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Prusiking

Reach the top with the help of the prusik knot.
Plan a session with this activity

What to expect

Prusiking is all about climbing a rope using two loops, one attached to the climber’s harness and one used as a foot loop. Both loops are attached to the rope with the special prusik knot. The prusik knot is a friction knot – it tightens when weight’s applied and loosens when it’s removed, so the climber can slide it up the rope. The simple knots can be literally life-saving if they’re used properly, but you’ll have a safety rope attached when you’re prusiking (just like in normal climbing), just in case.

Fun facts

The prusik knot’s named after its inventor: Karl Prusik. He was an Austrian mountaineer.

Handy hints

  • Practise makes perfect. It’s possible to tie a prusik knot with one hand – once people have mastered the basics, challenge them to give it a go with one hand.
  • Have a plan B. Prusik knots aren’t full strength attachments, so it’s important to make sure you’re still attached to the rope properly too.

We’re reworking our safety guidance for adventurous activities to make it easier to understand and follow.

In the meantime, before you try prusiking, review the safety information here.

Reflection

People needed to work hard and have confidence in themselves (and their knots) to reach the top of the rope. Did people find any aspects of prusiking especially tricky? Some people may have struggled to get the hang of the knots, while others may have found the height a challenge. It can take a lot of courage to face fears and climb high, especially when people are putting their trust in their own knots. Did anyone find that moving the knots up the rope gave them something to concentrate on and helped them feel less scared? Well done to everyone who gave it a go.

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.