Definition of prusik in US English:



  • 1A method of ascending or descending a rope by means of two loops, each attached to it by a special knot tightening when weight is applied and slackening when it is removed, enabling the loop to be moved along the rope.

    • ‘After an enjoyable prusik back up the pitch from the main chamber I waited for Alan to make his way up, and before we knew it we were back at the awkward squeeze ready for some fun!’
    • ‘It's a nice prusik up - how could I ever have had the energy to stroll up it as a one-shot ladder climb?’
    1. 1.1 A sliding knot that locks under pressure enabling a person to climb using the prusik method.
      • ‘The Prusik can slide along a rope when loose but tightens when weight is placed on it.’
      • ‘The prusik is widely used as an ascending knot. The friction can be increased by adding a third turn. The prusik can cinch up tightly and the friction can be somewhat difficult to break after a load has been applied.’


[no object]usually as noun prusiking
  • Climb using the prusik method.

    ‘a formula for how long slings should be for prusiking is hard to come by’
    • ‘Once we were all safely back up to the bridge and Sam had de-rigged the pitch another group arrived at the bottom of the Dolly Tubs pitch (which I think they did on ladders) and sat for a while watching as Sam prusiked up the south-east pitch.’
    • ‘Pete started prusiking up the rope, but didn't get far before he had to stop for a rest!’
    • ‘At the end was a chamber with a fixed line hanging from an aven, so Sam bounced on the rope a few times and as it was in good condition, we prusiked up.’
    • ‘The shaft of light was still blazing into the depths after we had prusiked (a rope climbing technique) and hauled our heavy tanks out through the narrow, circular cave entrance.’
    • ‘When we got to pitch 2 (Stink Pot I think), the top was much tighter than I had ever gone down on a rope and I really didn't fancy prusiking back up it, so I decided to let the others go on and have a rest.’


1930s: from the name of Karl Prusik, the Austrian mountaineer who devised this method of climbing.