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best way to ascend a rope

Discussion in 'Recreational Tree Climbing' started by beochie, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. beochie

    beochie ArboristSite Lurker

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    Hello, I'm new here. I'm from SW Michigan and I'm looking into tree climbing recreationally. I first stumbled onto tree climbing because I was looking into harnesses for bow hunting. There is a growing interest to get away from back attached fall restrain and go with a more rock climbing style harness(front mount).
    Anyway, after getting a couple tree stands stolen, having a few 100+yr old oaks on my property I'd love to climb, and needing a little arborist work done, rope tree climbing is looking really appealing.
    I have a bunch of question...I'm suffering from info overload.
    1. is it practical to climb a rope a hunting spot? or would I be sweating my butt off by the time I got up to my stand?
    2.I was thinking SRT, rope wrench, frog or haas, Black Diamond Vario Speed Harness. would be the easiest way to get up in a tree.. thoughts?
    I'm newby lost, I just want to get up in my trees fast and easy...any help would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. Hoowasat

    Hoowasat ArboristSite Operative

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    1. I would think it to be practical. Tie all your gear and (unloaded) gun to the end of your rope so you can pull it up after you've climbed into position. That way, you're not toting all that weight with you while climbing. Reverse scenario when descending ... lower your gear to the ground first.
    2. There really is no 100% answer about which SRT climbing system will suit YOU best. I tried a few ... such as the Texas-sit-stand ... before I settled on RADS ... which suits ME great. You may have to try several techniques before you settle on one that you feel comfortable with. If you know any tree climbers, it would be to your benefit to ask them to show you what works for them ... and maybe a few techniques they don't really like as much. Could be one they don't like will appeal to you. Who knows? You might like foot-locking.
    3. You didn't ask a 3rd question, but I will. Have you figured out how you'll get your climbing line into the tree? YouTube has several good videos on throw bags.

    BTW, for fall-arrest, a lanyard attached to your back is best, and there are harnesses that have both front & rear attachment points. Most rock and tree climbing harnesses are not designed for fall-arrest. You don't have to fall far for a fall-arrest lanyard to snap your spine if attached to the front.
     
  3. Overwatch

    Overwatch ArboristSite Member

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    A lot depends on your level of fitness. If you're in fairly good shape, climbing on a doubled rope -DdRT- is a fairly simple and cheap way to start. Lots of seasoned climbers will recommend this as a first step- you get familiarized with the way a friction hitch works, find which hitch works for you and your rope. Humping the air DdRT can be pretty physically taxing, but once you're proficient at friction hitches you can add a rope walker system, which is the most efficient method of ascent.

    Like the previous poster I find that RADS is what works best for me most of the time- otherwise I am on doubled rope.

    Also, definitely get another harness- something with side D's and a lanyard.

    All this front-mounted gear might cramp your hunting style so in that case you might still be needing a dorsal fall-arrest system if you don't wanna slack your line.
     
  4. boone0

    boone0 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Beochie,

    I am also researching tree climbing, which is what brought me here as well. I own a new tribe aero hunter, but have never used rope to climb. I have relied on strap on ladders to get to hunting height.

    There is a great thread going on at saddlehunter.com on this exact subject.

    http://www.saddlehunter.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=104

    Hunting from a saddle is more work in "tweaking" your setup and making it work. Its not as straightforward as hunting from a climber. But, if you're going to use rope to get up, you're already going to use a harness. Investing in a harness like the new tribe aero hunter evolution can kill 2 birds with one stone.

    This site seems to be the place to go for research on tree climbing, but if you're interested in saddle hunting check out the saddle hunter forums. John Eberhart, a MI hunter who has promoted saddle hunting, as well as many other dedicated saddle hunters post there.

    I can't give you any info based on experience, but I hope this points you in the right direction.
     
  5. boone0

    boone0 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Oh, one last thing: the guys over there seem to prefer the Petzl RADS kit for this purpose.
     
  6. sac-climber

    sac-climber ArboristSite Operative

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    Stay away from the RADS.....old school gear intensive mess.
     
  7. boone0

    boone0 ArboristSite Lurker

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    What system would you suggest that is less gear intensive? I haven't seen anything that lets you ascend and descend as easily with as few pieces SRT.
     
