Our latest instructional video is all about tying the classic Prussik knot. We suggest the Classic Prussik, French Prussik and Klemheist are the three friction knots every climber should know. We have other videos demonstrating the French Prussik here and the Klemheist here.
All three have their pros and cons. The classic version offers a very grippy knot that’s unlikely to slip if the knot gets knocked. On the other hand, having a very grippy knot can be a disadvantage when you need to be able to release it easily. The key is really to know in what context to use each option.
This video explains how to tie the classic version. Having said that, if you Google the knot you’ll find many variations. We’d say other options are always useful to know, but this option will get you out of most situations. Tying the Classic Prussik knot is simple to learn, but once you’ve got the principles do keep practicing until it becomes instinctive. Perhaps you have a perfect new winter evening activity!
Choosing suitable cord is essential. We prefer a soft and flexible cord of about 6mm diameter. This gives the grip needed for a secure knot and yet is strong enough. You can even get some purpose made 30cm Edelrid sewn slings made of high strength Aramid. The 30cm version is deliberately made from a soft braid to make it suitable for prussik loops. This is by no means essential, but it’s a high strength low profile alternative.
Of course, to find out more about using it in the right context you may want to consider one of our Peak District National Park Climber’s Self-Rescue courses. All these one day courses are run by qualified mountaineering instructors who are members of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors.