6 Knots That Every Climber Should Know

It is a fact, universally acknowledged, that a climber in posession of a rope will inevitably start tying knots in it to impress their friends.

Whether you're looking to impress people with your know tying knowledge or simply broaden the range of skills at your disposal, knots are an essential tool of the climber's arsenal.

We're going to take a look at 6 of the most important climbing knots, their major uses and how to tie them. Armed with these six knots you will be able to work your way through most climbing scenarios including impressing people down the pub.

Re-threaded Figure of 8

The figure of eight is the first knot that most climbers will learn as it is the default method used for tying into a harness. It has assumed this position because it is both exceptionally secure and very easy to check for mistakes in tying. It remains strong even when force is applied to it and remains relatively easy to untie afterwards.


The bowline is widely used as an alternative tie-in knot to the re-threaded figure of 8. It has the advantage of being very easy to undo even after taking big falls, but it is less popular than the figure of 8 because it has more potential to be tied incorrectly.

The bowline is also a great way of tying the end of your rope around a tree or other similar anchor, saving you the use of a sling.



The Klemhiest is one of the three main prusik knots and a must learn for any serious climber. It is quick to tie and its uses are multiple but it is mostly employed in and around rescue situations.

Here are just a few examples of situations where a Klemhiest would be a useful knot to know: Assisted hoist, escaping the belay system, crevasse rescue, Tyrolean traverse, ascending a rope, temporary hauling system, securing an abseil and even tensioning guy lines on a tent.

Clove Hitch

The clove hitch is the best knot to use when creating anchors. It can be tied easily, (with one hand when necessary) and can be adjusted without being untied, allowing you to equalise your anchors without ever putting yourself in extra danger.


Italian/Munter Hitch

The Italian or Munter hitch is an invaluable knot for any climber, especially one who intends to climb multi-pitch routes. This is because when it is tied on a screwgate carabiner, it can function as an emergency belay device. (However, unlike regular belay devices, it's important to remember that it locks off forward!)

If you ever find yourself halfway up a climb having just accidently dropped your belay device, an Italian Hitch may save your life, or at least save you a phone call to mountain rescue.

If you are interested in any more knot tips or have a few of your own that you would like to share, then why not let us know in the comments below or in our new Gear Geek Forum!

Lots of Knots

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