Rock climbers usually have an arsenal of knots they know how to tie, but none are as frequently used as the figure eight follow through. The figure eight follow through secures the climber to the rope through their harness and acts as their protection from hitting the ground when falling. This makes the knot very important to learn and tie correctly! No prior knowledge of knots is needed to learn and master this knot, but plenty of practice is recommended. Throughout these instructions you will learn how to appropriately tie a figure eight follow through knot used for climbing. Learning to tie this knot should take between five to ten minutes of practice for a lifetime of memory.
1. Climbing Harness
2. Climbing Rope
Step 1: Create the Figure Eight
A. Take a length of rope that reaches from your hand to the opposite shoulder. Length may vary depending on arm length.
B. Create a loop in the rope to begin the figure eight.
C. Wrap the end of the rope back around the fixed end until the rope has completely encircled itself.
D. Insert the end of the rope through the loop created in B. This creates the figure eight
E. Pull the figure eight tight.
These steps create the initial figure eight which is the framework for the knot.
Step 2: Loop Rope Through Harness
Thread the end of the rope up through both the lower and upper tie in points on the harness as shown in the pictures. The rope should not pass through the green belay loop shown in the pictures.
Step 3: Retrace the Figure Eight Knot
Retrace the original figure eight knot created in step 1 as shown in the pictures. This part is like laying train tracks putting in the other line right next to the original.
Step 4: Finish the Knot
A. Arrange the knot so all of the original and retraced steps run parallel to each other and do not cross. This is called dressing the knot.
B. Tighten the knot by pulling on each section of the rope leaving the figure eight.
C. Check to see if the knot has enough tail. The length of the rope leaving the knot should be longer than a fist length, but less than two.
Step 5: Final Notes
Congratulations on tying a figure eight follow through knot! While this knot is simple enough, it is highly recommended to have an experienced climber or climbing wall staff double check your knot prior to climbing. After mastering this knot the next skill to add to your climbing knowledge is belaying. Belay technique is best learned from an experienced climber at your local climbing gym. Best of luck with your future climbing endeavors and remember to climb safe!