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 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.
Andrew Kirkpatrick is a British mountaineer, author, motivational speaker and monologist. He is best known as a big wall climber, having scaled Yosemite's El Capitan 30+ times, including five solo ascents, and two one day ascents, as well as climbing in Patagonia, Africa, Alaska, Antarctica and the Alps.Follow @ Instagram