Tree failure, while I was climbing it.

Woodwork

Well-Known Member
Location
Tidewater
I have never done the 1 ring thing exactly for that reason, but apparently with a short enough bridge, using the lower d's on the treemo works for that!
I always use two attachment points when cutting on a spar or blowing out a top, my positioning lanyard on my lower d's, and a climbing line. The climbing line is sometimes choked in a srt setup, sometimes just used like a second lanyard, but connected to the bridge ring/swivel/ whatever you use. Anyway, with my setup, I guess both the lanyard and the climbing line are circle of death protection as long as the adjuster/positioner/prussik/multisender can hold tight. Never thought of that before.
Not sure I follow you, probably because I'm a noob. Seems like if your lanyard and/or a section of your climbing line tail are attached to your saddle with you inside it – and nothing to separate you from the "circle" that has the tree inside it – if the tree chairs or splits, you would still be inside the circle and could be crushed...

See posts 24 and 29 in this thread:

My theory was that if both ends of the lanyard were clipped to the same ring on the bridge of your saddle, then even if the tree split or chaired, you could never be crushed between the tree and your saddle, because the lanyard would form the circumference of the circle and your body would be outside of the "circle of death"... if that makes any sense...sorry if I'm too dense to get it...
 
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RBJtree

Well-Known Member
Location
Pittsburgh
Not sure I follow you, probably because I'm a noob. Seems like if your lanyard and/or a section of your climbing line tail are attached to your saddle with you inside it – and nothing to separate you from the "circle" that has the tree inside it – if the tree chairs or splits, you would still be inside the circle and could be crushed...

See posts 24 and 29 in this thread:

My theory was that if both ends of the lanyard were clipped to the same ring on the bridge of your saddle, even if the tree split or chaired, you could never be crushed between the tree and your saddle, because the lanyard would form the circumference of the circle and your body would be outside of that circle...if that makes any sense...
If you are using the lower d's on the tree motion for the lanyard, the rope bridge completes the lanyard into a closed circle. In a "circle of death" scenario, I think it would protect the climber as long as all components held, and the bridge was not too long. With hip d's, the back of the harness is what completes the circle, leaving the climber inside. Clipping both sides of the lanyard to one ring would certainly work too!
 

Woodwork

Well-Known Member
Location
Tidewater
Thank you for the explanation, RBJTree. Now I get it:

If you are using the lower d's on the tree motion for the lanyard, the rope bridge completes the lanyard into a closed circle. In a "circle of death" scenario, I think it would protect the climber as long as all components held, and the bridge was not too long. With hip d's, the back of the harness is what completes the circle, leaving the climber inside. Clipping both sides of the lanyard to one ring would certainly work too!
Damn silver maples ...
I noticed silver maples mentioned a few times in the CoD thread I referenced above, too...sounds like you need to watch out for them.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
A breakaway positioning lanyard? I never heard of anyone using such a thing. Sounds like it might cause as much danger as it saves you from. In this case, it would probably have resulted in the chimney breaking, maybe I would have taken a swing back into the tree I was tied into. If it was a fall arrest type breakaway lanyard that just lengthens to relieve shock, it might have allowed the tree to break the chimney , fall off the stump, roll off the house, and try to drag me down with it. I think my saftey gear worked quite well today. Saved me, and my customers house.
The fall arrest idea is interesting... The problem I have with it is that a breakaway lanyard is usually used when there is a danger of going down with the tree. If that is what I'm trying to avoid, I'm not sure that a fall arrest system is desireable. I'd want to be detached from the tree immediately.

My breakaway lanyard setup is the addition of a dmm xsre biner to my left hip d. The "permanent" lanyard attachment point is on my right hip d, so I can choose to clip in "breakaway" to the xsre, or "non-breakaway" to the d. I like the rating of the xsre (900lbs), but I have to be careful not to torque it because they do bend under loads - I've bent two on my captain hook. The non-locking gate is also interesting for conversation. I think I would prefer it to be locking, but when I'm using a breakaway lanyard I'm already monitoring things like a hawk.

What breakaway systems does everyone else use?
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
Well, I just had this happen. Hollow silver maple, broke at the base while I was climbing. I knew it was hollow, but I thought it would hold. One of my guys suggested I tie into the tree behind it so I threw my rope into a crotch I deemed worthy. By the time I was high enough to start cutting my rope was at too high of an angle and slid down the branch to a y. When the tension came off my climbing line putting my full weigh onto the tree, it broke. By the time the tree hit the chimney, most of the weight was on my rope, cushioning the blow to the chimney enough to cause no damage. My lanyard was around the tree too, so my climbing system was now the rigging holding up the tree. My guys got ropes to me which I was able to throw into the other tree and they tied it off so I could climb down. We were then able to rig the tree off of the house. No damage, no injuries, but a hell of a close call. Next time, I will take the time to set my climbing line better and set a rope or ropes from the ground to stabilise the tree. Too many years of climbing trees like this without incident definitly made me a little complacent. Complacency gets experienced climbers killed. I know that, but I guess I needed this to bring it to a point of action. View attachment 61400 View attachment 61401
Glad you're okay man.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
The fall arrest idea is interesting... The problem I have with it is that a breakaway lanyard is usually used when there is a danger of going down with the tree. If that is what I'm trying to avoid, I'm not sure that a fall arrest system is desireable. I'd want to be detached from the tree immediately.

