WHAT IS A TREE CLIMBING COMPETITION?
Every year, Chapters of the ISA hold their own tree climbing championship
(TCC). Local TCC's are made up of safety-oriented tree care tasks and
practices that allow arborists (tree care professionals) to win prizes for
outstanding abilities and performance. Each regionally based championship
sends their Champions to the grand finale, known as the ITCC
(International Tree Climbing Competition). The ITCC is held in a different
part of the world each year. This year it will be held at Laurelhurst Park in
Portland, Oregon. This year's New England Champions, Bear LeVangie and
Justin Donahue will represent the NEC-ISA as Team New England.
THE EVENTS of a TREE CLIMBING CHAMPIONSHIP
- AERIAL RESCUE - Competitors are timed as they prepare to
extricate a stuffed 'dummy' (imitating a person), weighing about 120
lbs, injured in a tree. They are scored on demonstrated skills while
removing the 'victim' safely from the tree.
- BELAYED SPEED CLIMB - Competitors are timed as they climb a
tree for speed to heights of 40-60' to ring a bell to stop the clock,
while on safety belay.
- SECURED FOOTLOCK - Competitors are timed while "inch-worming"
(called footlocking) up a rope to hit a bell aloft.
- Men = 15 meters | Women = 12 meters
- THROWLINE - Competitors are given 6 minutes to install two
throwlines and climbing ropes into set targets within the tree.
- WORK CLIMB - Competitors are timed while completing five work
stations in the tree. Each station is worth designated points, time
ends when climber unclips their climbing rope from their saddle.
Demonstrated agility, safety, and speed are all significant factors.
- MASTER'S CHALLENGE - The top competitors from both divisions
advance to this final event. Event is similar to the Work Climb except
climbers have 20 minutes to complete three stations from a ground
start and time ends when all their gear is removed from the tree.
AERIAL RESCUE - 50 points
The Aerial Rescue is a simulated rescue event. It is designed to measure
the climber's ability to respond to an emergency situation involving an
injured worker in a tree. The climber is responsible for notifying emergency
services, inspecting the work site for possible and/or existing hazards,
administering preliminary first aid, and working efficiency.
The 'dummy' (injured worker) is installed in a tree 20 to 40 feet above the
ground. The event is timed and the climber is judged and scored while
performing the rescue. The clock starts when the head judge says "go."
The time is stopped when the climber has landed with the dummy on the
ground and unclipped the climbing line from the dummy's saddle. The
dummy is then prepared for the Emergency Medical Technicians.
BELAYED SPEED CLIMB- 20 points
The Belayed Speed Climb is a timed event that measures the ability of the
contestant to climb a tree while using the branches and fixed rope.
The climber is on belay while ascending the set route to the top of the
tree. Time begins when the climber's second foot leaves the ground and
stops when the climber rings the bell installed approximately 60' aloft.
SECURED FOOTLOCK - 20 points
The Secured Footlock event tests the climber's ability to ascend while
footlocking a set distance up 2 parts of rope while being timed.
The climber stands on the rope while advancing their prussik knot above
them. The climber is also attached to a belay line from a dorsal attachment
(on their back) from the full body harness they are wearing.
Time begins when the climber's second foot leaves the ground and stops
when they ring the bell. The height of the bell is placed at 12 meters for
the women and 15 meters for men. It is a real test of strength, speed and
THROWLINE - 30 points
The Throwline event tests the climber's ability to accurately throw a
weight, attached to a rope, through four targets placed in at varied
heights in the tree between 40 and 70 feet.
The targets are worth 3, 5, 7, and 10 points. If a climber installs a climbing
line on a scored target they are awarded 3 additional points. Each
contestant is allowed 6 minutes for unlimited amount of throws to score
two targets (one on each side of the tree) and install two climbing lines.
WORK CLIMB - 80 points
The Work Climb is an event designed to judge the contestant's balance
and skill with a rope and saddle in the tree. The climb is timed as a means
of assessing overall productivity and not as a speed event. In the event
that points are equal, time is used to break the tie.
Contestants are judged and scored on safety, technique and poise in the
tree. At the head time signal "go," all contestants start from a designated
tie in point aloft in the tree. The contestant proceeds to three work
stations within the tree and rings three bells, two by hand and one with
the pole pruner that is hanging in the tree at the station. One of the
stations, the limb walk station, will have a plumb suspended from a limb.
If the contestant applies too much weight on the limb, causing the plumb
to drop past a certain distance, points will be deducted. Each contestant
has the option of choosing the order and route in which to approach each
work station. A minimum time to complete the event will be specified in
advance. Failure to complete the event within the minimum time will result
MASTERS CHALLENGE - 300 points
The Master's Challenge is an event designed to judge the top climbers'
(from the preliminary events) overall productivity and skill with a rope and
saddle in the tree.
Climbers are judged and scored on their knowledge and ability to
demonstrate mastery of different climbing and rigging techniques, use of
equipment, poise in the tree, and demonstration of safe working practices.
Contestants have a set amount of time to enter tree and must perform
task at four work stations and ascend safely to ground. The time stops
when all of the climber's equipment is out of the tree.
NEW ENGLAND TREE CLIMBING CHAMPIONSHIP
|New England Chapter
International Society of Arboriculture
|NEW ENGLAND CHAPTER ISA
P.O. Box 435
Norwell, MA 02061