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Self rescue: vital skill for SRT ascent

Self rescue: vital skill for SRT ascent

Richard Tregoweth - Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Once upon a time (pre-2010) tree work SRT ascent was considered an 'advanced' tree climbing technique. Today, SRT ascent is almost passé.

But don't let its popularity lull you into a sense of false security!

Having all the right gear to get yourself up an ascent line is one thing - getting yourself back down in a hurry is another - without relying on your groundie (assuming you have installed a lower-able base-anchored system).

Even world class climbers can get themselves into a pickle. Witness Kiah Martin (Australia) at the recent Taranaki Open TCC.

Kiah found herself in a predicament when her SRT ascent plan went all pear shaped during the Aerial Rescue event. This is not a reflection on Kiah's skill - it could happen to anyone.

The simple fact is, you have to know how to get yourself down - safely. In Kiah's case, 'self-rescue' was not a problem but she did have to think things through (out loud).

Treetools resists selling a complete 'package' for SRT ascent. We happily retail the components but you are required to configure the system yourself.

Some of our customers find this policy a little frustrating but we do this for a reason.

Without a full working knowledge of how the SRT ascent system works you may find yourself suspended on a rope 20m off the ground with a swarm of bees enjoying themselves at your expense.

How do you get yourself down?

Before you invest in SRT ascent hardware and ropes ask yourself that question.

If you do not know the answer, perhaps you should re-consider your SRT ascent purchase (or at the very least plan a training session with Pro Climb, WINTEC or Thought Planters.

Alternatively, contract climber Johno Smith is in our Auckland store every Friday if you need some advice in configuring your SRT ascent system. For the record, SRT ascent training with an appropriate provider in the first instance is the preferred option.

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