Knot geeks! Come share your knot knowledge

Recent trips out have taught me that my knowledge of knots (and their use in climbing) is somewhat lacking.

For the benefit of us newer members/newer climbers, can we start a chat about which different knots we’re likely to need to know and their application? Besides the figure 8 and clove, which thankfully I have now sorted … :grin:

Knot knot! Who’s there?

Hi Holly,

Munter (aka Italian hitch) for that time when you will drop your belay device.

Then if you are lazy or impatient, bowline or re-threaded bowline for an alternative tying in knot. Also much easier than a FO8 if you are tying an abseil rope round a boulder and want to leave a long tail to equalise to a 2nd piece.

That’s pretty much my repertoire. Plus being confident on classic & French prussiks.

1 Like

Plus one for the Italian hitch, Munter hitch or Halbmastwurf (pick your own name) for the occassional “I don’t like my belay device, let me chuck it in the sea, whoops how do I now bring up my second” moment.

A Klemheist is useful too: a prussic that will can only be released under load in one direction but which way does it lock? I can never remember! maybe (k)not in the essentials category.

I have to admit it, I am a bowline user for tying in but that’s a personal choice. There are many variations that I see people but it would be negligent of me not to do a big warning about adding a stopper. It’s brilliant (and I use it often) as max mentions for tying a rope around a tree or bouder.

Recently, I’ve introduced the alpine butterfly into my repertoire. Favorite use: equalising two anchors (e.g. stakes) with the abseil rope.

1 Like

When I will drop my belay device…ha! I know the time will come.

Apparently a stopper is not really needed for FO8…correct or no?

In the UK, adding a stopper knot is best practice when tying in with a figure of eight. I know in Austria they say you just need enough of a tail so that it doesn’t slip through when the rope tightens, but how long is that? The stopper means that you definitely have a long enough tail and that it’s tidily stashed.

Yes I figured it was best practice more than being a crucial element of the knot itself.

Clove hitch to make belays.
Overhand know to tie ropes together for abseils.
Double fisherman’s to make prussiks.


David how often would you say you need to use any other knot besides those three? Those are in my repertoire so just trying to figure out what else is actually needed for which particular situation!

I guess also an Overhand knot and/or double Fisherman’s for joining two ropes.

I also use the alpine butterfly and bowline to make belay anchors. They are useful when you have anchors some way apart, or wrap the rope round a boulder or tree.
As long as you don’t drop or forget your belay device you shouldn’t need to use the Italian hitch… but if this does happen you really need to use it.

1 Like

Excellent thanks. Monday night knot practice anyone?! :nerd_face:

Can’t make it to the castle on Monday. Come to Harrison’s on Sunday. There will be knot tying there. @bullopolis will be having his last hurrah before going to Oz. @Sergio_m_a_c, do you know knots?

Next Monday. I’ll be on a plane tomorrow. @bullopolis how long are you in Oz?

What type of knots?

We could try some really hard ones…

1 Like

Par example…?



Particularly useful for stubbornly self-knotting rope

We didn;t get around to doing fancy knots. Cranking too hard most of the time.

I often think it would be useful to be able to tie a knot with a built in pulley system to aid in tightening. Might be useful for putting up tarps, slacklines or marquees. Does anyone know a knot like that?