Water knot = death. Do you agree? We are all gonna die?


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Trad climber
portland, or
Jul 11, 2018 - 02:08pm PT
I started climbing in 1970, using water knots (aka ring bend), bowlines, figure 8s. In tubular and flat nylon (e.g., for DIY aiders), I never had the knot fail. You just "dress" each of the four sides, pulling hard on the opposite side of the knot, and keep at least an inch or two tail so you can see if it's sneaking apart on you. Dynema and Spectra, however, may be more problematic. So far I've not died...

What the dangerous one said, below.

Oh, and yes, eventually, we're all gonna die!
Dick Danger

Trad climber
Lakewood, Colorado
Jul 11, 2018 - 02:38pm PT
I've trusted my life to rapping off 1" tubular webbing joined with a water knot and a couple of c*#k rings more times than I can remember. I will continue to do so.

Just be sure to have at least a few inches of tail. However, I never rap off webbing that was already at the anchor before I got there - no matter how 'new' it looks. I'll either remove the tat or at least back it up with some fresh 1" webbing joined by a water knot.

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Jul 11, 2018 - 04:19pm PT
The video is kind of total hooey. No way a nubbin is going to pull one of the ends through if the knot is the least bit dressed. Even in slippery 9/16" webbing. I always carry one or two slings of that stuff tied with double fisherman's, long enough tails on that knot too, fully tightened by pulling each of the 4 "ends". That takes a whole lot longer to loosen than a water knot, in fact, to untie for use in a rappel anchor, you have to pound on it a bit with something, hammer, rock, somebody's head. Whatever it takes. It's a great knot to use as a jammed piece or anchor, tapers nicely like a nut. It needs a pretty deep pocket so the tension on the upper end can't lever it out.
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