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TOPIC: New Rec Climber - Ontario

New Rec Climber - Ontario 1 year 1 month ago #137823

  • benjhind
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Hi All,

I'm a new climber in Ontario Canada. I'm an avid outdoorsman and started because I wanted to be safe while placing and hunting from tree stands. I'm learning from the Tree Climber's Companion and the National Tree Climbing Guide (yes, I'm one of those terrible self-taught types).

Rope:
I have a 200' length of 11mm KMIII. This isn't ideal but was what I could find locally. I find a blake's hitch difficult to tie in the KMIII, so I climb DdRT using 8mm prusik loops and a homemade conduit friction saver. I girth hitch a webbing loop to extend a smaller prusik loop for a foot loop. Right now I advance by tying myself off using loops of tubular webbing and advancing the main line. I don't like having slack so I will switch to a lanyard and prusik eventually for adjustability. I don't seem to use the full 200' so I may cut a lanyard from my main line, but would rather have a different colour (advice here is appreciated). I do try to minimize trips into the city so I'd be waiting a while for a lanyard in a second colour. I like the 11mm rope as it allows me to use a belay device to descend.

Harness:
I use a rock harness (black diamond momentum), which isn't bad but it isn't great. I'm going to add some padding to the leg loops to help distribute the force.

Other gear:
I use a hiking pack to haul my rope and gear in, and I find it works perfectly for the task. I stuff the rope into the main compartment and have tons of pockets for other gear. I sewed up some throw bags using faux-leather and salvaged lead, which I quite like. My throw line is mason line which I do not like, as it tangles. I use an ATC device to rappel, which allows me to use both ends of my doubled main line. I like this as it distributes the friction and wear well. I use a prusik as a backup for safety.

I own a woodlot and I'm having fun getting to know it from the top down. Climbers in the London, Ontario area are welcome to stop in.

Sorry for the novel - I'm looking for comments on my setup. Unless it is "get a tree harness, idiot" as I've already heard that one.

Cheers,
Ben
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New Rec Climber - Ontario 1 year 1 month ago #137824

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Welcome to the TCI forum! Yes, Blake's doesn't work on most static/kernmantle ropes like KMIII. Ropes designed/constructed for arborist/tree climber are very supple and work well with a Blake's. If you're willing to buy gear online you can find plenty of rope options. Wesspur and Treestuff for example will sell you arborist rope by the foot so it's fairly economical for example if you want to build a lanyard. Also take a look at New Tribe harnesses to upgrade from your rock harness, the New Tribe Basic is very reasonably priced, durable and comfortable to hang in.
-AJ
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New Rec Climber - Ontario 1 year 1 month ago #137828

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Hey Moss,

Thanks for the reply and information! Also thanks for your many videos. They are a large part of why I started climbing!

I'm not sure whether there is a Canadian option for a New Tribe dealer. I ordered my current gear from a Canadian company called Mountain Equipment Coop, and my saddle was $54CAD. I see wesspur has a New Tribe Basic for $159 USD, with shipping of 49USD to Canada. "Brokerage fees" are unpredictable fees issued by the shipping company when crossing the border (including duty and assessment fees), which commonly double the cost of an item. This could push the cost of the saddle above $550CAD. I simply can't justify the cost of a saddle when I can get a less comfortable one for 10x less money.

This is all a bit of a rant on cross-border shopping/shipping and in no way a criticism of your comments. I would love to hear from Canadians owning New Tribe gear as I'd love to try their equipment if I could get it without a second mortgage. All this said, I am dying to get my kids in the canopy and those with kids will know that it is hard enough to get them engaged in your hobby without leg/back discomfort.

I was in a local woodlot this morning with a much higher canopy than my own land and I am itching to get aloft!

Best regards,
Ben
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New Rec Climber - Ontario 1 year 1 month ago #137829

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Hello Ben, I'm glad to have provided some inspiration, makes it all worthwhile. Sorry about the cross-border purchasing problems, I didn't realize how bad it is.

Maybe a call to New Tribe would help, they might have a delivery strategy that will bring costs down.
-AJ
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New Rec Climber - Ontario 1 year 1 month ago #137830

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Looks like you can get an upfront quote on all costs to ship to Canada at treestuff.com, might be worth investigating Shipping to Canada FAQ
Last Edit: 1 year 1 month ago by moss.
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New Rec Climber - Ontario 1 year 1 month ago #137834

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Awesome, thanks Moss. To be honest I gave up buying from the US years ago after getting gouged too many times on the brokerage fees. It seems that the shipping companies have learned their lesson from the lost business. I will have to give a closer look next time I'm buying gear!
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New Rec Climber - Ontario 1 year 1 month ago #137838

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Welcome Ben!

