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Climbing Index

Climbing Icon Climbing Index Climbing Usage

Alpine Butterfly Bend Alpine Butterfly Loop Blake's Hitch Bowline Chain Sinnet Clove Hitch (End) Double Alpine Butterfly Directional Fig 8 Loop Distel Hitch Double Fisherman's Double O'hand Stopper Fig 8 Bend (Join) Fig 8 Double Loop Fig 8 Follow Loop Flat Overhand (EDK) Girth (Strap) Hitch Klemheist Munter Mule One-Handed Bowline Prusik Knot Water Knot Zeppelin Bend

Knots by Name Terminology Safety Rope Properties About Contact Knot Store

Instructions: Move the mouse over each knot. Look at the description to find out what it can be used for. Click on the knot you wish to see. On the new page wait until the selected knot starts to tie itself.

Pictures of Climbing Knots Index
Climbing Knots Index

Climbing Knots Index

Index of Animated Climbing Knots

This page provides an Index of Animated Climbing Knots. Above, the photo of each knot is a link to its Interactive Step by Step Animation. The picture on the right shows all of these knots for a quick reference.

Welcome to Climbing Knots

These animated knots are for climbers, rescue workers, arborists, tower-climbers, and others who use rope in man-carrying applications.

Selection

This selection is based on consultation with, and feedback from, many experienced climbers.

Omissions

The Overhand Knot and the Figure 8 Knot, which both underlie other Climbing Knots, are included in the Basics Section.

Deaths

Climbing, caving, etc., are challenging and dangerous. The American Alpine Club's Statistical Tables for North America report over 30 deaths a year for the last 55 years. This website is about knots. It is no substitute for thorough instruction and expert supervision. Knots and anchoring techniques used for rappelling must be checked, checked again, and appropriate. For example, a quick-release hitch, e.g., a Highwayman's, must never be used for rappelling.

Climbing Ropes

A climbing rope is typically about 60 meters, or 200 feet, long. However, longer ropes are available, up to and in excess of 85 meters. Climbing ropes have changed greatly with the introduction of newer materials. Today's ropes are stronger, lighter, and thinner and come with different characteristics:

  • Static ropes are more durable, more resistant to abrasion, and lack elasticity. They should only be employed where shock loading never occurs: rapelling (abseiling), spelunking, or canyoning. They can be used to belay a climber. However, a lead climber should never employ a Static rope: in a fall, the rope lacks the required elasticity to minimize injury. Manufacturers typically use only two colors for the sheath.
  • Dynamic (Climbing) Ropes stretch under a shock load, absorb some of the shock force to protect the climber. They are designed to belay a lead climber or for top-roping. Manufacturers typically use three or more colors for the sheath to distinguish them from static ropes.

Links

To read more about climbing/caving ropes and their care go to the Outdoor Adventure Network Article on Climbing Rope; Indoor Climbing's Article on Rock Climbing Ropes; Rock Climbing's article on Climbing Ropes Explained; or Storage & Ganter's article Physics for Cavers: Ropes, Loads, and Energy. For details about testing rope, knots, and gear, go to Tom Moyer's Website.

Modern Alternatives

Descent devices such as Brake Bar Racks and "8" rings are kinder to the Static rope and easier to manage than a Munter Hitch. In addition, various devices are available to use instead of the Prusik Knot or the Klemheist. However, in an emergency, the knots described here are reliable, trusted alternatives which require only a locking carabiner.

Learn Your Knots: The Life They Save May Be Your Own

Make a selection from the images above or go to the Options Page.

Disclaimer: Any activity that involves ropes is potentially hazardous. Lives may be at risk - possibly your own. Considerable attention and effort have been made to ensure that these descriptions are accurate. However, many critical factors cannot be controlled, including: the choice of materials; the age, size, and condition of ropes; and the accuracy with which these descriptions have been followed. No responsibility is accepted for incidents arising from the use of this material.

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