  8. sac-climber

    sac-climber ArboristSite Operative

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    A rope wrench and friction hitch. If you're brand new to climbing Ddrt might be a better placer to start. Working from SRT and never having been in a tree before will prove to be a scary experience. I have to admit I was a bit unnerved returning from my first limb walk on a single line and I've been climbing professionally for a decade.
     
    treesmith likes this.
  9. boone0

    boone0 ArboristSite Lurker

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    What makes SRT scarier than Ddrt? As in, its more risky or it is perceived by the novice climber as scarier? If its the latter, I hang from a single rope at hunting height and climb with strap on tree ladders... Those things can be scary.
     
  10. Hoowasat

    Hoowasat ArboristSite Operative

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    I have climbed with both RADS and with a rope wrench (not at the same time). I believe they each have their own advantages depending on the situation. If my climbing rope is close to the tree's trunk, I will use RADS simply because I like bracing my feet against the tree as I ascend ... provides stability. If I must climb where I cannot brace myself against the tree, then I will use the rope wrench to ascend freely straight up. If I'm climbing with two ropes at once so I can transfer laterally, I usually use RADS on the main rope and DdRT on the secondary rope. Why? I find it's easier to pull out and reposition the DdRT climbing system than most other systems.

    If I was attempting to position myself in a tree for hunting, I'd imagine most situations would be against the trunk, thus I would choose RADS. And if I've got a loaded firearm with me, I would also prefer a system which requires a deliberate action to descend (pull a lever with RADS), whereas inattentive movement aloft could snag and move your friction hitch, allowing you to drop ... might not drop more than a foot or two ... but it's not a safe situation if your finger is on or near the trigger. Following a deer in your scope while it's descending a nearby hillside could be one scenario when you're not thinking about your friction hitch.

    I don't hunt, but I am a life member of the NRA ... and I appreciate what many hunters endure. Safety is number one with both climbing and firearms.
     
  11. sac-climber

    sac-climber ArboristSite Operative

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    This is kind of a difficult question to answer. Hanging from the trunk is a whole different game than being 20' out on a 6" limb with nothing to the right or left and only a single 11mm piece of rope to bring you back in. Ddrt at least offers you a mechanical advantage.

    If you going straight up and down RADS might work great for you. That system was made for industrial/structural climbing. Tree climbing requires a bit more of a dynamic approach IMO.
     
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  12. lowandslow

    lowandslow ArboristSite Operative

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    I,ve hunted that way for years, it's good exercise, it gets your blood going but is not too hard on a good day. I use a Blakes hitch and dbl rope technique. It's hard to get a firm stance on a branch though. descending a tree in the dark is thrilling. It's a fun hobby, good luck!
     
  13. boone0

    boone0 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Agreed on the safety concerns. I think most hunters will be climbing and staying close to the trunk. Most also typically leave the bow/firearm unloaded at the ground and pull it up when they're situated at height.

    There are a few different hunting saddle setups. Most use webbing or rope girth hitched to the trunk. My rope is connected to my rope bridge with a prusik and carabinier, with the other end girth hitched to the trunk. I am still looking at RADS as a future climbing system... The only difference will be my tree rope is longer and the prusik is replaced by a petzl rig.

    Hope this all isn't too off topic. I appreciate the feedback from the experienced climbers here.
     
  14. Hoowasat

    Hoowasat ArboristSite Operative

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    If you're going to use the Petzl Rig, your rope will need to be smaller than 1/2" (13mm) diameter. I use the Petzl ID because it accepts 1/2" rope. Plus, give strong consideration to climbing saddles which incorporate a bosun seat ... much more comfortable over long periods of time. I sometimes add a Petzl Podium beneath my saddle if I know I'll be in one position for extended periods. Whichever saddle to try, you may want to fire some practice shots while suspended (low & close to the ground) in order to ensure the recoil doesn't disrupt your stability.
     
  15. boone0

    boone0 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks for the tips. I already own a new tribe aero hunter which is fairly comfortable. I have added a strap to the bridge also which is use for low back support.
     
  16. lowandslow

    lowandslow ArboristSite Operative

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    Sometimes the deer have a good laugh when I get my throw line tangled... for an hour: )
     
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  17. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith ArboristSite Lurker

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    Hello,
    New here, I am fairly new to climbing and really enjoying it. I do have a question about climbing a tree with either too small or no branches to throw a line over. In this case what is the best way to tie yourself to the tree with a safety line once in the tree?
     
  18. benjo75

    benjo75 ArboristSite Operative

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    There are dozens of ways of doing this. Mine is just one of them. I would use an adjustable friction saver. It is retrievable once you're back on the ground. It will adjust to just about anything you would ever be in. You can also use a regular friction saver. You can use a nylon sling wrapped around the tree with a carabiner.
     

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