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Asola di bloccaggio
asola di bloccaggio   asola di bloccaggio
Lock the rope at the hip and place the control hand on the belay plate. Press the rope and belay plate so as to lock with one hand
Pass a bight of "dead" rope (i.e. the one that is not under tension) through the belay carabiner to form a loop
asola di bloccaggio   asola di bloccaggio
Pass your hand through this loop and pull another bight through, so as to make a second loop
Tighten the loop by gently easing rope through the belay plate, whilst simultaneously pulling the loop backwards
The Mule Knot (a.k.a releasable knot)

There are many occasions in climbing when, belaying from the harness using a device which does not self-arrest (e.g. a belay plate), you may find it useful to lock the rope off. This technique can be done quickly and efficiently so as leave your hands free for other manoeuvres.

The mule knot described below is great for when you want to relax while your partner is resting on the rope for a long time. Above all though it is indispensable if you need to rescue your partner on a multi-pitch climb. In this case you need to transfer the weight onto the belay anchors: to be able to do this you need both hands free.

To simplify matters the manoeuvre has been described using one single rope, but it is possible to carry out the same manoeuvre using two half ropes.

The mule knot is also sometimes referred to as a releasable knot,

For more information about belay devices read the article in

Click to enlarge images

Useful advice:

- For added security tie a safety knot by passing the finishing loop through the carabiner. Alternatively, clip a carabiner into the finishing loop and then clip this to something else (harness etc.)

- It is important to tie the mule knot on the back of the carabiner and not on the screwgate.
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