How to Coil and Carry a Rope for Climbing or Rappelling

by September 19, 2012 09/19/12

In this week’s Knot of the Week we’ll show you how to coil a climbing rope so that you can easily carry it on your back. Not only is this method quick, but it will also allow you to easily deploy the rope for use.

While we use the term coiling, the real definition of this method is called flaking. Flaking allows the rope to be gathered in the natural way it lies and doesn’t add any unnecessary twists to the rope. Twists can kink over time reducing the life of the rope fibers, as well as lead to knotting when undoing the rope.

Carrying a rope in this configuration will allow a climber to move with the least amount of weight possible to reach their destination.  Carrying the rope like this also helps a climber maintain a good center of gravity. Trying to free-climb with a backpack full of rope adds unnecessary risk to an already dangerous task.

Rope Coil » Misc.

(Strength: 2/Security: 2/Stability: 2/Difficulty: 2)

Please refer to our  Knot of the Week introduction post for a description of what these ratings mean.

Make sure to leave at least six feet of rope on the working end to make the turns and have enough to tie around your body.

Uses:

  • Carrying a rope while climbing
  • Storing a rope in a natural configuration

Instructions:

  1. Find the center of the rope
  2. Lay the bight of the center across your left hand hanging down
  3. Flake the rope forwards and backwards trying to reach the same low point each time
  4. When you get to the last six feet or so, wrap a few turns around the upper part of the flakes
  5. Pull the working end through the loop you’ve made with the flakes
  6. *At this point you can tie off the working end for storage or continue for carry*
  7. Separate the working ends across the base of your neck
  8. Pull the working ends to the small of your back and cross them
  9. Bring the working ends to your waist and tie off with a square knot
  10. Go climb!

View The Full Gallery of Step-by-Step Photos on Flickr


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