Treetools Blog RSS

Continuous update of new tree climbing products, equipment and tools

Akimbo development underway - and you can help

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Here's the word from the Akimbo designer, Jaime Merritt:

My name is Jaime. I am an arborist, climber, and compulsive tinkerer. The Akimbo has been a passion project of mine for the last year and a half or so. I have been making prototypes out of my woodshop evenings after work, and financing everything myself.

I have finally reached a point with the design that I am ready to have a proof run manufactured and I need your help. I am looking at about $5000 to pay for hardware and to have the parts CNC machined. Add to that $2000 for destructive testing and incidentals and we are well out of range of my personal budget. If I am able to reach my goal I am hoping to be able to produce 100 first generation Akimbo!

My sincere hope is that the Akimbo will be a unique and valuable addition to the range of mechanical rope climbing tools available to climbers the world over!

Click here if you can help Jaime get underway with this project.

Posted by Richard Tregoweth Google+

Yale Prism with Ben Palmer

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Yale Prism, designed by John Canning in Australia, is one of Treetools most popular tree climbing lines. 

The 24-strand, all-polyester construction keeps elongation to a minimum, making Yale Prism ideal for climbing SRT… and the 11.7mm diameter is a little easier on the hand.

It can be difficult to gauge the level of bounce in a climbing line when used in a tree. The friction from re-directs often gives a false reading. 

In Treetools opinion the only way to get the real feel for the amount of elongation in a rope is to drop a single leg, as long as possible, from a suitable anchor and load the line with the climbers weight furtherest from the anchor point. 

Our good friend Ben Palmer from MIT decided Treetools 'elongation test' was a worthy challenge. 

Ben found a single 60m drop off a bridge and went to the bottom to see how the Yale Prism performed with weight of a climber on a single leg of the line. 

Check out the video below to see what Ben has to say.

Posted by Richard Tregoweth Google+

James Kilpatrick’s SRT Ascent System OK’d by Petzl

Saturday, November 07, 2015

As far back as 2011 James Kilpatrick experimented with a modified SRT Ascent System – read a previous blog post on the subject here.

Readers new to SRT should not confuse James’ system with SRT work positioning configurations and devices commonly employed today.

The Single Line Ascent System James has developed is based on the traditional 'frog' system and is specifically designed for ascent.

Most climbers using this style of ascent, requiring the use of an independent ascent line, set a pulley-based anchor aloft on completing the ascent, and transition to a DbRT climbing system.

European cavers developed the first ‘frog’ systems (as documented in On Rope by Smith and Padgett).

Tree climbers saw the benefits of ‘frog’ ascent system and adapted it for tree work.

But the reason for ascent differs between cavers and tree climbers.

Tree climbers ascend to get in while cavers ascend to get out.

The vice-versa is therefore true: cavers descend to get into the cave whereas tree climbers descend to get out of the tree.

This means each discipline (cavers and tree climbers) has very different functionality requirements from the same configuration.

Frog systems are extremely efficient for ascent but simply will not work on descent.

If rapid descent is required (and there are many reasons why you might need to descend in a hurry when tree climbing) the climber cannot easily detach themselves from the system in order to commence the descent.

As far as SRT ascent systems go the ‘frog’ is considered well-organized and easy to set up but can be challenging to master efficiently and, as discussed, difficult to get off in a hurry.

Aside from these tree climbing limitations SRT ascent systems still have a very valid place in the tree climbers toolbox (hence the use of such a system by one of the world’s leading tree climbers).

Without going into the intricacies of the traditional ‘frog’ set-up, James has revolutionized the concept by introducing the Petzl Micro Traxion above the hand ascender, replacing the need for a towable chest ascender positioned low on the chest below the hand ascender as back-up.

Because James’ system is a departure from the traditional ‘frog’ ascent system the judges in the 2015 German National TCC questioned its appropriateness for use in tree climbing.

But James (being James) had done his homework – see James’ blog post on the subject here.

Earlier this year Petzl’s Quality and Technical Director Bernard Bressoux 'endorsed' the use of the Petzl Micro Traxion to back-up the Petzl Ascension or Ascentree connected via the Petzl OK – download Petzl’s Statement here for more details.

But be cautioned - the Petzl Statement comes with a proviso; the user should make their own risk analysis to determine if this solution is appropriate for their environment.

One thing is certain; James is bound to agree with Bernard’s sentiment.

Posted by Richard Tregoweth Google+

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