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Climbing 101

lxskllr

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I was on a job Thursday, and there's a fairly sizeable oak tree with some significant dead limbs. Dunno if the tree's on it's way out, but it's currently nice enough to keep. I was working with the boss, so I had time to look at it, and speculate how I'd climb and prune it. I'd love to have it on my property. There's a little bit of everything there, and would make a good practice tree.

Anyway, the central stuff was pretty straightforward, but some of the side limbs had significant dead branches that should be removed. It was typical oak shape, with limbs leaving the trunk at ~50°. There were some decent tie in points, but a good way out on the limb, and I'm not sure you could get to the problem sections from them coming up from the ground. The strategy I was leaning to was using a central tie in, and a lanyard as a sort of flip line to get to the problem area. No spurs of course. The lanyard/tie in should keep you fairly well in place, and prevent any major disasters, but you could still get a little beat up if you slipped I guess. I /think/ you'd have enough traction to walk up the limb, but I'm not sure.

How do you all handle a setup like that? I'm just curious. I won't be doing the tree, but if it were mine, I probably would :^)
 

lxskllr

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Nah. it's hard to do. I didn't take pictures cause it isn't my tree, and it doesn't really matter. Just something to talk about.

For a quick and dirty, look at my avatar. Imagine I'm tied in at the bird, and need to get up one of the upward reaching branches. The oak wasn't that regular of course, so a tie in right over the problem section wasn't available.
 

Fiddler

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If it's too far out to limb walk (roughly 30 degrees give or take from vertical to tie in) you can use the free end of your climb line, if there is enough, (or another line) to pull yourself out in certain circumstances.

usually referred to as “double-crotching.”
 

CurSedVoyce

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You have the basic idea. High central tie in. Flip line as a work positioner tie in. If the limbs are scafforded close enough together, hold onto the upper limb and walk out the lower. High tie in will be your safety. Basically, climb the tree. Now, if you get so far out you need more support or more lateral reach, a redirect of the climb line in the limb above will help. Weight into it and reach out. Flip line in for more positioning or safety.
If you get familiar with SRTWP climbing, there are more and easier options, since you can climb right to a work point or redirect your line easier than Ddrt.
I have a video of some work positioning with SRT on my YouTube. Might give you some visual ideas.
Same name I use here. I'll post it later if you wish.
 

lxskllr

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I thought of that, but wasn't sure how I'd retrieve my line throwing it out from the center. I guess an option would be to set two lines before starting, and climb with both of them.

edit:
^^^In response to Fiddler
 

Fiddler

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I used a throwing knot for getting it out there and a pole saw w/out the blade on, or pruners, to retrieve it usually.
 

MasterBlaster

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Monkey's fist, FTW. I never used a pole saw for retrieval. I used a bight on my climb line to whip around and catch it. I never understood packing a polesaw around in a tree unless I was removing mistletoe.
 

Tree09

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If you look up the Schultz effect, you would be money ahead to buy that and just watch and learn. He's a member here but is never on (not a fan of forums i guess), but it's basically some of the best climbing stuff I've ever come across, all right there in one spot. Dudes a wizard in the tree. Also watch August and Kevin Bingham stuff, they make it look easy.

I'm not a very good climber, but i use double crotching a bunch. I have a double ended double adjusted lanyard that is super long, and that gives me lots of options to get my fat ass out there. I also have an epple hook that I use to help me, just don't rely on it as a single tie in. At times you have to go under the branch and climb like a sloth (or at least i do), that will help when it's a limb all by its lonesome. You can also use straps to choke on the limb to act as foot holds. A knee lock is also helpful, where you sit on the limb and hold it under your hamstring with your calf, and use your other leg to push you out there (very handy spur technique). I personally go from limb walk to knee lock to sloth if required.

As mentioned srt opens up a whole new bag of tricks to use, one of the best is a remote redirect. With srt you can redirect with no penalty of friction, so basically redirecting your line becomes the name of the game. You can even go so far as throwing a line through a redirect crotch, clipping your climbline (and a weight for retrieving it), and pulling it to any point between the two and tying it off. That can give you a perfect tie in point that you can set and retrieve remotely. Lawrence of course explains this far better than I could.
 

Altissimus

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With throw or pole gear you can often move the line further out for a re-direct using another limb to hold it (sling and carabiners , crotch , whatever) can save alot of effort just getting to the work. If I can't do that two safeties leapfrogged will get me there ... if I can't do that I add a sling or two for a foot loop s ...
 

Fiddler

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Butch I'd use line too if it was close enough...

We usually always had 12' pruners on site or in the tree in line clearance...they were our closest companion
 

MasterBlaster

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12' feet ain't nothing catching the fist with a bight. As long as you can get the swing, which was 95% of the time.
 

Tim_B.

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12' feet ain't nothing catching the fist with a bight. As long as you can get the swing, which was 95% of the time.
Hey, Butch, thanks for posting this climbing tip. I'm a little embarrassed to say I've never even tried to tie the monkey's fist knot yet. You are saying to tie it midline in the bight of the rope, correct? And then just get two equal halves of rope together and whip it around the back of a tree trunk or over a branch, correct?

I'm not sure why it has never occurred to me to try the monkey's fist knot, other than I guess I just figured I could use a throw bag to do the same thing. But maybe the fist behaves a bit differently than a throw bag does. I tend to carry too much stuff with me when I climb, because I'm almost always by myself. Anyway, thanks again for the advice. I swear I will learn to tie the monkey's fist knot now, just because of your recommendation. Take care.

Tim
 
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Bermy

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My main line is SRT as high as I can get it...then I use my super long lanyard DRT to help pull me out and drop me into the difficult spots. When you just can't wiggle out on your main (single or double) the long lanyard can help get you there and 'trangulate' for better positioning
 

MasterBlaster

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Tim, a monkey's fist has to be at the end of the rope. And when I say monkey's fist I don't mean a true MF but more of a small hank - like when you roll up your rope. You can make it open or closed just be aware that a closed MF can become stuck when you retrieve it after missing your target. Open is safest but you'll have to retie it each time. Open is also better cuz when you make the shot it'll unravel and most of the time swing right into your hand.

Forum tip - when editing your post it's not NECESSARY to give a reason. ;)
 

Brocky

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Captains hook works good for either throwing to the tip of the branch being walked on, or as a replacement for a redirect of the climb line, with both being retrievable.
 

lxskllr

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What were the ropes for?! All those good ladders there. Just throw 'em up, fire up the saw, and get some work done!

:^P
 

Tim_B.

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Tim, a monkey's fist has to be at the end of the rope. And when I say monkey's fist I don't mean a true MF but more of a small hank - like when you roll up your rope. You can make it open or closed just be aware that a closed MF can become stuck when you retrieve it after missing your target. Open is safest but you'll have to retie it each time. Open is also better cuz when you make the shot it'll unravel and most of the time swing right into your hand.

Forum tip - when editing your post it's not NECESSARY to give a reason. ;)
Ha! Copy that. Thanks for the explanation of your technique. Much appreciated.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ewu9T8-UhOo" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

:|:
This is one of the funniest things I've seen in awhile. Thanks for the laugh.

I was once describing the "Texas Kick" climbing setup to one of my brothers and a friend of his. His friend asked me if I use the "Texas Kick" climbing system myself. I said no, I use the "Virginia Flail" climbing system most of the time. Now, after watching this guy, I don't feel so bad. Thanks for posting that, Butch.

Tim
 
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