The Clovehitch

'Essential Knots: The Clovehitch' is part of the book - Trad Climbing Basics.

VDiff learn to trad climb e-book book

The clovehitch is a useful knot for attaching the middle of the rope to an anchor, among many other things. They can take a significant load without slipping and are super easy to adjust.

How To Tie a Clovehitch

Step 1
Make two identical loops in the rope. Put the rear loop over the top of the front loop.

How to tie a clovehitch rock climbing

Step 2
Clip a screwgate carabiner through these two loops.

Always use a screwgate - it's possible for one of the loops to be pulled through a snapgate carabiner when it is loaded. The knot will fail if this happens.

clovehitch rock climbing

Step 3
Pull it tight and fasten the screwgate.

clovehitch on carabiner rock climbing

VDiff trad climbing book

Top Tip
If you need to fit two clovehitches on the same carabiner, you can easily fit them both on a wide 'HMS style' screwgate.

How to tie a two clovehitches on carabiner rock climbing

One-Handed Clovehitch

It’s often more secure to attach to an anchor while holding onto it with one hand, particularly during a crevasse rescue.

Step 1
Clip a screwgate to the anchor and spin it so the gate faces outwards.

Step 2
Hold on to the anchor with one hand so the carabiner is held steady and clip the rope through the carabiner with your other hand.

one handed clovehitch rock climbing

Step 3
If the gate of the carabiner faces right, use your right hand for this step. If it faces left, use your left hand. Reach over the rope at the front and grab the rope at the back with your thumb pointing downwards.

one handed clovehitch

Step 4
Bring the rope forward and twist it so your thumb is upwards.

one handed clovehitch climbing

Step 5
With an extra little twist, push it through the gate of the carabiner...

one handed clove hitch

...and pull it tight.

tie clovehitch with one hand

Clovehitch Limitations

Attaching the End of a Rope
Never use the clovehitch to anchor the end of a rope. If it slips, the tail could pull through the knot, untying it.

To anchor the end of a rope, use the more secure figure-8 on a bight.

clovehitch figure 8 knot rock climbing

Tying Clovehitches on Snapgates
Part of the clovehitch could easily snap through the gate, making the knot useless. Never tie clovehitches on snapgate carabiners. Use a screwgate, or two opposite and opposed snapgates instead.

clove hitch rock climbing

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