The mid-Atlantic climbing competition is our regional event. It is the best 30 or so climbers in Maryland, VA, West VA, and DC competing in 5 preliminary events. The top 4 compete at the end in a winner take all event.
The winner goes to the annual international climbing competition. Our chapter is one of about 60 chapters all over the world. The winner of each chapter competes for the title of World Champion.
The 5 different events:
• Work Climb – simulates a typical pruning operation in which the climber must visit four workstations in the tree and successfully complete a task at each station.
• Belayed Speed Climb – tests the contestant’s ability to climb a predetermined route from the ground to about 60 feet (18 meters) up a tree with a belayed climbing system for safety. The event is timed, and the contestant who reaches and rings the final bell of the course in the least amount of time wins.
• Ascent – tests the competitor’s ability to efficiently and safely use their selected and approved ascent system. The event assesses the competitor’s efficiency in attaching the ascent system to the ascent line(s), ascending to the bell, and transferring into a descent system. The actual descent is not part of the event. Points are earned for speed as well as for meeting predetermined safety objectives.
• Throwline – is a timed event that tests the climber’s ability to accurately place a throwline and climbing line in a tree at various heights.
• Aerial Rescue – is a timed event that tests the climber’s ability to assist emergency medical technicians by climbing to and safely lowering an injured climber.
This years competition was Saturday June 5th at Morven Park in Leesburg, VA.
Not only did we compete, but we pruned the trees at Morven Park in preparation for the upcoming event, and as a way to give back to the venue for allowing us to hold the event at their location.
Issues we found while pruning the trees at Morven Park ranged from removing dead or dangerous trees, to removal of large deadwood. Unique challenges on this site included a couple of severely high risk trees that were not safe to climb and had very limited access for equipment.
Although we did not win, it is always fun to get out and climb with our fellow arborists!