Since we're stuck inside today because of rain, let's take a vote. How many people think the figure 8 knot is the most valuable knot a climber can know? What about a bowline, clove hitch, or flat overhand? Well our vote goes to the Munter hitch! (Technically it's a hitch, but that's splitting hairs!)
The Munter hitch, or Italian hitch, is quite versatile and has many uses including a belay, load transfers, and can easily be turned into a clove hitch. Any self rescue that we perform as a climber is based around proficiency with the Munter hitch and its subsequent knots, the mule knot and the overhand knot.
Let's start off easy. The Munter hitch is quite easy to tie, especially with only one hand! Roll over or click each picture for a description.
Now, let's add in the mule knot and the overhand backup. This is a great way to go hands free in a rescue scenario. Commonly called "baseline," this particular setup makes it extremely easy to transition into a raise, lower, or technical descent.
It's all too easy to learn these knots once, and completely forget them when you need them most. Get out and practice with some friends, put your dog on belay with a Munter, or work one on one with a guide to ensure you are the best climbing partner you can be!
Written by Ben Coryell, An Owner of Golden Mountain Guides