Wooden Shoes
Knots & Climbing

Valdotain Tresse (VT)

What is the VT Knot?

The VT Knot, which is technically the VT Hitch, is a friction hitch often used in tree climbing systems. It originated from mountaineering and made it's way into tree climbing. Now days it's a very popular hitch for tree climbers and arborists usually combined with a tending pulley and or rope wrench setup.

The VT Knot, what is it used for?

The Valdotain Tresse originated in SAR but slowly made it's way into canyoneering and tree climbing. It is a multi purpose friction hitch and can for example be used as a backup knot for rappelling. When rappelling with a figure eight or other device it is always good practice to use a hitch as a backup in case you panic or something else happens which makes you lose control of the brake. The backup hitch will prevent you from falling, or at least will slow down your descend to a more survivable speed.
The Valdotain Tresse can also be used in the main climbing system of arborists and tree climbers. It is often used in combination with a rope wrench and a tending pulley. This setup will automatically advance the friction hitch up the climbing line. Which will make climbing more efficient and less hard on the body.
The big advantage of the VT hitch is that it will release easily even when under tension. When advancing up the climbing line the braid pushes the wraps up and will make them break easily so the hitch will release properly. It's also very precise to control the position and the speed of descend.


The VT knot is not as fool proof as a Prusik hitch or a Klemheist.
It's recommended to first try the knot low above the ground until you are fully familiar with it, before you implement it in your climbing system.

FAQ Valdotain Tresse (VT)

What is the VT hitch?

The VT is a friction hitch that allows you to ascend or descend a climbing line. It is often used by arborists, tree climbers and in mountaineering or search and rescue.

How to tie the VT Hitch?

The VT hitch consists of four wraps around the climbing line then finished with two braids. The VT can be a bit intimidating to tie and its easier to use a video tutorial which you will learn to tie it right: https://youtu.be/jQoE1x8uo3E

What is the biggest advantage of the VT?

The biggest advantages of the Valdotain Tresse are that it is a reliable knot and it gives you precise control over the descend. It also releases easily which makes ascending a better experience.

Is the VT hitch dangerous?

Climbing itself is a dangerous activity and using the VT will not change that. Regarding the VT hitch itself if tied wrong it will possibly loose grip and that can cause a fall. So always practice low to the ground in a controlled environment to a point where you are confident in using the Valdotain Tresse.