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Academy: Tie the Figure 8 Properly

Part of our "Toes to Knows" Climbing Academy series--covering climbing from footwork to mental preparation.

Tags: Beginner, Coaching

Tying in with a figure 8 knot is the most common way to attach to a climbing rope. The figure 8 is heavily used because it’s easy to tie, is reliable, and is easy to see if the knot is correctly tied. There are better and worse ways to tie the figure 8. Read on to learn what a properly dressed knot looks like and how to finish it the best way.

A Poor Figure 8

Poor Figure 8 Knot

Steps to Tie the Figure 8

1. Start with about a 3 foot tail

Starting the figure 8 knot

2. Loop once, fully around the main strand (watch the video to see this in action)

3. Loop through both your leg loops and waist loop

Thread both loops


4. Pull the knot close to your harness

Keep knot close to harness


5. Follow the rope back through, being careful to not cross strands. A properly dressed knot is stronger and easier to visually inspect.

Properly Dressed Knot
6. Finish it in a variety of ways

Tail Options

7. Check it!

Check the knot!


If you do a Yosemite Finish, go around the main strand and dress it properly

Properly Dressed

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