Clove hitch

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Clove hitches are useful for attaching the middle (or end) of a rope to a carabiner or object.

How to tie

When to use

  • Carabiner block: forming a clove hitch on the spine of a carabiner prevents it from passing through a small anchor ring, forming a 'biner block


Tying incorrectly

It is easy for beginners to tie a clove hitch incorrectly. The two most common mistakes result in 1) two raps of rope around the carabiner/object and no hitch/knot, or 2) a Munter hitch. The first of these is usually recognized quickly as the hitch just "falls apart" when the someone attempts to dress it. The second mistake is somewhat less obvious, but can be mitigated by pulling hard on any biner block from a safe position just before rappelling. The death of Katelyn Conrad was likely due to this mistake, and at least two Socal canyoneers have reported similar incidents that did not end up resulting in serious injuries.

Poor dressing

Especially in stiff rope, a clove hitch may become undressed and allow the rope to slide through the carabiner (see video below). In situations where this is a concern, consider an alternate block such as a knot block.