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

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  • #126
@Burnham A lot of them do, but allow me to explain: I like to experiment by tying hitches with 32" cords (predominantly) because they allow me the freedom to create more complicated hitches if I so choose. If you were to tie many of them with a 28" or 30" cord, you could easily eliminate much of that setback. When assessing my hitches, you should only look at the hitch body, where the coiling or knotting has been done, and decide based on that whether or not you think it would work. As for the resulting leg length, that is completely customizable and can be altered to meet each individual's personal preferences in the way already described. Obviously, in my VT inspired hitches, there will inherently be a lot of setback, but this, too, can be limited by choosing a shorter hitch cord.

I hope I've addressed what you were referring to accurately.
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  • #128
After a period of absent motivation to create new hitch designs, today I came up with the GEOMETRY hitch!

This hitch is easy to tie once you have done it a few times and it eats up the excess hitch cord which follows the four wraps nicely and neatly. The knotting also creates three additional points of contact for generating nip equivalent to roughly 1.5 additional wraps.

In theory, the tight turns made by each leg should prevent it from binding as easily, however, without becoming difficult to untie. I'm actually quite fond of this one and isn't so complex that it should deter the average person from giving it a try. Especially for those of you who like compact hitches like the Cornell or Michoacan or Knut.

Here is the how-to video!

Let me know what you all think of it! Thanks!


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  • #129

I've been using most of my free time to create content for my YouTube channel, so I haven't been as focused on making hitches; with emphasis on the "as." I have actually come up with a new hitch design, but I just haven't gotten around to photographing it/making a how-to video for it. I'll try to at least post pictures of it soon.

In the interim, you can check out all of the new eye to eye hitch cords I just received! I was buying them for my birthday, which is March 8, and I was supposed to wait until then before opening the package, but I caved and opened it the other day. I had paid a friend a fair amount of money to hand make them from the hitch cord of my choosing. I only paid for two hitch cords (Veritas, Bailout), but I received four. This guy threw in the Sampson and the New England Rope cords for free as a birthday present. How nice is that?! The fifth hitch cord is one he offered to make me, and the first made. It is what prompted me to ask him to make more.

The craftmanship is premiere; especially those whippings. Anyways, the video is entitled "Hitch Cord Porn - The Official 'Rope-on-Rope' Experience. A little attempt at humor there. I'm clearly fueling my addiction to those sensuous aramid fibers and that sweet, sweet polyester. Rawr.

I can't wait to use these to develop new hitches! Nobody wants to see the same hitch cord(s) all the time; trying to spice it up! Muy caliente! Arriba! :thumb::lol:

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  • #130
As promised, here are the two new hitches I've come up with. Two pictures of the first and one picture of the second varient. It puts a pretty nice bend in the rope which, depending on your style, you may hate it or love. Names coming soon!


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  • #131
Here it is as type one on this sweet new Veritas 10mm...


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Have you tried them yet? I wonder how much of the levering action remains when fully weighted. That could allow a less grippy hitch(advances easier), but still provides good grip when needed.
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  • #133
Yeah, my guess is that most of it disappears once weighted. But there could remain more than I think. I'll be trying these out as soon as I can. But usually when they put a mean bend in after finishing the knot, they do exert some minute bend once eventually weighted or maybe even a twist, which the latter wouldn't be good. That's been my experience. This isn't always the case, though, so I shouldn't assume. But we'll see soon enough. Have a lot going on, but I'll find time. Thanks for your post!
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  • #134
It's looks as if I might have been wrong. Check out this shot of a hitch cord on a rope, tied as experimental hitch number one. After applying roughly 100lbs worth of force (this was a low weight test out of curiosity), the hitch extends in length and the bend very much remains in the rope. This is very promising. I'm curious to do more testing. The way that the rope bends is very three dimensional. It's difficult to imagine that the bend in the rope would completely disappear under any amount of weight! I believe it might be a continuous property of this hitch, but time will tell!


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  • #135
I've had a very productive week. I came up with multiple winning hitches (three to be exact) and I'm going to share them with you over the next few days as I end up posting them onto my YouTube channel.

