How To Tie Climbing Knots

Knowing how to tie climbing knots is an elementary and necessary climbing skill. Though there are literally dozens of useful knots for climbers, three get the most use: the figure eight knot, the water knot and harness tie.

Things you'll need:

  • Rope

How to tie a figure eight knot:

  1. Grip the rope in your fist and twist it 180 degrees to form a loop.
  2. Pass the free end of your rope through the loop.
  3. Pull to tighten until the knot is about the size of your hand. Lay it down flat. If it looks like a figure eight, you've done this right. If it looks like a pretzel, untie and start again.
  4. Pull both ends of the knot to tighten. Further tighten by pulling each of the ends individually.

How to tie a water knot:

  1. Loop two ropes around whatever point you want to anchor the knot around. They should lie parallel without tangling.
  2. Tie one rope into a standard square knot, keeping it loose but solid.
  3. Take the end of the other rope and follow the path of the first rope through the knot.
  4. Pull the ropes to tighten the knot.
  5. Pull each of the four rope ends individually to tighten further.

How to tie a harness tie:

  1. Tie a figure eight knot about three feet from one end of your rope.
  2. Pass the end of your rope nearest the knot through the belay loop in your climbing harness. This is much easier if you've already put your harness on.
  3. Follow the rope back through the figure eight, passing the end of the rope through each turn of the knot.
  4. Pull the knot tight. Further tighten by pulling each of the four rope lengths leading out of the knot individually.
  5. Tie the loose end of the rope to the rope with a square knot to prevent slipping out.



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