Have you checked the Canadian suppliers like Universal Field Supplies and Tree North Industries?

Also, if you are on Facebook, ask to join the group Climb ON. I't a bunch of climbers/arborists in Ontario. I know there are members in Sarnia, Guelph, and the greater TO area. They are a friendly bunch willing to help out newbies and they are trying to organize some recreational climbs this year.

Mike
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New Rec Climber - Ontario 1 year 1 month ago #137839

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Cool! Thanks Mike. I sent a request to join the Climb ON group.

I checked out those sites - thanks! I hadn't previously seen UFS.

I still have a hard time fathoming how you can get a rock saddle for $50, or a tree saddle which has slightly more padding for $500. I'm currently getting along pretty good with my modified climbing harness. I'm sure true tree harnesses are better, but it isn't in the cards for me for a while.

Do you know of any Canadian suppliers stocking the New Tribe harnesses? I'm thinking of getting one for the kids. Might just order it from the US.
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New Rec Climber - Ontario 1 year 1 month ago #137844

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I think it's easier to mass-produce a relatively simple rock harness. A rock harness doesn't get much heavy loading, it catches a fall once in a while, a tree harness is constantly bearing weight throughout a climb and needs to be much more durable. If you look over the tree harness selections you'll see there is specific design innovation for most of them and significantly more detail and additional parts than a rock harness. All that costs money. On the lower-end you can find more affordable tree harnesses. That said you can always study life support quality hand-sewing and build your own ;-)

I'd contact New Tribe directly and ask about Canadian suppliers.
-AJ
Last Edit: 1 year 1 month ago by moss.
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New Rec Climber - Ontario 1 year 1 month ago #137845

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Thanks again Moss.

I imagine mass production has a lot to do with it. My Black Diamond harness was made in the Philippines where labour is much cheaper. I see New Tribe manufactures in USA.

For now, I will work with my modified rock harness. I will leave the life-support sewing to the professionals! I did do some sewing, but just around the existing straps. My needle will not be penetrating the device that is keeping me safe, but I don't mind adding on to it.

I went ahead and ordered a New Tribe Twist for the kids directly from New Tribe. I think this will be money well-spent as if I want them to enjoy it, they will need to be comfortable. They have been watching me climb and have shown genuine interest in learning knots, so I see it as a good investment. It will also fit my wife as she is a small person. I'm not sure how comfortable it will be for her but I suppose we will find out!

Thanks again and look me up if you find yourself North of the border.

Ben
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New Rec Climber - Ontario 1 year 3 weeks ago #137864

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benjhind wrote:
I'm not sure whether there is a Canadian option for a New Tribe dealer. I ordered my current gear from a Canadian company called Mountain Equipment Coop, and my saddle was $54CAD. I see wesspur has a New Tribe Basic for $159 USD, with shipping of 49USD to Canada. "Brokerage fees" are unpredictable fees issued by the shipping company when crossing the border (including duty and assessment fees), which commonly double the cost of an item. This could push the cost of the saddle above $550CAD. I simply can't justify the cost of a saddle when I can get a less comfortable one for 10x less money.

I just wanted to follow up on this in case any of the Canadian crowd is watching.

As Moss pointed out, treestuff offers an upfront brokerage calculation where you have a guaranteed price.

Instead of going this route, I decided to order a New Tribe Twist for Kids saddle directly from newtribe.com. I went this route as newtribe.com ships USPS, and I have found historically that this shipping method results in no or lower brokerage fees when crossing the border as compared to UPS or FedEx. Also, Treestuff was out of stock at the time I ordered anyways. As it turns out I was assessed a brokerage fee but it wasn't as painful as I have experienced in the past. Here's how it broke down:

New Tribe Twist for Kids saddle: $119 USD + $19.73 USD shipping = $138.73 USD ($192.76 CAD)
Brokerage fee: $31 CAD
Total: $223.76 CAD

This worked out to being cheaper than the guaranteed rate offered by treestuff, but not by a big margin. I ordered April 21 (10PM), shipped April 25 (2 business days), arrived May 4 (total 9 business days) which I consider to be very acceptable from Oregon to southern Ontario.

I thought that after my whining about brokerage fees I should clear the air on the subject. I'd still recommend anyone reading this in Canada to go with a guaranteed rate, or a site that ships USPS.

Cheers,
Ben
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