Spiking leaners, any advice?

Location
Ontario
Best way is to preset a line from the ground to the tip of the leader with a second line and ropewalk that out to the tip of the leader

If spurless and no preset line can be installed it can be a painfully laborious sling-step and sling-grip ascent.

I find this happens especially on topped trees where the branches become leaders and are heavy leaners but also easily snap-able as overextended in some cases so having progressive rope tie-ins(similar to dog-bones when rock climbing) can be helpful as far as safety or confidence goes.

Some climbers stay on top all the way but in small diameter stuff with few side branches I often go underneath and use my lanyard using arms similar to hip-thrusting to advance, when high enough tie a rope running-bowline style then a wrap around the leader, take a step back down, then haul myself on top of the branch again. Sometimes use a wrap with my lanyard if bark too slippery or angle too steep.

If spurless can be a painfully laborious sling-step and sling-grip ascent.

Best way is to preset a second line from the ground to the tip of the leader and ropewalk/hand ascender that out to the end/tip of the leader

Would like to hear others techniques
If it's spurless I'm definitely spending all the time it takes to preset a line. In that case I would also just just walk up the rope to the tip. I rarely go underneath unless it's only a slight lean and swinging to the upside won't be too much of a hassle.
 
Location
Ontario
Because of this most times I’ll throw my split tail on at the base of the tree right along with my buckstrap. I call it my emergency brake and it works!
There's no way I'm spurring up a small diameter leaner without slowly advancing my choked off climbing line with it. An emergency break indeed. I was really hoping to have my mind blown with some crazy advice lol, but it seems slow and steady really is the name of the game.
 
Location
Ontario
My advice if you have nothing else to tie into other than the stem you are spurring is to tie in twice either by using an adjustable friction saver or a choked SRT line. Keep your lanyard long so your weight is on your spurs and not pulling your torso near the stem which limits the amount of weight you can put on the spurs. If I need to lean to either side to make a cut or install rigging gear, I choke my lanyard on the stem in an SRT configuration so I can lean against it. I position it so the choke point is on the far side of the stem so I can pull myself back on top when I need to.

I echo Rico’s sentiments. Don’t put yourself on the underside of a leaner. That is so much more physical and difficult.
Are people really spiking up these with just a lanyard Couldn't be me. I'll sometimes use my climbing line as my buckstrap and choke off my lanyard because the ART positioner I can snug it up a lot closer to me bridge. Choke it off to pull me to the left if I need to lean to the right for slinging or cutting a notch and vice versa.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
@Sandy Gaffs CC

I've been climbing since natural fiber ropes and tautline were standard. Your reaction to 'new fangled' tools has come up at every time that there is change. The change from natural fibers to synthetics. The line was that synthetics melted. Wellllllll....they do...but...and the discussion went on. The difference? It happened face to face.

Next big change...tautline to Blake's. Same arguments. New fangled...can't be tied with one hand...on and on.

Any statement about gear complexity is kinda moot. How complicated is the vehicle you drive? How often are lug nuts checked? FLuid levels? Brake adjustment and wear? Belt tensions?

Everyone has systems that work for themselves. Some are safer than others. Some are more complex. Trying to say that one is better is going to be hard to back up.
 

Stumpsprouts

Branched out member
Location
Asheville
Are people really spiking up these with just a lanyard Couldn't be me.
In regards to leaning spars, to the extent it’s leaning and it’s diameter yea I would avoid that if I could.

I would say that being comfortable enough to flip up a spar independent of a choking second positioning point (even on a leaning spar) is something to strive for. Of course you MUST also have a long rope system (whether it’s a zigzag, recycled lobster trap rope, or crushed up beer cans glued together) ready when you need it to advance beyond a branch or to make a cut. But I will spike up with that dangling on my harness until I need it. On a big removal, hell yes I will preset a line. On a leaning tree hell yes I’m going to preset a line.
 
