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The 6 Most Important Knots

All the Climbing Knots You Need to Know

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The 6 Most Important Knots

A figure-8 follow-through knot is the best tie-in knot for rock climbing.

Photograph © Stewart M. Green
The 6 Most Important Knots

The double figure-8 fishermans knot is the best knot to tie 2 ropes together for rappelling and rock climbing.

Photograph © Stewart M. Green
The 6 Most Important Knots

A clove hitch, one of the most important anchoring knots, attached to a locking carabiner at a belay stance.

Photograph copyright Stewart M. Green

You don’t need to know a lot of knots to go rock climbing, but the knots 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 six everyday knots are the ones you need to know backwards, forwards, and in the dark. Practice tying the knots until you know them by heart; your climbing safety depends on knowing your knots.

3 Reasons These are the 6 Best Knots

These six knots are the best knots for rock climbing for three reasons:

  1. Easy to tie.

  2. Hard to forget.

  3. Easy to check visually.

 

The 6 Most Important Knots

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.

This is your standard tie-in knot, connecting the climbing rope to your harness. It’s the strongest climbing knot used and when tied correctly, it will not come untied. 

The clove hitch is an easy-to-tie knot that is used for connecting the rope to anchors at a belay or rappel stance. The clove hitch is a good knot because it does not take a lot of rope to tie and it’s easily adjusted.

The figure-8-on-a-bight is the best loop knot for tying your rope into belay anchors because it is strong and easy to untie after being weighted. The knot is also useful for clipping someone into the middle of the rope.

The double figure-8 fisherman's knot is the best and strongest knot for tying two ropes together for rappelling or top-roping.

The Prusik Knot is an easily-tied, self-rescue knot that is used for ascending the climbing rope in emergency situations. It's main drawback is that the knot is difficult to untie after being weighted. Learn how to tie and use 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.

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