Tree climbing

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– History:
– Professional arborists have been climbing trees since the late 19th century in the UK and North America.
– Todd Smith from Louisville, KY, USA, climbed a tree every day for 3 years.
– Henrik G Dahle invited people to climb with him and interviewed former competitive tree climber Leo Murray.
– Artists like Christopher B Gray, Kamila Wajda, and Cecylia Malik have also taken up tree climbing challenges.
– Cecylia Malik from Kraków, Poland has published a book about her year climbing trees.

– Techniques:
– Different techniques like free climbing, self-belayed climbing, single-rope technique, and lead climbing are used based on climbers’ preferences.
– Technologically aided tree climbing involves lapping a long rope over a limb and ascending the fallen end using a friction knot.
– Factors affecting climb difficulty include branching regularity, wood brittleness, bark texture, trunk width, height, location, and weather.
– Getting to the first branch is often the most challenging part of the climb, with throwline technique being typical among hobbyists.
– The throwline technique involves launching a weight toward the targeted branch remotely from the ground using a throw weight and line.

– Doubled-rope technique:
– The doubled-rope technique (DRT or DdRT) allows self-belaying by fastening one end of the rope to the climber’s harness and passing it around the tree.
– This technique enables easy rope adjustment for belaying or moving up and down the tree.
– Falls are restrained as long as the climber is below the anchor and there is minimal slack in the system.
– The system can be placed into the tree from the ground or advanced up the tree during the climb.
– The DRT is designed to retrieve the rope without requiring the climber to go back up the tree.

– Single-rope technique:
– The single-rope technique (SRT) is used for climbing large trees that cannot be easily free-climbed.
Climbing rope is anchored high in the tree using a throw line and launching system, allowing the climber to ascend to the desired limb.
– This method is fast and requires minimal hardware but does not involve directly ascending the tree itself.
– SRT provides greater safety to climbers as the rope can be rigged over multiple limbs, potentially preventing falls.
– Climbers ascend the rope using friction hitches or mechanical ascenders to reach the desired limb.

– Lead climbing:
– Lead climbing involves creating points of protection by girthing the tree’s limbs with slings.
– Climbers can ascend the tree, create a belay or top rope anchor, or rappel down.
– Other climbers can climb the tree on belay without leading if an anchor is created.
– Drawbacks of lead climbing include the risk of hitting lower limbs or the main trunk in case of a fall.

Tree climbing (Wikipedia)

Tree climbing is a recreational or functional activity consisting of ascending and moving around in the crowns of trees.

A boy sitting in a tree

A rope, helmet, and harness can be used to increase the safety of the climber. Other equipment can also be used, depending on the experience and skill of the tree climber. Some tree climbers take special hammocks called "Treeboats" and Portaledges with them into canopies where they can have a picnic or sleep.

Some tree climbers employ a mixture of techniques and gear derived from rock climbing and caving. These techniques are also used to climb trees for other purposes: tree care (arborists), animal rescue, research, and activism.

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