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Garda hitch

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Garda Hitch
Category hitch
Related Italian/Munter hitch
Typical use Rock climbing, Mountaineering


The Garda Hitch also known as the Alpine Clutch is a class of climbing knots known as ratcheting knots for their ability to let the rope move in one direction, but not in the other. This class of knots has many uses in climbing and mountaineering, for example in a pulley system where a load is being hauled up a cliff, the Garda hitch prevents the load from slipping when the pulley system is reset.

The drawbacks to the garda hitch are that it is hard to release under load, it is hard to inspect, and it adds a lot of friction to a pulley system. Particularly difficult is to figure out which way the rope will run freely, and which way it will lock just by visual inspection.

The Garda requires two similar carabiners, and works best with two identical "D" carabiners.

How To Tie

Attach the two D-shaped carabiners to a sling or cord so that they are next to one another with the gates opening the same direction. Clip the rope through both gates, loop the right hand side of the rope and clip it through the left carabiner. What results looks like a simple twist around two carabiners, but by pulling on the rope ends you can easily see how the hitch locks in one direction, but pulls freely in the other.

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