The Double Splittail

There is a refinement on the double rope technique that allows anchors to be switched without necessitating that your Blake's hitch be untied at eveiy anchor change. It is called the double split-tail. For this a separate piece of climbing rope 8-10 feet long is doubled and a loop-forming knot is tied in the center of the piece of rope The knot can be either a figure eight on a bight or, preferably, a butterfly knot (p.42). The loop created by this knot is hooked directly into the delta ring of a Ness Saddle or the spreader or D-ring with a carabiner on a commercial saddle. The two tails are used to form the Blake's Hitches around each of the two ends of the climbing rope. The ends of the climbing rope now have loop forming knots with short tails just long enough to tie a backup knot. These are attached to the delta ring with a locking carabiner when they are in use. This rig enables the anchor that is no longer being used to simply be undipped from the delta ring, removed from the limb and either trailed or clipped elsewhere on the saddle. It is then ready to be used on the next anchor limb. The Blake's hitch on each end of the climbing rope need only be tied once using this refinement.

One caution when using this system: attach only the end of the rope currently forming your anchor to the delta ring...attach the nonactive end somewhere else on your saddle to avoid confusion while climbing.

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  • luisa
    How long does a double split tail have to be?
    9 years ago

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