8 Basic Knots for Rock Climbers (for print)


This is a printer-friendly version of the original post 8 Basic Knots for Rock Climbers.

Gurus of rope tricks among climbers can certainly show more than these 8 basic knots. However, these are the knots I use again and again and they are all I need to know for regular rock climbing.

  1. Figure-Eight Loop. This absolutely essential knot is a standard way of tying rope to your harness. Take time to make it neat, non-crisscrossed, as it eases untying dramatically.

    Figure-Eight knot

  2. Double Fisherman’s Knot. The strongest knot for connecting two ropes or two tails of a cord to form a loop. Eats quite a bit of rope, and is a pain to untie after being loaded, but totally safe.

    Double Fisherman's Knot

  3. Figure-Eight Bend. Alternative to Double Fisherman’s for binding two ropes, but muuuuch easier to untie. My favorite.
  4. Water Knot. Perfect knot for tying webbing! Also, my choice for tying accessory cords for loops. It’s slightly weaker than Figure 8 bend, but quick to tie, and uses very little rope.

    Water knot

  5. Clove hitch. Can’t praise this one enough. Great for tying to the anchor (allows readjusting of the length of your anchor without the need to untie first). Another use: slinging a horn for pro with this knot fixes the sling in place.

    Clove hitch

  6. Klemheist. My beloved friction knot. Faster to tie than Prusik, easier to loosen after load, but works only in one direction. Work with slings too.Klemheist knot
  7. Munter hitch. For safe belaying (much better friction than belay plates or figure 8). Can be used for emergency rappel too, but the rope suffers from twisting.

    Munter hitch

  8. Girth hitch. So simple and so many uses: attach a sling to the rappel loop on your harness for clipping in; quickly connect two loops of cord; sling a piton with it.

    Girth hitch

And while you are at it, why not to learn 3 more knots that every climber may find occasionally useful: Mule knot (for locking off your belay/rappel device to free your hands), Bowline (a loop that is really easy to untie, however, be careful) and Alpine Butterfly (for tying in to the middle of rope).

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One Comment on “8 Basic Knots for Rock Climbers (for print)”

  1. music Says:

    very interesting.
    i’m adding in RSS Reader


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