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      Understanding the IRATA L1 Syllabus: Re-anchors

      In order to avoid a hazard, a secondary set of anchors may be installed on your rope system below the primary anchors. This is a re-anchor (aka a re-belay). Wide re-anchors are commonly referred to as a ‘loop’.

      Both double-anchor deviations and re-anchors can be used to avoid a hazard, but re-anchors are the safer option if your primary anchors are placed at a wide angle. As we mentioned in our blog about deviations, one of the cons of a re-anchor is that, unlike a deviation, it cannot be rigged for rescue.

      During your IRATA Assessment, all levels will be asked to demonstrate competence passing a re-anchor in both ascent and descent modes. For Level 1 techs, the offset will be less than 1.5 m. For Level 2s and 3s, the offset may be any distance apart.

      Your IRATA assessor will be watching to make sure that you:

      •   Protect against an out-of-control swing, by maintaining the appropriate number of attachment points.
      • Wide re-anchors share many similarities with rope-to-rope transfers, and you may need to use two backup devices during this maneuvers.

      Remember, that a small out-of-control swing is considered a minor discrepancy, and a large out-of-control swing (that could hurt yourself, others, or cause damage to the structure) is a major discrepancy – ie. an automatic fail. For a complete list of all major and minor discrepancies, refer to 9.6.3 - 9.6.4 in the TACS.

      There is no single way to perform this maneuver and multiple techniques will be okay with your assessor, so long as they are performed safely and using best practices.

      Additional resources to check out:

      TACS 6.6.10 for the source material for this blog.

      TACS 6.4.7 for rigging requirements.

      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