Book Reviews

International Guild of Knot Tyers

Knot & Ropes for Climbers by Duane Raleigh, Illustrations by Mike Clelland

Stackpole Books 1997 ISBN 9780811728713

A few thousand generations after the first hairy anthropoid tied two lines together and founded knot craft, another tied a couple of logs together and built the first boat, From then until a couple of centuries ago, the mariner,; were the leading exponents of the craft. Then slightly less hairy beings started scaling rock faces and developing rope and knot craft with a view 10 control planned and unplanned descents, Inevitably some of these rock hoppe1ll decided 10 record their knowledge and experiences for the benefit and amusement of potential climbers and arm chair dreamers. Any collection of texts on the craft is incomplete without at least a couple of books about the technical aspects of getting high in the hills using suitable bits of string, cord, line, webbing and rope, Duane's book sits very comfortably in my collection.

There are a couple of features in the text that I found a little irksome. The author hu introduced some "new” terms into a term-ridden field that tends to confuse instead of clarify. He refers to the rope's end as the "Falling Part", I would not have used this term considering the nature of the topic.

He also confuses with reference to the double Overhand in one place and then calling the same knot a Double Fisherman's and Half a Double Fisherman's in others. He acknowledges that his Figure Eight Fisherman's is actually the Figure Eight Bend, and then happily continues to use, in my view, the misleading term.

He has entered into the long ongoing debate on the use of the Bowline, and goes as far as to call that beautiful arrangement a '"traitorous knot"'. I would love 10 sit down with Duane and debate the issue over a couple of Foster's, Budweisser’s. Watney's or other brew.

A reference to the Water Knot does not appear to be supported with a drawing or other description in the text. Given the tendency to allocate new or different names. this is a bit of an oversight. An index would have been appreciated. is enough nit picking. This book leeks of experience.. Been there, done that, wrote the book. And what about those drawings? Some decades ago I was a keen ‘Mad Magazine' fan and it was pure nostalgia (they don't have nostalgia like they used to). I tried to find some titchy thing to carp at. but failed. Lovely stuff. This is a fun book, an instructive book and an easy read.

Frank Brown

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