Seeing the foliage shake high up as I climb makes me nervous.

Winchman

Branched out member
Here's some marked pics of the two TIPs with solid lowers in red and the shaky new ones in yellow.
Shakey1.jpg Shakey2.jpg
Maybe I should have used green for the solid ones, huh?

The first one would give me a 75' climb in the clear all the way up. The second would give me a 65' climb with a few contact points as I climb. The bookmarks in the pics are 200# braided twine.
 

moss

Been here a while
Here's some marked pics of the two TIPs with solid lowers in red and the shaky new ones in yellow.
View attachment 77989 View attachment 77990
Maybe I should have used green for the solid ones, huh?

The first one would give me a 75' climb in the clear all the way up. The second would give me a 65' climb with a few contact points as I climb. The bookmarks in the pics are 200# braided twine.
That tree has had the tops broken many times. Are you in a “weather alley”? Looks pretty sturdy, fun climbing tree.
-AJ
 

Winchman

Branched out member
Southwest Georgia area has had its share of storms. A lot of older trees around here have damaged tops, some worse than these two. The damaged trees are usually a little shorter, so they're less likely to be killed by lightning as they get older. These two are near the highest ground for about a mile in any direction.
 
Always trust your gut, if it doesn’t feel right to you don’t do it. A lot of this just comes with many years of experience climbing specific species, etc and feeling how they react. You could read anyone calculated guesswork as to what should hold but truth be told none of that really holds much ground in reality. Those TIPs in your photos do look pretty solid though. There’s plenty trees that can handle a whole lot of sway and be fine and then there’s others that don’t even show a sign and just snap unexpectedly, as I’m sure you know.
 

Richard Mumford-yoyoman

Been here a while
Location
Atlanta GA
I've set up two tie-in points recently on what looked like sturdy crotches on healthy pine trees, but when I started climbing I could see the foliage further up shaking quite a bit each time I advanced. Part of me says it's no problem, but the other part that says NO WAY wins out. In both cases the lead is at least four inches in diameter at the TIP angling slightly away from the vertical line of the lower trunk. That would have given me a little more clearance from the trunk and lower limbs, and made climbing easier.

It's just recreational climbing, but I'd like to enjoy setting up and using some more TIPs. How do you go about convincing yourself a TIP is safe when you can see the foliage shaking as you climb?
"Just recreational climb" I'll let that slide but for fun or dollars, either way you will be just as dead.
So I use a 2 person static load test, I'll reference the videos below. If you are alone the check can be made by using the lanyard you have or the tail of your line, nothing extra to bring. It only takes a couple of minutes and may save a life.
On Firs and Pines, I will also ascend rope walking but with a double wrapped lanyard until I get to the lower limbs and can back up with normal lanyard use.
I have used 2 ways to tie that loop. One, just pull the first halfhitch out to form a loop and finish with a second half hitch or as in the video a half hitch on a bight, it is a little easier to un-tie.



 

Winchman

Branched out member
Thanks for the easy to follow testing instructions. I'm anxious to see how those two TIPs hold up, and I'll start testing my other TIPs before using them again.
 

dmonn

Participating member
Location
Mequon
"Just recreational climb" I'll let that slide but for fun or dollars, either way you will be just as dead.
So I use a 2 person static load test, I'll reference the videos below. If you are alone the check can be made by using the lanyard you have or the tail of your line, nothing extra to bring. It only takes a couple of minutes and may save a life.
On Firs and Pines, I will also ascend rope walking but with a double wrapped lanyard until I get to the lower limbs and can back up with normal lanyard use.
I have used 2 ways to tie that loop. One, just pull the first halfhitch out to form a loop and finish with a second half hitch or as in the video a half hitch on a bight, it is a little easier to un-tie.



What an amazingly simple, easy to do test of your anchor point. Love it. I can't wait to try this. Richard, you are an incredible asset to the climbing community!
 

Richard Mumford-yoyoman

Been here a while
Location
Atlanta GA
What an amazingly simple, easy to do test of your anchor point. Love it. I can't wait to try this. Richard, you are an incredible asset to the climbing community!
It is easier to set up than a GoFundMe! Yet we find ourselves donating to another fund a month or so ago for an anchor failure and 50 foot fall.
Well I don't know about the asset part but I do believe in this test. I wish it was widely used, I have been advocating this for 5-6 years now and seldom if ever see it used. Even at comps on the masters tree I think a 2 minute pause button should be advocated so that this can be used and demonstrated yet I still see 2 guys, run over, give the line a jerk and off we go. Real life we don't have a tree tech up there to tell us an anchor is good to go.
Some may also say that with my high anchor and dynamic rope I can't make the loop without it touching the ground. Yes, the loop is not the problem, stop setting untested anchors so high and why is someone using a dynamic rope?
Promise to stop the rant but guaranteed, I'll soon see another failure.
 

