The Knots

Date: 17/12/2022 Author: Antonio H.

Date: 12/17/2022

Guide to useful knots If there is an element that can truly be useful when we move in natural environments, that element is, without a doubt, the rope. Throughout our extensive experience playing sports in natural environments, we have encountered circumstances on multiple occasions in which it was necessary to use ropes to solve any eventuality. Obviously when climbing or progressing via ferrata it is an essential element and its knowledge and management is a matter of maximum safety. But it has also proven useful in many other conditions, especially in emergency repairs or simply to secure items to prevent loss.

You can always find somewhere to go well equipped.
 

rope on stem


Caveat! some sports activities require knowledge and mastery of the specific technique, please do not assume unnecessary risks and seek advice from an expert professional who knows the risks and techniques of the activity
 

image knots


But for a rope to be really useful it is necessary to modify its shape properly, for this we will use knots . By definition, a knot (from the Latin nodus) is a loop that tightens and closes so that with difficulty it can be released on its own, and the more one pulls on either of the two ends, the more it tightens.

The main characteristics that a knot must meet are: that it be easy to make, that it be easy to undo after use with a load, that it be resistant and that it serves the purpose that we are going to give it.

First, some definitions...

Cape: A cape is another name for a rope.
Chicote: it is the end of the rope, the tip.
Sign:is the rest of the rope with respect to one of its whips.
Sine: it is a loop, loop or fold of the rope. It also occurs when crossing the whip on the firm.
 

parts of the rope


Cordino: We will call the strings of smaller gauge, 4-8 mm.

Some of the most common knots...

Eight knot: It is the most used knot in climbing to join the harness to the rope. It is a very safe and resistant knot, easy to execute and easy to untie when it has been under load. There are two ways to build it that will be used according to the case. The basic form is built as shown in the figure:
 

basic eight



Knot of eight per sine: It can be used as long as the anchoring element allows its opening, as in the case of carabiners, maillons, etc. since we will start from a closed loop. To do it we will make a simple knot but giving an additional turn.
In the first step we will make a loop or trough that we will pass over and around the pavement, going around behind it, so that another loop will be created, in this case formed by a double rope. Subsequently we pass the end of the loop through the interior of the formed sinus. It only remains to tighten and "comb" so that it remains as shown in the last figure.
 

eight per sinus



Knot of eight by whip: We will use this method when it is necessary to pass the whip through the anchoring element when it is closed, as in the case of the harness, rings, etc. For its construction, we start from the basic figure-of-eight knot and we will pass the whip through the ring, harness... Next, we will follow the route of the base knot in the opposite direction with the whip.
 

eight for a boy



Bowline knot: Another of the most used knots in climbing and rescue, also for lifting loads. It is a knot that does not slip and is easy to make and undo. This knot should only be used under load as it stays open as soon as the tension is removed.
It begins by making a simple loop, in the lower figure we have passed the free end over the firm. Next, pass the whip through the loop from the bottom up and go around the firm from behind. Pass the whip through the loop again, but this time from top to bottom. Tense. To increase the security of the knot, preventing it from coming undone easily when it is without tension, it is advisable to finish off the excess end with an additional simple knot.
 

bowline


The usual thing is that the anchor point is closed, as in the case of a ring, or that the open part is inaccessible, as in a tree, a high pole, etc... so it is convenient to practice the execution by whip such as is shown in the following figures.
 

Bowline for chicote



Clove hitch knot: It is usually used to secure the rope to a pole, bar or another rope, which is why it is widely used for tent supports. It is a knot that will tend to loosen if it is subjected to stresses from different directions.
 

basic clove hitch


As in previous cases, if the anchor point is closed or the ends are not accessible, it will be necessary to apply the whip construction method.
 

Clove hitch for whip



Double fisherman's knot: We will use it to join two ropes together or to close a rope or cord in the shape of a ring. The latter will be essential to be able to make some of the knots that we will mention later.
 

double fisherman



Skylark knot: Very simple knot for direct anchoring on rings or posts. It is usual to do it with a loop closed in a ring.
 

lark with gaza


Although it is also possible to do it with an open end. It is advisable to secure in a knot by passing the excess short end inside.
 

lark for chicote



Roman knot: It is a knot in which the ropes will come out in opposite directions creating a directional loop aligned up or down with respect to the main rope line. It has application in hoisting, hoists, rope tensioning, stirrups, ….
 

roman knot



Figure-of-eight knot: Similar to the Roman knot, but in this case it is based on a figure-of-eight knot. The strings will also come out in opposite directions creating a directional loop aligned up or down from the main string line. The application will also be in hoisting, hoists, rope tensioning, stirrups, ….
 

figure eight knot



Prusik knot: It is a self-locking knot for which a cord is used in a closed ring loop. It is used on another main rope with a larger diameter. The knot slides easily when not under load, but locks as soon as it is under tension as it pinches the main rope. It is used as a method of self-belaying in rappelling, to go up on a rope, descend equipment... It is built by surrounding the rope as shown in the figures, successively passing one of the ends under the main loop. It is very important to fit the knot on the rope well before using it. Being a symmetrical knot it acts in both directions.
 

Prusik knot



Machard's knot: It is another self-locking knot for which a cord will also be used in a closed ring loop. It is used on another main rope with a larger diameter. The knot slips easily when not under load, but locks as soon as it is put under tension by pinching the main rope. It is used as a method of self-belaying in rappelling, to go up on a rope, descend equipment... It is built by surrounding the main rope as shown in the figures to finish passing the lower end through the upper loop. It is very important to fit the knot on the rope well before using it. This knot, unlike the Prusik, only acts in one direction.
 

Machard knot



The diversity of existing knots is immense and would give rise to a specific treatise that is not the objective of this site, we invite you to delve into this exciting subject.