This is the oak I'm pruning, The red O is the branch I am trying to cut off, the blue arrow is where my rope is attached too, the top of the ladder is at 16ft. My fear comes from not completely trusting my equipment, I have bought good quality equipment but still have a trust issue. I cannot physically climb as well now that I'm 56yrs. To ascend I made & use a Prusik knot line about 5ft long and tie it to the rope and use it as a step as I ascend. I'm trying to do it as basic as possible because I'm also carrying up a chainsaw. Can you suggest another way easier than what I am doing to get to my destination? I am very scared once I get to the second branch above the ladder. It is very unusual for me to admit I am "scared" because I have never been scared of tasks like this in my younger days when I was 10ft tall and bulletproof. Are you guys scared as well when doing tasks similar to this? Do you fully trust your equipment? When doing something like this do all of you "always" have a lifeline attached or are there some here that free climb? My biggest issue is "fear" which is causing this job to progress slowly and paying someone else to do it is out of the question for now. I want to cut my own trees. Also keep in mind I've only been doing this tree work since June of this year. I have cut down about 5-30 to 50ft pines since June without a incident YET, being fearful makes me think through everything about 5 times, it is really a mind intercourse if you catch my drift.