Conserving our planet's botanical resources and ecosystems

David Katz Climbing 6

Smith Woods Top Out!

Here’s a story from a recent ascent into the home-town forest!

The plan was to leave Ithaca at 8AM drive out to Trumansburg, climb up a fat Tulip and be back before we had to teach Tree Climbing at noon. 4 hours, lots of jugging, driving, doesn’t leave much time. As we walk out to the vans, it starts down pouring. Spirits a little down, we pile into the van and start out towards Tburg.

The week before I had pre-rigged an old dynamic rock climbing rope hard knotted to the top of the tree. From backyard ziplines to slot canyons in Utah, this rope had seen better days. As I start up the rope, I ask Keith, “what will we do if this thing breaks?” I reach the anchor point, one hundred feet from the ground dwellers below. I trail another new static rope for them, tie it on, and the following crew ascends. When Keith arrives at the anchor, he puzzles at the anchor for a second, and keeps free-climbing the tree! Where I had built the anchor, I thought was about as high as you could get. Well, we were all wrong, as Keith climbed another 20 feet high into the canopy. 

The best quote of the day:
”Dude, I can touch the top of the tree! It’s a bit exposed up here!” ~ Keith ~

These old growth giants are so large; one 200′ rope wouldn’t get us to the ground. We needed double ropes just to get out of the darn tree!

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