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Learning to tie knots

Original Post
Peter Herman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 0

So I’m a noob.  I’ve been Outdoor climbing several times, but always with someone way more experienced than me and they’ve always helped me “tie in.”  I want to get better at knot tying and what knots are used for different styles/purposes.  Is there a way to get a small section(maybe 5-10 feet) of climbing rope to learn to tie knots on?  And would anyone recommend a book on climbing knots?  


Matthew Bernstein · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 95

Good on ya! If any of your friends have old retired ropes, u could ask them for a 10 foot section to practice tying knots. If that's not a possibility, you could go to any REI or other outdoor gear retailer and buy 9 or 10mm static cord by the foot. It wouldn't be good for climbing on, but would have a similar feel to climbing rope and would probably cost you less than 10 bucks. Perfect for practicing knots.  As for books, "Freedom Of the Hills" is a great all around climbing reference book that will have essential climbing knots in it. 

Alan Emery · · Lebanon, NH · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 257

You may want to use this site until you can find a book.  Google climbing knots and you will find them around $10.

Robert Michael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 156

Sunny-D · · SLC, Utah · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 700


Where are you at?  I’ve got tons of old rope that I could get you a piece of. 

Tradgic Yogurt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 55

Robert is right on the money, Grog's animated knots page is the go-to nowadays. There's even an app. And then while you are learning why you use the knots climbers use, you practice, practice, practice until you can tie the knot blindfolded, in the dark, without looking, etc. 

Peter Herman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 0

I’m located in Pennsylvania.  

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,526

You might try starting with this page: Knots

It contains links to the site Animated Knots by Grog as well as other discussion and  images.

Any comments about the page are most welcome.

txclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 10

Also, don't be intimidated or think you need to learn dozens of knots.  I climbed for years (sport) before I used anything more than a figure eight.  Even now I only really use a figure eight, clove hitch, Munter hitch, Munter-mule (for escaping belay), and very occasionally an alpine butterfly.  Learn those and you'll be able to handle most situations.

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,526

Agree with TX’s list as a starting point though for me the alpine butterfly is not used much. Bowline instead?

Rudy Chavira · · Taylorsville. Ut · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

I sit around, and tie knots when doing nothing, no matter how many times I've tied them in past. Also when bored I try them one handed if possible.

Brad Johnson · · Charlotte, NC · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 0

Agree with TXclimber, but really to start focus on a clove, 8, and bowline.  Actually the Munter is a good to know just incase scenario.  

Wes C · · Cleveland, oh · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 65

If your going to be building top rope anchors off trees and such, I'd second the bowline and add a water knot for webbing.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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