/ NEW ARTICLE: Rock Climbing Basics 4: Clove Hitch

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UKC Articles - on 04 Sep 2013
CLove hitch thumbnail, 3 kbThis is the fourth in a 12-part series from Climbing Magazine, Wild Country and Red Chili, demonstrating and explaining the basic skills needed to be safe on the crags. In this episode, Julie Ellison, Climbing Magazine's Gear Editor, talks us through tying in at the belay using both a clove hitch and a figure of eight on the bight. These techniques are key for minimising the amount of kit you have to take by using the rope, which you already have, reducing the need for extra slings...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=5723
a lakeland climber on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to UKC Articles:

The first one of these that I've actually watched.

What a palaver to create the clove hitch! Especially with a single rope system such as the Americans use you are on a belay ledge for a long time with significant slack in the system.

With the karabiner gate facing to the right, put the rope in as if it were a runner, i.e. the rope comes up and forwards through the krab to the climber.
With your right hand reach behind the rope and grab the part leading to your harness. Hold the rope in the crook of your thumb.
Pull your hand back the way it came.
Put a half twist in to the rope by twisting towards the krab and using your index finger to lift the rope and form the bight.
Clip the bight thus formed in to the krab.
Done!

The big advantage is that you are at least semi clipped in to the system with only a small amount of slack. It's also very quick, with belay points in place you can be secured in under ten seconds; I've set up a belay using two wires and clipped in in under a minute.

ALC
jon on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:

Mickey Mouse ears, eh? But then coming from the country that gave birth to Mickey Mouse, would you expect anything else?
cuppatea on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to UKC Articles:

I was please to see them wearing helmets.

highclimber - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to UKC Articles: I don't think I've ever backed up my clove hitch with another knot into one of the anchors, can't see how it adds anything? I've never had a clove hitch slip and if all the anchors fail then the back up is pointless! Am I missing something?
simon geering on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to highclimber:

Exactly i could not see the point of the "backup" either since it was not clipped to an anchor that independent of the belay, and if it were then surely that anchor should just have been incorporated into the belay in the first place. TBH if the second is leading through and it is not a hanging belay then a BFK on the dead rope would be perfectly sufficient for the time it takes to swap the rack over.

On a related note, outside of a 1:2 client guiding situation where it is simpler for relative novices to see where to tie in, I've never seen much point in the whole single point anchor or the "chordulet"(sp?) thing our US friends seem to be so keen on, surely it takes longer to set up than a couple of clove hitches into the individual bits of gear?
dave657 on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to simon geering:

I've not watched the video but...

I imagine the back up is for the knot slipping rather than backing up the anchor point. Don't see the need personally, but I have met an American guide one who recommended it.

As for the cordalette. What if you have more anchor points than you do ropes you're tied to? You can either run the rope back and forward to each bit of gear with a clove hitch each time, or just use a cordalette to combine all of them. I think the latter is easier and quicker personally!
John Stainforth - on 05 Sep 2013
In reply to dave657:

With double ropes, the conventional way with figures-of-eights and clove hitches usually works pretty well, but with single ropes the cordelette or webolette is very neat. It is easy to get the lines to the individual anchors taut and equalised, and gives both climbers more freedom of movement particularly if it is necessary to swop over belays.The webolette can stacked out of the way at back of the harness whilst climbing and also comes in useful as a very long sling (with many uses).
Jonny2vests - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to simon geering:
> (In reply to highclimber)
>
> On a related note, outside of a 1:2 client guiding situation where it is simpler for relative novices to see where to tie in, I've never seen much point in the whole single point anchor or the "chordulet"(sp?) thing our US friends seem to be so keen on, surely it takes longer to set up than a couple of clove hitches into the individual bits of gear?

A big reason is that you need a single centralised point if you want to belay directly from the anchor, that sort of thing is very common here. So if you've gone to the trouble of equalising, you might as well tie into it as well.
batterj2 - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to UKC Articles:
Regardless of needing to use a back up, shouldn't the figure of 8 tie in come back to the climber? Otherwise, in this sitation, if there was sufficient slack between the clove-hitch and the figure of 8 and the former failed, wouldn't the latter be shock loaded? Or am I missing something? It just seems like they've tied one anchor to the next...
Stuart (aka brt) - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to batterj2:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
> Regardless of needing to use a back up, shouldn't the figure of 8 tie in come back to the climber? Otherwise, in this sitation, if there was sufficient slack between the clove-hitch and the figure of 8 and the former failed, wouldn't the latter be shock loaded? Or am I missing something? It just seems like they've tied one anchor to the next...

It's a bit confusing as they've used a cordelette to tie a clove hitch to, then gone back with the rope to a nut with a fig 8. That last bit was really redundant (there's no need to back up the clove hitch),but I guess they could be trying to show how it's possible to keep going back to clip gear in series. And yes if building anchors in series you'd have to not allow any slack between pieces.

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