Essential Rock Climbing Knots

Last Updated on August 29, 2020

The rope is the first and foremost equipment for the rock climber. High-quality fibers were used to make ropes. With the change of time, nylon has become the most used material to make ropes. It is a synthetic fiber that is the most sturdy of them all, absorbs, and withstands the strongest pulls. It is cheap and long lasting as well.

Dynamic ropes are the perfect rock climbing ropes. The ability of stretching and flexibility is the reason for the term dynamic. The static ropes though not flexible, are still suitable for rock climbing.

Nylon doesn’t need to be well maintained. When it is about rock climbing taking special care of the rope is rational. It is necessary to check the cord after every use. The moment it takes a hard fall, discard it.

Essential Rock Climbing Knots

For a rock climber, learning the rock climbing knots is as significant as having a durable rope. There are many knots to learn. Figure-of-eight, euro death knot, clove hitch, girth hitch, Italian hitch, double fisherman, prusik are some of them.

The others are Chain sinnet, bowline, butterfly bend, butterfly loop, double overhand. Among all these different knots, there are seven essential ones that are a must-learn and need to be practiced again and again till the time the climber becomes pro at it.

These knots need to be tied tightly and carefully following the right steps. They ensure safety. We are going to discuss some of the essential knots. Knowing and learning all the knots will be helpful, but practicing these seven essential knots is enough to climb the rock.


Figure-Of-Eight is the most used knots in rock climbing. It is the sturdiest knot of them all. It looks similar to the digit 8. It is also known as a Flemish knot and categorized as a stopper.

It is used to eliminate slippage of the rope from the tools. In rock climbing, it is used to tie the harness. It is comparatively easy to undone than the other climbing knots. It is easy to inspect.

Euro Death Knot

European or Euro death knot, also known as offset overhand bend has its own share of pros and cons but is very popular among the rock climbers. It is mainly used to tie or join two ropes. It is similar to the flat figure eight knot but provides a different bend. The technique to tie it is easy, and it is a time-saver.

The knot is neat and easy to introspect.  There are some extreme opinions about it among the climbers. Those who love it, use it again and again, and those who don’t trust it avoid this one totally to minimize the risk.

Double Fisherman

A double fisherman or grapevine knot is difficult to tie. It is an alternative to the euro death knot but follows a difficult technique. Those who have confusion about the euro death knot can opt for this one.

The binding is strong. Untieing, it is not easy. It is mainly used for descending while abseiling. It is compact and reliable but challenging to introspect compared to other knots.


In the case of prusik, the climbing rope is wrapped around by an extra piece of rope or cord. It is very light and used only during emergencies. It is easy to tie and untie and categorized as a hitch. It is a good alternative and even safer than rope-grabs. It works and slides in both directions and grabs both up and down.

Clove Hitch

Clove hitch or the double hitch is an essential knot among the others. The fastening technique is simple. It is not quite easy to untie and binds strong. It should not be used on rotatable objects. It slips.

Clove hitches are secured by applying two half hitches on it. The half hitches are tied in the same direction. Unless it is practiced and learned, it should not be used without the two half hitches.

Italian Hitch

Italian hitch is a simple knot used in emergency rock climbing situations. It is attached to the carabiner. The rope is wrapped around the object through this knot. It decides the rate descending while belaying.

Girth Hitch

A Girth hitch is used to attach the object. In rock climbing, it is mainly used to tie the rope to the anchor points. It is often mistaken as a cow hitch as it is similar to it. During emergency use, it works as an alternative to the carabiner.

Final Words

Never start rock climbing without thoroughly introspecting the climbing knots. The tightness and sturdiness of the knots and ropes decide the risk factor of the journey of rock climbing. Do not blindly trust others in case of tieing the knots and introspect thoroughly.

Always tie and introspect the knots and rope yourself. The pull, the safety the knots provide can be only be felt by the climber who is using the rope, not by anyone else. Understanding the danger and being careful and alert is the key to be safe during every adventure sport.


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