Fiddlestick

The Fiddlestick configuration:

  1. The Fiddlestick main body, here is the print for the version shown below.
  2. Adding a 1/16" diameter cable make it easier to attach the rope to the fiddlestick without using a carabiner.
  3. The rope is tied to the cable with a sheet bend.
  4. Add a modified Harbor Freight funnel over the pull rope to prevent the fiddlestick from hanging up on rocks and branches while retrieving it. Cutting a slot in the small end of the funnel makes it fit snugly to various sized ropes.
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Purchase a Fiddlestick from the CUSA store.


Tying the overhand stone knot:

If you want the free end of the rope to stay on top of the load line after the fiddlestick is removed do the following:

Step 1, place the free end side under the load side as shown, the free end side should return to the upper side of the picture after step two is done without crossing over or under the load line.

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Step 2, make sure that the rope crosses at the two points shown in the red circulars and the loop is on the free end side of the anchor. Note that the free end is back on the upper side.

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Step 3, move the cross closest to the anchor as close as possible to the loop of rope.

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Step 4, flip the loop over the top of the two strands closest to the anchor and push them up though the loop. If the steps above were done correctly there should not be any twist in the rope, sometimes you may have to untwist the free end of the rope.

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Step 5, insert the fiddlestick with the u-shaped notch facing the anchor to prevent an accidental release of the fiddlestick while the last person is descending. Make sure that there are no twist in the rope.

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Step 6, clip in the safety carabiners. Remember: The last person down needs to remove these carabiners.

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Note that the free end is on the lower side, this will cause the free end of the rope to stay on top of the load line while retrieving the rope. If it was on the upper side of the picture then the free end of the rope would drop to the ground without crossing over the top of the load line.


If you want the free end of the rope to drop to the ground after pulling out the fiddlestick, start by placing the free end of the rope on top of the load strand then proceed to twist the rope/loops in the opposite directions as shown above.

The main thing to keep in mind is to always keep the free end of the rope on the side that you want it to drop to, do NOT let the free end of rope pass over or under the load line…


If you want all but the last person down to rappel on double ropes because of possible rope abrasion issues, simple take a bight of rope from the pull rope and use the tail of the overhand stone knot to tie a sheet bend between the two ropes, make sure to back it backup. Remember, the last person down needs to remove this sheet bend before their decent!

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