Blake's Hitch

Knots for Climbing Arborist and Hiking


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How to tie a knot - Blake's Hitch


The Blake's Hitch is a friction hitch commonly used by arborists and tree climbers as an ascending knot.




Unlike other common climbing hitches, which often use a loop of cord, the Blake's hitch is formed using the end of a rope. Although it is a stable knot, it is often backed up with a stopper knot, such as a figure-of-eight knot, for safety. It is used for both ascending and descending, and is preferred by many arborists over other hitches, such as the taut-line hitch, as it is less prone to binding.
Form four coils around standing line. In practice it helps to insert your thumb under the lower turns since this facilitates threading the tail in later. After passing the tail round the standing end, the tail then must pass back behind the standing line and up through the desired number of turns of the coil. A stopper knot is then added to the dangling tail to prevent any chance of it pulling out.


The first known presentation of this knot was made by Heinz Prohaska in an Austrian guides periodical in 1981; in 1990, he presented it in a caving journal, Nylon Highway. Separately, Jason Blake discovered the knot for himself and presented it to the arborist community in a letter to Arbor Age in 1994, after which it was enthusiastically adopted by arborists. It has since become well known under the name "Blake's Hitch".

Instead of presenting here some kind of animation knot, pictures or videos inconvenient for reproducing the knot (as some websites do) we provide demonstration of tying knots using YouTube videos directly by hands. Videos are taking with such angle that viewer is experiencing a full presence in tying process and can actually repeat the creation of the knot by his/her own hands. In many cases we are forming the Knot using colored ropes for better understanding and memorizing of the way how fancy rope work was done. In videos (such as "Fishing Knots Under 30 seconds) we are also demonstrating tying knots in slow motion inviting viewer tying knot together with us. You can certainly visit our "Encyclopedia of Knots" directly on YouTube where we created for you convenient playlists presenting knots depending on their use.

Also you can go directly from here to playlists related to Climbing knots:


Climbing knots

  • Updated 6 days ago

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