By David McNeill © 2020 McNeill’s Tree Service
As mentioned in my blog, Tools of the Trade, I now climb using Stationary Rope Technique (SRT) with very rarely utilizing Moving Rope Technique (MRT). This blog will describe the components within my system.
A quick note on terminology: the technique is the style of climbing, the system is the combination of components used.
My preference is to keep things simple while maintaining a high level of efficiency, so the system I typically use is comprised of: a multicender, a knee ascender and a foot ascender. I generally use one of two multicenders. The other components are constants in the system.
The multicenders: Hitch Hiker 2 (HH2), pictured below on the left, is compact, rugged and does not bend the line to achieve friction. It is the only multicender that can do this. It is midline attachable. I will use this tool for the bigger, gnarly trees. The rope I prefer with the HH2 is the Samson Vortex 12.7 mm although the Yale, 11.7 mm, a good all-around rope, can also be used. The other multicender I use is the Akimbo, pictured below on the right. It is very efficient, compact and also midline attachable. I tend to use this on small to medium trees or trees with complex redirect requirements as it is easy and fast getting on and off the rope with no parts to drop. My preferred rope for the Akimbo is Yale, 11.7 mm.
Harness: TreeMotion Super Light (S. Light) with Petzl torse chest harness (shown in picture below). The TreeMotion is the best all around saddle and the light version’s waist belt buckle is easily cinched tight. This can be a big deal when varying weather requires different layers of clothing as the adjustment on most saddles can be a pain in the neck.
The Petzl torse, also shown in the picture below, has a single buckle that is fast to adjust, is a minimalist chest harness and gets the job done. It doesn’t cut into your shoulders or restrict movement.
Boots: Arbpro II, Clip-and-Step. A good climbing boot. Having the Clip-and-Step allows you to do away with the foot loop on a knee ascender, which is much better.
The knee ascender: HAAS Velox Ascent System – compact, self-contained, clip version (no foot loop). The foot ascender is Climbing Technology’s Foot Ascender which functions perfectly. The boots, knee and foot ascender may be seen in the picture below.
An SRS that suits you personally, allows an ascent that is smooth, minimizing bounce and, therefore, does not shock load your tie in point (TIP). It becomes as effortless as climbing a ladder.