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.)
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