You don’t need to know a lot of knots to go climbing, but those you need to know, you need to know well. While there are almost 4,000 recorded knots, you can safely climb by knowing the six simple but important knots below. As your climbing career progresses you will undoubtedly learn many other specialized knots but these everyday knots are the ones you need to know backwards, forwards, and in the dark.
They’re the best knots for climbing for three reasons:
- Easy to tie.
- Hard to forget.
- Easy to check visually.
Practice tying these knots with a length of rope before going to the cliff so you’ll be competent and able to look after your own safety. You need to know how to tie them all, why they’re important, and how to use each one.
- Figure-8 Follow-Through finished with Fisherman’s Backup Knot
This is your standard tie-in knot, connecting the rope to your harness. It’s the strongest climbing knot used.
- Clove Hitch
The clove hitch is an easy-to-tie knot for connecting the rope to anchors. It’s good because it doesn’t take a lot of rope and it’s easily adjusted.
The best loop knot for tying your rope into belay anchors because it’s strong and easy to untie. Also useful for clipping someone in the middle of the rope.
- Double Figure-8 Fisherman's Knot
The best and strongest knot for tying two ropes together for rappelling or top-roping.
- Prusik Knot
An easily-tied self-rescue knot for ascending the rope in emergency situations. Learn how to tie a Prusik Knot here.
- Münter Hitch
An emergency belay and rappel knot that is tied onto a locking carabiner. Useful if you drop your belay device.