest but seriously witty discussion is a lot more interesting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2006
  2. Hack Jr

    Hack Jr ArboristSite Lurker

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    Blakes in evergreens for hip thrust action, Distel in Oaks for sensitive descents, but mostly Blakes!
     
  3. BostonBull

    BostonBull Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I voted for the Martin. Martin Morales invented this knot. He is a Teacher for Arbormaster and from Mexico. It isnt a blakes on a split tail it is a blakes hitch on an eye-eye prussic, except you only come under one wrap not two.

    It is also not called the Martin its called the Michoacan, after the city where he lived in Mexico.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2006
  4. Blinky

    Blinky ArboristSite Operative

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    I may have let my inexperience show here, I used the term 'split tail' to refer to the eye-eye prussic... although to me, a prusik (prussic?) is a knot and a split tail is a section of rope with an eye spliced (or loop tied) in each end. Is the single eye line like with a Blakes (on DRT) also a split tail?

    I knew the terms would be confusing but this may be a good way to get a better grip on'em.
     
  5. ggttp

    ggttp ArboristSite Member

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    I used to climb with taught line but didn't like the creep. So i switched about 3 years ago to Blakes with fair lead on a split tail. I have recently been thinking about switching to a vt or distel after seing a guy use it at the Paul Bunyan show in October. It seemed to work smoothly and responsive. What can any body that climbs with one tell me about it.
     
  6. rahtreelimbs

    rahtreelimbs A.K.A Rotten Tree Limbs

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    I use the Knut. Anyone have a picture of the Mrtin.?
     
  7. BostonBull

    BostonBull Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Sorry I misspelled it. it is Martin (Mar-teen). Just take a eye-eye and do four wraps up like a blakes hitch, then come down and go between your bridge and rope, and go under one wrap on that side, and attach both eyes to a biner or snap. Just like a blakes except only go under ONE wrap not TWO. Different cordswill require more or less wraps, as with all new hitches/knots start low and slow.
     
  8. begleytree

    begleytree H. sapiens moderatus

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    X2.
    -Ralph
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
  9. emr

    emr ArboristSite Operative

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    If you want a pic of the Martin go to ******** and look under "Articles". There is an article there that explains it and has a picture. It it a great knot. I tried it about a year ago, and I will never switch. I have used VT and Distal, but Martin kills them all. I would give it a shot.
     
  10. adkranger

    adkranger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I use several hitches depending on the circumstances and particular ropes I'm using. I voted Blake's 'cuz that's what I use most of the time with my old school Arbor Plex, but will use prussiks, tautline and have recently been toying with the Distel. Will use prussiks, distels, autobloc, and couple variations on my kernmantles. You can never have too many tricks in the bag IMO. Always on the quest for that perfect setup....... is there one?

    A prusik is not a knot, but a hitch(like all of these) tied using a loop of cord joined with a double fishermen's knot. Symantics I guess, but for those lurking that may not know the difference. Of course you can also use "prusik" cord with eyes to tie some other useful hitches. Makes for confusion for the new to the sport, is the prusik the cordage or the hitch??:dizzy:
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2006
  11. Blinky

    Blinky ArboristSite Operative

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    I have another related question... what is a split-tail?
     
  12. DDM

    DDM Addicted to ArboristSite

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    split·tail /ˈsplɪtˌteɪl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[split-teyl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
    –noun
    a minnow, Pogonichthys macrolepidotus, of the Sacramento River, having the upper lobe of the tail much longer than the lower lobe: habitat changes have greatly reduced its numbers. :)
     
  13. 046

    046 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    blakes with a split tail for me..
     
  14. adkranger

    adkranger Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I think sailors have a different definition for "split tails"..........:hmm3grin2orange: :hmm3grin2orange:

    Blinky I don't know if this is the text book answer, but I'll give it a try. A split tail system is using a doubled over rope similar to the traditional system except you do not use the "tail" of the rope at the attachment point('biner or snap hook) to tie your Blakes or Tautline or ??? You use a separate piece of rope, or prusik cord to tie your friction hitch of choice. This creates some separation between the two legs of your climbing support line and many feel it allows greater flexibility of movement and positioning. It also allows greater flexibility in your choice of hitches to imploy, some would be quite difficult if not impossible to tie with a "tail". Hope I explained that OK, not textbook, just off the top of my head and at this hour who knows how that transcends over the etherworld.:dizzy:
     
  15. Blinky

    Blinky ArboristSite Operative

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    Wise guy. :buttkick:

    I shoulda never made that 'witty discussion' comment. But, as long as we're at it... P. macrolepidotus doesn't have a hyphen in it's common name, that is, 'Splittail', or even a space for that matter.

    So I'm wondering... WITH RESPECT TO DOUBLE ROPE CLIMBING RIGS, what is a split-tail.

    OY!
     
  16. Blinky

    Blinky ArboristSite Operative

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    OK, that makes sense to me. Thanks.
     
  17. Jim1NZ

    Jim1NZ ArboristSite Guru

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    I use different prussics for different applications, but normally VT.
     
  18. NickfromWI

    NickfromWI Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A DRT climbing system where the climbing line terminates at the climber, then a SEPERATE piece of cordage is used as the friction hitch is referred to as "split tail" climbing.

    The piece of rope used to tie the hitch is also called "a split tail." Typically, when people are referring to a split tail (noun) they are talking about a 4-5' long piece of rope of same diameter as the host climbing line, usually with one eye on one end and of the rope for connecting to the harness, and the tail used to tie the friction hitch such as a Blake's or a Tautline hitch, which are open climbing systems, where the tail of the friction hitch is not connected to anything.

    I've heard some people use the term "split tail" to refer to the hitch cords used it closed climbing systems where the hitch cord has an eye on each end, and both eyes are connected to the carabiner that connects to the harness. Specifically, this type of split tail is made of an eye-to-eye cord, and eye-and-eye sling, or to some, simply a prusik.

    And as I understand it, a prusik IS a knot. Specifically, it is a hitch...meaning a knot tied to a host object, be that a post, pilon, tree, fence post, door knob, or another piece of rope.

    love
    nick
     
  19. treeseer

    treeseer Advocatus Pro Arbora

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    tho Dan and Nick and Tom have showed me the VT etc., I rarely use them. I stick with Tautline most of the time. Creep is not an issue here. I still don't see a great advantage to the split-tail, though I hope that minnow bounces back.
     
  20. emr

    emr ArboristSite Operative

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    As with many knots, the Martin can altered to fit the climber. I usually put 5 wraps and tuck the bottom one. As tenex gets worn, we found that adding a wrap is sometimes necessary. I have never climbed with 6 wraps, but a co-worker who usually starts out with 4 wraps ends up at 5 just before replacing tenex.
     

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