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How Well Do You Know Your Knots?

By Bruce Smith, NSS #12458, (Harrison, TN)

It became apparent to me last winter during a rescue when it was necessary to tie approximately 50 Running Bowlines in the dark while climbing an ice covered tree during a driving rain and ice storm. Reaching over my head, I carefully tied each one as the ice and rain pounded into my eyes, freezing as it hit my face. The viewing angle of the knot was strange as I was looking at the end of the knot and often the knot was oriented on the back side of the tree and I couldn't even see it.

Slowly, for two hours, I worked up the tree in the howling storm, knowing full well that if I made one mistake with just one knot, I would have tumbled over 80 feet, snapping off ice coated limbs before my own personal rendezvous with the emergency room. All this, for a cat. Putting my poor judgement aside, I got to thinking about how well I had to know my knots during this rescue episode. So here's a little test. Oh, by the way, the cat made it.

Can you identify these ten knots from viewpoints that we're not routinely exposed to?   (Type your answers in the boxes.)

1. I'm not going to help!
2. I'm not going to help!
3. I'm not going to help!
4. I'm not going to help!
5. I'm not going to help!
6. I'm not going to help!
7. I'm not going to help!
8. I'm not going to help!

(Don't peek until you've filled out the answers.)



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