The Simple & Sexy Munter Hitch

| June 18, 2008

The Munter hitch is perfectly suited for ski mountaineering as it is simple, only requires a locking carabiner, can be fed quickly (for belayed skiing) and is reversible for belaying or rappelling.  Also, unlike many belay devices, it works well with smaller diameter ropes.  The downside of it is that it requires constant brake-hand pressure, so if you let go, you can easily drop yourself or the person you are belaying.  It also kinks ropes, but for the occasional ski mountaineering belay/rappel, that’s a small price to pay.

The glorious little Munter hitch

In a pinch, it can be done with almost any carabiner, but a locking ‘biner with a large basket area is the safest and smoothest.

Orient the carabiner so that the rope is not rubbing up against the locking mechanism.

 Brad Barlage rapping into The Heart of Darkness
Brad Barlage doing a mini rappel to get into The Heart of Darkness, Wasatch Mtns, Utah.

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Category: 06 Downhill

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (3)

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  1. E. Pluribus Throckmorton says:

    I personally tied a Munter Hitch in my thong once, and my goodness that was uncomfortable. Worst mistake of my life. Well aside from trying to climb Mt Rainier in leather pants. I looked cooler than all the Gore- tex clad dorks, but I had to stop at Camp Muir with a near fatal case of chafing.

  2. admin says:

    Hmmm, yes, but did you enjoy the sensation? Many people, including myself, do.


  3. E. Pluribus Throckmorton says:

    I suspect it’s an acquired taste, kind of like beer, but it does lead one to wonder what is the best knot to tie in one’s skivvies.

    I’ve noticed that some people manage to get their skivvies in a knot without even removing them. That skill seems like it would have mountaineering applications. You should apply for a grant.

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