Knots – Italian Hitch

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    The Club Cat

    Disclaimer: I’d like to make sure it’s understood that these are in no way to be taken as qualified instruction. I suppose that technically I should classify these as ‘reminders’, but it is possible to learn from them… Just make sure you check with someone that actually knows what they’re doing before you try and do them halfway up a cliff.

    The Italian hitch is a knot that’s most often used for belaying when you drop your belay plate, but it has many applications in rescue techniques and various abseil setups.

    Start by taking a length of rope (usually in the middle).

    Make a loop ‘behind’ the rope (as for a clove hitch).

    There’s two ways to go from here: you can either continue as for a clove hitch and make a loop ‘in front’ of the rope, at which point you ‘fold’ the two loops together (I usually do this). However, it’s easier to take pictures of this way: pass the loop you just made ‘over’ the rope on the right.

    Clip your carabiner through the eye created.

    And you’re done. Two things to note about the Italian hitch: first of all, it locks by having the dead end pulled upwards, the opposite to how belay plates work (it will work if held down, but you’ll get much less mechanical assistance); second, something that scares people new to the knot, is that it inverts when pulled on either line.

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