11/9/2016 2:37 AM
This will be the first of many featuring the Munter Hitch...aka, Italian Hitch, Crossing Hitch or Halbmastwurfsicherung (HMS), meaning "half clove hitch belay". Named after the Swiss mountain guide, Werner Munter, who helped gain its popularity in the US in the 1970's, but the real credit goes to Mario Bisaccia, Franco Garda, and Pietro Gilardoni. These three guys are credited with the first climbing/mountaineering use in the late 1950's, although Ashley's Book of Knots included it in it's 1944 publication (most likely from ancient sailors used to secure a boat to a bollard on a warf). The original mountaineering name is "Mezzo Barcialolo" (MB), which means, "a half of the knot which is used by sailors to secure a boat to a bollard in a harbor". If nothing else is learned, the Italians are efficient with their choice of words. It is the HMS name above which is also the name of many pear shaped carabiners, often used in conjunction with this hitch. The uses for the Munter are too numerous to list here, but we will be filming many ways to tie and utilize this hitch. Just as Missy Elliot states...”hang down, flip it and reverse it...” that is the beauty of the Munter. Whether it is for lowering, rappelling, passing knots, releasing loads, belaying, or intergalactic rescue, the munter should be in your repertoire. For those in the Knowledge Management portion of Element Rescue, check out the munter and the capstan equation videocast to figure out holding power.
Element Rescue, Knot Series (09/06/2015)