Ventura County Search & Rescue, Fillmore Mountain Rescue Team 1
 
About the Team
Team History
Meet the Team
Training
Events
Hiking Tips & Plan
Photo Gallery
Join the Team
Support the Team
Helpful Links
Return to Home Page


Knot Tying Guide

Ropes and knots are the main tools for a mountain rescue team. 

Below you will find many of the most popular knots used in search and rescue rope rescues -

Figure-of-Eight

The Figure-of-Eight knot is probably the most useful of all climbing knots. It is easy to tie, easy to undo after a load has been applied, and puts the least stress on the rope when tied tight. It can be tied anywhere in the rope, but if it's near the end, it should be secured with a stopper knot to prevent the knot from un-doing itself. 
There are generally two methods used to tie a figure of eight knot. The first method is used when a piece of equipment is clipped into the loop, the second when the knot is used to tie into something, for example, a climbing harness. 

Figure-of-Eight loop on a bight

Figure-of-Eight Follow Thru


The above re-threaded method is usually used to tie into a harness, and is just a case of making a figure-of-eight on the single rope, looping through the harness, and following the knot back through itself. 

Double Loop Figure-of Eight

The double loop figure 8 is used in equalizing the load between multiple anchor points, it can be tied either on a bight of rope or as a follow thru knot used with the in-line figure of eight. 

In-Line Figure Of Eight

The in-line figure of eight is a mid-point loop knot used as a unidirectional tie-in point. The knot can be tied and the tail run through anchor points and then follow back through to create a double loop figure eight.  

Bowline


The bowline is easy to adjust and untie. Beware, though, that if tied incorrectly in can be unsafe. You should really tie a stopper knot in the loop with the loose end to prevent it from pulling through. 

Clove Hitch



The clove hitch is easily adjusted when place, but is not a particularly strong knot. If one side of the knot is to be loaded, place the diagonal underneath. If both sides are to be loaded, place the diagonal at the top. Tighten before loading, as it may run if loaded when loose. 

Highwayman's Hitch


This knot can bear one's weight on one strand of the rope and can be untied by just pulling on the other strand. End 'B' is the load-bearing end. NOT RECOMMENDED for climbing, but excellent for robbing stagecoaches, when you want to get away quick with your rope. 

Fisherman's Knot


Probably the simplest knot for joining two ends of rope. Consists of two overhand knots. 

Double Fisherman's Knot


Better than the Fisherman's Knot, this uses two double overhand knots. Good knot, as it can be difficult to untie. Check regularly for the loose ends getting shorter, and if so, re-tie. Tighten with body weight. 

Lark's Foot or Girth Hitch


Quick knot, but weak. When tied around an object it is referred to as a girth hitch. Usually used with webbing loops as quick anchor points. 

Overhand Knot


Probably the simplest knot in existence. Usually used as a stopper knot, but a double overhand is preferable. 

Double Overhand Knot


Better as a stopper knot than the Overhand, as it is less likely to pull through. 

Overhand Loop


This knot can be used with slings and ropes, for shorting slings to creating loops in the end of webbing. Once loaded it is difficult to untie.

Sheet Bend


Occasionaly used to join the ends of ropes, may be adjusted easily, but can also come undone easily. 

Tape Knot or Water Knot


Usually used for joing the ends of tapes or slings. Can work loose sometimes, so check regularly, and re-tie if the ends are getting shorter. Tighten with body weight before use. Tails should be at least 2 inches long.


Ascending Knots

Five ascending knots are shown in all, each have their advantages and disadvantages. Try them all out, and see which you prefer. 

Prusik Loop

Two wrap prusik loop is mainly used for personal use, where a three wrap prusik is used for heavier loads and system rigging. 

The Kleimheist

The Hedden Knot, also known as Kreutzklem

First published in 1960 in Summit Magazine. In 1964, the name Kreutzklem was attached to it by someone in the German mountain troops who was shown it by an officer serving in the US Air Force. The Kreutzklem name (cross-clamp) was applied because the original inventor (Chet Hedden) got lost somewhere along the way when it was shown to different people in Europe. 

The French Prusik

The Bachmann

  
Ventura County Sheriff's Volunteer Search & Rescue  |  Fillmore Mountain Rescue  |  Team 1
Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 296 |  Fillmore, CA  93016
 
email us!
 

 

 
2005 Ventura County Sheriff's Volunteer Search & Rescue, Fillmore Mountain Rescue, Team 1

site design by | wood & wood graphic design | w-graphics.com

site  updates by Fillmore SAR Member Jude Egold