Author Topic: EDK variation Knot slip - climber dies (WA)  (Read 205 times)

Offline alwoodsmithy

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EDK variation Knot slip - climber dies (WA)
« on: September 26, 2016, 03:07:31 PM »
Read an article today on MP where a climber died this May out in Washington State rappelling. He had tied an figure eight overhand knot to connect his two ropes and one of the strands slipped through causing the knot the come undone (my understanding from what I read in the article). I personally use the EDK when rappelling and the article mentioned that this knot, too, has slipped on occasion causing a complete failure of the rappel system.

Does anyone have any information on this? What knots do you use to rappel? This was a little terrifying to read since I exclusively use the EDK to join two ropes together, usually with about 6-8 inches of tail on each rope.


Thanks

Offline rbirk

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Re: EDK variation Knot slip - climber dies (WA)
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2016, 04:43:50 PM »
My two cents are that figure eight and overhand can usually be both used in different areas, but one usually pick the figure eight as it's unties easier after load. That's why I personally cannot figure out why anyone would choose that when tying two ropes together for rappel. The overhand bend (EDK) is weak as it is (but good enough for a rappel).

I would also recommend at least two feet of tail. Especially if using the the figure eight where you may want at least three feet or a backup knot.

Trivia: What's the difference between a knot, hitch and a bend? Knot can be tied by itself. Hitch need to go around something else. Bend ties two ends together.

Offline NEAlpineStart

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Re: EDK variation Knot slip - climber dies (WA)
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2016, 08:22:53 PM »
R&I continues to confuse climbers by calling the knot in question a "variation" of the EDK (or more accurately the flat-overhand, or flat overhand bend if you want to be technical).

They did the same with this poorly researched article pack in March:

http://www.rockandice.com/climbing-accidents/euro-death-knot-mysteriously-fails

My comment then:

...EDK is not "a version of the flat-8". Your readers deserve more accurate reporting. You should clearly show the EDK (more accuratly called the flat over-hand), the eight-in-line (safe but hard to untie) and the flat 8 (deadly and easily capsizes). The mis-understanding between these three very different knots (not versions) has caused enough confusion and accidents for decades.

A reverse traced 8 bend is 100% safe and lays very "flat", so I can see why so many new climbers confuse that bend with tying an 8 via the same method one ties a flat-overhand, except it's one more wrap around both strands before pulling through the formed loop. This way of tying a "flat eight" as media likes to call it has been known to capsize and fail under body-weight for decades, yet the existence of the reverse traced 8 with looks almost identical, continues to deceive newish climbers and unfortunately keeps leading to loss of life.


Offline NEAlpineStart

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Re: EDK variation Knot slip - climber dies (WA)
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2016, 08:24:23 PM »
Oh and here's the article OP is referring to:

http://www.rockandice.com/climbing-accidents/rappel-knot-fails-climber-falls-to-death-on-the-goat-wall

You can read the comments on both... R&I needs to start reporting these accidents in a more productive manner vrs. adding to the confusion.

Offline JBro

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Re: EDK variation Knot slip - climber dies (WA)
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2016, 08:48:45 PM »
EDK (flat overhand) is safe but I would go with longer than 6-inch tails.  Just don't make the tails so long that you could accidentally feed a tail into your rappel device.

 
Have a quiche, now, or maybe a tort.  You deserve it!
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This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption.
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Offline ralbert20

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Re: EDK variation Knot slip - climber dies (WA)
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2016, 10:15:05 PM »
Ok, time to educate me. What is a flat 8? Google only brings me the normal retraced figure 8.

Offline NEAlpineStart

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Re: EDK variation Knot slip - climber dies (WA)
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2016, 10:21:28 PM »
Problem is there are two knots that many climbers refer to as a flat 8.

1) tie the "pre-8" like you're getting reading to tie a retraced 8. With other rope retrace the eight in the opposite direction. This knot is safe with sufficient tail (but hard to untie after load)

2) grab both strands and wrap around twice and through formed loop. This looks physically the same if used with same color rope. This rolls easily and kills people.

I'm going to put a short video together tomorrow showing the difference.

Offline JBro

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Re: EDK variation Knot slip - climber dies (WA)
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2016, 10:39:25 PM »
The easiest way to avoid confusing people is to just say fuck the figure 8 for rappelling and just use the EDK (flat overhand). It's safe, it's easy to tie and untie, and unlike a flat 8 you can't confuse it with something that looks similar but is potentially dangerous.

Keep it simple.

Have a quiche, now, or maybe a tort.  You deserve it!
-bristolpipe

I like to keep things simple, even if it's faaaken painful and miserable.
-Stoney Middleton

This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption.
-Friar Tuck

Offline alwoodsmithy

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Re: EDK variation Knot slip - climber dies (WA)
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 09:16:16 AM »
Got it - thanks everyone.

Will stick to flat overhand AKA EDK but have longer tails. Before I rap I just make sure I tighten the EDK from every direction and every individual strand, which presumably makes it less likely to wiggle loose and untie somehow.

Offline NEAlpineStart

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Re: EDK variation Knot slip - climber dies (WA)
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 11:01:35 AM »
I just published a post with images of the various knots in question, and proposed a solution for trying to avoid these accidents. Please check it out:

https://northeastalpinestart.com/2016/09/27/one-of-these-knots-can-kill-you/


Offline pappy

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Re: EDK variation Knot slip - climber dies (WA)
« Reply #10 on: Today at 10:16:29 AM »
I was rapping down Wheeler with a couple of other guys after doing the Great Corner, and setting up the last rap I saw that John had tied the ropes together with a flat eight. I was unamused and said that he might have a death wish, but I didn't. He got semi-belligerent and said that he had used it for years (he's been climbing for nearly twenty years, so not a newbie) and he knew lots of other climbers who used it, and it was just fine. Whatever. I checked to make sure that he had plenty of tail and reminded him of one of the Southern rules of booty: You get hurt being a moron we don't do a rescue, we hit you in the head with a rock and split your gear. As he started down I told Jeff to watch the knot, which during the rap rolled three or four inches down the rope, and that is a low angle rap. Needless to say, after John was down I retied the ropes with a triple fisherman's (my knot of choice, f**k the EDK). Jeff told his brother what he had seen, and John turned kind of pale. Don't think he uses the flat 8 anymore. Cheap lesson.
If you're gonna be stupid, you gotta be tough.