International Guild of Knot Tyers Forum

General => New Knot Investigations => Topic started by: DubDom on August 30, 2015, 09:57:41 PM

Title: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: DubDom on August 30, 2015, 09:57:41 PM
Hi
I was looking at the PDF document that Mark at "PACI" was developing on the different variations of the bowline, which came to my attention through a thread on the ukclimbing.com forums. I couldn't see the knot that I have been using to tie into my harness for the last fifteen years or so. Fundamentally it is a water bowline combined with a janus bowline. It has some resemblance to the mirror bowline (although fellow climbers have commented on its resemblance to a "bag of knitting").
here's a picture of the finished knot
(http://farm1.staticflickr.com/670/20987572006_c73d8e82e7_b.jpg)
and here is the back of the knot
(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5726/20391181864_3e480fac38_b.jpg)
I found that the water bowline was effective at overcoming the tendency for bowlines to become worryingly loose in modern low friction climbing ropes, but until I discovered the janus bowline, I was a bit concerned at the way in which the two turns of the clove hitch element of the water bowline separated a bit when I fell.
I would be keen to hear your feedback on this knot, as I have said, I have been using it for a long time now, hopefully not naively risking my safety!
This knot definitely tightens more than a standard bowline, but nowhere near as much as a figure of eight, in fact, even after a big fall I can easily untie, but once dressed, it stays put. I have found that it is pretty easy to tie every time using one of the "one hand tie" techniques for making a bowline.
Here is a video of me tying it. I was using an off cut of a length of very fat rope for the video for clarity, but it makes the act of tying slightly less smooth and speedy than normal:-
https://youtu.be/vFtF76D6nCY (https://youtu.be/vFtF76D6nCY)
Your comments are most welcome
thanks
Dom
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: xarax on August 30, 2015, 10:59:44 PM
   ALL the double nipping loop (= two nipping loops/turns ) + double collar ( = two collars, a "high" and a "low" one, the "higher" encircling the Standing End, and, oftentimes, the Tail End as well, and the "lower" encircling the one or both eyelegs ) bowlines, are completely secure and safe loops, under all circumstances.   
   To use it as a double nipping loop, one can chose a Clove hitch, as you do, or a Girth hitch, as in the Mirrored bowline - which looks more "mirrored"/symmetric to me, so I believe it can also be inspected more easily : its lines follow more "simple" paths. One can also chose the "reversed"/upside down forms of those knots, or more complex knots, as the Pretzel knot, the Constrictor, etc. See some pictures of the Clove-hitch-based mirrored bowline at (1), where it has been dressed so it presents the most "mirrored"/symmetric and easily inspected form.
   My question is this : Have you ever seen the two turns of the Clove hitch separate, as it happens in the "Water bowline" ? If/when this happens, is it a cause of concern for the climber ?

1. http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=4306.msg26951#msg26951
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: DubDom on August 31, 2015, 11:43:45 AM
I take your point about inspection, it is less visually elegant than a proper mirrored bowline. I find that the logic of this knot lies in the action and method of its tying for me, hence the video. The action of tying has an rhythm and tactile satisfaction to it, which I believe to be an important component to the ritual of tying on to the lead rope, although that might not be so clear from the video in which I have used a thicker rope (as well as lying the whole arrangement on a surface!).

On the point of the water bowline separating, I'll load a straight water bowline and show you what I mean, it's usually apparent after taking a proper "whipper" of a fall. I don't think that it presents a serious risk to the climber unless you haven't left enough tail, but the whole structure of the knot does tend to elongate or spread out as the knot is shock loaded.
The image of a water bowline on page22 in the document I think I have referred to:-
http://www.paci.com.au/downloads_public/knots/Bowlines_Analysis.pdf (http://www.paci.com.au/downloads_public/knots/Bowlines_Analysis.pdf)
...illustrates the phenomenon.

