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TOPIC: Question regarding Cambium Saver

Question regarding Cambium Saver 4 months 1 day ago #137927

I'm completely new to using ropes to climb trees and so I'll probably ask some dumb questions along the way, so please don't be too critical but let me know if my thinking is wrong.

I just purchased a set of gear and am slowly working out how to use it. My purchase included the following:

120' SHERRILLTREE POISON HI-VY ROPE 11.7MM
SHERRILLTREE NEON 3 THROWLINE COMBO
STEIN RETRIEVAL BALL
SHERRILLTREE HITCH CLIMBER PULLEY COMBO
CLIMBING TECHNOLOGY QUICK STEP FOOT ASCENDER
5/8IN X 6FT KMIII GREEN ADJUSTABLE FRICTION SAVER
PETZL GYM ADJUSTABLE HARNESS
TEUFELBERGER CE LANYARD 4M

My decisions about what to purchase were guided by a tree climbing course that I took as well as keeping the inital cost reasonable so some of this gear will likely be upgraded at need. I was looking to give tree climbing a try before going "all in" and spending a lot of money.

So far, I've used the throwline, etc, to place the friction save over a low branch. After using the friction saver without the prussic a couple times, I managed to get my retrieval ball stuck in the carabiner. I wondered what I had done wrong and decided that the carabiner wasn't a substitute for the small ring on the prussic.

I then used the friction saver with the prussic and found that the carabiner end made it more challenging to get the rings over the branch. So now I'm debating what step to take next. Possibilities:
1) use the gear instead of spending more money.
2) buy a "simple" ring-ring friction saver
a) what size (length) to buy
b) cordage or rope based
3) a leather friction saver.

I would appreciate any advice or pointers (pro/con points) that will help me not make another "mistake."

CacheClimber
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Question regarding Cambium Saver 3 months 1 week ago #137937

  • moss
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Congrats on launching your tree climbing activities!

First off I highly recommend using a "pipe" or sleeve style cambium saver, they are very simple to install and retrieve. The saver you acquired is oriented more to professional tree workers. Take a look here: Rope sleeves

The "Dan House" sleeve is the most versatile. Leather sleeve is good but has higher friction (resistance) compared to the Dan House sleeve and can fight you on the install because it has a relatively rigid "U" shape. Ring-ring cambium savers are also oriented towards pro work climbing, pretty much a major pain in the butt to install from the ground unless everything (limb size and location) is perfect. Sleeve style cambium saver are the easiest to advance when you re-pitch above your initial rope setting made from the ground.

Next... your climbing harness is the most important piece of tree gear you'll own. In technical tree climbing you're going to spend a lot of time with your body weight on your harness. The harness you bought will cause you pain very quickly, within minutes, it has zero waist padding and no leg strap padding. Tree climbing is in a technical way described as "work positioning" climbing, meaning you never have slack in your climbing rope, (except in rare instances), your weight is on your harness 90% of the time while climbing. Rock harnesses and the Petzl Gym harness are designed to catch a fall or for very short duration hangs like riding a zip line. A New Tribe Basic harness for example is sufficient to meet those requirements. Many options from there if you are ready to spend more money. A very good harness is going to be anywhere from $300 up into the $600 range.
-AJ
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Question regarding Cambium Saver 3 months 1 week ago #137938

  • moss
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Oh yeah, not sure from your gear list but if you only have one throw bag I'd get a couple more.
-AJ
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Question regarding Cambium Saver 3 months 1 week ago #137940

  • Greenluck
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I second the suggestion for a tube or sleeve style cambium saver. It's just easier and less complicated. You are also less likely to get anything stuck in the tree. I own leather sleeves, one is approaching 10 years old and it still works great. Nice thing about the leather sleeves is they can't get crushed and dis-formed like the house sleeves.

Since you already own the adjustable friction saver, practice and use it low and slow. Also consider buying The Tree climbers Companion book which details proper friction saver usage and retrieval.

This WesSpur youtube video may also be helpful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RzDBWeBwHU
Last Edit: 3 months 1 week ago by Greenluck.
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Question regarding Cambium Saver 3 months 1 week ago #137941

I appreciate the comments. I have been practicing placing the KMIII GREEN ADJUSTABLE FRICTION SAVER onto a low branch so I could rescue if needed. Based upon the practice and your comment (to moss) I went ahead and ordered a second throw bag and throw line.

I previously bought the Tree climbers Companion book and read it through. Now that I've got some of the equipment, I need to go back and read it while practicing that that is a good reminder.

As for the climbing harness, I had 2 reasons for buying the one that I did. First was cost. Yeah, cost is a poor reason for buying a cheap saddle but I was trying to keep my initial expenditure down which didn't work out so well. The other reason is that I'm not climbing professionally. My primary goal, for the moment, is to be safer while geocaching (kinda like a treasure hunt). I won't be hanging around in a tree for very long so I hope this saddle will work to get me started in safely climbing trees. If I enjoy the climbing enough, I plan to get a better saddle later however if I climb more for geocaching than the climbing this saddle might be all I need. If my logic is flawed, don't hesitate to point out how and why but that is my current thinking.

Wow, I should have bought the rope sleeve and saved money. ;(

Thank you for the help and I look forward to learning more.
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Question regarding Cambium Saver 3 months 1 week ago #137942

  • moss
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You could sell your adjustable cambium saver pretty easily on a site like treebuzz.com, they have a "treebay" section in their forum.

Geocaching has been a path that a good number of rec tree climbers in the community have followed. Eventually they've all ended up getting an actual tree climbing harness, pain is an amazing teacher ;-) The way it works is it doesn't matter why you climb a tree, once you're on rope in a tree you're subject to all the problems/issues that every rope and harness tree climber encounters. At any rate good luck with it!
-AJ
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