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Ropework 

The Clove Hitch

09 December 2008

Note: Many of these articles are very old, and although the technical information is still relevant the equipment mentioned may not be (for example a Stormy cooker was state of that art in 1995, but not in 2021).

What would I do without the clove hitch – probably the second most useful knot you can learn. Simple to tie and untie, strong and fine tuneable, and although to begin with it’s easy to tie an Italian hitch by mistake, it’s one of the fastest knots to learn. The one thing I’d add for those who don’t know this is how to fine-tune the length, often necessary when setting up a belay. Once loosely tied simply pull on the first rap of the rope (with the rope going away from you), pulling either end of the rope to tighten or slacken the length between you and the knot (see diagram), and then holding it with your thump pull on either rope to tighten.

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