 - I suppose the water bowline wasn't originally adopted for the use of falling onto, more for knots that lie in the water, where movement can loosen a traditional bowline. This phenomenon is dramatically improved with the janus finish. One thing that I haven't included in my pictures is that I always tie a half fisherman's with the tail - very belt 'n braces, I know, but a habit I have carried over from years of climbing prior to adopting this knot.

I like the fact that the janus finish fattens the radius of the nipping loops too, which was one of the main reasons that I started using it, banking on that addition reducing the weakening factor of the knot.

Apart from the "bag of knitting, it has been called the "green" bowline, after its user!
I would also add that it lies reasonably flat which is an issue when climbing with double ropes on a rock type such as gritstone.


I have no means of testing its maximum strength, I would be curious to know if there is an appreciable difference between these knots and a conventional bowline.

cheers

D
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: xarax on August 31, 2015, 11:59:38 AM
  I don't think that it presents a serious risk to the climber 

  Certainly it does not - but I am asking from you to report your personal experiences on that matter, because I believe that the pure psychological factor ( for climbers in demanding and dangerous situations ), does play a role : if they just f e a r it could present a danger, this would attract some of their attention, which should be focused on other issues...
  ( I also do not know if the two parts/nipping loops of the Clove-hitch-based Mirrored bowline separate more or less than the two parts of the Girth-hitch-based one... )
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: DubDom on August 31, 2015, 12:23:31 PM
Yes, for sure, I appreciate what you are saying.
My impressions:
I did find it a bit unnerving when I used a pure water bowline for the first few times. I don't know if dynamic ropes (10% stretch) are more prone to this.
I habitually finish any knot when climbing with a "stopper" knot (as it was termed when I learned to climb), water bowline or otherwise. Climbing being such a mental game, any such changes to the "system" are best eliminated from the peace of mind point of view - just as you have said Xarax.
I was much happier when I adopted the janus finish, it stays the same shape when fallen on. I don't think that I would go back to the water bowline on its own.
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: roo on August 31, 2015, 05:01:09 PM
I don't think that I would go back to the water bowline on its own.
You may also be interested in the Monsoon Bowline:

http://notableknotindex.webs.com/monsoonbowline.html

(or http://notableknotindex.webs.com/gnathitch.html)
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: DubDom on August 31, 2015, 10:17:33 PM
The monsoon bowline looks good but the problem I have with tying in with it for climbing would be that chasing the tail just through the bottom nipping loop alone might mean that the issue of the clove hitch element of the water bowline being able to open up when shock loaded by a lead fall whilst climbing could still happen.
The way that the tail emerges from the top of the knot that I use may be what helps keep everything together nicely. I don't know if the stopper knot is the active element keeping the knot's shape; I would like to test it, but to be honest I find lead falling exciting enough without speculating on the integrity of the method of tying on. I would need to create a proper testing rig other than jumping off! Does anyone have any suggestions?

One observation. The pdf that I referred to above identified how ring loading can cause a standard bowline to fail. I imagine that all of these variant prevent this?
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: roo on August 31, 2015, 10:52:51 PM
The monsoon bowline looks good but the problem I have with tying in with it for climbing would be that chasing the tail just through the bottom nipping loop alone might mean that the issue of the clove hitch element of the water bowline being able to open up when shock loaded by a lead fall whilst climbing could still happen.
The way the tail interlaces with the bottom section of the clove prevents this quite effectively in the Monsoon Bowline.  The upper section of the clove has nowhere to go.
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pl
Post by: Dan_Lehman on September 01, 2015, 07:02:52 AM
Quote
the knot that I have been using to tie into my harness
for the last fifteen years or so.
A decade & a half!  I'm pretty sure that that precedes
my discovery of the similar, mirrored bowline by several
years, then --good show!

The congregation of material in these knots seems to give
enough resistance to rope movement so as to be secure
when slack.  Beyond that, there might be some small
benefit in the three vs. two diameters/strands of rope
around which the main turn of the S.Part compresses.

