Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What is a BHK?

The BHK, or "Big Honkin' Knot," is a simple way to make a redundant Masterpoint using two arms of an anchor cord. I have seen the BHK advocated by both the Professional Climbing Instructor's Association and the American Mountain Guides Association in their Top-Rope Instructor and Single Pitch Instructor courses.

As visible in the images above, there is a vestigial loop that sticks out of the back of the Masterpoint, as a artifact of making the Masterpoint redundant.

Another option for making a redundant Masterpoint (and the option that I use 99% of the time), is to slip 4 feet of 1-inch tubular webbing over the anchor cord and then to fully incorporate the webbing into the Masterpoint. As long as the webbing sticks out of the knot on both sides, the resulting loop is redundant. It is possible to slide the webbing around, placing it wherever it is needed on the anchor cord. I have also found that this protective sheath on the Masterpoint also preserves the anchor cord, enabling it to last longer before wearing out.