Friction, belay and climbing hitches
The first two categories are truly knots that, when secured, should not move or slide. These lend themselves to main riggings. The bends (end-to-end tie-offs) have mostly sling applications, while friction, belay ties, and climbing hitches all have interchangeable applications.
The Bowline is a multi-purpose knot that is as easily untied as tied. Its loop is easily adjusted. It has a high efficiency rating, but has been known to work loose during repeated loadings, especially with softer rope.
The end of the rope should be oriented on the inside of the major loop, not on the outside. On the outside of the loop, the send is vulnerable to snagging. This is one knot that must be dressed and set. If left loose, it can distort and fall apart.
The Figure Eight has many purposes and variations. It is the basic necessary knot that forms the Figure Eight on a Bight, Figure Eight Bend, Double Figure Eight, and the In-line Figure Eight.
By itself it is often used as a stopper so a rappeller or piece of gear won't slide past the knotted point.
Figure Eight on a Bight
By forming a bight near the end of the rope, an easy, reliable non-slipping loop can be formed for hauling, life support or gear lifting. The Figure Eight on a Bight has numerous applications, including carabiner clip-ins, mid-line riggings, and reanchors, just to name a few.
It is the preferred end-line safety knot because it supplies a loop to stand in at the end of the rope that could assist a climber during an attempt to change-over from rappel to ascend.
Figure Eight Follow Through
The Figure Eight Follow Through can be used as a primary end-line rigging around an anchor, such as a tree. First, tie a simple Figure Eight, loop the end around the anchor and rethread the end back into the knot, following it backwards. Do not forget to dress and set it when finished.
The loop formed should be only large enough to contain what is intended to be placed or clipped into it.
In-Line Figure Eight
The In-Line Figure Eight is a directional knot and when it is running or sliding, trips trough pulleys easier and over tree limbs more easily. If back-up rigging is employed, an In-line Figure Eight makes an easily adjustable first knot.
The Butterfly is a compact, mid-line knot, useful in many situations. Its important feature is that it provides for multi-directional loading. It's important to dress and set this knot, and seems to work best with softer ropes.
Figure Eight Bend
The Figure Eight bend is a variation of the Figure Eight knot. It is best used when it is necessary to join two ropes together. It is somewhat bulky, but will slide through the larger knot-passing rescue pulleys. It is easy to tie as well as untie. It is visually obvious when tied incorrectly.
This knot requires dressing and setting. In webbing, it is not so obvious when tied incorrectly. Also in webbing, it is about 50% stronger than a water knot,although it is occasionally discouraged because it is difficult to dress and set.
This is probably one of the most used bends. It is excellent for fastening webbing together, such as in directional rigging. The drawback is that it can be very difficult to untie in webbing, as well as rope, after heavy loading. Rolling it vigorously between the palms of the hand can help loosen it.
Double Overhand Bend
TheDouble Overhand bendis a good bend to use to form endless loops of rope. It is compact and is often used when fashioning Prusik slings.
The Sheet bend is for tying two pieces of rope of different diameter together.
The Prusik hitch is primarily a gripping friction tie and the one most often referred to when speaking of a friction tie. A rope, cord, or sling is wrapped around the main climbing rope in such a way that the Prusik cord grips the main rope and will not slide under tension.
Prusik cords need to be of semi supple rope. If the rope is too soft or too small in diameter, they tend to dig deep into the mainline, gripping it tightly. When it comes time to slid the knot, it becomes most difficult to break.
On the other hand, stiff rope makes terrible Prusik cords because it resists bending and knotting.
When there is no tension on the hitch, it slides freely up or down. The Prusik hitch is mentioned here because it is one of the most critical ties to learn.
A clove hitch can be useful for tying around objects for hoisting, or as anchor.
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