Klemheist hitch

The klemheist hitch is very similar to the prusik hitch. Both these knots are gripping/sliding hitches typically tied with a loop of cord to grip a rope. In order for the hitch to grip, the hitch is tied using a slightly narrower gauge cord than the rope it is gripping. With the klemheist, loop the loop around the rope a few times keeping a loop in one hand. Then pass the remaking loop through this loop. More loops means more grip. Take care when dressing this knot, the loops should be tight against the main (thicker cord) and evenly / closely spaced together. Whilst the Prussic hitch works in both directions along the main cord, the Klemheist is set to provide maximum friction in one direction.

Tying the knot

  • Take an end of the thiner cord loop
  • Next, wrap it tightly around the wider cord three or more times keeping an exposed loop big enough to pass the other end and knot through
  • Pull the other end of the loop through
  • Then cinch everything tight
  • Apply a small load – pull the working end
  • Finally, cinch and dress again


See here for knot terminology.


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