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But I'm not dead yet ... Age and climbing

Altissimus

TreeHouser
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
5,648
Location
southern Vermont
When to quit ... In my Ski Patrol work some of the guys skied tobbogans (patient's life completely in your hands) well into their seventies. Tree climbing is so physically demanding and none of us will last forever. Seems in the big outfits I've met alot of Climbers who hit fifty and went to sales as they weren't comfortable aloft anymore. Personally seen fifty come and go years back and I still climb. I may not love every second of it but still git er done.
 

MasterBlaster

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Mar 6, 2005
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Louisiana!
You outta put your age in your profile... everyone should.

I was strong at 50 but around 55 or 56 my body just started breaking down and if I kept going like I was I would soon be crippled.

I wish I could still do treework...
 

Altissimus

TreeHouser
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
5,648
Location
southern Vermont
Hate to keep track really , but some quick math says due North of 56. Some jobs I never get off the ground at all , some all off the ground. Definitely don't have to climb every day or in supershitty weather. (Though emergency work I will)
 

Burnham

Woods walker
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
17,316
Location
Western Oregon
My experience is something like Butch reports. At 45 I was better than I had ever been or would be, as a climber. At 50 I was still stronger and more productive than nearly any climber I crossed paths with. But somewhere there in the next 5 or 6 years, breakdowns in capability became obvious to me...though I still got plenty of tree people saying I hadn't lost a step, and not many much younger climbers kept up. But trouble with both shoulders and elbows, some back pain on occasion, many a little niggling thing crept in.

The real killer was the hip joint failure. At 50 it was just beginning to hurt on occasion. Within just a couple of years it was a constant issue, completely compromising my movement, both aloft and on the ground. It murdered my work, my recreation, my love life, my self esteem.

I finally had that mofo cut out and replaced with titanium, cobalt chrome, and cross-linked polyethylene at 58, and a year later, maybe 18 months, I was a new man. Five years on, still amazed at the change in quality of life this seemingly simple thing has wrought.

So sometimes you can turn the clock back, with the right medical intervention.
 

Buddy

Treehouser
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
1,014
Location
Central Idaho
That's cool, you older guys still hard at it. Gives me something to look up to, something to shoot for. Never give up... but I got a few years still before I get old.
 

Grendel

TreeHouser
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
2,178
Location
Upper Peninsula
Interesting conversation guys.

I'm glad to hear all of it. That there's longevity in this work, and that your new hip helped you so much Mr. B.
 

Burnham

Woods walker
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Mar 7, 2005
Messages
17,316
Location
Western Oregon
Hell, I retired at 58 and am glad for it. Started working in the woods when I was 16, in between high school and college sessions. I'm enjoying my leisure years a great deal :D. Work when I want, don't more often than not!
 

MasterBlaster

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Mar 6, 2005
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97,271
Location
Louisiana!
For me (what sucks the most!) is the fact that I could still be flying my buddy Mike's bucket truck, but the pistol grip handle (along with the death grip on the saw) was destroying my hands.

Crikey.
 

Mick!

TreeHouser
Joined
Nov 4, 2013
Messages
9,944
Location
South West France
I concur with Butch and Burnham I'll be 54 at the end of this year and I feel an undeniable waning in my body, shoulders, elbows, and knees if I'm on the spurs all afternoon ringing down.
 

Fiddler

Treehouser
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
7,078
Location
Michigan
I finally had to give in to the fact my knees (among other things) were going at 56, I could produce the work while aloft, but getting there became an obstacle I wasn't surmounting well...I feel 10 years younger since i've been not climbing daily now. I'm finding the golf course work and reduced hours much better impact-wise.
 

BlackSmith

Uncivil
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
5,102
Location
Upnya WV
Just turned 61. Except for a bad heart valve, high blood pressure and every bone in my body feeling like I've been in a train wreck I'm still a cherry. I feel my worse when I stop moving so I just keep working. I'd rather go down with both wings shot off and tail section on fire anyway. :/
 

Jomo

TreeHouser
Joined
Jan 31, 2014
Messages
2,175
Location
San Diego
I finally had to give in to the fact my knees (among other things) were going at 56, I could produce the work while aloft, but getting there became an obstacle I wasn't surmounting well...I feel 10 years younger since i've been not climbing daily now. I'm finding the golf course work and reduced hours much better impact-wise.
Get yourself a set of the ergonomic carbon fiber motoX knee braces Fidd.

They've kept me climbin a couple extra decades now, and at 7 bills relatively cheap.

Of course it takes me about an hour in the phone booth to transition into superman these days!

Jomo
 

stig

Patron saint of bore-cutters
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
17,403
Location
Denmark
Make sure youse guys are working at 65 because you want too, not because you have too.

Break my heart.
I have no intention of retiring before they carry me out of the woods.
I like my work, always have.
I'd rather wear myself out working than end up like my dad, who didn't know what to do with himself once he retired.
Ended up disappearing into a bottle.

Being able to go on logging and climbing at my age means learning to live with a certain amount of pain.
I'm ok with that. One can get used to a lot of things.
I suffer from arthritis in my left knee, badly.
That will most likely be what forces me to give up working.
 

Fiddler

Treehouser
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
7,078
Location
Michigan
Wasn't a "knee problem" in that sense Jomo...more like I just flat lost the power in my legs to climb...all my joints used to let me know they were there pretty consistently...I think a lot of inflammation might have settled down...

I rarely miss tree work. I loved it, but I have other things I like doing as well and can spend more time on them now...like auditioning for a full time job as a second fiddle player with a band down in North Carolina...never would have considered it when I was running a business.
 

MasterBlaster

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Louisiana!
Unless I can somehow live off my SS check, I expect I'll be working in some capacity until the bitter end.

No biggie... I ain't gonna cry about it. A lot of people have a better Life than me, but... on the other hand, many are struggling to even have food or a roof over their heads.

It is what it is.

I hate that phrase, lol.
 

Altissimus

TreeHouser
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
5,648
Location
southern Vermont
Once after an on the job injury on Ski Patrol , I was told " after the age of thirty when an injury involves a joint , you will have a lifelong ailment" ...Might just be aches and pains , or worse.
 
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