Knots and Hitches
A brief introduction
Knowledge and mastery of climbing knots and hitches is essential to a successful climbing experience.
There are a myriad of knots and hitches used when rock climbing. Before we tuck into them, here are a few descriptions:
Knot- Knots are tied in a rope or piece of webbing.
Hitch- Hitches connect a rope to another object like a carabiner or even another rope.
Here are a few knots to get you started.
1. Girth Hitch
This hitch is often tied with a sling or webbing, to be attached to a harness.
Using a stick or pencil as a 'belay hoop', bring the sling behind the object.
Feed one end of the loop through the other loop.
Pull the looped end to tighten the knot.
This knot is used mainly to secure a safety sling to the climbers harness.
2. Clove Hitch
This hitch is used to secure a rope in place on a carabiner, usually used at an anchor.
Make two identical loops in the rope. Put the rear loop over the top of the front loop.
Clip a locking carabiner through these two loops.
Pull tight and lock the carabiner
3. Tie-in Figure 8
This is the most common knot, as it's used mainly to secure the climber to the rope.
Grab one end of the rope and pull the rope to your other shoulder.
Pass the tail over itself to form a loop.
Continue under and around the standing end.
Complete the knot by passing the tail down through the loop.
The knot should appear like the figure 8. Pull the rope through the tie-in loops and follow through the figure 8 with the tail of the rope.
Pull to tighten.
3. Double Fisherman’s Knot
This knot is used to secure 2 ends of a rope, sling or cordlette.
Overlap the two ends.
Wrap one end around both ropes two full turns. Then pass this end back through these turns and pull tight.
Pass the other end two full turns around both ropes, then pass this end back through and pull tight.
Pull on both ropes to tighten the two knots against each other.
4. Square Knot
Like the Double Fisherman's knot above, this knot is also used to secure 2 rope ends together.
Take two ropes and cross them ( to form a half knot.
Cross them a second time and pull the ends tight to form the Square Knot.
Think you've got the hang of these knots? Test yourself and your kids using the worksheet below.