A Climber's Guide to the Figure Eight Follow Through Knot

Picture of A Climber's Guide to the Figure Eight Follow Through Knot
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.

Items Needed:
1. Climbing Harness

2. Climbing Rope
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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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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.
as a long time climber and I wish I could use font size 900 in blinking red (Remember the blink tag) Always tie a stopper knot. Even with many years of climbing it is possible to tie it wrong when distracted the stopper will prevent the rope from going through a half done eight.
zkreifels (author) 1 year ago
The AMGA does not teach a stopper knot as back up for the figure eight.
always tie a stopper knot - simple as that - if you need to ask why - tie it anyway. 30 years of climbing talking
Jayefuu1 year ago
A well written and illustrated Instructable!

However, you don't mention the use of a stopper knot. At most climbing walls/gyms (in the UK/US) you'd fail your entry test if you didn't tie a stopper knot.

Also, I'd be tempted to put the sentence you use in your last step in your first step. In bold. It's the most important part of this instructable: 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.
zkreifels (author)  Jayefuu1 year ago
Thanks for the feedback! Bolding that sentence is a great idea.

While some gyms require a stopper knot, a correctly tied and dressed figure eight should not require a back up knot.
Well done.

However a simple bowline is quicker and as effective.