More than 30 professional tree climbers invaded Kit Land Nelson Park on Saturday. What was their objective?
To showcase the highest level of professional skills and safety, and to win the right to represent Florida in the International Tree Climbing Championship this summer in Washington DC.
Professional tree climbing competitions are held around the world to provide a platform for arborists to learn about the latest in climbing techniques and innovations in equipment.
The events also instill a respect for the role of the tree climber and a strong focus for the individuals of the climber community to improve safety in the work environment for all tree care workers.
Male and female competitors perform five different events during preliminary rounds. Each event tests a competitor’s ability to professionally, and safely maneuver in a tree while performing work-related tree-care tasks in a timely manner.
The five events include:
AERIAL RESCUE – The Aerial Rescue Event simulates a job-site emergency and tests the contestant’s ability to apply his/her knowledge and technical skills to rescue an injured person (represented by a dummy) in a safe and efficient manner.
BELAYED SPEED CLIMB – The Belayed Speed Climb tests the climber’s ability to climb a predetermined route from the ground to about 60 feet up a tree using a belayed climbing system for safety.
SECURED FOOTLOCK – The Secured Footlock Event measures the contestant’s ability to vertically ascend into a tree. Footlocking is a commonly used technique to ascend into the tree.
THROWLINE – The Throwline Event tests the contestant’s ability to install a climbing line into a tree using a throwbag and throwline.
WORK CLIMB – The Work Climb Event tests the contestant’s ability to move about the tree. Within a pre-determined period of time, the contestants must visit four to five stations that represent work being done in and around the tree (such as pruning).
The top tree climbers from Saturday’s competition then faced off on Sunday in the Masters Challenge to determine the best tree climber in Florida.
Here are the results from Sunday’s finals:
- Jason Garrish
- Paul Lloyd-Jones
- Chris Coates
- Trevor Hill
- Tim Walters
In addition, Alisha Amundson won the female division.
Both Jason & Alisha will be representing Florida at the ISA International Tree Climbing Championship in Washington, DC in August of this year.
The Florida Chapter Tree Climbing Championship is a regional competition that is held at a different location in Florida each year.
WHAT IS ISA? The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is a world-wide professional organization dedicated to continuing education for arborists, to tree care research, and to serving tree care consumers around the world.