How do you “ethically” ascend redwoods with weak anchor branches?

Mark Chisholm

Administrator
Administrator
Screenshot_20191229-073207_Photos.jpg

Here's one I climbed a few years ago. Mind you I am no way an "experienced Redwood climber", but I have climbed a few big ones. To set a line in this tree I used a very simple method my friend Jerry Beranek taught me (who actually took this photo). Its using a bigshot and changing the weight and line. We used monofilament fishing line and a 4 oz. Surf weight. With that setup I could hit 200' each time.

I would also stress that at that height you cannot tell if the branches are going out or down, so you simply trust them. We also employed the many branch approach paired with as much of a wrap around the tree to a base anchor.

Last I would also leave the possibility of dual ascent lines, dual anchors and in opposing directions. Hope this makes sense.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
View attachment 64362

Here's one I climbed a few years ago. Mind you I am no way an "experienced Redwood climber", but I have climbed a few big ones. To set a line in this tree I used a very simple method my friend Jerry Beranek taught me (who actually took this photo). Its using a bigshot and changing the weight and line. We used monofilament fishing line and a 4 oz. Surf weight. With that setup I could hit 200' each time.

I would also stress that at that height you cannot tell if the branches are going out or down, so you simply trust them. We also employed the many branch approach paired with as much of a wrap around the tree to a base anchor.

Last I would also leave the possibility of dual ascent lines, dual anchors and in opposing directions. Hope this makes sense.
That is a poster worthy photo Mark, and having Mr Beranek take the photo only adds to its awesomeness!! Very rarely is hitting height the problem in Reds and like yourself I can consistently hit marks over 200 ft with the APTA. The problem is consistently being able to get your line over a limb/limbs strong enough to support a climber, and getting your line over a limb/limbs that are not growing in a downward direction. Plus as you mentioned you need to be able to actually see that your line is in fact over something trustworthy, and see that your line is relatively tight to the trunk (binocs & wraps on the trunk are essential). I would also add that doing all this is generally more difficult on 2nd-3rd growth Reds due to their limb strength and structure, and 2nd-3rd growth are generally the type of Reds a working Redwood climber will see in his/her day to day tree life.. What your left with is a recipe for serious safety issues, or massive productivity problems if one is striving to go completely spurless as a working treeman in Redwood country......Either your going to spend the better part of your days trying to get a trustworthy tie in set, or you can "simply trust them" (been there, done that), or your can throw some spurs on and go get some work done...This is why spurs still reign supreme in the life of most working Redwood climbers....

Happy New Year to you Mark!
 
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John@TreeXP

Well-Known Member
The Burinawa method hasn’t been mentioned yet.
I was wondering about that. Does it involve using a belt around your feet, in place of spurs? I think I've seen that used by natives for climbing skinny palms in Polynesia, if that's what you're talking about.

Other spurless options are also in use for climbing skinny conifers, without spiking the tree, but maybe not as safe, efficient or cost effective.

 
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rico

Well-Known Member
I was wondering about that. Does it involve using a belt around your feet, in place of spurs? I think I've seen that used by natives for climbing skinny palms in Polynesia, if that's what you're talking about.

We've officially gone from bad to worse. Please give that a go on a a nice little 4 ft 2nd growth and let us all know how it works out?
 

John@TreeXP

Well-Known Member
im simply exploring other possible spurless ways to climb skinny conifers. Rico, pleas stop being so hatefully critical. I get that you're a seasoned climber, but that doesn't give you the right to be such a dick about it.

 
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Ptstreeguy

Member
The OP had a very specific question concerning SRT climbing on a very specific species of tree.
A whole lot of answers from folks with no experience concerning the specific matter in question. Good way to get this fella fucked up or worse...

News flash folks. 2nd growth Reds do not have thigh sized limbs!!!!! The best one can generally hope for is 3"-4", and that WILL NOT support a climber. WTF we gonna do now? Sounds like a new game plan is in order?
way to hit the nail on the head.
I did get a lot of info , and some great ideas ,and I am pretty sure that the awnser is that Getting a fast anchor into a large 2/3rd gen is unlikely if it hasn’t been maintained. I think that I’ve come to see that “ethically “ is relevant to situations, tree species, And your own ethic stand point on whether climbing with spikes would cause risk in each individual situation. Safety takes precedence, followed by ethics and a competitive POA.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
im simply exploring other possible spurless ways to climb skinny conifers. Rico, pleas stop being so hatefully critical. I get that you're a seasoned climber, but that doesn't give you the right to be such a dick about it.