The "Janus" (my term --maybe not ideal) aspect was presented
by Wright & Magowan in the Alpine Journal in 1928, but
clearly didn't take hold in the knotting world.  Some things
deserve a second chance!


--dl*
====
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: xarax on September 01, 2015, 11:09:27 AM
   The "Janus" term is not ideal, in that the god Janus was mostly a deity of temporal rather than spatial transitions ( a god of beginnings, transitions and passages, of change and time ) - and what was supposed to signify as an adjective in the case of the double/two collar bowlines was the later more than the former, I believe.
   I copy from the very good, worth reading article of Wikipedia  (1) :
  <The name> derives from the Indo-European root meaning transitional movement (cf. Sanskrit "yana-" or Avestan "yah-", likewise with Latin "i-" and Greek "ei-".). Iānus would then be an action name expressing the idea of going, passing, formed on the root *yā- < *y-e?2- theme II of the root *ey- go from which eō, ειμι.
   However, in a sense, Janus was also the god of spatial transitions, connected with passages. From the same article : 
   Janus was also involved in spatial transitions, presiding over home doors, city gates and boundaries.
   Janus was the protector of doors, gates and roadways in general, as is shown by his two symbols, the key and the staff.

   1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janus
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: DubDom on September 02, 2015, 04:02:13 PM
Very interesting Dan, I did wonder where the name Janus came from. I found reference to it in a british caving rope manual some time ago, the origins of which I am afraid are long forgotten. ( I am not a caver - just a climber; cavers are much more rope-work savvy).
"The congregation of material" would be a great way of describing this knot!! I prefer it to "bag of knitting"!
Although I do find that this knot has its own "quare logic" (to quote the ubiquitous 'oul' fella' that I used to occasionally see sitting on the rocks at Bullock Harbour in South Dublin)!
 Specifically, the 'twist o' the hand' method of creating the two nipping loop(s) - as you might see in the video I linked to, I find makes it very intuitive to tie.
I like the symmetry of the mirrored bowline for sure - it has an elegance to it, which is a credit to its originator! I can't say the same for my conflagration.

Xarax, I think you have identified the possibility that the average British alpinist of the 1920's was an inattentive classics scholar. Either that, or it was the two faces by which Janus was depicted resembling the two opposing loops in the structure of the knot?

best

Dom
 
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: DubDom on September 02, 2015, 05:54:52 PM
Oh, and Roo, I forgot to comment, I should have a go at taking a fall on the monsoon bowline. I typically use doulbe ropes over here in the UK due to the routes taking somewhat devious lines up the faces in this part of the world.

Thanks to everyone for the input by the way!

D
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: alpineer on September 03, 2015, 05:42:30 AM
The simplest way to prevent the Water Bowline's nipping loops from separating, in the event of a leader fall, is to feed the tail directly back through the collar alongside the standing part. Have you tried this? Should this work, it has the advantages of using the least amount of extra material (= a less bulky affair than otherwise), is still eminently recognizable as a W.Bowl., and satisfies xarax's penchant for TIBness.   
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: xarax on September 03, 2015, 09:36:09 AM
   The TIB double collar Water bowline ( Clove-hitch-based ), is shown here :
   http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=4695.msg32103#msg32103
   The similar Girth-hitch-based one, is shown here :
   http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=4695.msg31708#msg31708
   
   However :
   
...although it has also two collars, this Girth hitch TIB bowline differs substantially from the not more convoluted, but perhaps more strong Mirrored bowline, in that each of the two nipping loops of the Girth hitch encircles two segments of rope, not three. I have no idea about how stronger the Mirrored bowline would be ( if it would be stronger ), and how the fact that the Girth hitch TIB bowline is more versatile ( as it can be tied in -the-end AND/OR in-the-bight ) can influence our decision to use it more often than the Mirrored bowline. 
   
