Cordelette 2.0 - the "bunny ears" cordelette


A standard cordelette is about 6 meters of 7mm cord, tied into one giant loop typically with a more or less permanent double fisherman's knot.

There’s a better way. Enter: the bunny ears cordelette.

Take the same 6 meters of cord, but rather than tying it in a loop, instead tie a small figure 8 on a bight loop in each end. By small, we’re talking the size of a coin, as you only need to clip a carabiner with it.

bunny ears cordelette.JPG

So, what's so cool about the bunny ears system? Mostly, it's more versatile.

  • You can wrap the entire cord around a giant tree or boulder.

  • You can thread one end under and around a big boulder or chockstone.

  • No annoying knot getting in the way.

  • You can use it to make an “alpine block and tackle”, as shown in this Tip.

  • You can use it to connect three pieces of gear that are really far apart, by a clipping one “ear” to each of the outside pieces.

  • Because the “ears” give you a greater reach, you can use a cord length that’s a few feet shorter. This results in a lighter and less bulky piece of kit to carry with you.

Below, the “bunny ears are used to clip three pieces of gear that are quite far apart.

bunny ears cordelette far.JPG

You can use it to connect three pieces of gear that are fairly close together, by clipping both ears to one piece. This gives you about the same size “loop” you’d have if you tied it in the traditional “loop” style.

bunny ears cordelette medium.JPG

And, with some clever rigging, you can even connect two bolts that are side-by-side at chest level in a standard sport anchor configuration. In this case, the two ears are clipped to the carabiner on the left bolt, and the remaining strand is passed through the carabiner on the right bolt, doubling the cord and halving the distance.

Doing this lets you to make a tidy, compact anchor with two adjacent bolts. even with a huge long cordelette.

bunny ears cordelette close.JPG

You know that Murphy's Law of using a cordelette, that the dang double fisherman’s knot always ends up right where you’re trying to tie the master point? That little hassle is gone with this system. (Yeah, I know you can mitigate that by clove hitching the knot of near one of your pieces of gear, but we’ll cover that in another tip.)

On longer alpine climbs, bringing a cordelette gives you a ready-made source of material for rappel anchors. With the bunny ears rig, the figure 8 knots are fairly easy to untie, giving you more rap anchor material. When you tie a cordelette in a permanent fisherman’s knot, that sucker is going to get welded shut after a few climbs, and is just about impossible to untie unless you use needle nose pliers.

So . . . it works for anchors spread far, medium and close together, and easier to untie to cut up for rap anchors. What's not to like?

PS - Don't take my word for it, it's on the Petzl website.