I think its called honesty bro......I for one aint got time to blow smoke up some young climbers ass when his life might be on the line......My apologize.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
way to hit the nail on the head.
I did get a lot of info , and some great ideas ,and I am pretty sure that the awnser is that Getting a fast anchor into a large 2/3rd gen is unlikely if it hasn’t been maintained. I think that I’ve come to see that “ethically “ is relevant to situations, tree species, And your own ethic stand point on whether climbing with spikes would cause risk in each individual situation. Safety takes precedence, followed by ethics and a competitive POA.
If I am hearing you right you are operating somewheres in the Russian River area near Guerneville? I know the area well and am in the area from time to time. Next time I am headed your direction I could give you shout and we could hang out, shoots some lines, do some rope walking, and talk comes shit!
 
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John@TreeXP

Well-Known Member
I think its called honesty bro......I for one aint got time to blow smoke up some young climbers ass when his life might be on the line......My apologize.
No one wants to see anyone get hurt, but tactical awareness is both something one might learn and instinctively have. One's gut instincts and personal judgment is a critical aspect of climbing. Experience isn't the only solution to every challenge. Thinking outside the box can sometimes create innovative ideas, even if they originate from less conventional means. What I get from this thread are innovative ideas for meeting the challenges associated with climbing weak limbed conifers without spurs, and what I'm hearing from you is spurs is the only practical approach, which I find close minded and contrary to ISA prescribed practices that exclude spurs, unless felling a tree.
 
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Ptstreeguy

Member
If I am hearing you right you are operating somewheres in the Russian River area near Guerneville? I know the area well and am in the area from time to time. Next time I am headed your direction I could give you shout and we could hang out, shoots some lines, do some rope walking, and talk comes shit!
Down. Lemme know .
 

RopeShield

Well-Known Member
shoot through crown , isolate down the stem, tie tail of rope to stout limb to operate as grapple to be pulled up into the tree and aid as a solid visual to anchor against down sloping limbs.
done this to pull over trees so why not ascend. We know it doesn't help.
Or high over crown and use throw line to set another thrown line and new anchor

Best is high as possible and to stay against the stem with a back up fall system
 

rico

Well-Known Member
and what I'm hearing from you is spurs is the only practical approach, which I find close minded and contrary to ISA prescribed practices that exclude spurs, unless felling a tree.
Strange but I believe I have video evidence that proves just how bulshit that statement is buddy....
Ya know, the fact that I actually climb and work Reds SRT.....

ISA practices certainly ain't gonna keep this young man alive, but some first hand knowledge and experience with the actual environment he is working in might.. My point has been crystal clear here. Do Not expect to go SRT 100% of the time if you are a working arb in a Redwood forest....It just not gonna be safe or productive. Well leave that shit to the rec. climbers....
 
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evo

Well-Known Member
shoot through crown , isolate down the stem, tie tail of rope to stout limb to operate as grapple to be pulled up into the tree and aid as a solid visual to anchor against down sloping limbs.
done this to pull over trees so why not ascend. We know it doesn't help.
Or high over crown and use throw line to set another thrown line and new anchor

Best is high as possible and to stay against the stem with a back up fall system
Wait, your talking about hoisting a toggle to lock underneath the limbs as a base anchor? Sounds like you an John have been eating those funny mushrooms again.
 

John@TreeXP

Well-Known Member
Wait, your talking about hoisting a toggle to lock underneath the limbs as a base anchor? Sounds like you an John have been eating those funny mushrooms again.
No that wasn't me and again, I'm either being misquoted or misinterpreted. I suggested a basal anchor for trees where there is no unobstructed line path up to a suitable limb and back. I didn't mention how to tie a basal anchor or how to set up a rescue-able basal anchor, but I did suggest that the lead climber reset the canopy TIP, in case it wasn't initially set in an optimal canopy location and where the TIP may not be 100% visible from the ground-person's perspective, but has still been safely bounce tested. In either case, a basal-anchor's location is self evident, hence the name. Duh!

Using a double wrapped flip line, in conjunction with a questionable TIP is another good way to mitigate the risk of a free-fall in a potential TIP blowout scenario, as demonstrated by Richard Mumford some time ago.
 
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evo

Well-Known Member
im simply exploring other possible spurless ways to climb skinny conifers. Rico, pleas stop being so hatefully critical. I get that you're a seasoned climber, but that doesn't give you the right to be such a dick about it.
This is the comment I was referring to... A rec climber, accusing "a seasoned arborist" as being a dick.

This seasoned arborist actually very much has more working production experience in redwoods than any other single person who is still actively participating in this forum.. In fact it's possible he has more experience than the current participating members combined.

So yes he isn't likely to sugar coat it, and a little "blunt" by passive white PNW standards. He never said it can't be done, but that sometimes in a production mind set it's not possible or cost effective
 

RyTheTreeGuy

Well-Known Member
I would also like to give him a shout out to his youtube channel. He has a new silky smooth ascent video up....nice lid by the way. His other stuff is youtube gold as well. Based on his experience and the proof in the proverbial boob tube...When he talks about redwood climbing, cutting, falling, milling etc. we should listen.
 

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