   The advantages of the general TIB tying method of those bowlines are explained here :
   http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=4695.msg33927#msg33927
   
   
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: DubDom on September 03, 2015, 09:52:44 PM
alpineer

Thanks - I am sure you're right. I guess I have got a bit stuck in my ways, although I can't see how to form that knot with the third strand passing though the nipping loops, although I might be missing it - I haven't yet taken the time to get out a bit of rope and try it.
I know that my way of tying on doesn't allow for TIB but, I must admit that I have regarded it as being quite specific in its application, i.e tying on to lead ropes for climbing, for which TIB is less of an issue. That said, I think I will be teaching myself a TIB variant in addition.
So, just as a quick poll, does the "green bowline"/bag o' knitting get any votes as a valid knot?!
D
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pl
Post by: Dan_Lehman on September 03, 2015, 10:09:11 PM
The simplest way to prevent the Water Bowline's nipping loops
from separating, in the event of a leader fall,
is to feed the tail directly back through the collar alongside the standing part
1) That sought be prevented is a new goal, IMO!
2) The supposed solution is bogus --no way is a simple tuck
through the collar (that not so tight part (even SS369'd!  ;D ))
going to hold it against forces well below those of a leader
fall; it might resist loosening, but ... .

I will again remind readers that the water bowline comes with
some less-than-reliable/-supportable legend of some sort of
benefits, and was shown in many books with the two turNips
well separated --not at all resembling a clove hitch, i.p., which
appeared, to my awareness, only relatively recently!?

For slack-security, the newer orientation (clove hitch-like) makes
sense; whether the other one had a real history or just some
imagined one remains a topic for investigation.


--dl*
====
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: alpineer on September 09, 2015, 07:23:22 AM
alpineer
Thanks - I am sure you're right...

Don't be sure I am right. It's a simple matter to test and observe, and prove or disprove, for yourself - and that's my point.

although I can't see how to form that knot with the third strand passing though the nipping loops...

Really?! First of all, I said nothing of passing the tail thru the nipping loops. What I'm suggesting is this... Do not create a second lower collar, but take the tail and push it directly up thru the collar. Do not pass the tail thru either of the nipping loops.
The first configuration you tested for separation of the nipping loops was the standard Water Bowline (i.e. no tail enhancement).
The second configuration to test for separation is that which I have suggested to you.
The third configuration you should test is similar to the second, but with the tail passed directly up thru the first/upper nipping loop. Do not pass the tail thru the lower nipping loop.

Please test these tail variations and report your findings.

As you have noted, TIBness is a non-issue for your application.

 
 
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: alpineer on September 09, 2015, 04:27:58 PM
So, just as a quick poll, does the "green bowline"/bag o' knitting get any votes as a valid knot?!

You've been using the knot for 15 yrs. You are qualified more than any to validate it. As for myself, I do not care for the extra complexity which comes with the addition of a second nipping loop when combined with a double collar enhanced Bowline.
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pl
Post by: Dan_Lehman on September 10, 2015, 06:43:46 AM
So, just as a quick poll, does the "green bowline"/bag o' knitting get any votes as a valid knot?!
As for myself, I do not care for the extra complexity
which comes with the addition of a second nipping loop
when combined with a double collar enhanced Bowline.
Extra complexity?!  --to just forming a larkshead
(or a "larksfoot" if your mate is British!) and then doing
that "double collar"-ing ? =>mirrored bowline.
I don't be sure you're right!

(Now, if you tied a tickleclump with a fleashank through
it, you'd enhance your complexion, and be worthy of an
entire chapter (or chapstick) in Hansel & Gretel's Encylo-
peedia of Nuts & Fancy Hopeworks!   ;D  )

 ;)
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pl
Post by: alpineer on September 11, 2015, 02:33:33 AM
(Now, if you tied a tickleclump with a fleashank through
it, you'd enhance your complexion, and be worthy of an
entire chapter (or chapstick) in Hansel & Gretel's Encylo-
peedia of Nuts & Fancy Hopeworks!   ;D  )

;)

 ;D ;D ;D. I like.

