so sometime back... i used to teach classes at the local climbing gym. i made fancy packets. i researched, i was ready to answer a thousand and one... but not two!, questions. unfortunately in my area no one wants to pay to learn. you bitches all want it for free, dont cha?! well i cant fault you there im kinda a cheap ass myself. but where i was going with this was, one of the classes was all about knots! and people make a big deal about knots. like there so hard to tie. people! its a piece of string.... this isnt some kinda mystical technology brought by the aliens that eventually wiped out the mayans! IT'S STRING!!! we literally can teach monkeys to do this! (okay i may have lied... now that i think about it. it was bonobos they taught, which are a subspecies to the chimpanzee, which is in the ape family.. not monkey. apes... my bad.) the point is if your gonna climb you should know some knots and theyre not that hard to learn. But which knots you ask? okay... i made a list, and some choice words to consider when you try to george carlin my ass saying its a padded list! "Bird"... Mr. Bridwell... im looking at you. dont give me any of that four knots bullshit...
FIGURE EIGHT~ let me just say, if you climb and you dont know this knot... well i guess your a boulder'er. which... makes sense, your smart enough to know you cant handle thinking and climbing so you stuck to your niche. good job. the rest of you, keep in mind you should know the variations of this knot. i wont list them. i did a post a little while back, go check it out.
DOUBLE BOWLINE~ why? because it cool! this is the knot that is easy to take out when you take multiple whippers and your so pumped you can taste the lactic acid! This is the knot climbing started with! this is what harding, robbins, long, hill, frost, herbert, & bachar used! plus it freaks the newbies out... "uh!?... i dont know that knot!" dont worry kid, if the knot fails i got a helmet. ill just pitch into a swan dive and land head first to absorb the impact. besides with your crappy belay ill likely deck anyway!
CLOVE HITCH~ this thing is awesome for fast anchoring. easy to tie and untie, it can be a fast moving parties best friend. although it can slip if heavily loaded, it remains dependable for most conceivable situations. by the way!, if you have one of those stupid metolius anchor sling set-ups and only use that for anchoring in, then your dumb! you have no redundancy! but if you then take your rope and throw in a clove hitch.... well, then your using that lump three feet above your arse!
MUNTER HITCH~ i was following the second pitch of corrugation corner(lover's leap, south lake tahoe) a few years back climbing with "Angry" shawn campbell. as i approached the "damn near mandatory beach whale" mantle at the belay i looked back and saw a foolishly discarded ATC! "shawn i found some booty gear down here! did you notice it?", i called out. to which he replied something along the lines of, "umm.. yes." in his trademarked lack of interest gruff. i reached into the crack grabbed the belay device and clipped it onto my harness. as i began to pull onto the ledge something look peculiar about my belay! ...no device? apparently that was shawns belay device. he had dropped it out of reach from the anchors and being the resourceful guy that he is belayed me up on the munter hitch. its been in my tool kit ever since...
PRUSSIK KNOT~ okay there are multiple different knots climbers use for the purpose of ascending a rope. you need to know at least one of them. its the corner stone of any self-rescue system. it's a simple thing to be prepared. okay... so you dont want to carry a piece of cordellete for the sole purpose of the rarely needed rescue? do you have a chalk bag? take a length of 6mm cord and use it as your chalk bag belt. the extra line can also be used for bolstering a rap station!
WATER KNOT~ now just a second ago i said use cord for a chalk belt. now if your trade climbing regularly, dont do that! that would be stupid!! why is it stupid? well, because you should be carrying a a cordellette that you use for equalizing anchors anyway. so if you need a prussic youre set. Trade climbing on the other hand especially prior to the overuse of guidebooks and wall development regularly required ingenuity along with its adventure. hence a bail runner was sometimes needed & thus use a piece of webbing as your chalk belt is the way to go. OH! and you need to know the water knot. the water knot doesnt slip with webbing. all other knots are suspect!! Another good idea for trade climbers is to take a very light weight razor blade. put it in a piece of cardboard and the stow it somewhere on your harness or chalk bag.... you know... look for a future post and ill show you what i mean.
GIRTH HITCH~ so im climbing a trade route... ie no bolts ya sissy. the crack has pinched out, but there is a nice looking chicken head above. how do i use this rock feature to my advantage? survey says? show me.. GIRTH HITCH!! also excellent for attaching slings to your belay loop and, link two slings together without using 'biner.
EDK~ the e.d.k. stands for euro death knot. i hear in europe they call it the american death knot... funny how we blaim each other... FOR THE DEATH!! the main reason to know this knot is its awesome, and it claims lives! okay all kidding aside, its and excellent joining knot for double rope rappelling. the knot, the way it pulls will actually roll away from cracks, constrictions, edges and protrusions decreasing the likelihood of the knot snagging and requiring some to re-lead a pitch in the dark so you dont have to loose $400 in rope. so why is it actually called the EDK? well because as the knot tightens down it often capsizes and flips, therefore its necessary to have long tails. about two feet long. stupid people then like to load the tails into their ACT and then rappel off of them. usually this results in the aforementioned death. use it wisely
DOUBLE OVERHAND KNOT~ similar variations include: the barrel knot, the stopper knot, the fisherman's knot, the double fishermans knot. this knot is key for... NOT RAPPELLING OF THE END OF YOUR ROPE!!!!!! i hear people die doing that. so this one is kinda important.
BOW KNOT~ it's for tying your shoes. you learned it when you were five. when you were five you learned to tie a knot... i think you can handle learning some new knots.
in closing id like to sa.... WHAT?!! CAPTIN INTERUPTOR!! WHAT?!! yeah i know i didnt teach you how to tie anything. thats because these site can do a way better job. enjoy... oh and Josh....
http://www.animatedknots.com/ and http://www.chockstone.org/TechTips.htm