Essential rope access knots for every technician
Knot craft is key to the work and safety of every rope access technician. Any budding worker has to have a selection of well-tied knots under their belt before they go into the sky, which all need to be practised to perfection. Here are a few of the rope access knots every technician should know to stay safe and improve their performance.
Double figure of 8
The double figure of eight, or ‘bunny ears’ knot, is used to build an anchor and equalise loads on a rope. This knot is very unlikely to slip, making it one of the most stable double loops for any technician to have under their belt
The figure-of-eight knot is also popular among mountain climbers thanks to its immense strength and ease. While a single figure of eight knot makes for a good ‘stopper knot’ at the end of a rope, the double line makes it extra secure.
Alpine butterfly knot
An alpine butterfly knot is made by twisting rope into the shape of a figure of eight, then folding the top down to the bottom, and back up through the lower loop. It is most commonly used to form a fixed loop in the middle of a rope, which is great for technicians working with unnecessarily long rope for the task at hand. It can also be made without having access to either end of the rope, making it super easy to tie. The alpine butterfly knot can additionally help rope access technicians to create non-slip loops in the middle of their rope.
The slip knot looks very similar to the noose knot, except the bent part of the knot is created using the shorter end of the rope. This knot is super popular because of its versatility and its function as a temporary stopper. It’s also super quick and easy to tie while remaining very safe for use.
A bowline knot is always used at the end of a piece of rope to form a secure loop that won’t slip or bind. It’s also referred to as the ‘King of Knots’, as it is very adaptable and is used in pretty much every area of the rope access world. There are a few variations of the bowline knot, including the Eskimo bowline and the water bowline.
The square know was most commonly used by sailors to tie things aboard the ship before it was adapted by rope access technicians. In the rope access industry, this knot is used to bind, but always requires an extra knot for added strength. The square knot isn’t the safest so is not recommended for use in critical situations, but it can help teach technicians how to tie a half knot.
The Prusik knot was developed by an Australian mountaineer back in 1931 and is still popular with climbers today. Also known as the triple siding hitch, the Prusik knot is used to attach a loop or cord around a rope. It can slide along a taut rope when it isn’t weighted for versatility, but can efficiently jam when landing for safety.