What is more critical, climbing rope or knot???? Thinking? Yes, climbing knots are next to come into your mind when you’ve already got the climbing rope.
Your and your partner’s complete safety depends on the quality of the rope and the knot. It’s why learning A to Z of climbing knots is inevitable for every climber.
Where to go? Stay here; we’ve got you a complete guide on how you can tie climbing knots. This detailed guide will teach you all about the climbing knots, their types, and fastening methods. So, here we go.
Why do you Need Climbing Knots?
Let me ask you why you use climbing knots during rock climbing. “For safety…,” you might think.
You can be right. Yet, identifying these knots’ actual worth will emphasize their importance at different stages of rock climbing. Here are those:
- Connect you with the anchor, harness, or carabiner for your security.
- To help you build anchors for climbing
- Join the ropes or the webbing.
- To aid in belaying, rappelling, and abseiling
- For joining ropes or webbing
- For rappelling, abseiling, and belaying
- To connect with the other knots.
- To rescue from unpredictable or on-hand accidents.
Climbing Knots Types and Terms
The term “climbing knots” has widely spread in the world of climbing. But does it mean knots? To learn to tie the knots correctly, you need first to understand some terms about knots and their forming. So, here are these.
What is Knot?
A knot is the curling up of the rope to form a loop somewhere between the piece of your rope. Thus, it’s a lump anywhere in a rope.
What is a hitch?
A hitch is the curling or looping of the rope to connect it with another object or gear. Mostly you need it to connect with the carabiner.
What is elbow?
An elbow is a connectivity of two or more loops
What is Bend?
A bend is an adjoined knot between two different ropes.
What is Bight?
Bight is the looped section of rope in its middle or somewhere between the two ends.
What is Standing End?
When you’re tying a knot on a rope, a part of the rope is under no use or is stationary. We call it a standing end.
What is the Working End?
While tying a knot, when you use an end of the rope, it is known as a working end.
The Top Climbing Knots that Every Climber needs
If you get a book on climbing knots, you’ll come across dozens of knots. Yet, among these, some are crucial to learning.
On the other hand, trying to learn them all of a sudden will confuse you. Therefore, here we’ve got you climbing knots you must learn to tie for a safe climbing experience as a beginner.
How much practice will you need for this knot-tying learning? If you think of a few tutorials, you’re mistaken.
Instead, you’ll need to practice the tying until you can tie in sleep — the climbers’ advice. So, let’s see when, why, and how of these climbing knots.
1. Girth Hitch for attaching Climbing Slings
Girth hitch is one of the easiest knots. It’s famous for the names like Cow hitch, Lanyard hitch, or Lark’s head/foot hitch, for mere resemblance only.
Why use Girth Hitch?
It helps the climbers to attach the belay loops or rings to your harness or other gears. However, leaving the knot fastened with your gears for a more extended period can harm your rope. Therefore, release the knot when you’re done.
How to tie Girth Hitch?
You can tie using one hand only. So, while climbing, you find it handy. Probably you’ll already be knowing it.
- Hold the working end/part of the loop in your hand.
- Double it in your hand.
- Open this doubled/looped part to expand the opening that it forms.
- Now move the standing and working ends simultaneously through the loop by poking over the locked loop.
2. Munter Hitch
Very close to the Girth Hitch is the Munter hitch knot. It’s also named as Italian hitch or crossing hitch.
It hardly needs any effort to tie this knot. Yet, mastering the knot according to the difference between cow hitch and Munter Hitch is necessary.
Why use Muntor Hitch?
Muntor hitch is inevitable for rock climbers. The reason is, it helps with the belaying without using the belay device. Similarly, it aids in abseiling without the belt device. It creates a rope release when you’re belaying.
How to tie Muntor Hitch?
Follow these simple steps to form a Muntor hitch.
- Put an HMS screwgate in your rope. Use a more giant Screw gate because the smaller is hard to operate during rock climbing.
- Form a loop at the rope on your end.
- Clip the loop in your screwgate.
- Fasten your screwgate back. Now you can control the release of the rope during climbing.
3. Figure-8 Stopper Knot
As a rock climber, you need to master the figure 8 knot first. We also call it to trace an Eight or woven figure-eight knot. It’s the stopper knot.
Why use Figure 8 Stopper Knot?
Learning this knot is essential because it’ll help you understand some complicated knots as well. This knot ties your rope with your harness.
How to tie Figure 8 Stopper knot
It’s how you can tie a Figure 8 knot:
- Identify the working end of the climbing rope you’ll use in your hand and move it to form a knot.
- Identify the standing end: the part of the rope that you’ll not be using. Instead, the leading end will move around it.
- Hold the standing end in your hand and move your fist on the rope to measure by your shoulder by expanding your arm. Then, form a bight.
