Monday, January 24, 2022

The Super-Eight

The Super-Eight, also known as the Figure-Eight-with-Bunny-Ears and the Double Loop Eight, is a very useful knot. It is commonly used to equalize two points with a rope. In other words, sometimes there are two pieces and you don't have a sling or a cord to equalize them, but you do have a rope. this particular knot will accomplish equalization.

Following is a short video on how to tie the knot.

Once the knot is tied, it is easily manipulated by adjusting the interior of the knot. This will allow one of the ears to move, changing the size. Ultimately, you will be able to adjust the ears to the desired length.

The primary application of this knot is in institutional anchors for toprope site management. It is common for institutional anchors to be built with a static rope oriented like a giant v. Each end of the static rope is tied off to an object or to an anchor. It's common for one end to be tied off using a super-eight because it is a quick and easy knot that eliminates the use of a sling or cord.

A secondary application of this knot is in multi-pitch climbing. Occasionally an individual will build a two-piece anchor and use this type of knot to tie into it. But of course, this forces the team to swap leads and fixes a climber at one end of the system.  As such, it should be carefully considered before being used in such a setting...

--Jason D. Martin


Fan said...

Thanks for posting this helpful tip, Jason. To lead in blocks instead of swapping leads, what are your thoughts on the follower clipping into the anchor points using the same knot but BELOW the carabiners used by the leader's anchor points? After being put on belay, the leader then unclips his anchor points and takes off on the next pitch. Pro's/Cons?

Jason Martin said...

While I haven't seen that before, I don't see any reason that it wouldn't work with bolted anchors. However, I think that using a quad or a pre-equalized anchor on the bolts would be more in-line with best practices. Each climber would then clove into the power-point.


Fan said...

Thanks, Jason. I did have bolted anchors in mind. And for the record, my routine at bolted anchors is exactly as you described, i.e., using a quad built from a coordalette. I'm researching techniques for building anchors with the climbing rope, hence my question. Thanks again.