Any suggestions for climbing 'drills'/practice-routines? Am new & want to improve techniques!


Active Member
Thanks a ton for this site, firstly, what a great resource!!

I've climbed&cut for ages, am a great climber (small and 'gymnast type' so I move well!) but never used ropes or went much higher than ~20' and only got my Blue Moon like a month ago, am putting in time climbing when I'm able but at this point I don't think I'm getting any value repeatedly scaling my large Live Oak, I wanna go to the park but hoping for suggestions on *how* to practice (ie "learn re-directs and set at least 2 or 3 and then work-back to your main line", "drills/sets of rappelling from a low-ish limb help learn your figure-8 descent-speed", etc!)

I'm using foot&hand ascenders (probably going to make a foot loop for the handled ascender but honestly am not feeling any need to move upwards faster), I'll ascend my rope and place a false-crotch in its place & thread my rope through it so my system's 'clean' and then I'll go about setting a second false-crotch somewhere else in the tree, always lanyard'd-in if I'm not on my (anchored)line.

Thanks a ton for any recommendations, am going to the park later this afternoon for some drills/practice so will be psyched to try something, *anything* new ;D

[Of note is that I'm still finding 2 prusiks a very useful approach, am betting it's the combo of me being very lightweight & the ropes being all shiny&new but, when using 2 prusik-loops on the line (about 1' apart on the line, both going to my ventral belt-loop), it just lets me move so damn easily when I 'get the rhythm' with 1 hand on each of the prusiks, they both bite to hold me but neither bites hard enough to impede its motion, so as long as I'm using 2 hands I can maneuver around quite well and the biggest 'problem' I deal with when moving around is having to place/remove/replace the ascenders]


Read the tree climber's companion by Jeff Jepson.
Practice setting multiple redirects and retrieving them. Being able to see the lines you will run and the friction that will be present as you retrieve is something that takes practice to get really good at.

Rig things that are not set in an ideal fashion to find out how strong various structural anomalies and species of tree are. Don't intentionally break stuff when you have valuable targets...

Practice throwing. Pick a technique (one hand or granny toss) and drill it a lot. No amount of luck or manipulation can compare to just sinking the shot.


Well-Known Member
The book "On Rope" has a pic of a rope treadmill setup to practice ascents. might be helpful for developing climbing stamina.
My suggestion would be to always be observant when setting redirect angels so, you can learn which ones give you the more comfortable work positions for the task at hand. That includes your work triangle when using two points of attachment while on pruning jobs. A good line angle can make a difficult cut easy or, a branch walk less taxing. You will always find that getting out on some branches can be difficult to downright impossible and so uncomfortable while making a cut no matter what the line angle is.

Being observant concerning those angle that will allow you to learn quicker and don't just retain an eye for these angel while climbing, after a climbing while on the ground, take the time to analyze what happen during the climb and think about what you could have done different on some of the areas you felt that your performance wasn't what you thought it could have been. As you practice and train you will benefit greater rewards as your ability to see these angel quicker will become easier.

A tree is like a puzzle or a game. Each one has it's challenges that's what make it "soooooo fun"! You make a move, then you observe if it was bad, good, or a game winning move.

Life is short! Always enjoy the climb.

I've attached so material that will help to explain some angles and forces that angle put on the attachment points.



Well-Known Member
@SeanRuel Thanks, very cool. I don't think I'm commited to making an endless loop though, so if I make a treadmill, it is one that is limited to the length of rope I have.


Well-Known Member
Not saying I don't do it, it is fun, but I don’t like doing it. If I want to bomb out a long way I'll use an 8 or something mechanical.

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