For this purpose, use the rope’s working end. It’ll make a loop.
- Poke the working end through the loop after wrapping it around the loop base.
- Pull the working end firmly to tighten your knot.
4. Overhand Stopper Knot
The gigantic knot is a Stopper knot by Ashely. It’s a single strand knot by the end of the rope.
To form an overhand Stopper Knot, we curl the cord on the hand once. However, to get a double overhand stopper knot, it’ll follow the wrapping twice.
Why use Overhand Stopper Knot?
It helps to prevent the rope from slipping through the narrow passages. For example, if you’re passing your rope through the hole, or a thin crack, you want to prevent it from falling. Overhand stopper knots will limit the flow. Thus, it helps the pull.
You also use this knot commonly in your life. For instance, in a needle, you control the thread by tying the knot at the end.
How to tie Overhand Stopper knot
To tie an Overhand Stopper knot, do this:
- Wrap the working end of the rope to form a single loop.
- Let the standing end pass through it.
- Pull it away.
- To get the double Overhand stopper knot, make a loop twice.
5. Slip Knot
Easy to tie but hard to understand is the Slip Knot. Why do we say so?
It’s common to confuse it with many other types of knots. For example, some will call the Bowline on a Bight knot a Slip knot.
Why??? They think any working end that passes through a loop is a Slip knot. Yet, the difference is the function.
A knot that follows the passage through a bight, but not the end, is a slip knot. You may find various types of slipped knots: Slipped Rolling hitch, Slipped Half Hitch, Buntline Hitch, etc.
Why use Slip Knot?
As a rock climber, you frequently need the knot. It allows you to secure your gear while climbing. However, relying on a slip knot for belaying will be unwise.
How to tie a Slip Knot?
To knot a simple slip knot, follow these instructions
- Make a loop at the rope’s point by doubling it where you want to tie the Slip Knot.
- Hold that loop in your hand.
- Now across the working end over this loop, at the point you’re holding it.
- Let this end pass through the 2nd loop thrice it has formed by your hand.
- Tus it will curl around the neck of the loop.
More quickly, it’s the knot that we use in crochet to form our chains.
6. Prusik Knot
This life-saving knot has got the name after its inventor’s name Doctor, Karl Prusik. An essential part of emergencies and rescue operations is the Prusik knot. However, it’s worry-free to learn.
Why use Prusik Knot?
As it’s one of the strongest knots, it’s life-saving. Therefore, every climber needs this knot on the high walls.
The Prusik Knot helps you to form firm footholds to climb with the rope or belay. They help ascend by supporting an aggressive pull with your main rope and the screwgate to allow a smooth slide.
How to tie a Prusik Knot?
To tie the Prusik knot, you’ll need to follow these steps.
- Choose a rope length. For short, Prusik knots have a 30cm long rope. While for a long loop, you can have up to 120 cm.
- Tie the standing and working end together.
- Catch rope in the middle that you hold a loop in your hand.
- Start coiling it around your main rope by 3-4 rounds.
- Now open the loop and let both standing and working end slide through it.
7. Monkey’s Fist Knot
Another knot you need to practice is the Monkey Fits knot. What did you get from “Money Fist, BTW?”
Yes, it looks like a monkey’s fist. Yet, it doesn’t provide a similar grip. It serves a different purpose.
Why use Monkey’s Fist Knot?
Throw a rope; how long will its end go? Not enough….!!! So you need some weight by the thrown end of your knot to help it reach its destination.
For this purpose, the inventors have got you Monkey Fist Knot. Hence, this knot gives weight to the rope. As a result, a climber can toss it easily.
How to tie Monkey’s Fist Knot?
To practice the Monkey Fist, do this.
- For the practice, get a rope section of 10 feet.
- Wrap its working end thrice around your fist.
- Loops are formed.
- Now, move the standing end through these loops.
- And wrap it again horizontally around the set of loops thrice.
- Again let the rope pass through this 2nd set.
- Now when you have 2 feet of rope leftover by the working end, ts’ ready to throw.
- Tie a stopper knot and throw it.
8. Autoblock Knot
The Autoblock knot is a friction hitch. Again, it’s effortless to tie. However, you are required to learn it by tying in dreams — too extensive.
This hitch helps you to rappel as a backup knot. We tie it around the climbing rope using a shorter cord. It allows you to release the rope under the load.
Why use an Autoblock Knot?
You need an Autoblock Knot when you rappel. You’ve to tie it below your rappel device. Thus, it allows the rope flow to help a descend.
It’s so important to learn this knot that no climber can descend safely without using it. Climbers also know it as French Prusik.
How to tie an Autoblock Knot?
To tie the Autoblock Hitch, follow these simple steps
- Get a hitch of 16-20 inches long and 5mm to 6mm.
- Wrap the hitch cord 4-5 times around your rappel rope.