This first hitch, the QUANTUM hitch, is pretty special. I was trying to find a way to incorporate a ring into the hitch and I was inspired partly by the Sticht hitch. I decided to recycle my doubled clove hitch for the four wraps, and then the legs intermingle into either side of the ring, on either side of the rope, crossing over, and exiting on opposite sides. The places tension on the ring while the hitch is in use and, if it's anything like the Sticht hitch, it very well might work while climbing SRT without any need for a rope wrench. I haven't tried it out, but soon to be publish will be a thorough investigation. It reliably grips the hitch, smoothly descends and it self tends beautifully. A slack tending pulley can be added to improve this feature.

Picture attached. Here's my how-to video for it...



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That's attractive. I like the form. I wonder if it would be more inclined to self tend if you brought the tails to the "back" side of the rope with the biner? IOW, the ring would face away from the climber in use.
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  • #137
@lxskllr Thank you! I'm glad you like it!

As to whether or not it will self-tend better in the orientation you described, that's actually some good thinking on your part! The position of the ring, as how you described, could then provide a lower friction surface (the ring) to tend across. I just need to reorient the two legs. Damn, I wish I hadn't posted the video for this hitch already as this is potentially an alteration worth mentioning. I'll find a way to spread the word if the result is noteworthy!

Thanks for your insight and participation in my thread. It's become rather quiet as of late! But the silence doesn't deter me from making novel hitch designs! I just speak louder! =-D
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  • #138
Here's the second hitch that I came up with: the VELOCITY hitch! If a hitch cord had Zen and innate Feng Shui, thi hitch would be the one to have it! Just look at it! I love how the right leg moves clockwise around the other leg. It's almost like artwork, but in a functional hitch form. I used it today and it it went beautifully. Great all around good purpose hitch. There are some more insights in the video, which I'm sharing on here before YouTube (even though I'm sharing it through YouTube, it is currently only accessible with a link). I need to space my videos out, but still want to share them on here whenever I want, so that was an obvious compromise.

Speaking of that special link, check out the video! Feedback wanted! This is definitely a top five placement winner in my opinion. If not only for the aesthetics!

Photo attached as well!



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  • #139
Today I focused my attention toward eliminating setback issues that can arise when tying the Schwabisch friction hitch while using a longer hitch cord. The resulting hitch has been dubbed the SETBACK SCHWABISCH. This workaround I came up with can cut setback in HALF via a simple and intuitive new tying method. Check out the video below. It's uploaded onto YouTube, however, it hasn't yet been publish publicly. I like to give all of my friends on here the opportunity to check out my new hitches and to provide constructive criticism when necessary before sharing it with the rest of the world. The video is only 3 min long and fun to watch! I'd be honored if you gave it a look-see! :)

That's a hitch I've wanted to play with, but haven't made the time, Clever way to take up slack. I'd just tie it shorter :^P I don't use splices on my climbing stuff. Knots on everything. Aside from being cheaper, it adds flexibility. That's what I really like about rope. It can be anything you want with the addition of a few bends. Infinite possibilities. Adding splices kind of fixes it's function, and removes some possibilities. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but that's how it sits in my head, though yay, cheaper! :^D
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  • #141
@lxskllr You could definitely tie longer hitch cords shorter by adding additional wraps around the finger and top leg. Adding an additional wrap could also certainly work, but that may affect hitch performance, and I'm looking to avoid that.

I think splices are more of a luxury thing than a necessity. They make your connections cleaner. But I think they really make one's hitch cords vey special compared to a more utilitarian approach such as yours. I'm all about the hitch cord, sir. You might even call me a connoisseur! I do have a couple of hand tied hitch cords, though, so I am appreciate why you prefer them. Certainly more cost effective.
You could definitely tie longer hitch cords shorter by adding additional wraps around the finger and top leg. Adding an additional wrap could also certainly work, but that may affect hitch performance, and I'm looking to avoid that.
I'd just leave a longer tail on the scaffold knot. If it's extremely long, it can be tucked somewhere depending on the exact system used, or coiled onto itself leaving a dangling "knot" that stays out of the way.

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  • #144
Hey @Brocky ! Thanks for the solid contribution. That actually hadn't occurred to me; mostly because it would eat up a lot of the hitch cord. But if you're tying it as shown in the picture, with hand tied termination knots and the option to adjust the length as need, then that is definitely a worthwhile pursuit. It's a great use of excess cordage. Is that an XStatic as the host rope?

