Ideal size for a climber?

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The Branch Doctor

Any of you guys think there is an "ideal" size/weight for a climber?

It came up in another thread and made me curious what everybody else thinks of the subject.

Except the Canadians... nobody cares what they think.:P:D
Ive always thought tall and slender would be the ideal build.

6 ft tall, 200 lbs ish ??

Im only 5 ft 9 ish, and appprox 175 pounds depending on the season, and I've always been a little envious of the climbers that were a few maybe 4 inches taller.
That additional reach would be nice.
My height and 200lbs would be pretty slender. The antithesis of a ground guy. Back when I was doing PT 5 days a week and got down to 220, I could climb better but couldn't lift near as much.
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IMO, 6ft-ish and under 200lbs. 165-185lbs is a lean mean climbing machine that's light enough to do some serious limb walking, strong enough to handle the strains, and the endurance to stay aloft for long periods of time.

My .02:D
Long arms and legs are more helpful than overall height. I know that with my hands cuffed behind my back, I can step through my arms and bring my hands in front of me (while sitting in the back of a patrol car).
NO, I'm not sharing any details. :P Besides, it was a decade ago.
I think just under 200 pounds is good, and almost 6' tall. I am 160 and hauling up a 046 wears me out sometimes. Carrying it around throws me off balance.

I think if you have enough mass and muscle to sling a big saw, you're good.

The smoothest climbers I've seen are usually small framed people.

at comps ive seen guys, like an aussie named straun, make the footlock in fewer grabs as they are 6'2"- 6'4" and make traverses that normal size people find difficult
It depends. When I have to do spruces I think it would be great to be small. When I am removing large trees I think being 6' 4" is great. Slender would be good. That's on my things to do before I have a heart attack list.
Skinny= long term aches pains and strains imo. 5'9" and sitting right around 200, 180 is slim and trim for me and I've never experienced a sore back.

Imo size/build don't really mean squat. Some people climb others...........don't.

That's a Canadian opinion.:P
Willie if you have a spare tire, then I'm the Michelin Man.


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I think I come in lighter than the whole bunch of you guys...
We got a few guys at work that climb that are 6'-6'5" not 100% sure, one of them is real tall. He can reach so much more than us short guys. Plus he is strong as an ox, can handle 4-5 pruner sticks in a tree no problem... IMO our best limb walker is a little short guy. Has balance like a squirrel...
Size? ...I donno, I'm 6'4" at 265lbs and can hold my own, (for a 43 year old fella that is). Not the best but not the worse either, just somewhere in between!


I met a very interesting fellow last year at the Michigan T.C.C. and man can this guy climb!!! WOW!!! I think Theresa (TC3) may know him. :/:

He's a big guy and not once did I see him loose speed going up & down all day long!

He goes by the name of Whiz over at the Buzz and is pictured on the left below. Oh and thats Tree Rat to the right!



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I think someone like Kareem Abdul Jabbar's body type would be good for a climber.

Tall, but not heavy and strong. Big hands to grab limbs and long limbs to reach out and cut stuff a shorter guy would have to climb up to.
Power to weight ratio and balance are the important things IMO. I'm 5'10 and about 170. Great for most work, but when blocking down a stem with a 660 I struggle in comparison to the big guy's.

The ape index does help too (height compared to armspan) + numbers are what you want, I'm +5 - my span tip to tip is 6'3!!