Munter Hitch

Munter Hitch

This simple hitch offers you a way of rappelling or belaying without the use of a rappel or belay device. It does so by acting as a friction device/hitch that can control the rate of descent in belay systems. Though it best suits large pear-shaped carabiners, you can use it with any biner that is large enough to accommodate two turns of the rope. Note that you should necessarily use it with locking biners. It allows both top belay and belaying the second. It is also known by the names Italian hitch and crossing hitch. It is named after a Swiss mountain guide, Werner Munter who played an important role in popularizing it with mountaineers around 1970.

How to Make a Munter Hitch

How to Make a Munter Hitch

Tips

  1. While belaying with this ensure that the rope strand carrying the load is placed next to the spine of the carabiner.
  2. It is important to set up this knot correctly as it is supporting someone’s life on the other end of the rope.
  3. You can tie it around other round objects like poles, pipes, etc.

Variations

  1. Munter Mule or Munter Mule Overhand – In this combination hitch, the above knot is tied off to maintain tension in a way that allows easy release under tension.
  2. Super Munter hitch – It is formed by tying another Munter hitch over the first one significantly increasing the holding power of the belay.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Non-jamming release  It can cause twists or kinks in the rope

Munter Hitch v/s Clove Hitch

The clove hitch remains fixed, providing an anchor whereas the Munter hitch moves providing belay.

Uses

  1. Rock climbing
  2. Caving
  3. Abseiling
  4. Rescuing by forming a part of a life-lining or belay system
  5. Helps de-ice the rope in frozen conditions.
  6. Lowering climbers

Knot Tying Video

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