Rock Climbing

A "figure eight" is the standard climbing knot for tying into your harness. This climbing knot is strong, secure, and easy to check visually. Here are instructions for tying the figure eight, as well as a recommended back-up knot.

Rock Climbing Knots

Figure eight:

  1. Make a figure eight in the rope 2 or 3 feet from the end.
  2. Once you have completed the shape of the figure eight, pass the rope through the tie-in points on your harness. Use the proper tie-in points recommended by the harness manufacturer, usually the leg loops and the waist belt, rather than the belay loop.
  3. Retrace the figure eight with the end of the rope.
  4. Keep the knot “well-dressed,” avoiding extra twists, and make the tie-in loop small so the knot sits close to your harness.
  5. Pull on all four rope strands to cinch the figure eight tight.

Double overhand back-up knot (optional but recommended):

  1. Coil the rope once around its standing end. Then cross over the first coil and make a second coil.
  2. Pass the rope end through the inside of these coils and cinch the knot tight.
  3. Leave a 2- or 3-inch tail in the end of the rope.

These climbing knots and many more can be found in Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skill by Craig Luebben.


-- Adapted from Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skills by Craig Luebben, The Mountaineers Books

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