Friday Forum: The Munter Hitch
I don’t care if you’ve never seen a rope before or you can rig highlines with dental floss and your shoelaces, the Munter Hitch should be one of the key knots in your repertoire. (Before someone says, “It's not a knot, it's a hitch,” understand that “Hitches” are a subcategory of knots. Therefore: the Munter Hitch is a knot. If you disagree you’re welcome to take it up with Clifford Ashley) This adjustable friction hitch has a massive field of application, only requires one carabiner, and most importantly, is simple.
Originally used in sailing, the Munter was popularized in the European climbing community in the mid 1900’s as an effective belay technique, particularly by Swiss mountain guide Werner Munter. The Germans developed the pear shaped HMS Carabiner specifically for this task, which draws from the word “Haldmastwurfsicherung” meaning “half clove hitch.” Though modern climbers and rescuers use equipment purpose built for belaying and rappelling, the Munter Hitch does it all.
History lesson complete, why do you need the Munter Hitch? The Munter Hitch allows the user to belay, lower, rappel, capture progress, and create releasable anchors. Translation: if you need a simple solution to rapidly control a load with very minimal equipment, the Munter is your friend. Hasty rescue? Check. Bailout? Check. Access in steep terrain? Check. Rapid belay to make patient contact? Check. It does it all folks. Is it the best for everything? Of course knot (hehe), but it’s a 90% solution 99% of the time. Keep Calm and Tie a Munter Hitch.
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