Monkey Beaver harness

moss

Well-Known Member
I see your in Jamaica Plain. Many moons ago I lived in Brookline/Cleveland Circle while my wife was getting her Masters at BC. I enjoyed my time there, but I was like a fish out of water there.
I moved a little way out of the city, more rural now, surrounded by white pine, need to change my Buzz profile. My best climb buddy went to BC, he's in Oakhurst, CA area now, he introduced me to some fine big sequoias last time I visited. Boston area's a tough place to live in for long, it's so jammed with people/cars now, difficult to function on a basic level without being pissed off most of the time. That's why we're called Massholes ;-)
-AJ
 

39Buick

Well-Known Member
Hey Guys,
I am needing a bit of help. I am a new older outta shape ex pole climbing guy trying to climb these tiny little ropes you guys swing around on for a living! Hats off to each and everyone of you!
I have purchased the Monkey Beaver saddle and other gear from treestuff to climb some trees for recreational purposes and to maybe do some limbing and trimming on my property. The problem I am having is staying vertical to my climbing line. Would it have anything to do with the way i am wearing my saddle? While sitting in the saddle on rope i am falling away from the rope. I can not get it adjusted so that i can actually sit straight in it. I tried and quickly discovered that the little inexpensive weaver chest harness was not going to help! Would rather get kicked in the nads before trying that thing again. I have been able to go up and down maybe 20 feet or so but that's about as far as I can go before my arms feel like they are going to give out from holding myself up all the time. Any suggestions sure would be appreciated. And Thanks for your time.
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
I don't have that harness myself but some of that is core strength and just being used to being in a harness. How long have you been using this one, and how long have you been climbing on ropes?

Also I believe a longer bridge is easier to remain upright? Have you by chance shortened yours?
 

NorCalBrock

Well-Known Member
Hey Guys,
I am needing a bit of help. I am a new older outta shape ex pole climbing guy trying to climb these tiny little ropes you guys swing around on for a living! Hats off to each and everyone of you!
I have purchased the Monkey Beaver saddle and other gear from treestuff to climb some trees for recreational purposes and to maybe do some limbing and trimming on my property. The problem I am having is staying vertical to my climbing line. Would it have anything to do with the way i am wearing my saddle? While sitting in the saddle on rope i am falling away from the rope. I can not get it adjusted so that i can actually sit straight in it. I tried and quickly discovered that the little inexpensive weaver chest harness was not going to help! Would rather get kicked in the nads before trying that thing again. I have been able to go up and down maybe 20 feet or so but that's about as far as I can go before my arms feel like they are going to give out from holding myself up all the time. Any suggestions sure would be appreciated. And Thanks for your time.
Are you talking about ascending the rope or just relaxing in your saddle? Also, double rope or single rope? Nice recreation saddle by the way ;-)

If you are falling back while relaxing then your bridge might be too short or your leg straps too short. When both are short, it keeps your connection point and center of gravity near your naval. If you are top heavy, you'll fall away from your connection point.

Also, tree saddles are designed to craddle you like a baby when you are connected to the bridge and dangling suspended. You are supposed to fall back so that you can relax you arms and legs - like being in a reclining chair. Very different from pole climbing.

When you are vertical and in the tree, the side D's are used for hip support while you legs are holding you up for support - the more pole climber position as you are using your lanyard to go around a limb or spar.

When are ascending, if you don't have adequate upper body strength, focus on keeping you weight over your ankles by looking at your feet, and hands by your naval or armpits. It will train you to use your legs and not your arms as well as leaning forward for balance. Every time you look up, you'll lean back.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 
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39Buick

Well-Known Member
I don't have that harness myself but some of that is core strength and just being used to being in a harness. How long have you been using this one, and how long have you been climbing on ropes?

Also I believe a longer bridge is easier to remain upright? Have you by chance shortened yours?
Thanks for your reply. I am a newbie with ropes and tree climbing. I have had my saddle for a couple months but have not been using it everyday just an occasional practice session. I did purchase a device to make the bridge adjustable and i did notice with it being longer it is a bit easier to sit more upright. Lol, you may have hit the nail on the head with core strength! I am a bigger top heavy built guy and I know that is not helping my situation but I didn't think I was in that bad of shape!
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Thanks for your reply. I am a newbie with ropes and tree climbing. I have had my saddle for a couple months but have not been using it everyday just an occasional practice session. I did purchase a device to make the bridge adjustable and i did notice with it being longer it is a bit easier to sit more upright. Lol, you may have hit the nail on the head with core strength! I am a bigger top heavy built guy and I know that is not helping my situation but I didn't think I was in that bad of shape!
I am pretty top heavy myself and I don't find myself falling backwards, although it did take a while to get my harness adjusted so that it was comfortable. Several adjustments will change how you sit in the harness and how it feels. In addition to the adjustments listed above, if you wear the back pads lower, you will tend to lean back more than if the back support is higher. Try making a few adjustments, even to the extreme just to see how it effects your positioning. Then you can find a happy medium between where you are, and the extreme adjustment that moved you in the right direction.

