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I (Think/Hope) I Developed A New Hitch Design

Bioassay

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I've been stuck in bed for almost two weeks now trying to recover from a surgery and so I have an uncomfortable amount of free time. I also inherently and innately love using rope. There's something unbelievably tactile-friendly about rope and learning/tying knots has yet to get old.


Anyways, these two factors led me to play around with my eye to eye prusiks and my split tail. After much finagling, I eventually landed upon a prototype which I tinkered with until I achieved a greatly improved, finished product…


The Trinity Hitch


(Suggestions for a better name are welcomed)


To be clear, I have not been able to test this hitch out with my own, full body weight because I just had surgery. So, please, if you choose to use it, start low and slow.


The hitch has three distinct areas which work together to produce the nip necessary to be functional (hence the name). Because of this, the amount of wraps for each of the three segments can be counted as x:x:x, where 'x' represents the number of wraps. The hitch begins like a Schwabisch would until the top leg drops down and around and over itself like with a Distel hitch.


I uploaded a few pictures. The most basic form of the Trinity hitch is shown in image "Trinity 2:1:1," where the hitch has 2 upper wraps, 1 middle wrap and 1 lower wrap. My terminology for describing how rope moves relative to itself and other ropes is not exactly the best, so I hope anyone interested in trying it is able to replicate it from my photos.


Also, attached are photos of a 2:1:2 and a 3:2:2 variant. In the latter, I used my split tail (imagine it's a hitch cord), but this hitch is meant to be for eye to eye prusiks only. In the final picture, I show all three hitches talked about thus far, which grow in complexity as they go up.


One part about this hitch that some might find undesirable is how the legs of the hitch are of different lengths. However, aside from being somewhat aesthetically displeasing, there's no indication that this hurts performance. I made the 2:1:1 using a 30" RIT hitch cord, the 2:1:2 using a 32" RIT hitch cord and, for any additional wraps, a longer cord may be required. The rope being hitched to is an 11.8mm Drenaline.


I am under the impression that this hitch has not been done before, but I'm continuing to search through the internet to see if I'm wrong. If anyone has seen this somewhere else, let me know. I'm willing to accept that it might be horrible as a hitch . I'm optimistic, though. Since I'm currently laid up, I cannot test this hitch myself. If anyone out there wants to help me do some testing on it, let me know. Hopefully, I'll be able to do so myself in another two weeks.


Either way, I think it's pretty good looking as far as hitches go, regardless of how it performs. The opposing, Distel-like middle and lower segments seem to make a difference. Also, how the top segment is effectively a Schwabisch should instill some level of confidence to the operator.


Suggestions and criticisms are always welcomed. This might be a complete waste of time or it might be an epic success…or maybe somewhere in between.Regardless, I'm having fun. Thanks for reading.
 

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cory

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Good for you, I hope it works out well.

New ways to tie friction hitches used to be much more compelling before the widespread use of mechanicals, imo.
 

Bioassay

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Thanks for the feedback! I agree that it seems as though far fewer people seem inspired to develop new friction hitches since the widespread acceptance of mechanical devices. I think traditional hitches and climbing methods should be understood by anyone who aspires to climb on any of these newer contraptions. If not only for emergency use only should their device fail at height. Having only one method of ascent, and especially decent, is not advisable for anyone.


Anyways, I'm rambling now. I added some pictures of what this new hitch looks like under weight. Hitches always seem to look distinguishably different when being weighted versus after being set and dressed. I show it connected how I'd imagine most people would use it: attached to a slack tending pulley.


I just though about what would happen if I were to make the middle section's Distel-like cross over above itself instead make the wrap below itself. Then the middle and lower sections would form a clove hitch. It wouldn't look as good and it may lose effectiveness despite how it sounds like it would be helpful. Just thinking out loud.
 

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Marc-Antoine

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Don't forget one thing : you don't want a death grip on the rope. The knot has to be released with a moderate force on it. It's made by enlarging the apparent ID of the different loops by widening their angle vs the rope (closer to 90°). I fear that the clove hitch-like will make a lock in the middle preventing that.
Before adopting the all mechanical, I tried different knots during some years and my conclusion was the more hard crossings you have, like half hitch, marl or twisted loop, the less freedom inside the knot you get and the more troubles you may (will) encounter handyness wise. The knot may perform well, but teightens during use, more or less quickly, and needs to be worked and loosened before being able to slide on the rope again. It was my main grip against the knots.
I know that some climbers are artists with their knots and even love mastering them. I am not in this league : it has to work as is, without tweakening it all the time. That's why I was so glad when the Hitch Hicker was released: the simplest knot ever, even not a real knot. No crossing, no locking loop, just the cord spiraling around the rope a few times and that's it. It works well, even without the Hitch Hicker and I put one with just a pulley on my other lanyard / climbing lines for Ddrt. It had still a problem : over time, the hitch cord takes the shape of the rope and ends to keep more its grip. So, I was even more glad when the Akimbo came, no knot at all and ticking all of my boxes (but one), but that's an other story.
 

