A butterfly loop with a carabiner.
|Names||Butterfly loop, alpine butterfly knot, butterfly knot, lineman's loop, lineman's rider|
|Related||Alpine butterfly bend, farmer's loop, artillery loop, span loop|
|Typical use||Fixed loop on the bight. Isolating a worn section of rope.|
|ABoK||#331, #532, #1053|
The butterfly loop, also known as lineman's loop, butterfly knot, alpine butterfly knot and lineman's rider, is a knot used to form a fixed loop in the middle of a rope. Tied in the bight, it can be made in a rope without access to either of the ends; this is a distinct advantage when working with long climbing ropes. The butterfly loop is an excellent mid-line rigging knot; it handles multi-directional loading welland has a symmetrical shape that makes it easy to inspect. In a climbing context it is also useful for traverse lines, some anchors, shortening rope slings, and for isolating damaged sections of rope.
The earliest known presentation of the knot was in A.A. Burger's 1914 work Rope and Its Uses, included in an agricultural extension bulletin from what is now Iowa State University.Burger called the knot a lineman's rider stating it was often used by "linemen and especially telephone men". The knot's security and ability to withstand tension in any direction are both discussed.
The knot's association with mountaineering—and with butterflies—originates from a 1928 article in Alpine Journal by C.E.I. Wright and J.E. Magowan.The authors claim to have developed the butterfly noose themselves while attempting to improve the selection of knots available to climbers. The name is "so styled on the basis of a more or less fanciful resemblance imagined in the form of the knot." In the second part of the article they express dissatisfaction regarding their earlier use of the word "noose," since the knot is non-collapsing, and refer to the knot as butterfly loop or simply butterfly. Wright and Magowan call the butterfly loop "new," along with several other of their knots, in the sense they were unable to identify any earlier record of them. However, they prudently added that it "might be rash to claim they have never been used before."
When Clifford Ashley covered the knot in 1944, calling it the lineman's loop, he attributed its first publication to J.M. Drew but made no specific reference as to the source of this claim.A 1912 article called "Some Knots and Splices" by Drew appears in the bibliography of The Ashley Book of Knots . A 1913 reprint of this Drew article does not mention the butterfly loop.
The loop is typically attached to a climbing harness by 2 carabiners together with gates to opposite sides from each other.
It can also be used to isolate a worn section of rope, where the knot is tied such that the worn section is isolated in the loop (which of course does not receive a carabiner nor bear any loads in this case).The loop portion is isolated when the other two legs are loaded, and in fact the butterfly can be tied as a bend with the ends emerging where the loop would be.
Errors in tying the butterfly loop can produce a similar looking but inferior knot, the so-called "false butterfly", which is prone to slipping. However, some sources suggest this behavior can be exploited purposely for shock absorption.Wright and Magowan called this less secure loop knot the "half-hitch noose".
The double butterfly loop has two non-collapsing loops, allowing for two clip in points, both of which have the same advantages and disadvantages of a single-loop butterfly.
A carabiner or karabiner is a specialized type of shackle, a metal loop with a spring-loaded gate used to quickly and reversibly connect components, most notably in safety-critical systems. The word is a shortened form of Karabinerhaken, a German phrase for a "spring hook" used by a carbine rifleman, or carabinier, to attach his carabin to a belt or bandolier.
The figure-eight knot or figure-of-eight knot is a type of stopper knot. It is very important in both sailing and rock climbing as a method of stopping ropes from running out of retaining devices. Like the overhand knot, which will jam under strain, often requiring the rope to be cut, the figure-of-eight will also jam, but is usually more easily undone than the overhand knot.
The figure-eight or figure-of-eight knot is also called the Flemish knot. The name figure-of-eight knot appears in Lever's Sheet Anchor; or, a Key to Rigging. The word "of" is nowadays usually omitted. The knot is the sailor's common single-strand stopper knot and is tied in the ends of tackle falls and running rigging, unless the latter is fitted with monkey's tails. It is used about ship wherever a temporary stopper knot is required. The figure-eight is much easier to untie than the overhand, it does not have the same tendency to jam and so injure the fiber, and is larger, stronger, and equally secure.
