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Knots - Public access

Congratulations! You have found the best site on the internet for learning about knots used in life critical applications (eg climbing, abseiling, rope access, vertical rescue, canyoning, etc). PACI and Mark Gommers created this web page as an act of good will to share our passion for knots.

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If you do not wish your original work to be linked here, please contact PACI and we will remove it. The presence of material by various authors on this site does not mean the said authors are individual members of PACI nor does it mean that they endorse PACI. The reverse also applies - in that the presence of various articles on this site does not imply an endorsement or approval by PACI. No responsibility is accepted for the technical accuracy of any documents outside the direct control of PACI (some of which cannot be verified). Any reliance placed on the information contained herein is understood to be at your own risk. PACI will not accept legal liability for any damages incurred as a result of reliance placed on the documents contained at this site. If you disagree with any of these terms, you should leave this site now.

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KNOT LEARNING RESOURCES

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CONTENT

VER

DESCRIPTION

SIZE

 

 

 

 

 

 

STUDY GUIDE

 

 

 

1

Knots

5.7  01 July 2021

COMPREHENSIVE KNOT STUDY GUIDE

Comprehensive compilation of knots used in life critical applications (eg climbing, rescue, etc) - includes test data and tying methods. Essential reading for Guides and Instructors.

Researched and authored by Mark Gommers.

 

No written content can replace competent instruction from an experienced instructor.

 

Password = copyright

24.6 MB

2

PACI protocols

3.9f 01 July 2021

COMPREHENSIVE LEARNING RESOURCE

These protocols underpin every aspect of fall protection used in outdoor recreation, industrial roping and public safety (vertical rescue). Instructors will find this to be a valuable resource.

Contains significant information about knots.

 

NOTE: Commercial use or any use that generates a profit from using this document is forbidden unless permission has been obtained. Licencing fees apply.

 

Password = copyright

57.2 MB

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXAM PAPER

 

 

 

3

Knot exam

 

Answer sheet (write your answers on this paper)

2.1 10 Dec 2019

Mandatory exam paper for all courses that use hand tied knots within fall protection systems at height.

Test your knowledge on knots used in life critical applications. This exam paper gets updated routinely. If you are enrolled on a PACI course, it is mandatory that you attempt to complete this exam before commencement of training.

Password = copyright

10.8 MB

 

 

 

 

 

 

TECHNICAL PAPERS

 

 

 

4

Bowline analysis

 

 

3.0 14 Jan 2021

THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE ON BOWLINES

Comprehensive compilation of Bowlines with detailed explanations and supporting theory. Detractors of 'Bowlines' may wish to reconsider their opinions after reading this paper. Authored by Mark Gommers.

Password = copyright

 

No written content can replace competent instruction from an experienced instructor.

8.05 MB

5

Offset rope joining knots

1.7 14 Dec 2019

Comprehensive technical paper on Offset end-to-end joining knots. The infamous 'EDK' is covered in detail - and many myths are busted. Essential reading if you are a climber or an instructor.

 

Password = copyright

8.46 MB

6

Knot Bio Zeppelin

1.3c 01 July 2021

Definitive technical paper on the Zeppelin bend. It contains high quality images and technical details. Essential reading for knotting connoisseurs and those who want to expand their knowledge.

Password = copyright

5.74 MB

7

Knot Bio Riggers bend

1.4f 25 May 2020

Definitive technical paper on the Riggers bend (aka Hunters bend).

Explores the history and geometry of #1425A Riggers bend.

Password = copyright

4.46 MB

8

Knot Bio Butterfly knot

 

Under development

 

9

Knotting terminology

 

An excellent glossary of all knotting terms authored and researched by Robert Birch. It includes comprehensive notes drawn from historical sources and commentary on contemporary understanding.

It is by far the best paper on knotting terminology however, some concepts could be improved - particularly the definition of a 'turn' in comparison to a 'loop'.

 

10

Attitudes toward knots

 

An interesting paper authored by Dick Chisholm. It looks at the mindset of some classes of knot users and their general attitude toward learning new knots versus minimising to need to know only. The discussion is based around ski patrollers and their particular needs but, the concepts and attitudes are a good analogue for climbers.

 

11

Anti-Bowlines

 

A short overview of anti-Bowlines. Some examples are shown.

 

12

Sheet bend

 

An excellent paper on the Sheet bend by Robert Birch. It also examines other bends such as the Double Fishermans and Zeppelin bend. Essential reading and many references are cited.

 

13

Hitches (definition)

 

A detailed overview of hitches.

Examples are given to illustrate various concepts.

 

14

Hitches theory

 

A deeper dive into the mathematical theory of hitches.

Authored by Matt Krauel.

 

15

Butterfly derived eye knots

 

The #1053 derived Butterfly bend and its corresponding eye knots. All bends (end-to-end joining knots) have 4 corresponding eye knots. Some remarkable eye knots can be derived from the Butterfly bend (and TIB eye knot).

