Knot of the Week: Klemheist Knot - ITS Tactical

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Knot of the Week: Klemheist Knot

By The ITS Crew

Klemheist Knot 06The Knot of the Week mini-series on climbing knots is coming to a close with only one more week remaining. This week we focus on the Klemheist Knot, another relative of the Prusik Knot.

Like the standard Prusik,  the Klemheist Knot is a friction hitch, which works by gripping the rope and providing friction to support a climbers weight. With the Klemheist, too many wraps around the main line will bind the knot and not allow it to function.

The big difference here, as compared to our last two knots, is that the Klemheist only works when pulled in one direction. The Prusik and French Prusik can be pulled in both directions.

The Klemheist Knot is used for hauling and hoisting primarily, but can also be used for ascending

Never shock load a Klemheist or any form of Prusik knots for that matter. They could slip and burn right through to the core and damage your main line or even completely fail.

Make sure to not wrap the Double Fisherman’s Knot section of your loop in the wrapping, which can decrease the knot’s effectiveness.

Klemheist Knot » Hitches

(Strength: 4/Security: 4/Stability: 4/Difficulty: 4)

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

The greater difference between the cord diameter being used for the Klemheist and the main line, the better it will hold. Smaller diameter cord should be check for safe working load, and can also jam under load.


  • Hauling or hoisting a load
  • Ascending a rope

Tying Instructions:

  1. Begin with a closed loop sling tied with a  Double Fisherman’s Knot
  2. Wrap the knotted end around the main line starting from the top to the bottom
  3. Continue to wrap the knotted end around the main line a total of three to four times
  4. When completing the wraps, bring the bottom bight up to meet the top bight
  5. Thread the bottom bight through the top bight and pull it down to tighten
  6. *Observe the final picture below which shows the Double Fisherman’s is not in the path of the load*

View the gallery below and follow along with the steps above!

Check back next week as we complete our Knot of the Week mini-series with the Bachmann Knot!

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