My breakaway lanyard setup is the addition of a dmm xsre biner to my left hip d. The "permanent" lanyard attachment point is on my right hip d, so I can choose to clip in "breakaway" to the xsre, or "non-breakaway" to the d. I like the rating of the xsre (900lbs), but I have to be careful not to torque it because they do bend under loads - I've bent two on my captain hook. The non-locking gate is also interesting for conversation. I think I would prefer it to be locking, but when I'm using a breakaway lanyard I'm already monitoring things like a hawk.

What breakaway systems does everyone else use?
Cheap 3/8 hardware store 3 strand. Basically the logic for me is I need enough for work positioning, but not for life support.

No lanyard

Or a rope lanyard with a loose hitch and no stopper.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Location
Olympia, WA
900 pounds is way too high.

Zipties for clipping into.

Anything that is an actively activated system, no thanks.

"I'll just..." during an fast-moving emergency situation.




2 climbing line, as needed/ desired. A "v" from the two climbing lines prevents swing.

Using the tail of the climbing line, with the help of a groundworker, can keep you from swinging. Just take a wrap. I basically always climb SRT, so my rope will not advance from tension on the tail. SO easy.






Did you say that the chimney may have broken if you weren't in that dangerous of a situation? Who GAF about a chimney? Reassess your priorities.
$0.02.

What other options did you have for dealing with 'the usual suspect'?
 

swingdude

De' Island Buzzer
Location
Barbados
Another thing a friction saver would have negated your rope moving in the first place. I climb SRT 99% of the time for a scenario like this a quickie choked would be my go to.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
Keychain biners and zip ties that break at 50lbs of Force....quick release.....
I can deform a keychain biner by sitting into it, lol. I'm 200lbs. If I transition my weight from one leg to the other, I'm 275 lbs force equivalent at some moment, right? Zip ties are interesting...
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
900 pounds is way too high.
It's a moment force, right, so it would not be sustained unless the tree only caused 900 lbs of force? I'd prefer 600 lbs, but who makes that?... Also, any kind of off-axis loading quickly reduces the break strength. Like I said above, I have deformed two of these simply by having them hanging out at the top of my captain hook. No idea how it happened. Appreciate your comment and am taking it seriously.
 

Mitch Hoy

Active Member
Location
Rochester
I have used a breakaway saw lanyard for positioning in the past.

There was one occasion where I had to driftline a huge portion of a big basswood in a single maneuver. The stem was hollow, cracked, and had a lateral fissure halfway up the stem. No bucket access, no crane access, crappy situation. The tree was uphill of an upscale cabin, with one big lateral over the structure, the rest leaning away. We guyed out the tree, set up the driftline to a big oak, and I tied into another tree uphill before heading up to set up the butt portion of the drift in the basswood. The way things were positioned, I would have swung into the hill if the tree failed. My solution was to choke a line on the basswood and munter onto an hms biner on my central attachment point, along with the other system. I held the tail of the munter under my foot, and used a breakaway lanyard during setup as well. The guyed out tree didn’t fail when I made the big cut, thankfully.

I have had a smaller tree fail under me with an overhead tie-in. That was scary enough for me, I can’t imagine that silver going while in it. Glad you are ok.
 

RBJtree

Well-Known Member
Location
Pittsburgh
I would never setup my climbing system planning for it to maybe save property damage. The fact that it did, on a tree that I didn't think would fail, is a one time bonus not something to consider for future use. Evaluating exactly how it did save property damage while not causing any harm to me is due diligence to better understand how a system acts in an unanticipated tree failure.
 

RBJtree

Well-Known Member
Location
Pittsburgh
900 pounds is way too high.

Zipties for clipping into.

Anything that is an actively activated system, no thanks.

"I'll just..." during an fast-moving emergency situation.




2 climbing line, as needed/ desired. A "v" from the two climbing lines prevents swing.

Using the tail of the climbing line, with the help of a groundworker, can keep you from swinging. Just take a wrap. I basically always climb SRT, so my rope will not advance from tension on the tail. SO easy.






Did you say that the chimney may have broken if you weren't in that dangerous of a situation? Who GAF about a chimney? Reassess your priorities.
$0.02.

What other options did you have for dealing with 'the usual suspect'?
Other options, as I stated earlier,
tie in higher,
set a guy line or two,
Also could have brought a crane in, or taken down a bunch of fencing and used a pull rope and a guide rope to drop the tree whole.

Hind sight is 20/20! Or at least close to it. I said I knew it was hollow, not how hollow. There was no outside holes or cracks visable, it just sounded hollow.

My first priority is always the saftey of people, including myself. No property damage is second. My previous statements concerning breakaway lanyards was a discussion of ideas, not a statement of my priorities.
 

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