How to be an Excellent Climber---from the Groundie


Been here a while
My Island, WA
Thanks for the advice Tom. I was in a tree motion. I was thinking of trying a different one but I believe it is from the rubbing and sweat because I climbed in the saddle for 3 years before the issue worsened. I might try and borrow a buddies ergo to see what the results are but if it doesn’t work I’ll succumb to an itchy back once more and that’s not fun
Long ago I developed an allergy to rubber. Not laytex (keep your mind outta the gutter). We are talking about window seals on car/truck windows, inner tubes, etc.. certain soaps make it worse, some cheap gloves, caulk, and adhesive set it off.
Change out the back pad? Try a new tribe? Stitch up a cotton pad to wash regularly? I doubt it’s just sweat and friction
Re: How to be an Excellent Climber---from the Grou


I chewed while climbing for about a week. I got into the habit of yelling headache everytime I spit, my crew then asked me to stop chewing while climbing because they kept getting chew all over their hands from picking up brush I had spit on so I stopped.

I also spit once with my visor down. You can guess what happened. As you can tell, I'm one of them smart kids you see on the tv

#663- buy the crew lunch once a week!
Be tough and swallow your spit
All good comments and some quite funny. Basically follow the golden rule and consider what the groundies do for us every day. Oh, and some groundies need to just hump it and shut up! Really, the relationship between a good climber and his team of groundies is like hen's teeth or that one special friend everyone cherishes. Of course the climber should help cleanup. Of course the groundies should use common sense and hustle. We work in a time sensitive business and nobody gets paid till the job is done.


Carpal tunnel level member
If you want your climber to get better at climbing the tree, and less gear dependent, send them up a small smooth barked tree in the rain climbing SRT with no ascenders.

I accidently put myself in this position yesterday, forgot to grab my foot ascender and it started raining, while trimming a couple of young red maples. I'll be doing it again if the opportunity presents itself, it really makes you focus on climbing the tree


New member
South Jersey
It's a team effort, when it's not a team effort It's not my style of tree work. Sure I get anxious when waiting for a rigging line to come back up, but I been there. Knot is under log or we wrapped the rope around multiple limbs making it more difficult for ground guy. I'm a 50/50 ground man/climber/bucket operator. So when rigging I try to forsee whats gonna get hung up and try to rig it to make it easier for ground guys. I learned to climb w/ a pole(chicken stick), usually no saw attached to pole head. I use the pole regularly for tip tieing / advancing ropes. Why climb another 10' when my pole can get my rope there quickly/less effort. If it's not on my saddle it's on a branch near by. There great for quick redirects for limb walks. I'm a safer climber when using the pole, I get the rope where I want it. But most importantly if ur not gonna get the headsets hand signals is a must. Yelling isn't good for business or for a happy team.
Take a little time to watch these guys at (eastside tree works) also watch their videos "guilty of treeson".
Watch what they do how they do it, they don't always have great results but they keep working at getting up and getting down.

Get some real training before just jumping into climbing.

Brando CalPankian

Participating member
Develop a plan before you start working. I remember in my green years, it was so frustrating to not know what I was supposed to be doing. It keeps things safe, efficient and helps to establish healthy communication from the beginning of the job on through.

Be willing to slow down and teach your ground persons. Develop a culture of proficiency and efficiency instead of flat hard work. "Work smart not hard" rings true, especially for the ground persons.

Be cognizant of ground person's strengths, weaknesses, and where they need to improve.

Utilize mechanical advantages (equipment, moving the truck closer to the work, rigging, etc) whenever possible to make the work the least laborious as possible. What may be 5 minutes faster today through hard work can create a lifetime of injury.

Be firm but courteous. This job can be stressful. You may have to yell over machinery. I've learned (and am still learning) tone is very important. You don't want to make everyone around you uncomfortable and hate working with you, as this absolutely kills productivity and makes for a high turnover rate, even if you do everything else correctly. Remember "people quit managers, not jobs".

Have fun! You're with these people more than you are with your family. Every day won't be rainbows and sunshine, but a good attitude will make the rainy days much more manageable.
Re: How to be an Excellent Climber---from the Grou

#6 must be able to say no it won't work.
#7 must be able to say cut it smaller or use a bigger rope
#8 must know how to use a polesaw n pruners
#9 must know how to follow instructions

Sounds like you worked under a shitty climber.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
In my experience, most climbers because of the nature of the work, the risk involved, and the ever increasing rarity of people experienced and willing to even do the work tend to adopt an almost godlike point of view when it comes to others assisting them. Some even refuse to work with or train new groundies, opting for “their guy” to run ropes for them. Their safety and work efficiency rests entirely on their shoulders and “to hell with everything and everone else”. Good climber? Yes. Good Tree Worker? Not so much.
Those who feel like they are part of a team will always be team players and that’s who I want to have my back. It’s always seemed simple to me - show respect to each other on the job site. If you can’t do that, then the job should shut down.

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