- Wrap your Autoblock Hitch cord 4-5 times or according to your need around the rappel ropes. Keep the small loop static and use the larger side for wrapping.
- When you’ve done with the wrapping, lock both loops of the hitch in the carabiner.
9. Fisherman’s Knot
Known as angler’s knot, halibut knot, waterman’s knot, or English knot, the Fisherman is one of the essential knots you should learn.
Fisherman knot means to tie two different ropes of the same diameter by passing through one another’s loop. Thus, it connects two ropes.
Why use Fisherman’s Knot and Double Fisherman’s Knot?
The Fisherman knots aim at protecting the loose end of the rope to add additional safety. Thus, it acts as a stopper.
As the Fisherman Knot is followed by the Overhand knot, it becomes stronger according to the number of wraps.
How to tie Fisherman’s Knot?
We’ve talked earlier that you need to practice the Overhand knot first. If you’ve learned that, then look forward to practicing the Fisherman’s knot.
- Tie the overhand knot on the first rope.
- Then use the second rope to form the Overhand on the first rope.
- Now pull the ropes’ ends to join them together.
How to tie a Double Fisherman’s Knot?
Tying the double Fisherman knot is also similar, except that you will wrap the overhand twice on both ropes. Then, pull them to connect.
10. Bowline Knot
How many knots you’ve learned that you could tie with your harness? It was only Figure 8 Knot. Bowline Knot is the 2nd climbing knot you can use to connect your rope to your harness.
Why use Bowline Knot?
As stated earlier, you can use this knot to tie your rope with your harness.
How to tie Bowline Knot?
Tying the Bowline Knot follows very easy steps as if you are getting a rabbit out of its hole, then send it back after curling around a tree.
So, here is how to do it:
- Make a loop.
- Pass the working end of the rope through the loop.
- Curl the very end around the neck of the rope.
- Bring the end through the loop again from the backside.
- Now make a stopper knot at the end of the rope.
11. Water Knot or Ring Bend
The water knot is one of the strong climbing knots. The climbers need this knot to join the two ends of their webbing. Thus, they help you join two ends of the rope together to add length or connect them.
Why use Water Knot or Ring Bend?
The purpose of the Water knot is to allow you to use different ropes during rock climbing.
How to tie a Water Knot or Ring Bend?
To tie a Water knot, do this:
- Make an Overhand knot at the first rope.
- Take your second rope end and pass it through the loop of the first rope’s loop.
- And form a backward loop following the first loop.
- Then, pull both of the ropes to tighten the knot.
12. Carrick Bend
Another Knot to join two cords is the Carrick Bend knot. It also helps you to connect two ropes by the ends more safely. The climbers also called it Sailor’s Breastplate.
Why use Carrick Bend?
As said earlier, it aims at joining two ropes. However, not that you should use it on your heavier or bulky ropes. So, when you’re an expert climber: indoor or outdoor, you’ll be using this knot for webbing.
How to tie Carrick Bend?
Tie the water knot according to these instructions.
- First, make an Overhand knot at the longer end of the rope
- Tie an overhand knot at the longer end of the webbing, leaving the desired length of the loop-free.
- Take the other end of the rope. Trace it through the Overhand loop in a parallel manner.
- Leave a three inches tail for each end.
- Pull both ends to complete your knot shape.
13. Barrel Knot
Barrel Knot is among the friction knots. It’s strong.
You can also think of it as the Fisherman knot. Many climbers believe it a Blood Knot, which is wrong. Instead, Blood Knot is from Fisherman Knot.
Why use Barrel Knot?
It acts at the stopper knot by the end of other knots.
On its own, the barrel knot is great to put at the ends of the rope or fishing line as a stopper.
When you’re using a thick rope while climbing, you need multiple stoppers to control your rope. For this purpose, the Barrel knot is the best among climbing knots. Similarly, you can also use it to secure your items on the rope.
Climbers often use the double barrel knot as a knot for closing the belay as a backup if the belayer loses the rope. A belayer’s job is to feed a line to a climber; the Double-barrel knot is so secure that climbers use it at the end of a line to prevent disaster.
How to tie Barrel Knot?
Tie Barrel Knot like this.
- Hold the working end in your hand and form an underhand loop.
- Curl the working end around the standing and of the rope.
- Hold the loop in your fingers/pinch.
- Repeat the process to form the underhand loop again.
- Doing so, let the working end pass through the loop.
- Now pull the booth ends to strengthen the knot.
Climbing knots prove savior in common and critical conditions, for they’re your rescuer. By paying close attention to their learning, you can guarantee your safety in your passion for rock climbing.
Meet the demands of challenging sport like rock climbing. And, if you care for your loved ones who have got a craze for climbing, share this guide with them. They’ll be thankful….!!!
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