I Present To You the CLOVE VT Friction Hitch! Test Subjects Wanted!


That Guy With The Face
Oct 9, 2022
Scottsdale, Arizona
Hey everyone!

For those who are unaware, myself and another member of this forum have been on a long-term hitch development campaign in the thread you can find here…

Since I first began this thread, I’ve both invented and learned about a large number of hitches and I think I’ve finally arrived upon one which is worth making a secondary thread about. Last night, thanks to not-so-divine inspiration, inebriating liquids of the triple distilled ethanol variety, snacks loaded with saturated fats and gram quantities of sodium, and the promise of performing the horizontal Hokey Pokey with my girlfriend in the filthiest of ways, I felt compelled to go over to my “genesis table,” where all of my best hitch creations are birthed.

I took that Teufelberger EpiCord 32” hitch cord into my callused hands and, because the constellation Gemini was in the house of Orion, and since Mars was in retrograde motion through the solar system, with the power of a thousand suns, I birthed, through my phalanges, both proximal and intermediate, using my metacarpals and carpals, what is possibly the greatest VT hitch variant since the VT itself: I present to you the Clove VT!

Attached are four photos of the hitch at 90 degree incremental rotations. The fifth photo is of the same hitch tied in a slightly different orientation from the only angle where the difference can be seen.

I would like anyone willing to test this hitch out and let me know how it fares in your personal opinion. Bear in mind that, if the nip with the existing prototype is too strong, a wrap can be removed from with the top or the lower wraps. I would definitely recommend that anyone looking to alter the design would start by removing a wrap from the lower wraps first, especially if the intention is to use this hitch predominantly for ascents.

I just tried it out today myself and I found it to be quite nice and responsive, almost indistinguishable from a VT. I found that it grabbed the rope more readily. It didn’t bind very easily either, but that is simply my personal experience. Do I expect this to suddenly become more popular than the VT itself? Of course not; I’m not deluded. I do hope that this will find popularity among a small population of individuals who value craft hitches.

Let me know what you think! For anyone struggling to discern how to tie this hitch, here is a link to a YouTube video I made showing exactly how to do so…

If you want to see other how-to videos for friction hitches I’ve invented, here’s a link to a playlist of those…

Here’s a playlist of every single friction hitch I’ve documented a how-to video for on my channel (41 friction hitches so far)..

Anyways, thanks so much for taking the time to read this! I tried to make this as entertaining as possible! For anyone who decides to try out this new hitch, please let me know! I know many of you out there will scoff at this and be like, “all I need is my Blake’s hitch! Narny nar! Why would I waste my time complicating matters?! Especially since this guy seems like he has way too much free time!” Well, the reality is that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. I’m simply imploring fellow hitch enthusiasts to get out there and, well, become enthused about a new and promising hitch!


Bioassay! =-D


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So, the selling point is a quicker grab than the VT? That sounds good. I don't really use the VT much. I found it kind of sprawls, and I like a more compact hitch, but it's been awhile. Maybe I should revisit it. I'll give that a shot next time I use a "naked" hitch on something.

You do a good job with the videos. I'll have to look at the rest later. If you had a top four hitches, which ones would you pick?
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  • #4
Hey, lxskllr, the selling point is that a) it grips more readily from my experience and b) it's new and exciting and looks worlds cooler than the VT itself (in my opinion). Don't you want to be "that guy" on the job site who uses "that new hitch?" Ha! I say that with both seriousness and silliness. I, personally, take having a knowledge of hitch tying to the extreme. But, then again, even my own girlfriend thinks I'm weird (endearingly so of course) and that I tend to periodically cycle through hobbies obsessively. Regardless, true to my nature, I must obsess the sh!t out of it until I've effectively lost interest. It seems illogical to me that I should ever run out of interest for arboriculture, though. As far as your question regarding my top four hitches, I'll get back to you on that. Soon. I need to ponder as that is the deepest of questions with potentially the most profound of impacts (real or imagined...most likely imagined).

I also realize that the VT "sprawls," or has a lot of "sit back" as it were. I find this irritating as well beause for every foot you gain, you lose about 3" to sit back. However, the Clove VT has slightly less sit back (soon to be measured with absolute certainty for the record) than the VT itself. I also like how paramount the VT is for use with descents as it is less likely to jam than most other hitches out there. The Clove VT, in theory, should be no different. I seek out anecdotal evidence from anyone willing to try this hitch out which supports this. Thanks so much for your compliments on my videos. I try to do my best to manually illustrate how one should tie all of the hitches or knots I have on my channel. Everyone learns differently, so I'm never certain as to what the best rate or approach or angle should be.

.gf beranek, thanks for your comment! It does look good, doesn't it?! Looks like pure hitch cord fire to me, if I should say so myself! But I'm obviously partial! It truly is not very complicated and I certainly hope you are correct: that I am onto something!
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  • #5
Lxskllr, as promised, here are my top four under two categories. I hope you will be able to take the time to check out at least the top four picks for the hitches I have invented in my channel playlist for “my hitch/knot inventions” as linked above!

My top four hitches that other people created…

XT or VT

My top four hitches that I created…

Clove VT
Binary (tied with a split tail)

“Alex, that is my final answer!”

I have how-to videos for all of these hitches on my channel.

