On Treeclimbing

>>We started with belaying, because it was so much fun. When we ran out of buildings to belay from we started climbing trees - because there are no rocks in northern Germany, it was the only way to enjoy climbing. We quickly became aware that Treeclimbing is a sport and climbing style in its own merit that offers opportunities and experiences you can't find in climbing rocks. I've climbed rocks since then and can asure that the difference in experience is significant. If I had to choose between rocks and trees today, I'd settle for trees.

A side effect of our treeclimbing style were the compareatively large amounts of money and resources we spent on climbing gear and equipment. We're still well equiped for a large mountain ascent (bolts, hooks and wallnuts aside), despite having mainly climbed trees.

We called it "Treeclimbing", because I'm part american and because english terms sound cool in Germany and we wanted to distinguish our style of climbing trees from what people usually would think of if we said 'treeclimbing' in German.<<

Phillip on other Treeclimbers, (TCI, GOTC)

>>We became aware of others Treeclimbing with gear in the U.S. in the late 1980ies. However we found the reports of some treeclimbers using woodhooks and other tree-damaging techniques quite appalling. And still do. We do not want to be associated with those kind of people.

I understand that the founders of other Treeclimbing organisations and the people associated with them started treeclimbing roughly around the same time we did. It's safe to say that probably many people around the world had the same idea by themselves at various points in history, mostly because trees are quite common (duh!) and the approach to climbing a tree using a rope is plainly obvious.

However, I think no one was has gone as far as us to applying high-tech equipment and a modern climbing style to treeclimbing as we did. Which isn't suprising, since we have gone way past any spontaious recreational treeclimbing - our style requires a more long term approach to treeclimbing and specific training in knots and rope techniques. We also were significantly inspired by the freeclimbing and big-wall movement of the 60ies and 70ies, which took off in the early 80ies at the time we started treeclimbing. It looks as though we are the only ones with a difficulty rating for treeclimbing and the habbit of naming trees very much the same way climbers name their climbing routes.

As for the climbing style predominant in these organisations, I find it rather cumbersome, infexible and obstrusive. Their gear appears to be mostly fairly basic and their saddle-harnesses only suitable for static weight, rope-ascending with devices and not safe for freeclimbing. And I also wouldn't trust my life to hemp-ropes, which appear to be the rope of choice with these people, as you can see on photographs throughout the history of these organisations. It appears to mostly fit the novice-friendly recreational static climbing style though. ... And who am I to rag on it, I started of much worse as a young teenager, with a set of pulleys that weighed a ton, a plywood board to sit on and a seatbelt stapled on to it.<<