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Tree climber’s skillset sought by filmmaker

Tree climber’s skillset sought by filmmaker

Richard Tregoweth - Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Most height safety practitioners (other than tree climbers) attach themselves to a rated anchor point and climb in an environment with predictable, controlled parameters.

Not so, for tree climbers. The reliability of the anchor point and the natural, three-dimensional structure of a tree, test the treeclimber’s skill on a daily basis. The tree climber is also one of the last height safety professions to use knots as part of their everyday routine.

With experience under their belt, good tree climbers develop an uncanny ‘sixth sense’ for judging the work environment before they climb. This is a unique skillset in the professional height safety market.

When filmmaker Geoff Mackley began formulating plans to erect a speedline into a volcano (yes,you read that right – see video below) he began looking for professional height safety practitioners who had a good understanding of the above concepts,particularly the ability to adjust (quickly) to the environment.

On a chance visit to Treetools, Geoff watched a video by Greg Parker featuringa couple of Aucklanders, climbing kauri in the Waitakere Ranges. Geoff knew immediately they were the boys for his job.

The two climbers in question were Drew Bristow and Johno Smith.

Long story short, Drew and Johno are off to Ambrym Island, Vanuatu early September, charged with the task of getting Geoff and his film crew down to theMarum Volcano boiling lava lake via speedline.

Who says tree climbing is a go nowhere job!

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