Moving Among Honey Locusts, Recreational Tree Climbing

Bob Bob

Well-Known Member
Location
somewhere
Back in the saddle again after a long absence! Come with me as I climb and traverse between two wild (mostly thorn-lesss) honey locust trees that are overrun with poison ivy vines while using my new Yale 11.7mm poison ivy rope. Lots of other new equipment being used in this video including a New Tribe Onyx Saddle, a updated version of a homemade knee ascender, 9mm Epicord, and the Camp Gyro Swivel.

 

Jonny

Well-Known Member
Location
Buffalo
One of my favorite trees that grow around here. Heavy, dense, and strong, but really flexible when green so can safely tie into skinny tops without worrying. Also puts off some serious heat for a long time if you burn it.
The bark is pretty dang sharp sometimes and occasionally there’s lethal thorns, but even then, they’re magnificent trees.

Glad to see you climbing again man!
Are you happy with the decision to go from TreeMotion to Onyx?
 

Bob Bob

Well-Known Member
Location
somewhere
Welcome back to the canopy! Nice job!
It's great to be back in the tree tops again. I missed it so much!

Hey man, great set of trees and cool new gear! I lost your email, shoot me one so we can get together for another climb soon.
Lets do it @Cereal_Killer! aerialtraveler@gmail.com

One of my favorite trees that grow around here. Heavy, dense, and strong, but really flexible when green so can safely tie into skinny tops without worrying. Also puts off some serious heat for a long time if you burn it.
The bark is pretty dang sharp sometimes and occasionally there’s lethal thorns, but even then, they’re magnificent trees.

Glad to see you climbing again man!
Are you happy with the decision to go from TreeMotion to Onyx?
They are amazing trees, sometimes they are really armored with thorns to the point nothing wants to mess with them. Their strength inspires confidence in the small tops. I've been trying to save these specimens by removing the vines that were slowing killing them off. I cut the base of the vines in early spring before the poison ivy leaves were out.

The New Tribe Onyx (size 2) is a much better fit for me. The Treemotion is a superb saddle but I'm a big guy (35"-38" waist depending on the time of the year) and it was a bit uncomfortable when you are at the upper end of the adjustment range because the waist belt doesn't fully wrap around your hips/waist like someone with a 30-33" waist. I also prefer the leg pads on New Tribe saddles. Luckily another Treebuzer was able to pick up the lightly used Treemotion for a good deal when I need some money and I was able to use some of the left over proceeds and an old Wesspur gift certificate to help purchase the Onyx.
 
Last edited:

moss

Well-Known Member
I'm sooo psyched watching this! My first rope and harness climb (2005) was DdRT on a 120' length of Poison Ivy. My tentative attempt was on a monster 93' Honey Locust in my neighbor's yard. The trunk is on the north side of my house (where I lived at the time) and goes straight up no limbs 10 feet from my 3rd floor kitchen window. A massive high crown then spreads out over the top the total 4-story house. I learned everything on that tree, canopy navigation, solo rigging, overcame fear of height, climbed at night middle of the winter, on and on. Honey Locust is not native to eastern Massachusetts, I would pretty much kill to climb one growing wild.

I was really digging how you were knocking on the wood up high, "Is this shiite safe?". As Jonny mentioned the wood is stupidly strong, I believe it has twisted grain somewhat like elm. It took me awhile to learn to trust the high wood because I knew nothing but it proved to be above trustworthy. The deadwood persists for eons and is very strong until it finally rots at the union. The really old Honey Locust produces less and less thorns until (like my neighbor's tree), no thorns except a few that would grow in spring but never harden up. Also referencing Jonny's comments, at some point I was thinking of wearing knee pads on the Honey Locust after banging my knees on big bark plate edges, ended up getting better at keeping my knees off the tree.

First off, yer carrying the torch for rec adventure climbing: poison ivy, thorns, couldn't be better. On Yale Poison is a nice touch. You're convincing me to switch to PMI 9mm EZ-Bend (yours is 9mm right?) for my Hook line. I'm still using 10mm Reep Schnur and even though I continue to commit with it on high traverses I don't actually trust it the way I should. Are you using 60'? The swivel looks good, I like the way it easily responds to changing load angles when you have a couple of things hooked into it.

I still have to finish the video, part way through, great stuff!

You can see my cordage tied to the fence, that's pull line to install rope choked Running Bowline at a super robust union 75'. Before I went west to climb Sierras old-growth in 2010 I did 6 SRT ascents in a row to that anchor every night after work to train. I could do it in one go the first run, rest once second go, and by the 6th probably stopped 4 times on the way up ;-) It worked.



The dormers on the front of the house are the 4th floor attic. Eventually I went to every top of every leader on the tree, took a few years to get there skill-wise and overcoming fear. No concept of SRS multicenders/redirects for me then so it was challenging.


-AJ
 
Last edited:

Bob Bob

Well-Known Member
Location
somewhere
You're convincing me to switch to PMI 9mm EZ-Bend (yours is 9mm right?) for my Hook line. I'm still using 10mm Reep Schnur and even though I continue to commit with it on high traverses I don't actually trust it the way I should. Are you using 60'? The swivel looks good, I like the way it easily responds to changing load angles when you have a couple of things hooked into it.
That's a excellent story about your first honey locust project. They are a common urban street tree in Ohio. I've managed to find several wild ones around my homestead. Most are younger and still fully armored with thorns. I have seen massive wild specimens farther east in Ohio that still have full thorn armor, enough that a firewood cutter will leave it lay for want of an easier harvest.

The knocking is something I've also done on first climbs (using the spine of a carabiner would be more effective). It's a good way to introduce yourself to a new branch or lead. Sometimes you do get a unsatisfactory response which may reveal a hidden cavity and/or that extra caution is needed.

That hook line in this video is 10mm and roughly 50' (48.5' after the hand sewn splice and the termination knot on the other end). I wouldn't want any longer. I think the 9mm may be a better choice since it's lighter and has a noticeably softer hand (but not as soft as Reep Schnur). I've used the 9mm for a shorter lanyard for years and have been very pleased with the performance, weight, durability and compatibility with hitch cords and hardware. The MBS on the 9mm is lower than most arborist's want in a rope so take that in consideration.
 

moss

Well-Known Member
Aha, yeah I couldn’t remember if it was 9 of 10mm EZ-Bend. The thing with the Hook is... not considered life support by DMM. Some may recall that in pull tests on very lightly used 10mm Reep Schnur it broke as I remember in the 2600-2700 range.

9mm PMI EZ-Bend is rated at 18.3 kn, I’m fine with that for the Hook.
-AJ
 
Last edited:

Bob Bob

Well-Known Member
Location
somewhere
A little more fun in the same tree...Swinging the hook not tossing the hook in this one. I'm using my normal everyday 9mm lanyard for the hook line in this video.
 

New threads New posts

Kask Stihl NORTHEASTERN Arborists Wesspur TreeStuff.com Kask Teufelberger Westminster X-Rigging Teufelberger Tracked Lifts Climbing Innovations
Top Bottom