Learn This: The Double Figure-Eight Knot

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Julie Ellison
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This article originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of our print edition. 

Also referred to as a “bunny ears” figure eight, this knot is great for building an anchor using two solid pieces of protection and the rope in a streamlined setup. It’s also used to “fix” a rope, which is common for photographers and aid climbers who need to ascend an anchored (“fixed”) line. Each of the ears is a clipping point for the pieces of protection in an anchor, and they can be adjusted separately for an equalized system. Plus, it has a built-in master point for belaying a follower in guide mode.

How to tie the double figure-eight knot

Tie Double Figure Eight Knot Rock climbing

Step 1. Going from your harness, pull out about five feet of rope and tie a figure eight on a bight, leaving the bight long. (If you’re fixing a rope, just do this at the end of the rope.)

Tie Double Figure Eight Knot Rock climbing

Step 2. Take the bight and run it back through the top strands in the knot, but don’t pull it all the way through. You should have two large loops on top of the knot (the bunny ears) and one on bottom.

Tie Double Figure Eight Knot Rock climbing

Step 3. Now flip the bottom loop back, over the tops of the two ears, and then down in front, so it’s near the bottom of the knot.

Tie Double Figure Eight Knot Rock climbing

Step 4. Pull the ears (one more than the other to get a longer ear) to tighten the bottom loop up to the base of the knot.

Tie Double Figure Eight Knot Rock climbing

Step 5. Clip each bunny ear to a piece of gear and put a carabiner through both bunny ears for a master point—you’re good to go!