Brotherhood Tree old growth redwood climb

dmonn

Member
In addition to saying the photos and video are amazing, I've got some questions. It looks like the climbers are all climbing SRT, but I see only one base anchor. Are the other ropes canopy anchored?

I haven't been to old growth redwoods since I've started looking at trees as something to care for and climb, and I usually only see photos of bare trunks going up forever. What are the TIPs like? On a tree that size, how high up are they? Those redwood forests are always such serene places, it would seem very spiritual climbing in that environment. You who do that frequently must be totally addicted to it.
 

39Buick

Active Member
What an Amazing event that would be! As an East coast guy i can't even imagine the size of those magnificent trees. Thanks to @mdvaden for sharing this event with us all.
Just commenting to see more comments to this thread!
 

mdvaden

Well-Known Member
In addition to saying the photos and video are amazing, I've got some questions. It looks like the climbers are all climbing SRT, but I see only one base anchor. Are the other ropes canopy anchored?

I haven't been to old growth redwoods since I've started looking at trees as something to care for and climb, and I usually only see photos of bare trunks going up forever. What are the TIPs like? On a tree that size, how high up are they? Those redwood forests are always such serene places, it would seem very spiritual climbing in that environment. You who do that frequently must be totally addicted to it.
I didn't watch or ask about everything they did, but a photo peeking into the canopy around 140 feet up shows them switching over to other ropes at that point. It's unique to watch from below because once they vanish into the canopy it reminds me of someone leaving orbit.

The first time I met Damien was back around 2011 when they (as Ascending the Giants) climbed to measure a world record height pine shown below. What I forgot to ask, and was curious about, what how they anchor across the chasm to traverse from one canopy to the other. The speck in the sky is Will Koomjian. The pine was 268 feet tall, and it looks like he crossed over about 200 ft. up.

Phalanx_LR.jpg
 
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mdvaden

Well-Known Member
That looks like a lot of fun! Thanks for posting.

How old a tree might that be?

Bat caves...wild pigs...those trees are like mini ecosystems.
Although a guess may be the only practical option, Trees of Mystery wrote "over 2000 years" at their website. Gauging by ring counts elsewhere and some research reports in nearby Redwood National Park, I think the 2000 year estimate is a very reasonable and close number.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
I didn't watch or ask about everything they did, but a photo peeking into the canopy around 140 feet up shows them switching over to other ropes at that point. It's unique to watch from below because once they vanish into the canopy it reminds me of someone leaving orbit.

The first time I met Damien was back around 2011 when they (as Ascending the Giants) climbed to measure a world record height pine shown below. What I forgot to ask, and was curious about, what how they anchor across the chasm to traverse from one canopy to the other. The speck in the sky is Will Koomjian. The pine was 268 feet tall, and it looks like he crossed over about 200 ft. up.

View attachment 59974
I have wreaked a few Sugar Pines in the Sierra's that were in the 225-240 ft range. Sadly many of these remaining monster Sugar and Ponderosa's in California have been destroyed by the beetle and drought. Fucking tragic. I have a good buddy who has been working in the Yosemite Valley for a few years, and the size of some of the old Sugars they have been puling out of there is truly amazing.
 
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rico

Well-Known Member
Popping a top out of a nice Ponderosa on the west side of Lake Tahoe quite a few years ago. We removed 3 dead or dying Pines ( 2 Ponderosa & I Sugar ) on this job, and all 3 trees were between 170-190 ft. If my memory serves me this top was taken at around 95-100 ft, and the top was in the 80-90 ft range.

DSC_0913 copy.jpg

These big Sugar and Ponderosa Pines are the linch-pin of this eco system and are becoming an extinct species in the Sierras at an alarming rate. The massive Pine death is beginning to have devastating effects on the Cedars and Firs, and if things don't change the Giant Sequoia's may be next.
 
Popping a top out of a nice Ponderosa on the west side of Lake Tahoe quite a few years ago. We removed 3 dead or dying Pines ( 2 Ponderosa & I Sugar ) on this job, and all 3 trees were between 170-190 ft. If my memory serves me this top was taken at around 95-100 ft, and the top was in the 80-90 ft range.

View attachment 60008

These big Sugar and Ponderosa Pines are the linch-pin of this eco system and are becoming an extinct species in the Sierras at an alarming rate. The massive Pine death is beginning to have devastating effects on the Cedars and Firs, and if things don't change the Giant Sequoia's may be next.
Your “top” is bigger than most of the trees I get to climb all year.
 

John@TreeXP

Well-Known Member
Several years back, I joined up with the group from Cornell Tree Climbing Institute. We climbed Sierra Redwoods in an area privately owned by UC Berkeley, known as Whitaker Forest, adjacent to Kings Canyon National Park. Being how there's two kinds of giant Redwoods, noted for their location as Coastal and Sierra Redwoods, they are the largest living beings on the planet and having had the privilege to climb one was a deeply spiritual and physically demanding experience.

Although the Redwood we climbed had been rigged in advance with a basal anchored static line, secured with a Pinto Pulley and a Pinto Pulley Spacer at the TIP, close to the top of the tree. We still set our primary climbing line with a fishing reel augmented BigShot. We also had a fishing reel augmented Crossbow on hand.

The climb plan was for each climber to to make an initial ascent into to the lower limbs. This was maybe about 150 or 160 feet high. From that point, the climbers switched from the initial ascent line onto a secondary 60 foot long lanyard, which was then used as a double ended climbing system in a flip flopping like manner. The original line set with the basal anchor was used primarily as a backup line.

On ascent, we climbed using a frog-like sit-stand method. We were trained to use a jacob's ladder like foot loop, a Petzl Chest Croll, and a hand ascender. For descent we switched over to an ATC descender with a prusik backup. We used the ATC to avoid overheating the descending device on the long descent, to the point where it might scorch or melt the climbing line.

Given what I now know about climbing and climbing gear, I will certainly use a more efficient climbing system in the future when climbing Redwoods, but I can honestly say this was the most physically and spiritually transformational experience I've ever had.

Here's a few pics of the experience and a big shout out to my friends at @CornellTreeClimbingInstitute and all my fellow climbing buddies.

8x10-IMG_0720.jpgIMG_0224.jpgIMG_0272.jpgIMG_0509.jpgIMG_0592.jpgIMG_0719.jpgIMG_0865.jpg
 
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