The follow through figure 8 is the most commonly used knot for climbing. The follow through figure 8 is great for all levels of climbers to use. It is easy to tie, and visually simple to inspect when doing safety checks. Below is a visual to help you tie your follow through figure eight.
Watch the video below to learn how to tie a follow through figure eight to your harness:
Can I tie in through the belay loop instead of the tie-in points?
There is a lot of debate on whether or not it is good practice to tie your knot through your belay loop. It’s best to use your gear according to the manufacturer’s standards. There is no real benefit to tying into your belay loop. Your knot will be further away from your harness, increasing the chances that it will get stuck inside a carabiner while you are lead climbing or back-cleaning a route on top-rope. More so, tie-in points on many modern-day harnesses are made with extra reinforcement to prevent the rope nylon from wearing down the nylon on the harness. You can also tie a follow through figure eight on a bite and attach it to your belay loop with two opposite and opposing carabiners. This method is great for people who are taking turns top-roping the same route.
After finishing your knot, perform a thorough safety check. Then have your climbing partner double check you as well. If you are an experienced climber giving help to others, make sure to finish your knot in its entirety before giving a helping hand to anyone else to ensure you have finished your knot before you start climbing.
After taking a fall, this knot can cinch down on itself especially tight. How tight will depend on how much force you produce with your fall. You can loosen this knot by pushing downwards on both ends of both sides of the knot repeatedly. This will loosen it enough to the point where you can begin untying the rope. My largest fall I have ever taken was about 50 feet, and I did not have trouble untying my knot using this method. A number of things can cause more force however, including distance fallen, climber weight, rope elasticity, amount of rope in the system, and how soft or hard the belayer’s catch was.