All that being said, how you wear your saddle will really only help when your not ascending. If your having trouble while ascending that is either a technique issue or perhaps missing a vital piece of climbing gear. Give us a little more info on how your climbing and what tools your using and we can try to help get you on the right track.
 

39Buick

Well-Known Member
Are you talking about ascending the rope or just relaxing in your saddle? Also, double rope or single rope? Nice recreation saddle by the way ;-)

If you are falling back while relaxing then your bridge might be too short or your leg straps too short. When both are short, it keeps your connection point and center of gravity near your naval. If you are top heavy, you'll fall away from your connection point.

Also, tree saddles are designed to craddle you like a baby when you are connected to the bridge and dangling suspended. You are supposed to fall back so that you can relax you arms and legs - like being in a reclining chair. Very different from pole climbing.

When you are vertical and in the tree, the side D's are used for hip support while you legs are holding you up for support - the more pole climber position as you are using your lanyard to go around a limb or spar.

When are ascending, if you don't have adequate upper body strength, focus on keeping you weight over your ankles by looking at your feet, and hands by your naval or armpits. It will train you to use your legs and not your arms as well as leaning forward for balance. Every time you look up, you'll lean back.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
I appreciate your reply!
While just sitting in the saddle I feel as if I am going to fall over backwards so I am constantly holding onto the rope. I have an adjustable bridge and have been playing with the length and helps a bit. I have been adjusting the leg straps trying to find a happy medium. Perhaps I need to tinker with it more often! Or perhaps I am not used to a saddle, as it is totally different than my old pole climbing belt. So its normal in a saddle to be leaning away from the rope and not sitting straight upright? You'll have to forgive me but again I am a newbie in a saddle!
I have tried double rope and single rope. I can hip thrust on double rope and get up the tree but that's a whole lot of work. I added a foot ascender and a hand ascender with a foot loop and try to go up the rope and get maybe 20 feet and my arms get spent. I attributed that to not being in line with the rope on the ascent as my an feet usually kick out to the front so i am pulling with my arms more. After reading your reply I see that I need to learn to keep my feet under me and my body in closer to the rope. Like most things that people make look easy, it's about technique and practice! I am going to try your suggestions and do some more practicing. I sure appreciate your help!
 

NorCalBrock

Well-Known Member
I appreciate your reply!
While just sitting in the saddle I feel as if I am going to fall over backwards so I am constantly holding onto the rope. I have an adjustable bridge and have been playing with the length and helps a bit. I have been adjusting the leg straps trying to find a happy medium. Perhaps I need to tinker with it more often! Or perhaps I am not used to a saddle, as it is totally different than my old pole climbing belt. So its normal in a saddle to be leaning away from the rope and not sitting straight upright? You'll have to forgive me but again I am a newbie in a saddle!
I have tried double rope and single rope. I can hip thrust on double rope and get up the tree but that's a whole lot of work. I added a foot ascender and a hand ascender with a foot loop and try to go up the rope and get maybe 20 feet and my arms get spent. I attributed that to not being in line with the rope on the ascent as my an feet usually kick out to the front so i am pulling with my arms more. After reading your reply I see that I need to learn to keep my feet under me and my body in closer to the rope. Like most things that people make look easy, it's about technique and practice! I am going to try your suggestions and do some more practicing. I sure appreciate your help!
Yes - when just "sitting" in the saddle, you should be leaning back like you are sitting in a reclining chair and shouldn't need to hold the rope to remain comfortable or with no more effort than you'd hold a fishing pole.

The only time you should be vertical or upright is when all weight is on your feet - ie, in the tree or ascending with foot ascenders.

No worries about being a newbie - we all started in the same place and it took a while until we were comfortable.

In fact, I hate working a spar and prefer to dangle and prune.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

39Buick

Well-Known Member
I am pretty top heavy myself and I don't find myself falling backwards, although it did take a while to get my harness adjusted so that it was comfortable. Several adjustments will change how you sit in the harness and how it feels. In addition to the adjustments listed above, if you wear the back pads lower, you will tend to lean back more than if the back support is higher. Try making a few adjustments, even to the extreme just to see how it effects your positioning. Then you can find a happy medium between where you are, and the extreme adjustment that moved you in the right direction.