Here's my second iteration of the SETBACK hitch series, the SETBACK (FRENCH) PRUSIK; your typical six-coil prusik. Check out the video for much more in-depth explanations. I apologize for repeating a lot of the same information, but I have to make it something than anyone understand, even if the videos are viewed out of sequence. Not indefinitely; this could be the last time.

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  • #145
@lxskllr Missed your post. That's yet another great contribution. I've been living outside of the possibilities of using handmade/hand tied hitch cords, which is pretty crazy. My eyes have been closed to that option. But no longer! I just realized how many new possibilities will be created by deciding on the length on my hitch on an as needed basis with the potential lengths being limited by only the amount of hitch cord I have.
While I agree that spliced eyes are very clean, neat, and compact...I never have liked using them in the real world. That is mostly because the hitch cord characteristics are not consistent between the bury and the rest of the cord. That keeps one from tying hitches as short as is possible with tied eyes, in my experience.

The other reason is tied eyes allow me to really fine tune the cord length to exactly what I need it to be.

Less important, but a factor nonetheless, is it's so much less expensive. Doing the splices yourself answers that issue quite nicely.

It's fun to see what you are doing with hitches...even if I do think it is maybe more of a way to occupy one's time and mind rather than any real need to improve what we've been using for decades. Nothing wrong with that.

Please continue!
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  • #147
First and foremost, thank you for stopping by my thread and leaving a post! It’s always so much more fun when other people become engaged in what I’m trying to accomplish!

I do agree with you insofar as the inconsistent hitch cord diameter that results from a spliced eye on either end. When you first begin using a newly completed spliced eye to eye, as much as 60% of it feels stiff and it isn’t as supple as the hitch cord is in its natural state.

That being said, I just got four new spliced eye to eyes and I began using them perhaps a week or two ago. Already, after moderate use during some of my free time, they are all “breaking in” very nicely and it is becoming much easier to use the buried sections on both sides to tie functional hitches. In other words, the best way to make your spliced hitch cords more “supple” (ew, sorry, but that word is cringeworthy) is to use them frequently. Also, my secret sauce is that I use my 9:1 mechanical advantage system to pull on my new splice eye to eyes. Nothing crazy; just normal forces that a hitch might see on an average day of safe use. Stretching it while it is tied into various hitches is the best way to do this as it produces stretch in more than one axis.

After all of this talk about hand tying your own hitch cords (which is what I used to do when I was first starting out), I think I’m going to get back to basics and buy a length of quality heat resistant hitch cord and start making hitch cords that are as long or short as I want using simple Poacher’s knots to create the eyes.

I’m delighted that you think seeing my hitch designs is fun. I appreciate your candor in suggesting that all of my efforts could be reduced to a means for killing time in a constructive manner. I’d be lying if I said that there wasn't some truth to that. Tree climbers do not necessarily ‘need’ my new hitch designs, but I do believe that - in many instances - climbers could benefit from many of my designs.

The way I look at my attempts to create new hitches is this…

I have been designing hitches as a way to use my free time, but I have also always seen what I do as being important to arboriculture and as being potentially beneficial to anyone who climbs ropes. It’s important to keep everything in perspective. I have only claimed on perhaps 2-3 occasions that one of my hitches is considerably better than what is currently being used. The vast majority of my hitches are equally as good and reliable and efficient as what is being used right now. This means that my hitches also serve as an opportunity for climbers to be unique and to start using hitches which a) function just as well as what they are used to but it b) allows that climber to be unique and to express themselves.

My hitches are not necessarily supposed to revolutionize any aspect of hitches nor of climbing (although, my hopes is that someday I’ll develop something which is revolutionary), they allow hitch connoisseurs like me to learn how to tie/regularly use cooler looking, sometimes better performing hitches; all of which are at least comparable to what is already being used.

It’s a lot like an infusion of art and design with engineering. Anyways, it’s something I enjoy doing and, from what I can gather, there are enough people on this forum who appreciate what I’m doing in order for me to want to continue.

Sorry for how long that was. It might be a little hard to follow, but I think you'll get the gist. =-D
Yes, it’s Xstatic, I’ve only used it for pictures so far, need to splice an eye.
Another way to tie a knot in back tender, makes it compact, and gives four sections of cord that are loaded.
HRC from Treufelberger, technora and nomex cover, and a Vectran core. New England Ropes, owned by Treufel, has the similar ARC, has less nomex, replaced by polyester in the cover.