Mystery Knot

Mystery Knot

Mystery Knot

Time to play “guess that knot!” Observe the mystery knot above (part of a top rope ice climbing anchor). What the heck is that? I know what you’re thinking: bowline. But I saw it up close and observed it from several angles. It’s unlike any bowline I’ve ever seen. It looks more like part of a trucker’s hitch or something, or maybe one of those knots you use to tie monofilament fishing line to a fish hook. Clinch knot? Is that what it’s called? My knot geekness is sort of limited to climbing knots, so I can’t say for sure. What I do know is that it looks like it’s about to come undone! The other end of this anchor has a similar “looks like it’s about to come undone” mystery knot.

Oh yeah, ice climbers were top roping off of this thing.

Location: Ouray Ice Park, Ouray, Colorado, USA

Mystery knot

Mystery knot from another angle

3 thoughts on “Mystery Knot

  1. Howard

    I think it’s a bowline backed up with a half of a double fisherman’s with the final length of tail through a chain link. Aside from not being dressed very tight I’d say it’s bomber.

  2. whydoubt

    Independently, I decoded the knot exactly as Howard has. Maybe a bit loose but as he says, otherwise really a very solid, dependable, verifiable combination of traditional primary, and super-traditional backup knots. The great thing is, one could untie and re-tie it easier than any other combo which might freeze up and require a knife to remove.


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