 

16

Bends Comparison

(Change file extension to .pdf after downloading)

 

Charles Hamel knots
Main website: http://charles.hamel.free.fr/knots-and-cordages/MENU_CENTRAL.html

Paper on bends and symmetry:

Link: http://charles.hamel.free.fr/knots-and-cordages/Investigation_6.html

NOTE: There appears to be an error with Hamel's stated number of possible Zeppelin bend geometries (there can only be S/Z or Z/S - not 4 different forms as Hamel posits).

3.2 MB

17

Munter hitch

UIAA 3/2000

Analysis of belaying techniques using a Munter hitch (Report by Carlo Zanantoni). The Munter is also known as a Mezzo Barcaiolo (MB).

654 KB

18

Preferred knots for use in canyons

Sep 2001

Dave Drohan report on knots used to join ropes (presented Sep 2001) - Bushwalkers Wilderness Rescue

1 MB

19

Knot failure

N/A

Technical paper examining the localised point of failure within a knot structure. Authored by Piotr Pieranski, Sandor Kasas, Giovanni Dietler, Jacques Dubochet, and Andrzej Stasiak. Published 14 June 2001.

 

20

Paper friction hitches

Feb 2006

A report researched and authored by Dr Ron Farmer in relation to the use of slide & grip hitches as a 'self-belay' system. As with many well intentioned researchers, no photos are given to illustrate the test configuration or precise geometry of the hitches. At the end of the report, references to measurements are given (eg 'about' 900mm circumference is indicated). In real world usage, a slide & grip hitch may be attached to the users leg loop of the harness (in outdoor rec contexts) or via the side D ring on industrial harnesses. This creates an angle of incidence with respect to the parent rope which was not reported. Related to this is the degree of compactness of the wraps and resulting form - which impacts on the ability of the hitch to grab to the parent rope. Furthermore, any sudden loss of control during descent would mean a potential shock loading on the hitch. Additionally, cordage from each rope manufacturer has different stiffness and sheath texture characteristics. Some cords are 'slick' while others have a more coarse texture (eg Sterling USA accessory cords). This sheath texture has significant impact on the performance of slide & grip hitches. Also, it appears that testing was of the slow pull (static) type and not dynamic (ie shock loading).

In the opinion of PACI, the results obtained would be difficult to reproduce by another tester. This is not an isolated problem - it is a recurrent theme amongst all testers in the outdoor recreation industry. PACI regards this report as a starting point for future testers.

 

21

Arboriculture Article Prusiks

 

The geneology of Prusik hitches - an expanded article which originally appeared in the Society of Commercial Arboriculture in an Oct 2004 issue of Arborist News. By Mark Adams

 

22

Report_Hitches_PBavaresco

March 2002

Friction hitches used in tree climbing in the UK. Contract for the report was awarded to 'Treevolution'. (Report authored by Paolo Bavaresco).

1.09 MB

23

Nylon Hwy No. 34

June 1991

Article on Prusik hitches in the 'Nylon Hwy' No. 34

 

24

Report Knots Sailing

27/07/2006

Report by K.A. Milne and A.J. McLaren - Dept of Mechanical Engineering, University of Strathclyde Glasgow UK

1.3 MB

25

Knot topology

 

Video

An excellent video presented by professor Carlo Sequin from the university of California USA. He presents an outline of the mathematical theory of knot topology in an easy to understand overview. Topology is a complex area of mathematics which examines knot structures based on the number of crossing points within a closed system (ie knots with no ends). A classic example of such a structure is the 'trefoil'.

 

26

Elastic knot response

Aug 2015

Technical paper on the mechanics and topology in the frictional response of overhand elastic knots.

Authored by Jawed, Dieleman, Audoly, and Reis and published 06 August 2015.

 

 

HISTORICAL CONTENT

 

 

 

27

Rope and its uses

April, 1917

 

(originally published 1914)

A rare and historic book authored by AA Burger in 1917. This book was digitised by Google Books and made available in the public domain (copyright expired or non-existent). It contains a reference to the Butterfly knot which the author refers to as a "Lineman's rider" (see p23). This book pre-dates the classic Wright and Magowan report in 1928 where the term 'Butterfly knot' was used. Burger states; "Linemen and especially telephone men often use a knot which they term the lineman's rider." at p22)

It is possible to speculate that the Butterfly knot was developed independently by Wright and Magowan and perhaps without knowledge of its existence and use by linesmen in the telegraph industry.

1188 KB

28

Knots for Mountaineering

 

An important book authored by Phil D Smith and published in 1953. Contents include the original 'Riggers Bend' and Butterfly Bend (corresponds to Butterfly knot).

1.7 MB

29

Dr Karl Prusik

 

Historic original content from Dr Kark Prusik published in 1931.

