Alpine Butterfly Knot – How to Tie An Alpine Butterfly Knot


The alpine butterfly knot forms a fixed loop in the middle of the rope. Tied in the bight, the knot can be made in a rope even without access to either of the rope’s ends – this is a distinct advantage when you are working with long climbing ropes

An impressive mid-line rigging knot, the alpine knot is extremely easy to inspect for correctness, can be tied with gloves on, and you can load it in any direction. In the climbing context, the knot is also useful for some anchors, shortening rope slings, traverse lines, and isolating damaged rope sections. In this article, we will focus on showing you how to tie the alpine knot. 

A Step by Step Guide on How to Tie the Alpine Butterfly Knot

To tie the alpine butterfly knot, you will need to follow the simple steps outlined below. With the steps, you should be able to attach the carabiners to your climbing harnesses or secure the middle climber when 3 or more people want to attach to the same rope. 

  1. In the middle of your beginner climbing rope, form a bight. Twist the bight twice to create 2 loops, one on top of the other. Make the one on top bigger. 
  2. Bring the top loop down over your bottom loop, folding it at the junction existing between the 2 loops. At this point, your bottom loop should be inside the first loop. 
  3. Take the farthest edge of your bottom loop and bring this through your second (smaller) loop. 
  4. Tighten all the way. When you start tightening the alpine knot, allow the ends to tighten themselves. Now, your knot should be ready for use in rock climbing or something else. 

Alternative Method 

While the method described above is easy, some people may find it more complicated. If you find that creating the alpine knot by following the steps above is too complicated, the steps outlined below may work for you: 

  1. Wrap the rope around your hand 3 times. 
  2. Pull the top wrap down over the other 2 wraps and then back up behind them. This should give you the knot. 

Pros and Cons of the Alpine Butterfly Loop

One thing you have probably discovered already is that the knot does have more benefits than limitations. However, the knot does have some disadvantages. By looking at both the pros and cons of the loop, we hope to help you determine when and where to use the knot. 

Advantages of the Alpine Butterfly Knot 

  • The alpine knot is symmetrical. This makes it a perfect option for most people since it can handle multidirectional loading extremely well. 
  • Even after handling a heavy load – for example, if you happen to use it on your climbing anchors – the knot is reasonably easy to undo. 
  • The loop can be tied with the climbing gloves on. This makes things much easier for climbers, especially if they need a knot after preparing themselves for the climb. 
  • The alpine butterfly loop features an extremely high breaking strength. It is usually regarded by mountaineers as one of the strongest climbing knots to attach the climber to the middle of the rope. 
  • The knot is extremely reliable considering that it can take the strain in any direction. 
  • Once set properly, the knot does not slip easily. 
  • The knot is ideal for 3-way loading. 
  • It uses less rope compared to similar knots, including the figure 8 knot. 
  • It allows easy adjustments of loop sizes. 

Disadvantages of the Alpine Butterfly Knot 

  • Perfecting the knot requires some practice. 
  • The knot is extremely difficult to tie with one hand. 
  • The knot does not work well with harder or thicker ropes. 
  • Improper tying often results in a false butterfly knot. While the fake knot will look similar to the real one, it will feature inferior quality. 

The Double Butterfly Knot

Just like the name suggests, the double butterfly knot is similar to the normal butterfly knot, with 2 side by side loops instead of a single one. When tied correctly, the not will offer the same non-collapsible knot with the advantage of offering 2 slip points at once. 

Globo Surf Overview 

If you need a secure loop in the middle of your rope, the alpine butterfly knot should be an ideal option. From isolating a length of damaged rope to allowing you to create a knot for the middle member(s) on your rope team, the knot is an ideal solution to rope-related issues. 

While it may take you some time to make your first ideal knot, the knot becomes easier with time. The knot is extremely easy to untie – this makes it an ideal option for when you don’t have a lot of time to spend on knots before storing your rope.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!