5 Useful Climbing Knots
There are possibly twenty or 30 useful climbing knots, but with this handful of useful climbing knots, you´ll be able to have fun and be safe on the mountain or the gym. Here's a list of five useful climbing knots.
Things you'll need:
- Figure eight follow-through. This is the basic climbing knot with which you will tie yourself to a rope for protected climbing. The best way to do it is taking apart three-feet of one end of the rope and tying a figure eight. Then make the end of the rope go in and out of your harness' belay loop and then follow the figure eight with the loose end all the way, in and out. You can tie the remaining rope to the main line using a couple of overhand knots.
- Double fisherman's knot. This is the knot of preference by many climbers when it comes to joining two ropes of similar width. It consists of two ropes or two ends of the same rope attached by tying a stopper knot on one rope and making the other end go through that stopper knot and tying another stopper knot around the first rope.
- Prusik knot. The king of friction knots, the Prusik can even be used as an improvised ascender. It's simply assembled using a loop of rope formed with a fisherman's knot. You have to wrap the loop of rope around the rope you want to climb, always keeping the remaining length of the loop inside the previous loop. The number of times that the loop goes around the rope determines the friction on the system and the difficulty to disassemble once loaded. The finishing of the knot is simple. Grab the end of the loop and load it straight down. To raise it, just push it upwards, relieving some pressure if needed.
- Clove hitch. This knot is useful as a breaking knot when belaying. It has to be tied to a carabiner. The way to tie it is quite simple. Make a loop on a rope, the size of a fist. Make a second loop five-inches to the right of the firs and in the opposite direction. Put the second loop on top of the first and clip both loops in the carabiner. Fasten and done!
- Klemheist or French Prusik. This is a variance of the Prusik that is worth knowing because it provides a better and smoother ascending knot. Simply grab one end of a loop tied with a double fisherman's knot and wrap it around the main rope, top to bottom this time. When you completed enough loops, grab the remaining section at the bottom of the loop and make it go through the opening at the top, then hang from that end.
There are many more knots to know when you go climbing, but these five are basic and handy.