Instructables
 There are many things that a beginning climber needs to know, including several important knots. Perhaps the most essential knot is the Figure 8 Follow Through. This tutorial will demonstrate how to correctly harness yourself to a rope using a Figure 8  Follow Through knot. This knot is used primarily by rock climbers to provide a life-line. Since this knot is used as a life-line, it is very important to be able to tie it correctly (Your life could depend upon it!).  

Don't worry, with this tutorial and about 5 minutes of practice, you can have this knot mastered!


Things you will need:

- Climbing Harness
- Climbing Rope

If you are looking to learn this knot but dont have climbing gear, a belt loop and any rope will do.

Step 1: Dealing With The Rope

Picture of Dealing With The Rope
Throughout this tutorial, I will be discussing different parts of the rope. To make these instructions as clear as possible, I will define a few terms that I will use throughout the tutorial. The "Anchor End" of the rope will generally be at the top of the images. This is the end that would be anchored to the wall or rock, and does not move. We will not be doing much with the "anchored end". The "Tail End" of the rope is the opposite end that we will be dealing with. I will call this the "tail" for short.

Now that we have some terms to work with, lets get started.
 
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tymont123 years ago
I'm a climbing instructor and I like this tutorial very much. However, the climber ties into the two "tie-in points" on the harness, not the belay loop. The reasoning behind it isn't arbitrary. All manufacturers of harnesses say to do this also. If we're trying to teach someone a skill, we should strive to teach them what is right. I strongly suggest that the photo be changed to show the proper place to tie into.

Second, carabiners are rarely used to connect the knot to the climber. If it ends up being done, two carabiners should be used, gates opposite and opposed. This way, there's like a billion to one chance that both carabiners could come unlocked and allow the climber to become disconnected. It doesn't take much for one carabiner to scrape up a wall and become unlocked in the process, and then be twisted to a point where the gate can pop open. Scary!

Third, instead of tying the "stopper knot" at the end to "get the rope out of the way," just use less rope to make the tail way shorter. A fist-length of tail is more than enough to be safe. Remember, even if the figure-8 becomes partially untied, it forms an "inline figure 8." So even when partially tied, it forms a knot; ironic right!?
Agree with the first part, but I have been frequently taught with only a single, locking, carabiner attaching harness to knot. Especially when there are a lot of climbers and you are rotating them round with only a couple of ropes.
It is fine to use carabiners to attach people to ropes, but it should be done with two. Imagine a young kid climbing up and the gate comes loose and they don't know any better since they haven't really climbed. If the kid falls on it just the right way, they can come out of the system. The two carabiner thing isn't 'just because,' it is meant to minimize the chance of something really bad from happening.
BenS4 tymont121 month ago

For the greater majority of my climbs, I use a single, double-locking carabiner. Only when on my highest climbs do I use two, sometimes three, of the same type of carabiner. So frankly, I think it's a matter of personal/professional preference.

I am a scout and have been abseiling and rock climbing countless time and have always only used one locking carabiner - not once has the locking mechanism (the bit you turn to secure the carabiner) ever budged. I personally would place my life on just one good quality locking carabiner.
Hit the gate of a carabiner enough times and it will budge and possibly open, given the right circumstances. This is not debated, this is fact. Old carabiners are even easier to open. I have some that barely take any force at all to screw open.

During certain instances, it is totally fine to use one carabiner: belaying, master point on an anchor, rappelling, etc. If a person is being attached to the rope by a carabiner instead of tying into the knot though, two carabiners should be used, gates opposed. An old carabiner can open so easily there is no reason to risk someone coming detached because only one carabiner was used.
Sorry for my ignorance, i guess under the right (or wrong for that matter) circumstances, a carabiner could come open but I have never experienced this myself :)
alexmac1319 months ago
your tying into the gear loop, is not correct. climbing harness has a tie in part that is engineered so is you fall your not upside down when ties properly. gear loops are for gear like belay devices using it for tying in ALSO places all wear and tear on the loop and reduced harness life.

as a climbing instructor tying to the gear loop is an automatic belay test fail
Purple Guy3 years ago
I learnt the knot as:

"The rabbit comes out the burrow,
Goes around the tree,
And back in his burrow."

Just makes it easier to remember I think :)
I use make the man, strangle him and stab his in the head
mtxe Purple Guy3 years ago
That is a bowline AKA "Death knot"
Which by itself shouldn't be used in climbing, however some variations can be...
I think that's a bowline. I didn't learn it that way, but it sounds familiar. Check out animatedknots.com and see if it is the one you think it is.
Popopopper2 years ago
Isn't this called the figure 8 bend?
raykholo2 years ago
As a climber, I agree that this instructable is correct, as long as we observe what tymont12 said below. 2Tie in points for the rope, belay loop for belaying/ rappelling.  

This animation is nice and can serve as a nice supplement:
Link
hiflyer4 years ago
When tying yourself off, you use the two loops that are right on the front harness...

When belaying, you use the smaller loop that joins them, no?


mtxe hiflyer3 years ago
I second this.

the loop on the front of your harness is the belay loop and is for use with a carabiner for belaying


http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/uploads/black-diamond/files/MM6083_C_SA_Harness_IT_WEB.pdf
i have also heard of it being done this way.
also, what is your opinion of using a 'biner to attach to the harness?
to me a beaner = bombproof (as long as you close it)
but a beaner can twist and , um, cause discomfort...
JParry hiflyer4 years ago
With a decent locking Crab, no fear.

Like the use of a fishermans too, a couple of single overhands seem pretty common over here (UK), and there are even people who use double overhand bends (a real b*****d to untie after loading though)
FWIW, in Scouting, they don't use carabiners to attach lines.  The logic being that the 'biner is another potential failure point and no one wants to explain to Mom how little Johnny got busted up during a fun and 'safe' Scouting activity!

IMHO, I'd worry more about a poorly tied knot or abused rope failing over a carabiner failure.
i looked at this because i am a climber, and decided it would be interesting. I must say that it is very well done, and that the pictures are great on here!
paganwonder3 years ago
Excellent documentation of the 1st knot to learn for harness safety (bowline being the 1st knot for tying off objects!) IMHO- NO 'biner! tie rope to harness.
leonroode3 years ago
Very well laid out instructable very clear and and simple to follow. definitely the most important knot to know when it comes to rock climbing. Very well done.
Modarius3 years ago
I have to give you credit man, if you took those photo's yourself you must have put some thought into this instructable. And a well made instructable it is, I just recently had one of my uncles, a retired fireman, teach me this safety knot.