Bermy

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So here's what I see...this hitch possibly could be a cord hitch that might work on SRT without any additional friction sharing mechanical?
Our 'old' hitches didn't transfer to Srt because they locked up completely when the climbers weight is on only one leg of the rope, not two as in MRS (DdRT)
It sort of looks like the upper and lower portions might share the load, kind of like the HH and Ropewrench do? Or as Marc says, it could all just lock up once it sets with a climbers weight...cord on cord only.
Only a climbing test will prove it one way or another.
 

Brocky

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Looks like an original to me, the unique feature of the one leg coming out the side will makes it easy to check.
Don’t see that it would be of use for stand alone SRT, there isn’t anything that would stop the movement of slack from the wraps to the bottom part of hitch.
I’ll check when I get home, fun visit to ER now for heart fluttering.
 

Bermy

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Hey, hope you check out ok Brocky!
I'm just speculating...be interesting to hear what folks find with it giving it an actual try.
 

gf beranek

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Can you tie it one-handed?

I started climbing on the taught-line hitch.

Believe me the taught-hitch has its drawbacks but one of it virtues is you could tie that one-handed.

Basically, any configuration with at least 4 wraps around the running part of the rope can function as a friction hitch.

With the all the new combinations of cordage available today exists endless possibilities for working friction hitches.

Can you tie it one handed?
 

Burnham

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Not I, looks like :D. Need more fingers.

But that alone wouldn't sink it for me...none of my preferred friction hitches can I tie one handed. It's a nice attribute, but not at the cost of the downsides to the tautline, for me.
 
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Brocky

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It’s a nice hitch, I only tried the 2:1:1. It grabs reliably but does have a tendency to bind up with use, but is easily loosen. The name Trinity could refer to where 3 sections of cord are top of each other in the front.
I’m adding it to my collection, these are ones that have the leg out the side feature, that I know. Instead of poachers or scaffolds for individual eyes, tying a stopper knot in back is another option, it also helps to tend slack, no pulley needed.
8A6137CB-D213-437D-BC09-22079D503868.jpeg
 

stig

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Nah, kind of an improved ( Or not) Valdotain.

NOT Valdotain tresse.

It would work.
Whether it would work good, I can't tell.
 

Bioassay

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Thanks everyone for your input! I haven't tried tying it with one hand, but I think it's plausible that one could do so. I think, however, one might need two hands to set and dress.

Thanks to everyone willing to try this on their own and deliver feedback! I attached a picture of a 4:1:1 trinity hitch under load (I'm simply pulling as hard as I can) because I wondered if it would prevent jamming relative to the 2:1:1 because it would force the hitch to distribute more weight into the top section

It appears to work. But at the same time, you can see the bend in the rope caused by the clove hitch like middle and bottom section. This is quite aggressive. In the image, I'm holding the rope lightly to ensure that the bend can be seen more accurately. In my other images, it can be seen that this rope bending is less aggressive with the variations that have the middle and bottom sections making at least two rotations.

Naturally, this might just make things lock and bind up more unless the upper section only has a small number of wraps. At the extreme end of the spectrum, what about a 2:2:2 Trinity hitch (attached image)?

Ugh, I can't wait until I am able to climb again! So much to play around with! I appreciate everyone's genuine enthusiasm, suggestions, and willingness to test this hitch.

Brocky, sorry to hear about your heart troubles. Wishing you the best!
 

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Bioassay

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Oh, I meant to say how this hitch, much like most others, might not be well suited to SRT without a Rope Wrench type device. It might perform better "as is" with an MRS setup.
 

Bioassay

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Don't forget one thing : you don't want a death grip on the rope. The knot has to be released with a moderate force on it. It's made by enlarging the apparent ID of the different loops by widening their angle vs the rope (closer to 90°). I fear that the clove hitch-like will make a lock in the middle preventing that.
Before adopting the all mechanical, I tried different knots during some years and my conclusion was the more hard crossings you have, like half hitch, marl or twisted loop, the less freedom inside the knot you get and the more troubles you may (will) encounter handyness wise. The knot may perform well, but teightens during use, more or less quickly, and needs to be worked and loosened before being able to slide on the rope again. It was my main grip against the knots.
I know that some climbers are artists with their knots and even love mastering them. I am not in this league : it has to work as is, without tweakening it all the time. That's why I was so glad when the Hitch Hicker was released: the simplest knot ever, even not a real knot. No crossing, no locking loop, just the cord spiraling around the rope a few times and that's it. It works well, even without the Hitch Hicker and I put one with just a pulley on my other lanyard / climbing lines for Ddrt. It had still a problem : over time, the hitch cord takes the shape of the rope and ends to keep more its grip. So, I was even more glad when the Akimbo came, no knot at all and ticking all of my boxes (but one), but that's an other story.
You make a very good point about the "death grip" my clove like arrangement might be making. I'm trying to find ways to potentially mitigate it, or perhaps find an application in which such a setup is beneficial.
 

