We had a great group of students for our Basic Tree Climbing Class this month. All six students showed up enthusiastic and ready to climb! We keep our classes small to assure that each student receives plenty of individual instruction, since most of our class time is spent climbing we don not have large classes. We first allowed the students to climb on settings that we had established, just so that they would get a feel for how to go about climbing. New students often expect that they will require a great deal of upper body strength, in fact when done properly most of the climbing energy is derived from the legs. From there we began showing them the knots so that they will have a general idea of what the system looks like. We accomplished this on Friday afternoon, this way when the students came back refreshed and ready to climb on Saturday they already have an idea of what we would be doing all day long. By showing them on Friday and then Saturday having them climbing and tieing the knots we find that people are better able to retain those skills and will continue climbing long after they have left the class.
This class formed some strong friendships as they went thru the strenuous exercise and excitement of learning a new set of skills that would allow them to go to places that no other people had been.
I recently had the opportunity to visit a friend up in Canada… this was a wonderful place to go if you enjoy the outdoors and especially if you enjoy tree climbing. Vancouver Island is a beautiful place with plenty of unspoiled countryside to explore.
I would highly recommend it as a vacation destination to anyone looking for a place to get away, slow down and just plain enjoy what life and nature have to offer!
Here are some pictures
And then you get to the tree climbing part of the trip…
227 feet up in a Douglas Fir Tree, A great way to look at the world!
Most of the time when I climb for FUN I am climbing in what is commonly referred to as a “Wild” Tree, Very simply this is a tree that has not been cleaned out by removing dead limbs and other hazards and entanglements. In fact most of the time when I go out I select a tree that has not been previously been climbed. When climbing a tree for the first time it is necessary to take more time assessing the tree because you have no prior knowledge of the tree. In this type of climbing you are relying entirely on your training and past experience. Knowledge of the various strengths and weaknesses of the different species is a good starting point. For Example in a Tulip Poplar in general you you want to keep your settings in close to the trunk because they have rather brittle wood. Then you access the tree for particular hazards as well as it’s general health. After deciding that you have found a suitable tree you plan your entry point ans your expected climbing route. When climbing in a remote area it is important to keep in mind how far away or if there is Rescue help available. If you are climbing alone in a remote area this is even more important since you have only your self to count on to get out of a bad situation. The bottom line is that you have to keep in mind what the reality of your situation is and adjust how much risk you are willing to take on each step of the climb. If you are climbing with other people you may be willing to place your rope on a setting that may cause you a retrieval problem, since if you get your rope stuck there is another climber there to help you out. If you were climbing alone you would not want to take the chance of getting your rope hung in a particularly inaccessible location because this could lead to a serious incident. One Basic Safety Precaution that is often overlooked is to leave word with a friend before you go out about where you will be climbing and roughly what time you expect to be back. This will provide you with the ultimate rescue plan of “Wait for Help” at least you know that at some point someone will come looking for you. Now you may be saying yea but I carry my cell phone I can call for help any time that I Need to… Remember: Batteries Die, Cellphones Fall, and in truly remote areas there often is NO cell coverage. Adjust your mindset to how much risk is acceptable based on the circumstance and Do your self a favor, leave word with a friend. It is a cheep insurance policy and it could save your life!
We take a great deal of effort to keep 2 to 4 inches of mulch covering the ground under our principle grove tree especially during the summer months when there is heavy traffic during the summer camp activities. This provides several benefits both to the … Continue reading →
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