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Living documents the answer for tree climbing education

Richard Tregoweth - Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Development in tree climbing gear and techniques is moving forward at an unrelenting pace. The speed of this development makes it difficult for climbers to document procedures, do's and don'ts etc - as soon as it is written down, someone comes up with a new variation, often making the previous version redundant!

VTIO (Victorian Tree Industry Organization) in Australia has come up with an answer to this problem - a 'living document' to record vital information as it comes to hand - open source for tree work so-to-speak.

Joe Harris, a well-known Australian climber, sent through three of the first documents, presented on Monday July 5 at the Advanced Tree Climbing Workshop and… the aussies have set the bar pretty high.

Papers include an Introduction to Redirects, Single Rope Technique and Working the Angles. Download an copy of each and put aside some time to digest this important information.

Not content with the 'redirect' information at hand and to confirm the 'living document' status, VTIO is offering a one-off prize of A$300 for the best new redirect plan submitted before Saturday October 23, 2010. Of course, the winning redirect must be NEW although it can be a variation of one that is already known.

Sample criteria for the ideal redirect would include: 1) Retrievable (without disconnecting from your system); 2) quick and easy to set up; 3) usable with the minimum of dedicated gear; and 4) as close to friction-free as possible.

Joe is adamant these papers are a work-in-progress and should be developing all the time - that is, they are real living documents and your input would be appreciated.

Here is an opportunity to document, real 'cutting edge' information that is both relevant and practical to the tree climbing community. If you spot anything that appears wrong in these papers or know of a good system that has been overlooked please email Joe direct. We'll keep you posted as new papers are presented.

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