Equalette Twist

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Dan 7 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #7757 Reply



    Been experimenting with setting up an ‘equalette’ style anchor setup system and I am finding a lot of twist when tying the clove hitches. Does anyone else have a similar issue? Any way to avoid it.

    #7758 Reply

    ed nepia

    why do you use clove hitches?

    if its a cordelette, webbing whatever just clip the various pieces into loops and tie it all off with one large knot oriented toward the load

    #7759 Reply


    I have been reading John Long & ?whats his name? 2nd Ed Climbing Anchors.

    There are 3 styles of setting up an equalised powerpoint. Cordalette, Sliding-X and Equalette.

    I understand the principles behind the Cordalette and Sliding-X. I am trying to come to grips with the equalette.

    It uses a loop or cord similar to a cordalette but uses each line individually with a clove hitch and the powerpoint is tied off differently too.

    I find the clove hitches generates a lot of twist in the lines.

    #7760 Reply

    ed nepia


    sliding x is pretty redundant these days due to unacceptable shock loaing if one anchor fails, you can mitigate that by tying knots between the powerpoint and each anchor but thats messy, uses more rope and is slow to setup.

    #7761 Reply

    ed nepia

    teh limitations of a cordalette system are that if the loops are uneven length, or single and double strands then they will stretch differently and therefore load somewhat unequally

    a useful alternative to clove hitches is tie to the farthest anchor with a fig 8 or fig 9, with the rope from that anchor then connect to nearer anchors with an alpine butterfly. This is fast to setup and very strong

    cordalettes are really good, more versatile then long webbing slings, cheap and extremely strong

    havnt seen the equaltte thing is it cord or webbing?

    #7762 Reply

    David Wyndham

    @ed, the book Mark is referring to has a lot to say on the issue of shock-loading, and tying limiter knots. It is from lab testing of these sorts of systems that the equalette was born. It uses the same piece of cord you would use for a cordelette, just tied differently. I recommend reading the book, it is very in depth, copies can be found here


    @Mark, I haven’t tried tying an equalette myself in the field but I can picture the issues you are having. Clove hitches by their nature will twist the rope, I’m not sure there is much you can do to avoid this. The longer the loops are the less of an issue the twists will be. I agree with ed though that you could always tie Alpine butterflies instead, or directional Fig-8s. I know John uses clove hitches in the book, but I don’t see that you have to.

    #7763 Reply



    I think he uses clove hitches for ease of adjustment. I will keep experimenting.



    #7764 Reply

    ed nepia


    a really worthwhile link on this subject,

    #7765 Reply

    colin m

    what rope material are you using ? if you are using narrow diameter spectra/dyneema then give standard 7mm perlon ago. It tends to be softer and more flexible for clove hitches and twisting can be less of a problem.

    #7766 Reply

    ed nepia

    spot on colin , 7mm is the go

    #7767 Reply

    David Wyndham

    @ed, that looks like an excellent pdf, thanks for the link, will have to read it fully. Just from a quick flick, I can see obvious twisting of the rope in a lot of the pictures where clove hitches are involved, so it looks like my hunch was correct and it’s just something to live with.

    #7768 Reply


    I am using 7mm Eldrid Cord purchased on Saturday 🙂 Would that make it perlon?

    Its new so I guess that where some of the stiffness comes from.

    I am doing this in prep for the AO lead climbing course coming up.

    #7769 Reply

    colin m

    the fact you purchased it on a Saturday would suggest its Perlon.

    (only kidding)

    7mm is quite chunky/over engineered for climbing spectra and would defeat the weight/bulk advantage. I would think its non spectra. In fact, there is a variety between different ‘brands’ of cord when it comes to handling, knots etc. Get yourself along to the course and ask Qs there.

    Learn all anchor techniques and understand the pros and cons of each. In the end, its up to you to decide the best option.

    #12257 Reply


    I know that this is a really old thread, but I’ve seen the issue of “clove hitches twist the rope too much” too often.

    There are two ways of tying clove hitches, which are mirror images of each other. Tie one one way and the other the other way and they cancel each other out.

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