In the case of mirror-collared bowlines two nipping loops carry no practical advantage over a single loop for the O.P.'s intended use, IMO. Any extra complexity must be justified by some advantage gained with little or no concomitant disadvantage(s). This is the art of designing a knot for use in material of a particular nature and for a particular application.

 
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pl
Post by: Dan_Lehman on September 15, 2015, 06:30:45 AM
In the case of mirror-collared bowlines two nipping loops carry no practical advantage over a single loop for the O.P.'s intended use, IMO. Any extra complexity must be justified by some advantage gained with little or no concomitant disadvantage(s). This is the art of designing a knot for use in material of a particular nature and for a particular application.
I quite disagree : the dual turNips make the loosening
feed of ends more difficult --the "crossing part" of the
clove/larkshead(cow) doesn't contribute (being between
the potentially loosing loops), whereas the single loop
has flow from both ends and can thus quickly loosen.
(Similarly, the "round turn / double" bowline has at least
TWO turns to consume the feed in of material and mitigate
loosening thus; but the *knotted* bases above I think do
rather well in this.  They double the contact of rope to rope
for some securing, movement-resisting friction.

--dl*
====
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: DubDom on September 25, 2015, 03:54:17 PM
I find it really makes quite a considerable difference with low friction sheathed climbing ropes to have that extra turn. All of the complications make for a bulkier knot, but I think it makes for a much more reassuring connection to the rope.

Dom

p.s bear with me I am keen to do a test and take some pictures of a 'green' bowline, water bowline and I'll try and do the same with a mirrored bowline - it may take a while before I manage to do this but, I will have a go!
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: DubDom on December 14, 2015, 04:50:39 PM
Hi Folks

I have only just gotten round to responding with a rather un-scientific test.
I had a chance to take some lead falls in the gym.
Here is my usual knot after a very long fall on an indoor wall:-
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: DubDom on December 14, 2015, 04:51:47 PM
....and here's a straightforward water bowline after the same force:
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: Dan_Lehman on December 15, 2015, 02:59:32 AM
I had a chance to take some lead falls in the gym.
Here is my usual knot after a very long fall on an indoor wall:-
Thanks for returning w/some further insights!

While I might yet prefer the mirrored bowline to the like
knot that you have presented (the difference being that
of a cow vs. clove base structure), I admit to being
confused just now in seeing the latter in your photo of the
former --which I'll accept as proof of ample similarity,
which I think carries beyond looks into performance.

I'll note that your image of the fallen-upon knot shows
well enough my point of why the knot works well :
... [T]he dual turNips make the loosening
feed of ends more difficult --the "crossing part" of the
clove/larkshead(cow) doesn't contribute (being between
the potentially loosing loops), whereas the single loop
has flow from both ends and can thus quickly loosen.


You might try this : rather than completing that "Janus"
2nd collaring (of the eye leg), simply draw the tail
back over the crossing point of the extra turNip and
tuck back --2dia in extra, 3 still in initial.  This might
give some added slack security?

--dl*
====
Title: Re: A bowline variant: I have been using to tie into climbing ropes, comments pls!
Post by: DubDom on December 15, 2015, 01:01:33 PM
Thanks for your comments Dan. I take your point about the alternative, although I like the way that the janus adds another length to the rope running up through the middle of the clove hitch component of the knot and at the same time it lies reasonably flat. I find that the janus finish prevents the knot distorting under certain "cross loads", which I find reassuring if I choose to belay off the bight at a hanging stance. I also tend to find that the choice to run the knot in the way that you are describing makes the knot a little bit more "lumpy" and perhaps harder to check quickly and visually prior to "take off", so to speak, although that could be habit on my behalf - I'm used to the look of my "green bowline"!
D