A knotty question

Posted: April 17, 2012 by Ben Weber in Climbing, Training
Tags: , , , ,

Not just physical climbing last night but also a good half hour or so learning basics about knots… and why not? Considering that our lives are going to depend on good secure knots, we thought it better to start sooner rather than later, especially with our Bolivia expedition looming in less than a couple of months.

First thing’s first and the basic Figure of Eight knot and double Figure of Eight which you use to tie into your harness so that you are secure when going up.  In summary, you need to measure the rope up to the top of your harness, taking the bite in the rope and looping it round across the front before going down and round the back, and then back up through the front of the loop at the top… sounds complicated but after a couple of tries it all becomes quite simple. Then, you tie it in through your harness and do the same knot again, parallel with your original knot. What’s great is that, inspite of sounding difficult when reading or hearing someone speaking about it, it is quite simple, can take a massive amount of strain and then, when you are finished, is pretty easy to untie.

One of the other knots we looked at was the Prusik knot, which is a really clever… Basically you use an accessory rope to loop around your main climbing rope three times to create a loop that will lock into place when weight is put onto it. You can use double combinations to use for your feet as well as body, so you can “prusik” your way up cliffs. If you slip, it will take your weight as it will lock. And, it hardly damages the rope the knot is attached to.

So yes, these are pretty basic, and there are others to learn, but essential knots to know, and we will be practicing them for sure to make so they are of second nature to us as soon as possible.

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