alpine butterfly loop

Alpine butterfly loop

This tutorial shows you how to tie the Alpine butterfly loop.
In fact I will show you three different ways to tie it. But why would you want to tie the Alpine butterfly loop?
It serves a few uses:

  • creating a fixed loop in rope. Even if you can not use the ends, the loop can be made.
  • shortening rope. The loop is a more effective way of shortening rope than the Sheepshank knot. The Alpine butterfly loop is much more secure.

The loop has a few different names such as the Lineman’s loop and the Harness loop. It is featured in the The Ashley book of knots as numbers 1053 and 532.

Now let’s take a look at how to tie this loop in detail.



As stated earlier I am going to show you three distinct ways of tying the loop. I am sure there are more, but hey, 3 ways of getting to the end goal should be enough :).

A video tutorial can be found as well at the end of the photo tutorial.

Tying technique #1

This way of tying is one that I recommend, since it works without using the ends of your rope. As such you can use it to shorten rope when needed.


Make a figure 8 shape, basically creating two loops, one below the other.


Enlarge the top part of the figure 8 shape.


Pass the top part of the figure 8 shape over the bottom, bringing the top to the bottom.


Feed the former top part (now at the bottom) bottom up through the bottom part of the figure 8 shape.


Pull on the top part of the loop to tighten up.


And then pull the two ends to the sides to tighten further.

Loop tied!

Tying technique #2

The following way of tying uses one of the ends of rope, making it less suitable for shortening rope. But it is faster to do than the first method.


Make a loop.


Create a second loop with you right end, passing through the first loop.


Enlarge the bottom part.


Feed the bottom part through the opening in the middle, bottom up.


Pull on the top of the loop to tighten.


Then pull onto the two ends.

Loop tied.

Tying technique #3

This third way of tying uses your left hand as a tying aid.


Pass your cord over your hand.


Wrap around once.


Wrap around for a second time.


Make a bight using your first (top) wrap around.


Feed the bight under everything and towards the top.


Tighten by pulling on the top loop.


And pull on the two ends to finish up the tightening.

Loop complete.

In conclusion

The Alpine butterfly loop is a handy loop you can make in the middle of your rope, even without using the ends of your rope. Use it to shorten your rope in a secure way when needed.

A video tutorial on tying the loop is available below. I recommend taking a look!

About Markwell

I am a defense science graduate. I like to create beautiful things out of paracord.

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