Figure 9 is my favorite rappel knot because I believe it offers following advantages:
- low profile (maybe arguable depending on what you compare it with)
- quick to tie,
- stands flat when pulled over a rock,
- easy to untie when loaded,
- works well with ropes of different diameters.
Some of these traits are shared by other knots, but no other seems to have 'em all. I won't try to convince you to go with it, but it won't hurt to give it a try, at least at home, right?
People on a climbers' mailing list I'm on asked about Figure 9 knot, so I made this video (1 minute 55 seconds). If, for whatever reason, you hate Figure 9 knot, please don't kill the messenger.
About the making of this video:
There was a long discussion on rappel knots on the mailing list. I didn't follow the whole thread, but noticed that many people expressed difficulties in visualizing a Figure 9 knot. Out of fondness of this knot, I decided to make a video. So while driving home from work, I laid out a plan in my head and visualized every "move". When I got home, it took me 5 minutes to prepare, 2 minutes to on-sight the shooting, and 3 minutes to cleanup. Inserting the texts using Windows Movie Maker was a 15 minute effort, but it took me most of the evening waiting for the video file to upload. But now I'm getting the system down. It's so easy to make a video and put it up. That is pretty cool.
Animated Knots (119 knots, but missing Figure 9)