Stopper knots and terminations

Tall trees and short lines can be a bit of an issue.

An easy precaution against unintentionally running your hitch over the end of your line is tying a stopper knot. If you have a line with a splice in both ends, this will also act as a stopper, as the thickening caused by the splice starts a fair way down the line and ensures that even should you hit it at speed you will have a good 20cm of line left over below your prusik minding pulley.

Splice acting as a stopper
Splice acting as a stopper

One question that has arisen is whether Teufelberger’s SLAICE will also act in this fashion. The advantage of a SLAICE when used as a termination is its very low bulk, constant diameter and very short bury. But obviously if you are using it as a stopper this then potentially becomes a disadvantage – at least insofar as if you are expecting it to a act as a stopper, as it gets pulled right up into the hitch due to the lack of thickening caused by a conventional splice.

SLAICE pulled right up into the hitch
SLAICE pulled right up into the hitch

For this reason, if both ends of your line have a SLAICE on them, it is advisable to tie a stopper knot above the SLAICE on the end of the line, as shown in the photo below.

SLAICE backed up with a stopper knot
SLAICE backed up with a stopper knot