climbing slick wood

Kandelero

New Member
Location
kingston
Howdy. After two months climbing and doing removals in Ontario, i went to the tropics and was contracted to take down a pair of large eucalyptus trees. I do not know exactly which variety of euc, but they were shaped like head-standing krakens with skin slicker than owl-sh*t. There were targets below and an antique windmill between, but everything was going fine until I had to ascend a few higher sections of 6" wide spar growing out on 45 degrees angles to rig and lower. My rope lanyard would not grip the 'bark' and my tree spurs started tearing downward. I assume it looked as hilarious as it felt ridiculous. My solution after bruised heuvos and much exertion was grooving the bark with my top-handle at arms length then choking with my lanyard to pull myself up then repeat.

I am assuming you Yodas have a more elegant solution to this. Please advise. Would pole spurs have made a difference?

(My avatar pic is from the trees described, albeit after I'd got my personal thing together and got on with the job)
 

Jonny

Well-Known Member
Location
Buffalo
Ahh Kingston! Damn I miss Gord.

Pole gaffs might help, but how’s the point and profile of your tree spurs, and what brand? I know some folks love them, but last time I gaffed out was a long time ago when I was new and on Klein tree gaffs. Switched to Buckinghams and later Bashlin and it’s never happened on either of those.
I got both tree and pole gaffs, but rarely use my pole spurs.

Do you ever take a 540 degree wrap with your lanyard? Kinda chokes it, and after a little practice it’s not hard to advance, just a little slower.
 

Kandelero

New Member
Location
kingston
Hey Jonny. I got my spurs used: steel Buckingham's with Cadillacs. Maybe I can source the stamps for specs, but they've been great until this specific task. 'Poor workman who blames his tools' and all that. I have yet to try pole spurs so shall try to for comparison's sake.

The euc bark was like paper where there was any, and it just fell off at the touch. Spar texture was like gelcoat that had been talcum-powdered. The cambium was soft and 1/2-1/3 inch deep? The hardwood underneath that was... hard. Spur tips would dig, and I was fine between vertical down to maybe 60 degrees off center, but once center of gravity was out of line with the spur angle, I was hooped. Diamond push-upped off the spar, I could set the tips, but my leg thrusts were all power without weight. Maybe it was just rookie mistakes, but every other push they would skate and rip, and being topside of the spar on angle my jewels took the hit every tear-out. I did try that 540 wrap (in fact, had to due to the narrow wood), but perhaps not so wisely that I was maximizing it to self-lock / hitch. But I'm telling you, that wood was baby-smooth and dusted. Come to think of it, wetting it down would have given me some grip. Hang a squirt-gun on my rack? :)

This is in the end a 'production' question, as I want to get faster and have a ton to learn. Now walking back through the chain of events, the answer to climbing up weird angles on radiating spars seems obvious: coming down at them with a properly positioned rope. But it being like a greased pole was a surprise.

Kindly direct me to the 'production tips and tricks' forum, Obi-Jon.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
@Stihlmadd can you help this unfortunate man?

@Kandelero If I ever have to spike up a euc, or crape myrtle, I'll revisit this thread. You're the man for powering through that awkward moment. My closest comparison is limbwalking a sugarberry after rain, in logger boots... Those eucs look ideal for hook placements, but I wouldn't recommend that for a removal.
 

Kandelero

New Member
Location
kingston
@Stihlmadd can you help this unfortunate man?

@Kandelero If I ever have to spike up a euc, or crape myrtle, I'll revisit this thread. You're the man for powering through that awkward moment. My closest comparison is limbwalking a sugarberry after rain, in logger boots... Those eucs look ideal for hook placements, but I wouldn't recommend that for a removal.
hey Colb, if by 'hook' you mean captain hook, I want one. Got a recommend?
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Location
redwoods
hey Colb, if by 'hook' you mean captain hook, I want one. Got a recommend?
I'm sure a captain hook is a super cool tool, but I am not sure how its gonna help you with your spur climbing technique?

It would be easy to chalk it up to the Euc, but its about as nice of a tree as you will ever find for spur climbing. From your description it sounds like you were having a difficult time spurring up smaller wood that was leaning? First and foremost is to always do your best to stay upright and on top of the wood your are climbing, and like most scenarios you want to try and create a triangle when ever possible for stability.. On a leaner you need to run your flipline looser than normal to allow you to stay as upright as possible.. This will feel a little unsettling when you first try doing so, but after awhile it will become comfortable and second nature....Spur climbing is like anything else... To get good at it you have to do it, and do it a lot....
 