Location
Ontario
Of course you MUST also have a long rope system (whether it’s a zigzag, recycled lobster trap rope, or crushed up beer cans glued together) ready when you need it to advance beyond a branch or to make a cut. But I will spike up with that dangling on my harness until I need it.
Sure, if it's relatively upright or a decent diameter I may let the climb line dangle until needed. I'm especially guilty of this on conifers because I'll use a wire core and don't want to sap my rope up, might just choke it off for rigging the top. But anything less than ~12" if you slip you could be sliding pretty far down.
 

climbingmonkey24

Branched out member
Location
United States
Leaner or not, I typically feel more comfortable spiking up a spar with my climb line cinched around the trunk and advance it up with my flip line if I don’t have a TIP above me.

Do not feel very comfortable being tied in with just a lanyard. Not to say I haven’t been tied in with just a lanyard at times if moving a TIP or something, but even then I prefer two TIP. I look at it from the point of view of having a backup. Especially when at any kind of height. But that’s just me. Part of it is probably psychological.
 

JeffGu

Been here a while
It's not just you. Two climbing systems really opens the door for not only higher safety, but more positioning options. Also, the older you get the more aware you become to just how busted up you could get from even a short fall, and just how much longer it will take you to heal up if you get hurt. It slows you down, but that's something else most people stop caring about as they age. In the grand scheme of things, just getting it done is probably a bit more important than trying to get it done faster.

I'm sure production climbers have a different view on that, though. My wife used to help me on jobs, sometimes, and she couldn't stand watching me climb on one line. When I started using two, she got over that when she realized that even if something went bad with one, I wouldn't actually fall out of the tree. Might smack a stem from a big swing, but it would take a lot of bad things happening for you to actually fall.
 

Stumpsprouts

Branched out member
Location
Asheville
But anything less than ~12" if you slip you could be sliding pretty far down.
I'm sure production climbers have a different view on that, though.
Do not feel very comfortable being tied in with just a lanyard.
Yes and yes to all... Spiking w/o a cinching system or higher TIP is a tool in the toolbox, not the standard. I guess what I would argue is that it’s a vital skill and comes in handy in a variety of situations. Think about lineworkers. They are working with small diameter poles exclusively and spike up and down day in day out. Maybe I have too much confidence in my gaffs and lanyard in these moments, but it certainly does make quick work of a lil excurrent tree.
 

climbingmonkey24

Branched out member
Location
United States
No one way is necessarily better than the other etc. Whatever works for you and allows you to get the job done safely and efficiently. It isn’t a competition of who can get the job done quickest. Work at whatever pace you’re comfortable with and don’t let anyone influence you to do different otherwise.

Also, preferring to be tied in twice on a spar doesn’t correlate to how skilled or experienced someone is, it’s all personal preference.

Nothing wrong with wanting an extra level of precaution and safety.
 
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Chaplain242

Branched out member
No one way is necessarily better than the other etc. Whatever works for you and allows you to get the job done safely and efficiently. It isn’t a competition of who can get the job done quickest. Work at whatever pace you’re comfortable with and don’t let anyone influence you to do different otherwise.
Agreed, as long as keep striving for the most fluent/smooth method you can muster. Nothing worse than tiring yourself out only to look over your shoulder at the next big leader you have to do…
 

27RMT0N

Carpal tunnel level member
Location
WA
I use that frequently on our tall skinny trees, even when they are dead vertical. 80-100' up, trunk is like 3-5." Although my climb-line is always choked off so I couldn't corkscrew down if I slipped, I like having my steel core flip-line double wrapped for maximum stability.

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That would be my only piece of advice. When you approach from below it’s quite a PITA to get topside. I would simply spike from bottom up.

This can also be a good time to use strategic stub placement. On a heavy leaner, if you are rigging, those stubs aren’t going to foul up your pieces.
Stubs for the win... i watch vids of guys cutting off the stubs and struggling to go up. A few stubs to grab and put feet on makes it so much easier. I agree on the pain in the butt to get on top from the bottom. Sux
 

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