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  • #8
So, it was just brought to my attention that this hitch would more aptly be called the Tautline VT (courtesy of a commenter on my YouTube channel) and I honestly can't really say that person is wrong. I think in essence, both are applicable names, but the Tautline VT is more accurate. Therefore. that's its new name.
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  • #10
I have a question for everyone on here and I think I've probably made more enough threads for now, so I'm just going to ask here: Do you think hitches have more or less hit a dead end as far as innovation? What friction hitch do you use the most and what do you hope the next best hitch (for you, personally) has to offer that your current favorite doesn't have (if you had to pick anywhere from one to two major improvements)? If you wouldn't change anything about your current hitch, then why is that? What about it makes it already ideal relative to all the other options out there? There may not be a whole lot of room left to maximize hitches in any way (even I feel this way), but I'm still looking around for ideas for how I could do so. I'm not asking for anyone to spoon feed me ideas for new hitch concepts, I just genuinely want to see how other members answer this question. I'm assessing the probability that there could potentially exist a "next big thing" in the world of hitches or if the art is decelerating from here on out in popularity and whether the future is going to be void of any considerable, noteworthy improvements. *shudders* What a depressing thought that is. My head is a dark place!

I'm speaking only of FRICTION hitches. I'm also discussing ones made of hitch cords and noT mechanicals, which I definitely think will see innovations going forward. But the Rope Wrench was a cool example of mixing the new with the old. Think we'll see a new, better device than that someday?
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I'm one of the least experienced people here but...

What I look for in a hitch is simple construction, and compactness. I don't like thinking "Wait, what?!" in the middle of tying. My favorite hitch conceptually is the plain old prusik loop. Once it's assembled as a loop, it can barely be considered tying to install it, and once length has been tweaked, it's always exactly the same length. Unfortunately, it also binds pretty tightly on the ropes I use, so I've had to mostly abandon it for climbing purposes.

I've been using the innovation hitch lately as my main climbing hitch. It checks all the boxes, and comes with an interesting "knob" feature where you can rotate the top of the hitch to increase/decrease grip. A downside is it's best suited for a hitchhiker, and is more of a hassle to get the length right using it as a "standard" hitch+hitchclimber.

For lanyards, I've been using the michoacan. Not much to say about it. Pretty compact, and it works well. Length is less important to me with that application. A little extra length doesn't affect the function much.

I've come to realize there isn't 'one hitch to rule them all'. There's applications/conditions where one hitch will work better than another. I think six hitches is a good number to know, with three being the very core of use, and the other three as backups.

As for your hobby, and coming up with new hitches... More is always better imo. You're having fun, and you're adding to the collective knowledge. They won't all be winners, but some may standout as having unique enough features to encourage proliferation. There's no such thing as perfect afaic. There's always room for improvement, even if it's just in a subcategory of hitches pertaining to this discussion. Operation, wet, dry, length, eliminating extraneous hardware... There's lots of room for play yet. Everything's been perfected til someone comes out with something new, and you think "I didn't think it could be any better, but this hitch it tits!"
3 basic hitches here. Unless The HH unit is a third. But I think the general consensus is that the hitch is basically a VT.
I use a VT for climbing. Also for my positioning lanyard with a pulley for tending. Simply, quick to tie. Once you get the length dialed in for your wraps, pretty much SOP. Little set back does not bother me. Something really grabby or hard to tend bothers me. I've had my other climbers hand me their set ups with a knut or a michoacan, etc. Here Boss try this! Constantly fiddling with it to make them release etc.. Those are guys that like the security of a hitch grabbing hard right away if they gaff out or slip a little. I dont mind a little give. But boy I dislike trying to make a hitch unbind constantly. Add a heavy saw. Mother of GOD!.
VT just fits my climbing style and body weight.
Ground guys. Two Hitches. And I make foot loop style prussics for them to use. Smaller eye at one end to make it simple. Klemheist and 3 turn French Prussic. KISS is important on the ground. "how many wraps and what leg went under what wrap?" NO FUG THAT!
We use the French more often than the the Klemheist. It works in either direction so they can't really screw that part of the process up.
Like watching a guy tie a Timber Hitch in the wrong direction of pull. Tie it again son. So, I guess what I am trying to say, is, keep it as simple as possible, find what works for you and stick with it. Experiment as you want to. But keeping your system familiar and consistant is a good safe practice.
Compact, doesn’t bind up so it’s always easy to release and descend, self tending is another desirable feature. The complexity of tying isn’t a con, practice, or cell phone reference takes care of that.
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  • #15
@Brocky, those are all very desirable qualities to have in a hitch. Self-tending, I've noticed, seems to be overall underrated given the advent of slack tending pulleys being placed everywhere possible. Regardless of the helpful mechanical advantage that a hitch might have with a micro/hitchclimber/progress capture pulley behind it, as far as the ease with which it can be tended along a rope, it definitely is beneficial to choose hitches which innately self tend well over others which might not tend well at all without a pulley.
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  • #16
I just wanted to state for the record the Clove VT, which became the Tautline VT for awhile, has now been renamed for a third and final time to the Double Clove Tresse.

Originally, when several people alerted me to the fact that what I had tied was more aptly considered a Tautline hitch, it seemed like changing the name made sense. Until someone else pointed out that the Tautline hitch is tied using a split tail and mine was tied with an eye to eye. Therefore, a reversion back to a Clove-centric name was the common sense solution.

Thanks for your time! :)
VT has become my go to. With my main line hitch cord combo on HH, 4 wraps/1 crossover cinched up tight is repeatable and reliable for me.
Repeatable, reliable, no guessing.
Distel for my lanyard if I want something a bit more grabby.
I recently came up with a way to make an adjustable VT that also self tends. It’s a 4-2 VT that replaces the braids with half hitches, which makes it grab reliably, while almost being effortless to tend. It’s either a Granny, or Square knot depending on how the second Overhand is tied.