Appropriately tie all knots in the SWR curriculum, plus any type of load-releasing hitch other than a "no knot"
Purchase some prusik cord about 7'-8' in length and a length of climbing webbing and practice the basic knots. This article covers all the curriculum knots with step-by-step instructions: Choose appropriate knots in any given situation. For our load releasing hitch, I plan to use the Munter Hitch. The Munter Hitch is great for belaying and very simple to tie. The Munter Hitch is also great for Telfer Lowers.
Choose appropriate knots in any given situation
Knots quite frankly frighten many students (and some potential instructors as well). This is why we concentrate on a few basic knots, especially the figure eight family. As a potential instructor, I suggest practice tying these knots and become quite familiar with their various uses. Here are a few articles I have put together to assist you:
Describe the strengths and limitations of common rescue knots
This was a challenging topic to research. One of the best sources was a caving and vertical rescue article that was recently pulled from the internet - bummer. Fortunately, I found another less comprehensive source: Article on Rope/Knot Strength. Let's take a closer look at our most common rescue knots:
- Figure Eight Family: Strength 80%. This is a climbers and rescue workers first choice due to strength, ease of tying, and easy to inspect. It is also a very versatile set of knots.
- Bowline: Strength 60%. If you use this knot, add a backing knot so it will not come undone. This knot is easy to tie one-handed. Once stressed, it can be difficult to untie. In general, we prefer the Figure Eight Loop instead. The Bowlinwe is no longer in the SWR Curriculum.
- Water Knot: Strength 64%. This is an exceptionally good know when working with webbing instead of rope. It is very easy to inspect. Make certain you leave plenty of tail, as much as 3".
- Tensionless Hitch: Strength 100%. Friction and a very gradual bend are the keys to this knot. It is also very easy to untie.
- Alpine/Butterfly: Strength 75%. A very effective knot for a 90 ° pull. When used to bypass a rope defect, strength is 57%.
- Round Turn with Two Half Hitches: Strength 75%. This is a self tightening knot and a far better choice than the clove hitch which can easily slip.
- Double Fisherman Knot: Strength 68%. We use the double (or tripple) fisherman knot to tie our Prussic Loops. This is a very smooth knot that doesn't slip. It is also one of the strongest knots for tying two ropes together.
- Prussic Hitch: Strength varies. Actually this knot is meant to be the weaker part of the system. The prussic Loop fails by slipping along the larger rope giving us a warning sign to back off immediately. This is an important safety feature in mechanical advantage systems.
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