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Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Facepalm. on 04/18/2013 14:25:51 MDT Print View

Now I get it. I thought you folks were talking about that Facebook thingy.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Clove hitch on 04/18/2013 15:04:34 MDT Print View

Problems with the Clove Hitch

The clove hitch, however, does have some problems. These include:
•The clove hitch is not as strong as a figure-8-on-a-bight knot or a self-equalizing figure-8 knot for tying into anchors.
•The clove hitch loses strength if it’s not tightened down after being tied.
•The clove hitch can slip when it’s loaded with either the weight of the belayer or a climber below, especially if it is not tightened.
•The clove hitch can slip if it’s tied with a stiff, wet, or....

and yet the clove hitch is the standard taught and used by ACMG guides for tying into the anchor

there a lot of urban legends going around vs those who actually climb every day

even for climbing you dont need to know a lot of knots ... but you DO have to know those few so well that you can tie them in the dark with cold shaking hands in the middle of a rain storm when tire and hungry, and tie em quickly ...

for hiking and other bear bagging ... well you arent taking a factor 2 off the belay so i wouldnt overly worry ;)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Clove hitch on 04/18/2013 15:45:05 MDT Print View

"for hiking and other bear bagging ... well you arent taking a factor 2 off the belay so i wouldnt overly worry ;) "

My point in the beginning -- most of us only backpack ;)

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Clove hitch on 04/18/2013 15:55:33 MDT Print View

+1 Eric.

This has always been a standard climbing knot in my book. The advantage of the clove hitch on a bite is how quickly it can be tied and clipped into a carabiner...Flip two loops into a rope, pass the second behind the first, and clip. It could *almost* be done one handed.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Clove on 04/18/2013 16:02:15 MDT Print View

You can tie it one handed with the rope already on the biner ...

Also if you know how to clove, youll remember very easily how to munter ... Which is a critical skill on multipitch

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Clove on 04/18/2013 16:10:19 MDT Print View

Haven't tried a clove one-handed. Will have to now though.

Every so often the Munter debate arises on here; someone comes along and proclaims that you can save the weight of a belay/rappel device. Why you'd willingliy fuzz and twist your rope when you could simply carry an ATC or something small is beyond me. Munter as a back-up, part of a haul/lowering system, or emergency tool, I get it. But as a primary belay in this day and age...Why?

Edited by xnomanx on 04/18/2013 16:11:12 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: Clove on 04/18/2013 16:23:36 MDT Print View

think winter when frozen (we all know dry treatment wears off) ropes cant get through some of the belay devices

the other reason is that it works perfectly fine .... if you dont lower or rap on the munter (dont weight it continuously) it really doesnt twist the rope

but the best reason is to keep in practice because when you do need it, or the munter mule for a tie off ... you wont spend 20 min fiddling and remembering how to tie it

a few years ago we were on something like the 8th pitch up the chief ... and i hear this CLANG CLANG CLANG down the rock from my partner at the anchor above... seems like he dropped his belay device ... he couldnt remember how to tie a munter ... good thing i dont fall on easy ground ... i lent him my atc and used the munter ...

a few times every year i go out and do some "old school" climbing to keep in practice with the basic skills .... no belay devices, nuts and hexes (no cams), carabiner brakes, rope anchors, etc ... like anything else, i can read and post on the intrawebs all i want about it, but without PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE its all for nothing

heres a good article on the munter by one of the top female american guides

Edited by bearbreeder on 04/18/2013 16:26:33 MDT.

Here There
(cowexnihilo) - MLife
One-handed clove/munter on 04/18/2013 17:17:45 MDT Print View

I came across this video awhile back that shows a nice way to do a one-handed clove or munter hitch (the good stuff starts at 1:33).

Be safe out there :)


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
re Munter hitch on 04/18/2013 18:02:51 MDT Print View

Permit me to disagree.
The Munter hitch is a wonderful way to wreck a rope. Huge nylon against nylon abrasion, lots of heat, very sharp kinks in the rope, and just horrible.

Can't people do a classic over-the-shoulder abseil any more? If you haven't got a spare carabiner, you can even do a classic 'under the leg and over the shoulder' abseil. They work just fine, and we still use them.

mutter ... mumble...


Here There
(cowexnihilo) - MLife
Re: Roger on 04/18/2013 18:53:06 MDT Print View


I don't think anyone here has advocated using a Munter to abseil, but it is a useful knot to know for situations like Eric outlined--when somebody drops their belay device, and in a few other cases. Rappelling off a Munter for more than very short stretches is not something I care to do to my ropes...


Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Clove on 04/18/2013 20:47:30 MDT Print View

Also if you know how to clove, youll remember very easily how to munter ... Which is a critical skill on multipitch

Yep, when tied on a carabiner the similarities are very obvious.

For a clove hitch around anything larger in diameter I'd agree with Richard and wouldn't trust it. But after mulling the question over I thought I'd grab some rope and arrange some scenarios. (Safety Disclaimer: I don't climb much, don't trust a word of this post, etc., etc.)

1. A standard clove hitch on a locked carabiner:
clove hitch

2. Here I deliberately loosened and arranged a clove hitch on a non-locking carabiner (yes, a sharp tug did exactly what you'd expect):
doomed clove hitch

3. Finally, a clove hitch tied around a larger diameter object (in contrast to the first image):
clove hitch that can slip

Additional refs: (item 4)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Engine know-how does not replace good knot skills on 04/18/2013 21:22:55 MDT Print View

"I am so glad I learned how to properly tie my shoes at the early age of 62. I wonder how I made it through all these years and am alive to talk about it :)"


Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
rappell on 04/18/2013 22:24:16 MDT Print View

"Can't people do a classic over-the-shoulder abseil any more?"

They could, if they had been trained. That was one thing that I demonstrated and taught in the summer of 1971. Unfortunately, it does a number on your clothing. All sorts of strange wear patterns show up in strange places.