All that being said, how you wear your saddle will really only help when your not ascending. If your having trouble while ascending that is either a technique issue or perhaps missing a vital piece of climbing gear. Give us a little more info on how your climbing and what tools your using and we can try to help get you on the right track.
I am definitely going to move things around so that I can at least sit comfortably while suspended without constantly holding onto the rope.
I have several issues going on. Ascending on the rope is going to need much more practice! After reading the replies from you and Norcal, I can understand why I am having the issues staying in line with my feet under me. There is much more technique to this game than I thought. I believe i am all out of whack and I end up pulling more with my arms than my legs!
I have been reading these forums for awhile gleaning info but never posted, sure glad I did. Thanks so much for the help!
 

NorCalBrock

Well-Known Member
I am definitely going to move things around so that I can at least sit comfortably while suspended without constantly holding onto the rope.
I have several issues going on. Ascending on the rope is going to need much more practice! After reading the replies from you and Norcal, I can understand why I am having the issues staying in line with my feet under me. There is much more technique to this game than I thought. I believe i am all out of whack and I end up pulling more with my arms than my legs!
I have been reading these forums for awhile gleaning info but never posted, sure glad I did. Thanks so much for the help!
A lot is learning when to relax certain muscles while using others and trust the gear - it'll come with time and practice.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
I may have missed a few words here and there and have to get off my phone now but I'll bet when you are climbing well and enjoying yourself, 39Buick, you will look back and say it was 90% technique missing (and adjustments) and 10% or less about the shape you're in.

Climbing a rope well done by someone with great form (not me) is so much legs that hands only barely touch the rope for balance. Youtube vids of some good SRT climbers for form. Foot ascender, and another ascender on the other foot but it has a short section that takes it up to about knee level. (Knee ascender.) Short - like 8 inch steps up. Like baby steps marching up the rope.

Welcome to TreeBuzz by the way.
 

TimBr

Well-Known Member
Hey Guys,
I am needing a bit of help. I am a new older outta shape ex pole climbing guy trying to climb these tiny little ropes you guys swing around on for a living! Hats off to each and everyone of you!
I have purchased the Monkey Beaver saddle and other gear from treestuff to climb some trees for recreational purposes and to maybe do some limbing and trimming on my property. The problem I am having is staying vertical to my climbing line. Would it have anything to do with the way i am wearing my saddle? While sitting in the saddle on rope i am falling away from the rope. I can not get it adjusted so that i can actually sit straight in it. I tried and quickly discovered that the little inexpensive weaver chest harness was not going to help! Would rather get kicked in the nads before trying that thing again. I have been able to go up and down maybe 20 feet or so but that's about as far as I can go before my arms feel like they are going to give out from holding myself up all the time. Any suggestions sure would be appreciated. And Thanks for your time.
Hey, @39Buick! Welcome to the TreeBuzz forum! I'm just curious about what your specific complaint is with the Weaver chest harness? Does it pull hard against your ribs in the back, painfully so?

I had and probably still have the same issue you are having, and I thought about it and made my own chest harness out of webbing straps, with the addition of one more that attaches to the horizontal strap in the back, but comes up and over my shoulder on a diagonal, and ends with a pulley attached that stops just past the front of my chest, but up high. I attach the pulley to the rope, and it holds me upright, like the webbed back of a lawn chair. Someone created an illustration of it that looked nicer than what I made. Probably @Brocky. I need to search for the thread and find it, but right now I need to get to bed.

Also, do a search for the discontinued Rock Exotica chest roller.

Tim

P.S. Here's a link to a video of a 1st time user of the chest roller. Expensive, but it sure makes it look a lot easier.

 

Stihlmadd

Well-Known Member
it was the length of the straps at the back of the leg loops - at least in my case 39Buick,
once I dialed the (what I refer to as the butt straps) length then I could make the adjustments to the other parts of the harness and that feeling of falling backwards all the time went away.
sure felt weird though the first couple of days till I had got the the nub of the problem .
 

39Buick

Well-Known Member
Does it pull hard against your ribs in the back, painfully so?
Thanks Tim.
Painfully Hard! I don't think that particular chest harness was designed for the same use as the one in the video that you shared!
The chest roller and harness may be the trick to help me learn on, kinda like training wheels! I have found a source to get the harness and roller plate but didn't want to fork out the $200 bucks if I really didn't need to. Also didn't want to waste those funds if it really wasn't going to help or if it were just as painful as that little weaver harness!! All these youtube videos of folks climbing make it look so easy, I have a lot to learn!! Thanks again for your help!
I may have missed a few words here and there and have to get off my phone now but I'll bet when you are climbing well and enjoying yourself, 39Buick, you will look back and say it was 90% technique missing (and adjustments) and 10% or less about the shape you're in.

Climbing a rope well done by someone with great form (not me) is so much legs that hands only barely touch the rope for balance. Youtube vids of some good SRT climbers for form. Foot ascender, and another ascender on the other foot but it has a short section that takes it up to about knee level. (Knee ascender.) Short - like 8 inch steps up. Like baby steps marching up the rope.

