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Clove hitch loading direction question

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Clove hitch loading direction question

Postby figurenine » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:11 pm

I was out at the local crag yesterday shooting the shit with some climbers I had just met. I said something about how I think the clove hitch is probably my favorite knot that I use it all the time.
One of the guys then launched into a big speech about the dangers of clove hitches and how you have to make sure only to load "the spine side." He said something like "they did tests that showed if you load the wrong side it severely weakens the knot."

I've always thought that the clove was a symmetrical knot and that it would never matter which end the weight is coming from.

Does anyone have any insight on this? Is this guy nuts or have I been dangerously ignorant this whole time? It would be great if anyone who has ever heard of these tests could post a link. Thanks
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Postby lost_in_nj » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:24 pm

Not sure how it could weaken the knot, but if the load strand is the one further away from the spine of the carabiner then you would be loading the carabiner in a way that isn't optimal. So you would be weakening the overall system, even if the knot is still full strength.

Maybe that is what he was talking about?
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Postby figurenine » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:18 pm

ok i guess that makes sense. does anyone know how much that might weaken the overall system?
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Postby lost_in_nj » Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:47 pm

Found this: http://www.guidetricksforclimbers.com/c ... h.art.html

They say that:

When the knot was tied incorrectly, with the load strand farthest away from the spine of the carabiner, it was found that the knot tried to align itself with the spine at 250 lbs., and carabiner failure occurred–before rope breakage–at approximately 38% below the carabiner's rated strength.


So tie the clove hitch wrong and the carabiner strength is reduced by almost 40%! Probably not a real issue unless you end up with an open gate at the same time. But still quite a large effect from just tying a knot in a different configuration.
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Postby brokesomeribs » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:14 am

I don't believe it weakens the knot, but it does weaken the carabiner. It applies a torsional load. 13kn is still plenty strong for me. Most of my cams aren't rated that high anyway.

Regardless, I've always been pretty thorough with tying my cloves properly... they just sit better and don't twist the biner. When it comes to rope management (my definite weak point as a climber), every little bit helps, so I always try to keep things neat.
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Postby seanh » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:31 pm

That person was.....WRONG.

See here:

http://www.climbingguidesinstitute.org/ ... -hitch.pdf

clove hitch away how you like, and worry about other things.
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Postby Augie Medina » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:33 am

Very inneresting. The two test groups come out with different conclusions. S.P. Parker's article relied on testing by Bluewater and the other tester was PCGI. Both used static pulls. But neither said how many test observations their results were based on. PCGI merely said "multiple observations."
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Postby welle » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:44 pm

yawn!
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One hand it!

Postby LithiumMetalman » Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:37 am

Not sure if this helps at all, from what I was taught

One handing the clove hitch (and especially the Munter) will put the load bearing end against the spine, I know for the clove hitch it doesn't matter as much but it does for the munter. (Please correct me if I am wrong!)

Cheers!
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Re:

Postby The Chief » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:07 pm

seanh wrote:
clove hitch away how you like, and worry about other things.


EXACTLY!

Taken many a whips (early years of Solo-Aiding) on CH's that I never confirmed any
right/left or proper direction on, and they all held as advertised. Some held far too well and I had to cut them off the locker.

From my experience, the key factor in any CH is to keep it taut and allow no slack in the tie once on the biner.
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