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Prusik loop on the left and an Autoblock on the right.

The Autoblock is also known as the Machard knot, named after its inventor, Serge Machard.[1][2]

Using an Autoblock is a climbing and caving technique used in rappelling and ascending.

An autoblock is a rope device that slides freely over the rope during a controlled descent, but jams in the descender in the event of a sudden drop or loss of control, stopping the descent. This prevents uncontrolled falls in the event of an accident in which the abseiler loses control of the rope.[3]

It is often made using a friction hitch around the rope that is being descended, and may be combined with other climbing equipment for further safety.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Machard Knot". Retrieved 2016-10-20. 
  2. ^ Eric Vola, « Le nœud Machard et son histoire », site du CAF-Marseille, 2015
  3. ^ "How to Tie and Use an Autoblock Knot for Climbing". Retrieved 2015-04-24. 
  4. ^ "6-Step Guide to Rappelling with an Autoblock Backup". Retrieved 2015-04-24. 

External links[edit]