After a conversation about Prusiks with a friend, thought i'd write this to save time explaining again & again!
The Prusik loop is a cord loop, usually made from 5mm thickness, typically cut to lengths of 150cm lengths. They where first used & invented by Dr Karl Prusik in 1930's. There is now 3 main variations of the knot; the French/Autoblock, original prusik and Kleimheist.
Author abseiling on double ropes, was tied off to take picture.
Double Fishermans - Used to attach two lengths of rope together to create either a longer piece of rope/ cord or a loop. This knot should be weighted by body weight to make sure its snug before use. See pictures opposite on how to tie.
* To Ascend a fixed rope
* As a backup while abseiling
* In rescue scenarios (not covered here)
* Help when dealing with heavy loads (not covered here)
Very similar to the French, but after you have curled the cord around the rope the end is passed through the loop at the start. Its brilliant for ascending the rope as bights when weighted less and does not slip as often. It is however no good for abseiling as it may not grab the rope at all.
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When trad climbing I always carry one, (two if on sea cliffs), and a 60cm sling on a small d-shaped karabiner on the back of my harness. Its better being there and carrying the slight extra weight than not having it when it's really needed! On the left I have also included how I carry them wrapped up, there are different ways of doing this, but this is the method I prefer.
First make a loop, then wrap the prusik up the loop a few times, when you get near the top pass the end through the two loops at the top and pull.
Abseiling With a Prusik
Ascending The Rope
As a backup if your ascending a long distance put knots in the rope below the prusik so that if the knot does not engage you won't slip all the way to the bottom.