Winchman

Branched out member
For me, setting up TIPs is an enjoyable part of the hobby, and I almost always learn something from going through the process. Walking away from an unused TIP isn't big deal.

I just realized that it should be really easy to test my anchors and TIPs with my double rope climbing setup. I can hook the bottom of my Zigzag to my basal anchor, and clip my double-hand ascender with foot loop to the rope that goes through the ZZ chain. I'm pretty sure I can stay still that way with two hands on the ascender and most of my weight on the foot loop for more than a minute

That arrangement will put double my weight on the pulley just below the TIP and on the anchor rope that goes over the limb and down to my basal anchor. The downward load on the TIP and the upward load on the basal anchor will be four times my weight. Everything I need is part of my normal setup.

I just hope it work in real life as well as it does on paper.
 

climbingmonkey24

Branched out member
Location
United States
Bounce test. Put all your weight on the rope and “bounce” on it to put more force on your TIP before you ascend.

Also, use binoculars or some sort of scope...they sell golf scopes that might work...so you can get a closer view and inspection of your TIP from the ground.
 
Here's some marked pics of the two TIPs with solid lowers in red and the shaky new ones in yellow.
View attachment 77989 View attachment 77990
Maybe I should have used green for the solid ones, huh?

The first one would give me a 75' climb in the clear all the way up. The second would give me a 65' climb with a few contact points as I climb. The bookmarks in the pics are 200# braided twine.

Looks pretty straight forward. Solid TIPs are loaded in compression with almost zero cantelever loading (bending). The other two are loaded with bending loads = "shaking".
 

climbingmonkey24

Branched out member
Location
United States
For all the reasons I've mentioned in those videos but most of all, limbs generally don't break that way.

Okay, well I respectfully think that it has its place. I’m not saying it’s fool proof or guarantees anything, but it’s better than nothing.

I know of someone who started climbing and the limb broke because it wasn’t strong enough to support his weight. Ended up getting seriously injured.

So if you can’t get a birds eye view, putting some pressure on it is better than nothing in my opinion.

It also potentially allows you to break any small pieces of deadwood you might be hung up on which could fail when you start climbing.
 
Last edited:

dmonn

Participating member
Location
Mequon
Okay, well I respectfully think that it has its place. I’m not saying it’s fool proof or guarantees anything, but it’s better than nothing.

I know of someone who started climbing and the limb broke because it wasn’t strong enough to support his weight. Ended up getting seriously injured.

So if you can’t get a birds eye view, putting some pressure on it is better than nothing in my opinion.

It also potentially allows you to break any small pieces of deadwood you might be hung up on which could fail when you start climbing.
Definitely better than nothing, but IMO not as good as a doubled static test. That "cycles to failure" stays in the back of my mind. I've seen too many solid-looking EAB killed ash that just failed at the main stem on a calm day. I am definitely a fan of the static test described by Richard in his videos. It's especially attractive to me because most of my work is done solo, and it's so easy and quick to set up.
 

Richard Mumford-yoyoman

Been here a while
Location
Atlanta GA
Okay, well I respectfully think that it has its place. I’m not saying it’s fool proof or guarantees anything, but it’s better than nothing.

I know of someone who started climbing and the limb broke because it wasn’t strong enough to support his weight. Ended up getting seriously injured.

So if you can’t get a birds eye view, putting some pressure on it is better than nothing in my opinion.

It also potentially allows you to break any small pieces of deadwood you might be hung up on which could fail when you start climbing.
My problem with a bounce test is you have no idea what force you applied nor can you specify how much bounce, also trees are designed by nature to resist sudden forces. The bend and bend and hold as long as they can until finally the lignin cellulose complex structure just can't hold any longer. Some will say breaks can be sudden but it's usually because we haven't observed the forces that have been going on.
 
There are so many variables that come into play here. The amount of torque you're creating on the lever arm, angle, species of tree, the height (taller the tree the more flex and movement), the time of the year, and climbing system / the work being done off the TIP. If you're not comfortable, don't risk it. As you gain more experience you'll start to understand what's ok and what's not. Live trees flex and bend, it's what they do. Judging what is safe movement and what isn't just takes time and experience.
 

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