The Bow Tie


Holy crap, I am so excited to share this anchor submission with you all! It’s awesome jive-assery of the “over-engineered macrame project” variety (my favorite style). Beyond that it’s just bizarre. It’s from the Ouray Ice Park (hard to believe, I know) and the photos were submitted by Kent Bailey, who was visiting the park for the first time.  Kent calls this beast “The Bow Tie”, which is aptly named, as you can see.

An utterly strange ice climbing top rope anchor, macrame stylie.

Figure 1: An utterly strange ice climbing top rope anchor, macrame stylie.

As you can see, this is a redundant two point anchor. One anchor point is that simple loop of rope tied around the left tree with a knot I can’t quite identify. Here is a closer view. Any ideas anyone?

Bow Tie Ice Climbing Anchor from Another Angle.

Bow Tie Ice Climbing Anchor from Another Angle.

That knot on the left edge of the photo: it doesn’t quite look like a bowline. Not sure what it is. At any rate, here is a third photo from another angle:

Figure 3: Bow Tie Ice Climbing Top Rope Anchor from another angle.

Figure 3: Bow Tie Ice Climbing Top Rope Anchor from another angle.

Let’s move onto the second anchor point of this redundant anchor. It appears to be the load end of that elaborate spiderweb of rope wrapped around the two trees and tied up in a bow. You can see it better in figure 1. Yep. Looks like that’ll hold. I think it’ll hold. Which brings us to the question–to the elephant in the room as it were: why are those two trees bound together with that macrame project of rope? Is the idea to keep one of them from uprooting and getting yanked down the ice wall? They seem like pretty stout trees to me. Is this intended to be an art installation? In the end it really doesn’t look all that dangerous. It’s just…well…bizarre. I really don’t get it. I think Kent put it best when he wrote “I’m not really sure what all is really going on in this anchor.” My thoughts exactly, Kent. This is Jive-Ass Gold!

Location: Ouray Ice Park, Ouray, Colorado, USA

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6 thoughts on “The Bow Tie

  1. Jae

    My guess is the single looper is tied with a figure 8 follow-through and half-hitch backup. The wrap is just a whip, but poorly secured since it just comes off the load line and starts wrapping. Usually started w/ half-hitch to avoid slippage. Yay trainwreck!

    Reply
  2. Adolfo Isassi

    Holly molly…I think Remco is on the right track….just a convoluted way to keep rope free of snow.
    To me, that knot on the loop around the tree trunk, looks like a Bowline w/Yosemite finish….if it is, it’s ironically perfect for the title post “Bow Tie”

    Reply
  3. Dillbag

    That knot on the left edge is most definitely a bowline with a yosemite finish, more specifically, it’s a double-bowline. It’s got two “wraps” or loops rather than the standard single loop on a standard bowline.
    This used to be a preferred method for tying in, back in the days of goldline.

    Reply

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