Welcome to TreeBuzz by the way.
Thanks Merle! I am sure your right and will be glad if I can look back and confirm your 90/10 analogy!
 

39Buick

Well-Known Member
it was the length of the straps at the back of the leg loops - at least in my case 39Buick,
once I dialed the (what I refer to as the butt straps) length then I could make the adjustments to the other parts of the harness and that feeling of falling backwards all the time went away.
sure felt weird though the first couple of days till I had got the the nub of the problem .
Thanks for sharing! I have yet to find that sweet spot, hoping to get into it this morning and try some different positions. I watched the videos that August put on youtube and read the instructions and have moved straps around some just have not got it just right yet. They all say that you have to get it "dialed in" and i'm like:wtf: exactly is "dialed in" . This is my very first suspension type harness so excuse my ignorance but I don't know what dialed in feels like! I am learning though thanks to the great feedback I have gotten here thus far!
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Thanks for sharing! I have yet to find that sweet spot, hoping to get into it this morning and try some different positions. I watched the videos that August put on youtube and read the instructions and have moved straps around some just have not got it just right yet. They all say that you have to get it "dialed in" and i'm like:wtf: exactly is "dialed in" . This is my very first suspension type harness so excuse my ignorance but I don't know what dialed in feels like! I am learning though thanks to the great feedback I have gotten here thus far!
For pics of how you should be able to sit at rest, check out crane climbers riding the ball and recreation climbers. Most working climbing pics will be of ascent or lanyard into wood.

I believe there are a couple of videos showcasing how to set up knee ascenders where they will freehang from their rope while setting up the ascender.

It may help to see what position other climbers hang in, at rest. Hopefully that will help you find your own “dialed in”
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
@39Buick don’t worry about your ascents until you get your harness adjusted. That way once your in the air you can be comfortable. But when you do get to that point, if you mimic the action of backpedaling on a bike while climbing it will help keep your feet in-line and under your body. That takes a lot of the work out of your arms.
 

39Buick

Well-Known Member
@39Buick don’t worry about your ascents until you get your harness adjusted. That way once your in the air you can be comfortable. But when you do get to that point, if you mimic the action of backpedaling on a bike while climbing it will help keep your feet in-line and under your body. That takes a lot of the work out of your arms.
Great advice!! Thanks again for your help!!
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
With regard to that chest roller and $200 expenditure, if climbing the way you want is beyond that and that is just training wheels - don't be tempted. Training wheels are too short lived.

To continue the analogy I love the new kids first bike with no peddles and close to the ground. (Gliders ?) A kid will sit on the bike and push himself along with his feet. Well, one day that won't be fun enough and he/she will lift their feet. Presto - they just got 'balance.' Gone is the trama of mom or dad tricking a kid that they will still be holding on.

You're only minutes, or hours at most, of practice away from getting a functioning style that will work well for you 39Buick.
 

Burrapeg

Well-Known Member
Hey Guys,
I am needing a bit of help. I am a new older outta shape ex pole climbing guy trying to climb these tiny little ropes you guys swing around on for a living! Hats off to each and everyone of you!
I have purchased the Monkey Beaver saddle and other gear from treestuff to climb some trees for recreational purposes and to maybe do some limbing and trimming on my property. The problem I am having is staying vertical to my climbing line. Would it have anything to do with the way i am wearing my saddle? While sitting in the saddle on rope i am falling away from the rope. I can not get it adjusted so that i can actually sit straight in it. I tried and quickly discovered that the little inexpensive weaver chest harness was not going to help! Would rather get kicked in the nads before trying that thing again. I have been able to go up and down maybe 20 feet or so but that's about as far as I can go before my arms feel like they are going to give out from holding myself up all the time. Any suggestions sure would be appreciated. And Thanks for your time.
This is probably a common problem for us older guys who get a bit top heavy when we hit middle age. I had the exact same issues when I started to rec climb, had to struggle to sit upright and got exhausted very quickly from the effort.. I can only tell you how I solved it. My current set up, either single or double rope, is with a SAKA (HAAS would also do) and a foot ascender so I don't have to put much strain on my arms. Then to stay upright, I bought a PMI chest roller and the neat chest harness that goes with it. I can climb almost hands-free with this arrangement, like climbing a ladder. When I get aloft, I can quickly unclip my line from the chest roller for moving around and limb walking. I have the double chest roller, which handles two lines, side by side, so it works with double rope too. What I do there, when on DdRT, is to float the hitch or mechanical up higher with the standing part of the line through the eye on my bridge and back up to the device, with a prussik on the standing part to advance the hitch or device. By moving the prussik up or down on the standing part, I can adjust the height of the hitch or device. Both parts of the line are thru the chest roller so I stay nice and upright just as when on SRT with the same setup. Hope this helps.
 
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