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.
So, what's so cool about the bunny ears system?
The main thing: it's more versatile.
You can wrap the entire cord around a giant tree or boulder.
You can thread one end under a big boulder or chockstone.
You can use it to make an “alpine block and tackle”, as we detail 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.
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.
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 biner on the left bolt, and the remaining strand is passed through the biner 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.
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?