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Treetopflyer

Well-Known Member
Location
Coastal N.J
Just use two lines, make it easier;).. advance one with monkey fist while belaying from original high next t.i.p. you shot or only had to advance or redirect one after inspection of best high t.i.p... advance with running bowline towards outskirts of you need access all while utilizing lanyard and primary anchor. 2 lines will change you life.. before I forget that doesn't give you right to be sloppy on spurs by no means.. far from it .. keep them extra sharp.. I gave @Jonkays fro pa set of steel bucks on here one time and he replied back in the conversation about how he'd not seen an angle of the on the spur how they get sharpened makes a difference. I think he was impressed with them , I hope. I don't deal with eucs but I know one day I will, Ben stihl madd and I've spoke on the phone a few times years ago I'm still saving to head that way and work in those beauties.. round here mostly oaks which take a gaff like a champ , but the most similar is large sycamore or London plane on occasion.. theyre similar in texture I believe..
 

Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
There are alternatives albeit frustrating. I tend to use the second line installed by slingshot from ground on bigger eucalypts as have little chance of throwing to end of branch in tree as too far away

Others I know use slings as handholds and steps, which they shift with them laboriously (for end pruning branches rather than for take downs where use of spikes doesn’t matter

Some of these limbs are slender so I will use a high tip where I can and climb up side of branch so my weight is shared, and don’t have to worry about being balanced, and use 540 lanyard for progress capture on limb

if no high tip available will sometimes use underslings (like QuickDraws in rock climbing) in case branch snaps as they are short grained...
 

Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
or you could learn to climb in spurs?
More to do with pruning, as some Eucalypt will get torn up with spurs. Some species get rotten from damage too, hence spurless.

If cutting large branches, or doing take downs, yes spurs for sure as easier faster
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Location
redwoods
Agreed, but the OP was specifically talking about spur climbing on Euc removals....My guess is that when he became uncomfortable in leaning wood he did what many less experienced will do in this scenario..Lean in too far, which can and will cause gaffing out.
 
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Stihlmadd

Well-Known Member
Howdy. After two months climbing and doing removals in Ontario, i went to the tropics and was contracted to take down a pair of large eucalyptus trees. I do not know exactly which variety of euc, but they were shaped like head-standing krakens with skin slicker than owl-sh*t. There were targets below and an antique windmill between, but everything was going fine until I had to ascend a few higher sections of 6" wide spar growing out on 45 degrees angles to rig and lower. My rope lanyard would not grip the 'bark' and my tree spurs started tearing downward. I assume it looked as hilarious as it felt ridiculous. My solution after bruised heuvos and much exertion was grooving the bark with my top-handle at arms length then choking with my lanyard to pull myself up then repeat.

I am assuming you Yodas have a more elegant solution to this. Please advise. Would pole spurs have made a difference?

(My avatar pic is from the trees described, albeit after I'd got my personal thing together and got on with the job)
Pole gaffs
straight up lines man pole gaffs
thats what you needed.

also a wire core pole belt .

approaching on the 45 angle is def one of my tactics if possible on long leaders.
like rico said - Eucs are my favourite thing to spike into short of Cocos palms which take a spiking like hot butter.

thanks for the tap in
@colb

head hunter.jpg
see those lovey neat lil puncture marks

and yes they are rather slippery

you should try them in the rain..
sheesh
 

DSMc

Well-Known Member
Location
Montana
Agreed, but the OP was specifically talking about spur climbing on Euc removals....My guess is that when he became uncomfortable in leaning wood he did what many less experienced will do in this scenario..Lean in too far, which can and will cause gaffing out.
The other common mistake is to have your climbing line tight and trying to have it support you while spurring. Doing so almost guarantees a spur out.

Eucalyptus trees will expose any holes in your climbing technique.
 

Scheffa

Active Member
Location
Australia
I spur climb eucs daily here in aus, that’s all we really have, the smooth bark ones take a spur nicely. I run buck steel long gaffs if that helps
 

swingdude

De' Island Buzzer
Location
Barbados
This pic says a lot. Looks like your climbline is not aiding you. You are being pulled into cut. Try settling into the climbline and leaning away. To side of leader. Different if spiking up a leaning spar without an overhead TIP. Your knees are bent like you are shitting. No need to cut with one hand here. Tell the truth your climbline seems way too low. Screenshot_20200802-105604_Chrome.jpg
 

Kandelero

New Member
Location
kingston
fair
Agreed, but the OP was specifically talking about spur climbing on Euc removals....My guess is that when he became uncomfortable in leaning wood he did what many less experienced will do in this scenario..Lean in too far, which can and will cause gaffing out.
 

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