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Trace-Eight (Figure-Eight) Knot



The "Trace-Eight" is tied through the two "hard-points," not directly to the belay loop, of a climbing harness. Your tie-in knot, the one that connects you to the end of the rope, is the knot to learn first, and is the only knot you’ll use every time you rope up. Climbers use various knots to tie in, but the Trace-Eight is the easiest to learn and the least likely to untie itself. Unfortunately, it cinches up tight after a hard fall, making it difficult to untie. Consider this a small price to pay for security. Practice this knot until you can tie it, rain or shine, in the dark.

The Trace-Eight is easy to tie. Simply tie a figure eight knot in the standing portion of the rope about 24 to 30 inches from the end, then reverse weave the end of the rope backwards through the knot as shown, being certain to leave a 12- inch tail. Secure the tail with half of a Double Fisherman’s knot, or an overhand. Tighten!



Pay attention every time you tie in. Serious accidents happen each year because someone becomes distracted while tying in and either ties this critical knot wrong or never completes it. Concentrate as if your life depends on it (it does), and make certain you thread the rope through both the leg-loop strap and the waist belt on your harness, as prescribed by the manufacturer.


CLIMBING IN AN INDOOR GYM usually requires just one knot, the Trace-Eight. You’ll use this knot to tie in to the rope, both for leading and toproping. In fact, many gyms require that you tie in with the Trace-Eight, and they will make you take a test to guarantee that you can tie it correctly.


Next in Knots Ring Bend (Water Knot)
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