The Dye Clan
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Knot Block


A rope block is a method of preventing the rope from sliding through the anchor rigging in one direction but allowing it to slide through in the other direction.

To rig a knot block:

  1. Thread the rope through the quick link or rappel ring.
  2. Tie a stopper knot in the end.
  3. Lower the rope until it reaches the ground.
  4. Tie a figure 8 loop or a figure 9 loop on the opposite side of the quick link from the rappelling end.
  5. Use a carabiner to attach the loop to one of the anchors. This loop is called a safety loop, and it should be slack.
  6. Have everyone but the last person rappel down.
  7. The last person should verify that the knot did not get jammed or pull through the rapide.
  8. Attach your rappel device to the rappelling strand of the rope.
  9. Unclip the safety loop from the anchor.
  10. If you're comfortable that the knot block will not pull through the rapide, you can put the carabiner away. Otherwise, clip the carabiner to the pull strand of the rope. Be advised that this makes the retrieval slightly more difficult.
  11. Attach the pull cord to the end of the rappelling rope (on the non-rappelling side).
  12. Toss the pull cord to the bottom.
  13. As you rappel, verify that the pull cord reaches all the way to the ground.
  14. At the bottom, untie the stopper knot then pull on the pull cord to retrieve your rope.


Rope blocks allow you to rappel single strand, set the length of your rope for swimming disconnects, or rappel down cliffs that are longer than half your rope.

The knot block is good with thick or stiff ropes that are only slightly smaller than the rapide. It only requires 1 extra carabiner.


The knot block could pull through the rapide, causing the rappeller to fall. Or the knot block could get jammed in the rapide, making it impossible to retrieve the rope.

To protect against these situations, don't let the heaviest person go last.


Biner Block