8 Types of Climbing Knots and Their Uses
The knowledge of essential knots before getting on a steep hike, trek or a mountain expedition is crucial for the purpose of safety and less difficult experience. Making a knot in the wrong way can pose serious risks. Plus, if you don’t know the tricks of knot making, you might not be able to perform some of the most important activities of mountaineering.
While most of the climbing includes bouldering, the use of rope does arise once in a while. Therefore, it is extremely important to get well-versed with some of the common and important type of knots to make your mountain climbing experience safer and better.
- Figure of Eight on a Bight
The ‘Figure of Eight on a Bight’ is a knot which is tied in a loop of bight of rope. It is normally used for tying a climber onto anchors as it is extremely strong and very easy to untie even after being tightened. This knot is also very easily used for tying a climber into the middle of a rope and also used for the purpose of clipping the end of an extra rope or haul the line to the back of a lead climber’s harness.
- Figure Eight Follow Through
It is one of the most popular type of climbing knots and even an amateur climber should know about it. Its qualities include being very strong, non-slip knot because it is used to hang and climb. It works very well because it tightens itself as the load is applied. This unique characteristic of the knot makes it virtually impossible to get untied while you climb. Aside, another good thing about this knot is that it is very easy to tie and check whether is done correctly or not.
‘Autobloc’ allows the climber to rappel faster than normal. It is because the heat of friction is absorbed by the cord, not your hand. It provides the unique ability to stop and go hands-free as per the requirement which is wonderful while on rappel. It is also very useful when you need to stop and untangle rope, help another climber, or take an adventurous picture on the way down.
- Bowline Knot
The ‘Bowline’ is the knot which is used to fasten a climbing harness to the end of a rope for easy manoeuvrability. However, it is not as popular as the ‘Figure Eight knot’, because it is a bit more complicated. But once a climber masters it, it can be tied easily with one hand. It also functions as an indispensable tool for securing the end of the rope to virtually anything.
- Fisherman’s Backup
When it is the question of your life then it is always important to have a reliable backup in place. And Fisherman’s backup is that one option which never fails. Among other couple backup knots, the fisherman’s backup is the most secure knot. It is done with two loops around the standing rope. However, in case of a lot of slack it is advisable to loop around 3 or 4 times to avoid long loose strand hanging down and creating distraction.
- Münter Hitch
This knots works as a great tension hitch for belaying and rappelling. It one of those knots which every climber should who is sure about to misplace/drop/forget their belay device. This knot acts as a simple, elegant backup solution.
- Water Knot
‘Water knots’ are known to slip slightly. Hence, it is important to make sure that you have at least, 3 inches remaining on each side of the end tail. Majority of the climbers even tape or sew the ends of the rope to prevent the knot from creeping in. But it is advisable to use sewn webbing slings which are stronger and more reliable than the one you tie and create yourself.
- Tensionless Hitch
It is a great way to attach static line to a tree without the use of any intermediary sling or webbing.
While there are many more knots that adventurers and mountaineers are known to use, these eight basic knots, when done properly, can make you feel more confident and safer during hiking, trekking, and mountain climbing. It also helps you keep up a reasonable pace during mountain expeditions. However, it is essential to keep practising till you’ve mastered the skills to tie them correctly.