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      Understanding the IRATA L1 Syllabus: Passing mid rope knots

      Tying knots is one of the core skills you’ll use regularly in rope access work. Amongst their many uses, in emergencies the appropriate knot can temporarily isolate minor rope damage, or join two ropes together.

      Before we continue, let’s zero in on the word temporary. Knots used for the above purposes are not a long term solution, but only an emergency temporary measure. As soon as its identified, damaged rope should be replaced and then properly disposed of.

      Knots in general also make rescue operations much harder to carry out, and also add the additional step of passing a mid-rope knot during normal operations -- which is what you’re going to be tested on, because those scenarios unfortunately do arise.

      During your IRATA Assessment, all levels will be asked to demonstrate competence:

      • Passing mid-rope knots in both ascent and descent modes.
        • For the purpose of this part of the assessment, knots will be tied into both ropes, and may be level or offset.
      • Identifying rope damage.
      • Tying appropriate knots to isolate and pass minor rope damage.
      • Level 1 techs only need to be able to do this with supervision.

      You will not actually be working around damaged rope during your assessment. Damage will be suggested with marker tape. Please remember that if a single knot is being used to isolate damage, you cannot also use that same knot as a safety attachment.

      Additional resources to check out:

      TACS 6.6.11 for the source material for this blog.

      TACS 6.4.3 for more information on knots and rope handling.

      This is part of an ongoing series, where we’re breaking down IRATA’s syllabus and clarifying exactly what ‘demonstrating competence’ and ‘demonstrating awareness’ means, and what will be expected of you on assessment day. To learn more about the rest of the IRATA L1 Syllabus, click below:

      Succeed your IRATA L1