Distel Hitch

Distel Hitch

The Distel hitch is a slide and grip knot that is popular with arborists for ascending or descending a climbing rope. The highly responsive friction hitch usually doesn’t slip or jam when set and dressed properly. It only grips in one direction that makes it suitable for climbing. It can be used on a work positioning strop or the main climbing line itself.

How to Tie a Distel Hitch

The thicker rope shown below is the climbing rope. The thinner rope can be a lanyard with eyes at each end or any line that has loops hand tied (method shown below) at its ends.

How to Tie a Distel Hitch


  1. The loop knots made at the two ends of the lanyard by the steps 1-3 are poacher’s knots.
  2. You should descend slowly to avoid damaging the Distel cord by friction.
  3. It can be attached to a micro pulley to make a 3-1 pulling system.

Distel Hitch v/s Other Knots

  1. Prusik knot – The Distel grips the rope more consistently giving the climber more control.
  2. Valdotain Tresse – Lack of riding turns reduces its gripping capacity. This may lead to accidents. The Distel is free of such shortcomings but is harder to slide and has a greater tendency to lock up.


  1. By arborists.

How to Tie a Distel Hitch Step by Step

  1. Wrap each tag end twice around a bight of rope
  2. Pass it through the 2 loops
  3. Pull both the ends to tighten
  4. Wrap the upper looped end thicker around the thicker rope
  5. Pass it down crossing it over the thicker rope
  6. Pass it through the loop so formed
  7. Pass the end loops through a carabiner
  8. Close the carabiner to finish the knot

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