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Girth Hitch ("Lark's Foot")

The Girth Hitch, also known as the Lark's Foot, is useful for tying a sling to your harness. It's probably the simplest knot you can form with a sling, and this is perhaps why it is so popular. It has many other potential applications (such as extending a runner, joining two slings together, etc), however, be warned: the knot will reduce the strength of the sling

Girth Hitch (Click To Enlarge)There is debate among climbers as to how significant is this reduction in strength, and whether the alternatives, such as joining two slings with a carabiner, are indeed much better. It is accepted that using a Girth Hitch to join two slings is weaker than joining with a carabiner, however using the carabiner you've got other issues such as carabiner cross loading, loading over an edge, etc. Plus the fact that it takes away one more precious locking carabiner from your rack. Never-the-less, almost all resources I've read do NOT recommend joining two slings with a Girth Hitch. The only approved application seems to be tying a sling to your harness.

Above Right: This picture shows two slings joined with a Girth Hitch. This is NOT recommended. Use a locking carabiner to join slings.


Further Reading:
Girth Hitch - From Virtual Links web site.
Is It Safe To Use A Girth Hitch? - Rec.climbing discussion on the pros and cons of using this knot replicated on Dawn's FAQ. 
Climer Hitch - An alternative to the Girth Hitch, from Karl Lews web site.
Black Diamond Tests - Also on Karl Lew's web site. The prominent quote is "Girth Hitching reduces the strength of the material by 30%".


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