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Climbing knots by Fitch, Nate; Funderburke, Ron

By Fitch, Nate; Funderburke, Ron

Climbing: Knots gains tutorial knot-making details for the amateur climber. Pocket-size, it really is moveable and easy-to-use, with photographs all through to help with learning.

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Security: The figure 8 follow through is a very secure knot. It would require two unlikely contortions to reduce the load-bearing properties of the knot; therefore no secondary knots or hitches are required to secure the figure 8 follow through. Failure mechanism: The figure 8 follow through has a consistent failure mechanism when large forces are applied to it. It breaks just inside the second turn of its follow through. Ideal applications: Climbing in a group. Climbing with novices. Climbing instruction.

No matter how big or small a climber may be, the amount of rope needed for tying in is consistent. But when the rope is tied around some other object, the amount of rope needed can vary, there is not always a rope end to work with, and there is often a need to create redundancy in the attachment. Consider the task of tying the rope around trees. Some trees are gigantic, requiring an expansive circumference of rope. Some trees have sharp and abrasive bark, so running two strands of material around the tree seems more durable.

In the photo I have arrived at the top of a climb, elated and pleased with myself. My friend, however, uses the photo to point out my use of a daisy chain. In those days I used the daisy chain, permanently attached to my harness, anytime I needed to anchor. I knew the clove, but I never understood its utility. Today, I am such a vehement advocate of the clove hitch that it is hard to remember those daisy chain days, so my friend likes to remind me where I came from. But I do remember how I became convinced that the clove hitch was a better option.

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