Knots, Hitches, Prussiks

These are the knots covered in TMC’s techincal lesson.
Check out Animated Knots for step by step guides on how to tie these knots, or the self-made videos courtesy of Jin Hao (MIR 19 VP Training) below.

The Knots

Double of Figure 8 Retraced/On bight

  • Basic tie-in knot when climbing.
  • Retraced version is useful for creating a secure loop at the end of the rope.
  • Used on a bight to create a loop in the middle of the rope. Useful as an intermediate anchor point or to clip in when roping-up.
  • The knot becomes difficult to untie when shock-loaded.
  • Ensure that knot is clean before loading.
  • Primarily used in anchor systems.

Alpine Butterfly Loop

  • Useful to create a loop in the middle of a rope, especially during roping up.
  • More stable than Bowline on a bight or Figure 8 Loop.
  • Remains reasonably easy to undo even after heavy load.
  • Load is evenly spread between the Loop, and both ends of the loop, hence it is able to isolate any damage section of the rope if need be.


  • Creates a secure loop around an object, and to anchor onto it.
  • Used as a rock climbing tie- in knot (Yosemite Variant).
  • Emergency Harness (triple bowline).
  • One-handed Safety Harness (one-handed technique).
  • Anchor knot (when climbing).

Water Knot

  • Joins two ends of a webbing or sling.
  • Used to make a closed loop from a single piece of unsewn webbing.

Sheet Bend

  • Used to tie two ropes of different diameter.
  • Binds tightly when loaded.
  • General usage.

Double Fisherman

  • Used to tie two ends of Prusik cord together.
  • Secures to ends of ropes, and binds tightly when loaded.

The Hitches


  • The Girth hitch attaches a sling to your harness or to another rope or carabiner.


  • Most common knot used to tie a fixed rope to an anchor.
  • Can be tied by folding the loops or threading through using the end of a rope.
  • Used to attach a rope/sling to something else, such as an anchor.
  • May slip and should not be used by itself.

Munter’s Hitch.

  • Also known as Italian Hitch.
  • The reversing orientation of the knot depends on which end the rope is loaded. Hence, the bi-directional utility of the knot. Check out Super Munter Variant.
  • Allows the rope to run through the knot and carabiner with added friction. Hence, a controlled running of rope.
  • Used in belaying/abseiling, crevice rescue.

The Prusiks

Prusiks are a friction hitch or knot used to attach a loop of cord around a rope, applied in climbing, canyoneering, mountaineering, rope rescue and ziplining. The term Prusik is a name for both the loops of cord and the hitch, and the verb is “to prusik”. More casually, the term is used for any friction hitch or device that can grab a rope.

Used in:

  • Ascending a fixed rope, such as climbing a steep slope
  • Crevice rescue
  • Safety backup for abseiling
  • Emergency anchor point in the middle of a rope
  • Autolocking knot in a hauling system



  • Common alternative to the classic Prusik. Unidirectional, but slides slightly easier.
  • Higher chance of tangling.


  • Also known as the French Prusik, a variation of the Kleimheist Prusik using a carabiner.
  • Used as a safety back up when abseiling.

Classic Prussik

  • Basic Prusik knot, slightly more inconvenient to tie than other Prusik Knots.
  • Bidirectional loading and less likely to tangle.

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