Mountaineering isn't all about toughness and endurance and being a "hard man" (or "hard woman," if there is such a reference). It's also about mastering some very specific skills, such as knowing how to tie the right knot in the right place at the right time -- and doing it under pressure, as a mistake on the mountain might have deadly consequences. But that doesn’t mean that the knots are that difficult in and of themselves. In fact, many of the important mountaineering knots can be used in real life situations, to make our lives easier or safer -- or both! The common clove hitch isn't as secure as some other knots, but it works great for certain mountaineering applications, especially when it's under a constant tension. It's simple to tie, and it's adjustable, and can be tied in the end or the middle of a rope. In real life, you could use the clove hitch to raise or lower things, such as getting that giant antique desk up and into a second floor window, or to secure the end of the rope you used to tie down the Christmas tree to the top of the car.
Credits: Markus Bärlocher/Wikimedia Commons
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