Figure-eight loop is a type of knot created by a loop on the bight. It is used in climbing and caving where rope strains are light to moderate and for decorative purposes.
The Flemish loop or figure-eight loop is perhaps stronger than the loop knot. Neither of these knots is used at sea, as they are hard to untie. In hooking a tackle to any of the loops, if the loop is long enough it is better to arrange the rope as a cat's paw.
Climbing protection is any of a variety of devices employed to reduce risk and protect others while climbing rock and ice. It includes such items as nylon webbing and metal nuts, cams, bolts, and pitons.
The artillery loop is a knot with a loop on the bight for non-critical purposes. The artillery loop must have the loop loaded or it will slip and contract easily. It is an inferior knot to the alpine butterfly knot, possibly dangerously so, in that it can be yanked out of shape and turn into a running knot or noose.
A climbing harness is an item of climbing equipment for rock-climbing, abseiling, or other activities requiring the use of ropes to provide access or safety such as industrial rope access, working at heights, etc. A harness secures a person to a rope or an anchor point.
A slipped half hitch is a knot in which the weight of the load the rope carries depresses the loop sufficiently to keep it in place until the load item is placed in its location. When no longer required the free end may be pulled and draw the loop through and so release the load.
This glossary of climbing terms is a list of definitions of terms and jargon related to rock climbing and mountaineering. The specific terms used can vary considerably between different English-speaking countries; many of the phrases described here are particular to the United States and the United Kingdom.
A wide range of equipment is used during rock or any other type of climbing that includes equipment commonly used to protect a climber against the consequences of a fall.
Abseiling, also known as rappelling from French rappeler, 'to recall' or 'to pull through'), is a controlled descent off a vertical drop, such as a rock face, using a rope.
The Munter hitch, also known as the Italian hitch or the Crossing Hitch, is a simple adjustable knot, commonly used by climbers, cavers, and rescuers to control friction in a life-lining or belay system. To climbers, this knot is also known as HMS, the abbreviation for the German term Halbmastwurfsicherung, meaning half clove hitch belay. This technique can be used with a special "pear-shaped" HMS locking carabiner, or any locking carabiner wide enough to take two turns of the rope. The Munter hitch is named after Werner Munter, a Swiss mountain guide who popularised its use in mountaineering.
An ascender is a device used for directly ascending a rope, or for facilitating protection with a fixed rope when climbing on very steep mountain terrain.
The Bowline on a bight is a knot which makes a pair of fixed-size loops in the middle of a rope. Its advantage is that it is reasonably easy to untie after being exposed to load. This knot can replace the figure-eight loop knot when tying into a climbing harness. It is one of the two tie-in knots that are being taught by the German Alpine Club (DAV), generally being considered secure.
A Prusik is a friction hitch or knot used to attach a loop of cord around a rope, applied in climbing, canyoneering, mountaineering, caving, rope rescue, ziplining, and by arborists. The term Prusik is a name for both the loops of cord and the hitch, and the verb is "to prusik". More casually, the term is used for any friction hitch or device that can grab a rope. Due to the pronunciation, the word is often misspelled Prussik, Prussick, or Prussic.
A Yosemite bowline is a loop knot often perceived as having better security than a bowline. It has been pointed out that if the knot is not dressed correctly, it can potentially collapse into a noose, however testing reveals this alternative configuration to be strong and safe as a climbing tie-in.
The Garda Hitch is a class of climbing knots known as ratcheting knots for their ability to let the rope move in one direction, but not in the other. This class of knots has many uses in climbing and mountaineering, for example in a pulley system where a load is being hauled up a cliff, the Garda hitch prevents the load from slipping when the pulley system is reset.
A coiling or coil is a curve, helix, or spiral used for storing rope or cable in compact and reliable yet easily attainable form. They are often discussed with knots.
Rope are often coiled and hung up in lofts for storage. They are also hung over stakes in farm wagons and on hooks in moving vans, fire apparatus and linesmen's repair trucks. For such active storage coils must be well made.
The double overhand noose is a very secure hitch knot. It might be used by cavers and canyoneers to bind a cow tail or a foot loop to a carabiner.[ [File:Noeud double gansé.jpg|thumb|Double overhand noose binding carabiners.]]