Get creative

I love gear that gives me options to adapt to situations…

Take yesterday: We were working on some huge London plane trees, anchored five meters below the tip, I was still six meters short to descend to the ground – and this was using a 60m climbing line! I love climbing these behemoths, it makes for long ascents, huge traverses (did I mention I love my Captain?), as well as interesting work positioning challenges.

One interesting situation occurred on one of the out-lying heads. I had my main attachment point on one of the central stems, had traversed over and was using the two ends of my hipSTAR flex lanyard to move around the head to thin it. To get myself into a good position to make the cuts I was tying onto the growth above the old pruning points. Having passed my lanyard round two stems, I found that the position of my body and the direction of pull to the main anchor point was pivoting me away from where I wanted to make the cut… so I used a small XSRE karabiner to connect from the OD loop on my lanyard to my second bridge. Bingo. No more sliding around, nicely held in position (Ok, granted, it is not an EN362 karabiner I was using to attach on to the bridge of my the treeMOTION evo, but then again, in this application I would argue that it is being used more as an assist rather than a connector).

My observation would be that the variability and sheer range of work positioning challenges in tree care is considerable. So let’s accept the challenge and get creative, challenge ourselves to find the most appropriate work position in any given situation.