Prusik hitch


The prusik hitch is the friction hitch that every rope guerrilla should know.  It’s tied with a loop of accessory cord and serves as a “soft” rope grab, gripping when under tension but able to slide when the load is released.  It grabs in either direction and makes a great point of connection when working on a horizontal safety or restraint line.

Use the prusik hitch in a variety of applications; hauling, rescue, banner rigging, ascent/descent – the list goes on.  The prusik hitch (developed in 1931) remains a tried and true alternative to the mechanical rope grabs to which it gave origin.  It’s simplicity, many functions, low weight, and low cost make it irreplaceable.

One method for using a prusik hitch as an autoblock or backup to a rappel.

One method for using a prusik hitch as an autoblock or backup for a rappel.


  • Simple
  • Easy to tie
  • Multi-directional
  • Multi-purpose

Learn to tie the prusik hitch here.

What’s the difference between a knot and a hitch?

A knot is used to join two ropes together or a rope to itself.  If done correctly a knot will hold shape regardless of it being fixed to something else.  A hitch is used to fix a rope to another object, such as a carabiner or pole, and relies on that object to hold.  You can see this easily by tying an eight follow-thru onto a carabiner.  Do the same with a clove hitch.  Now take the carabiner away and see what happens – it will fall apart.  Some sources classify a hitch as a class of knot but the general distinction remains the same.