Learn to tie knots - Animated knots for climbers


These animated knots are for climbers, rescue workers, arborists, tower-climbers, and others who use rope in man-carrying applications. The knots can be selected from the index on the left, by their pictures above, or from a page which describes their various uses. This selection is based on a thorough review of resources on the internet combined with consultation with, and feedback from, experienced climbers.


Climbing, caving, etc., are challenging and potentially dangerous. Do not regard this website as a substitute for thorough instruction and expert supervision.

Climbing Ropes:

A climbing rope is typically about 60 meters, or 200 feet, long. However, longer ropes are available, up to and in excess of 85 meters. Climbing ropes have changed greatly with the introduction of newer materials. Today's ropes are stronger, lighter, and thinner and come with different characteristics:

  • Static ropes are more durable, more resistant to abrasion, and lack elasticity. They should only be employed where shock loading never occurs: rapelling (abseiling), spelunking, or canyoning. They can be used to belay a climber. However, a lead climber should never employ a Static rope: in a fall, the rope lacks the required elasticity to minimize injury. Manufacturers typically use only two colors for the sheath.
  • Dynamic (Climbing) Ropes stretch under a shock load, absorb some of the shock force and protect the climber. They are designed to belay a lead climber or for top-roping. Manufacturers typically use three or more colors for the sheath to distinguish them from static ropes.


To read more about climbing ropes and their care go to the Outdoor Adventure Network Article on Climbing Rope; Indoor Climbing's Article on Rock Climbing Ropes; or Rock Climbing's article on Climbing Ropes Explained.

Modern Alternatives?

Descent devices such as Brake Bar Racks and "8" rings are kinder to the Static rope and easier to manage than a Munter Hitch. There are, also, various devices available to use instead of the Prusik Knot or the Klemheist. However, in an emergency, the knots described here are reliable, trusted alternatives which require only a locking carabiner.

Learn Them: The Life They Save May Be Your Own