It's in the German language - needs translation to English.

 

30

Russian knot book

 

This masterpiece authored by Lev Skryagin is the Russian 'equivalent' of the Ashley Book of Knots (ABoK). It's all in Russian but, the images can be understood by anyone!

2.2 MB

31

Report_Wright-Magowan

1928

A rare and historic 1928 British report that defines the state-of-art in knotting in that era. Authored by C.E.I. Wright and J.E. Magowan. This is where the name 'Butterfly knot' was introduced.

3.6 MB

32

The Book of Knots

 

Rare and historic book published under the alis of 'Tom Bowling' in 1890.

1.7 MB

33

Notes of Knots Vol 1 part1

 

Original hand written journal on knots from Henry Bushby in 1902 (not published).

20.2 MB

34

Notes on Knots Vol 1 part 2

 

Original hand written journal on knots from Henry Bushby in 1902 (not published).

19.8 MB

35

The use of rope on the farm

 

Historic book authored by Virgil Overholt Dec 1922.

10.9 MB

36

Knots splices and rope work

Jan 1917

Historic book authored by A. Hyatt Verrill in 1917

(second edition)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KNOT TEST REPORTS

 

 

 

37

Euro Death Knot EDK tests

 1999

Tom Moyer (USA) report on the so-called Euro Death Knot 1999.

Now over 20 years old, it seems to persist despite glaring omissions in the tests.

 

38

Knot tests

N/A

Test report on comparative knot % strengths - no date given

Report authored by Dave Richards from the Cordage Institute in USA

100 KB

39

Knot strength tests

2016

Thomas Evans report on knot strength

Presented at 2016 ITRS symposium

800 KB

40

Bowline tests

 

ITRS test report authored by Kelly Byrne on a selected group of 'Bowlines'.
This paper is interesting from the point of view that #1074 Bowline with-a-bight was tested. This Bowline is of interest because it has 4 rope diameters inside the nipping loop compared to the 'Yosemite Bowline' which only has 2.
More work needs to be done in this area... it is still an open question if the number of rope diameters inside the nipping loop boosts the knots MBS yield.
The high MBS yield reported with the Triple Bowline is a result of doubled rope segments sharing load. This is analogous to forming a round sling - where the MBS yield is double that of a single strand segment.

 

41

Prusik hitch tests (1)

 

A paper on load test results based on 2 different tying methods of a Prusik hitch.

Authored by Warwick Marlin, Dagmar Muhlbauer, Travis Trower.
As is typical of many knot test reports, there are no photos showing precisely how the knots were tied and tested.

PACI Note: There are 2 legs of a Prusik hitch, and the leg with the Double fishermans joining knot will s-t-r-e-t-c-h as the knot compresses. This stretch will cause load to bias to the opposite leg.

 

42

Prusik hitch tests (2)

2016

Thomas Evans report on Prusik hitch failure modes

Presented at 2016 ITRS symposium.

PACI note: This time we have detailed photos in the report.

432 KB

43

Knot test Sterling USA

2019 ?

This test was performed by Jim Ewing from Sterling ropes (USA) to determine the effect of adding a simple overhand knot between the two strangles of a double fishermans bend.

 

44

Tests-knots-ascenders

14 Aug 2004

August 2004 tests conducted by NSW SES on selected knots and J style ascenders - report authored by Alan Sheehan (Oberon SES)

1.83 MB

45

Tests-friction-hitches

29 July 2004

Friction hitch (ie Prusiks etc) tests conducted by NSW SES - report authored by Alan Sheehan (Oberon SES)

1.17 MB

46

Tests_Lyon_Friction-hitches

364/2001

Friction hitch tests conducted in England (part of a study of Industrial Rope Access systems). Report No.364/2001 prepared by Lyon Equipment Limited.

340 KB

47

Tests Girth Hitched Slings

2002

Tests on slings girth hitched through wired stoppers. Report is from Tom Jones but copyright is held by Nolan Jones (C) Copyright 2002. The conclusion is (not surprisingly) that girth hitching a sling through a wire loop reduces its strength considerably. It should be noted that doggers and riggers have long understood this problem with 'choked' lifting slings.

 

48

Report_MGibbs_2005

Nov 2005

Commercial lanyard shock load testing and comparison to Purcell systems (report by Mike Gibbs 2005) - presented to the International Technical Rescue Symposium USA

936 KB

49

Report_MGibbs_2006

Nov 2006

Detailed examination and testing of Purcell prusiks (report by Mike Gibbs 2006) - presented to the International Technical Rescue Symposium USA

144 KB

50

Test report fixed eye knots

Mar 2006

Test report authored by Katy Milne and Andrew McLaren published March 2006 (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow UK). Its principal focus is knots used as fixed eyes in sailing environments. However, the information is still applicable and of relevance regardless of context.

 

 

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