Knot of the Week – Etrier Climbing Ladder

Knot of the Week - Etrier Climbing Ladder

Learn How to Tie an Etrier and Create a Field Expedient Ladder with ITS Tactical’s Knot of the Week! For more information and a detailed step-by-step article with photos, visit this link:

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Music composed by Joshua Peterson,


  1. Great video. I'd like to make a suggestion to stop "smacking" every few seconds. It's extremely annoying.

  2. Why are you talking about your landlord?  Stay focused and stay on task.  There is way too much babbling about nonsense that has nothing to do with the topic you're attempting to teach.  Less babbling and more doing.

  3. I'd rather use some 2+ inch sapplings with some notches and paracord to make a wooden ladder, much more comfortable to use and would take about the same time to make

  4. Start from the center working toward the2 ends add rubber hose for rungs then John the 2 ends when u get there

  5. I want to make this for my tree house and i dont have that tube stuff but instead could i use paracord for the ladder

  6. OK, so I made your Etrier and it's great.  I'd like to suggest an improvement which stops you having to cut the webbing and allows you to extend or shrink the Etrier as necessary.

    Start the first loop (the top) at the bend in the webbing and not the tails.  The reason for this is:
    1) You can use the continuous webbing to make a secure loop. 
    2) You don't have to cut your webbing to size (ie you can use a pre-cut 30ft piece (or longer) which you can disassemble and re-use for anchors and whatnot).
    3) This will minimize your gear weight.  You can disassemble and use the webbing for your rappel anchor if desperate.  I say this since undoing overhands after weighting them is a bitch.

    Here's what you do.

    a) Fold your webbing in half.
    b) Holding the bite, double it back on itself and form a loop of about 12".  You'll now have 4 bits of webbing touching each other.
    c) tie an overhand knot at about 6"
    d) The tail (which is 2 bits of webbing forming a bite) can then be folded up to the top 2 loops.  Now you have 3 loops to anchor on and it's bomber!
    e) Make the foot loops as this guy demos.  Work perfectly
    f) Once you make the last foot loop you then double back the end forming a bite and tie an overhand knot (forming 2loops at the bottom ie 4 bits of webbing next to each other)
    g) Above the overhand knot you'll have some spare webbing.  Tie it off in a fisherman's knot.  This is now bomber too!
    h) Finish off the stirrups with whipping using 550 paracord.
    i) Go and have a beer.  You deserve it!

    BTW, on Etrier just cost me $18 at REI.  $12.75 for the Webbing (climbing dept) , $5 for the paracord (in the camping dept).  And it's extendable if I need more steps!!

  7. Great info. Like it!  However the Overhand knot must have a tail on it (your advice on tucking it in or making it shorter is incorrect AFAIK).  Overhand knots slip when adding weight to cordage.  Best thing is to tie 2 overhands and then you have a backup and it'll be bomber.

  8. If you are making a permanent etrier, you can use rubber hose for the steps. You have to know how many steps you are making and slide all the sections of hose onto the webbing before you begin. If you are not confident in your count, go with more. It's easier to split the excess hose sections to remove them than it is to add more!

  9. I work at a climbing gym, we use etriers so that staff can ascend our top ropes to set routes, do wall maintenance, etc. recently the time came where one of our etriers needed to be replaced- my manager was all set to order the $40 or so manufactured etrier, I told him to indulge me and just order 20ft of webbing and some paracord (<$15 total). I don't think we'll be buying etriers as long as I work here. Thanks ITS.

  10. Very nice! This is a significant money saver over the cost of retail webbing ladders, and, it makes my webbing straps more versatile. I love the concept of multi-use gear. Thanks!

  11. i would just cut some pieces of pvc pipes and slide them up to the steps before he knots them off. saves much more time and money without having to use paracord and would be even more stable, but takes up more space.

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