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Prusik knots are useful in emergency situations as they can be used for both climbing up a rope (out of a canyon) or down a rope (rappelling) without someone else providing a fireman's belay.

How would I go about properly tying a Prusik knot?

  • Similar knots are the Autoblock aka French Prusik and the Klemheist Inevitably there is some debate about their relative merits but both are defintely a bit easier to tie than the prusik. They are also a handy way of providing adjustable tension for a tarp ridge-line etc – Chris Johns Feb 3 '17 at 3:01
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A Picture is worth a thousand words:

Illustration of a prussik knot

  • I've used the first two steps a number of times. Is there much benefit to the additional loops? – Timothy Strimple Jan 25 '12 at 17:20
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    Friction I could see, but the weight is still being put entirely on the two ends coming away from the knot. Thanks! – Timothy Strimple Jan 25 '12 at 17:30
  • @TimothyStrimple More wraps = more friction. You test it and see if it stops your descent with no hands. If it slips, you add more wraps. – endolith May 28 '18 at 23:25
  • @TimothyStrimple in my experience, it depends on what kind of activity you are doing. If it is merely a safety measure for self-belay, one or two wraps should be sufficient because a fall would cinch the prusik very quickly. However, when I am using a pair of prusiks to ascend a rope, I usually want at least 3 wraps because I need the prusik to bite into the rope immediately so I don't lose any effort through sliding. – BlackThorn Jun 7 '18 at 19:56
  • Rope thickness also matters. The bigger the difference between your ropes, the more likely you are to need a double or triple (the one in the picture) prusik knot. – Monster Jun 11 '18 at 8:35

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