Bioassay

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It’s a nice hitch, I only tried the 2:1:1. It grabs reliably but does have a tendency to bind up with use, but is easily loosen. The name Trinity could refer to where 3 sections of cord are top of each other in the front.
I’m adding it to my collection, these are ones that have the leg out the side feature, that I know. Instead of poachers or scaffolds for individual eyes, tying a stopper knot in back is another option, it also helps to tend slack, no pulley needed.
View attachment 124626
Thank you for showing me some of the close hitch variations out there! I appreciate that you actually tried the hitch out and I never thought of tying it the way you did in that image with the ring and knot. I like that, actually!
 

Bioassay

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Okay, so I just made a new, hopefully less aggressive version of the Trinity Hitch. For now, to distinguish from the first, I'll call this Trinity 2.

So what's changed? This time, instead of beginning like a Schwabisch, I began more like a VT with three wraps, braid once, then with the leg coming out of the top of the three wraps, I make a counter clockwise single turn (one and a quarter, actually) around the rope which forms the right connection point, and then bring the other end over all of this and then make a marl to form the left connection point.

There is no longer one marl on either leg, so therefore no more intense clove hitch like clamping spot and hopefully this new variant is less prone to jamming because of this. I may be calling this the Trinity 2, but that's only because there are three different and distinct sections that can be assigned a value. The one shown, for example, is a 3:1:1.

Is entirely possible, however, that I might give this hitch its own name entirely. I will let everyone know...assuming someone hasn't already come up with this. That would be a bummer!

Attached are three images showing the same hitch from three angles.
 

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Bioassay

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I just spent some time outside for the first time since having my surgery and I sought to do some basic load testing of the Trinity 2 hitch. I first setup an MRS/DRT system anchored to a pulley for maximum efficiency, which was attached to a rope which went around the base of a stem. Next, in order to simulate the weight of a climber, I created a 3:1 pulley system anchored to a second tree roughly 20 feet away from the first, also secured with a basal anchor.

I tested the Trinity 2 on the MRS setup how you would imagine and then I also tested it on the pulley system by using it for progress capture. The two systems were then connected and I proceeded to get all of the slack out, then I attempted to get it as tight as I can.

This testing was hardly conclusive. It was more an effort on my part to do something constructive while outside. The hitch did appear to perform well. I used two different diameter/types of hitch cords for each system and each hitch was tied on two different diameter/types of rope. After getting the whole system as tight as possible, I alternated releasing the tension on either hitch. It should be noted that, based on how this 3:1 pulley setup was configured, the hitch on it was experiencing loads how one would on an SRT system.

Both hitches functioned extremely well. It's quite possible that it is superior to the first design in its ability to deter jamming. It grabs very quickly and reliably also. For anyone who has always liked climbing with a VT and who also likes the Distel, then I believe that you will adore using the Trinity 2. I've found that the 3:1:1 version is ideal.

Thanks for reading!
 

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Brocky

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I’m finding the Number 2 to perform better than the first also. Hopefully your two hitches are drawn correctly below?
Also shown is the Bermie, was going to call it the Top Left hitch, it needs short legs for it to grab reliably by not spreading out too far.
10E9A072-4C5C-4697-B71A-1E08511DD9DE.jpeg
 

Bermy

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Nah, kind of an improved ( Or not) Valdotain.

NOT Valdotain tresse.

It would work.
Whether it would work good, I can't tell.
Look at the way it's drawn, the wraps go around then then tail comes out on the wrong side, it's just a drawing mistake
 

Bioassay

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I’m finding the Number 2 to perform better than the first also. Hopefully your two hitches are drawn correctly below?
Also shown is the Bermie, was going to call it the Top Left hitch, it needs short legs for it to grab reliably by not spreading out too far.
View attachment 124658
Hey, those drawings are fabulous. You have to be very right brained to have the spacial recognition to needed to draw a complex object on a 'two dimensional' sheet of paper.

As far as your rendering of the Trinity hitches, I recognize the top right as the Trinity 2 and bottom right as a Trinity Hitch! The top left looks like it also. It all matches up! Well done!

Who created the Bermie? Yourself? It looks really solid.

Attached are photos of both of my hitches shown from quadrants so that every detail is visible.

I've decided that I'd better rename my second hitch. Going forward, the Trinity 2 is now called "Bioassay." Yes, it's my username and, no, I'm definitely not a narcissist. The word has strong meaning to me and it flows nicely on the tongue and stands out.

Thanks for everyone's help, enthusiasm and support! I'm legitimately excited to be able to make a contribution to arboriculture. I'm very grateful that ropes and knots are a part of my life.
 

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