The double fisherman’s knot has plagued me for years. For climbers, this bomb-proof knot was traditionally used to tie ropes together for rappelling. Now most climbers use the flat overhand (aka the Euro Death Knot) for rapelling. I switched to the in-line overhand when the double fisherman’s made my cordelettes impossible to untie for anchors, threading boulders, or rescue scenarios. But I was still stuck using the double fisherman’s for my prusik loops. The knot would weld shut when I desperately needed it untied. And one more annoying thing: the double fisherman’s is near-impossible to teach clients.
I experimented tying my prusik loops with an in-line overhand, but that felt flimsy. Then Greg Nappi, a well-known Mountain Trip guide, clued me into the Flemish Bend at the Alaska Ice Festival… and my knot world became peaceful.
The Flemish Bend is an in-line, re-woven figure eight knot. The big deal? It’s easy to learn, it’s solid and it’s easy to untie. Make sure to have three-inch tails.
A prusik loop in action. For my ski mountaineering prusiks, I use 4-foot lengths of 5mm accessory cord.
A prusik loop–tied with a flemish bend–used for escaping the system for crevasse rescue.