I have broken this thread out into its own topic. Letâ€™s take a look at ANSI Z133.1 standards to see its format and how they deal with subjects. The subject here is CLIMBING PRACTICES. This is not to be confused with Wilderness Ethics or ethical issues. We are talking about gear and technique here. Yes?
Now comes the big question. Who wants to manage this committee or conversation? We are not talking about one person doing all of the work. Letâ€™s make that clear right now. We need a designated group (committee) that creates input and talks the issues out. Then the issues are brought forth here on the board (in small manageable pieces so we do not get lost in generalities) for more discussion and/or questions are raised here for more input on specific pieces.
So who is going to sign up for the issue of â€œAccepted Climbing Practicesâ€? I personally decline the lead role position because I need to stay focused on the book. Anyone brave enough to step up to the plate in a leadership capacity? How about those valuable committee members?We need to get started in a simple fashion because this is a big project that will need lots of input (managed input at that) from everyone.
The applicable parts of the Z133 (i.e. pertaining to tree climbing) will be found in sections 8.7, 8.8 and 9.1. Some of the definitions in section 3 may also be useful, specifically: 3.4 - 3.8, 3.13, 3.16, 3.22 - 3.23, 3.29, and 3.33. Some applicable standards on PPE can be found in 4.2.2 and 4.2.6 - 4.2.7. It may be worthwhile to briefly mention the standards on proximity to electrical conductors (section 5), although this might fit into a description of a pre-climb tree inspection.
Also, keep in mind that the Z133 is currently under revision, and may have some new standards concerning climbing gear. Tom Dunlap may be able to tell us when the new version is expected to be released.
The standards are available from ANSI and the ISA webstore. They are copyrighted though, and are not distributed for free. I believe the Z133 costs in the neighborhood of twenty bucks.
Well, it looks like I got volunteered for this! (gotta learn to keep my mouth shut )
I am trying to put together an outline of the topics that should be covered in Accepted Climbing Practices. So far I have three main areas. Let me know if I have left anything big out, or if there is a better way to organize this:
-Gear standards: double locking biners, MBS of ropes, saddles, etc.
-Pre-climb inspection: looking for widowmakers, electrical hazards, structural integrity of the tree, inspection of gear, etc.
-Guidelines for the climb: ALWAYS tied in with lanyard or climbing line, maintaining a safe angle of the climbing line, "bitter end" knot in end of line on multiple pitch climbs, etc.
As you can see each one of these three main areas breaks down into many smaller topics. I am hoping, as a first step, that I can get some volunteers to help make a comprehensive list or outline of the topics that need to be covered in each main area.
Patrick has already offered to look through the ANSI Z133, which should provide us with most of the accepted climbing gear standards.
I think the pre climb inspection should be fairly straighforward as well. If I remember correctly, Jepson's book has a pre climb checklist in it. (I'd check and see but I lent it out and never got it back.)
The guidelines for the climb may be the most difficult. I feel that it should be extremely clear about what is safe and what is not, but at the same time should be kept as simple as possible, so as not to stifle creativity in climbing techniques.
I am willing to collaborate and compile as much of this as I can. I already have a number of ideas for each main area, but would like to wait and see if I can get some others involved first. I should also point out that I am a professional tree worker. This forum is my first exposure to recreational tree climbing, so there may be some things that I am not familiar with, or may do differently. Please point these things out to me (and anything else stupid I might say!).
Alright, I'll wait for some responses now and we'll see how this develops.
On October 19 the Z133 committee will meet in Baltimore to vote on the changes to the 200 version. If things go smoothly there will be a new Z in February. There aren't a lot of proposed changes that would effect RTC.
If you're looking for a copy of the changes go to Treebuzz and find the ANSI Z133 thread.
Just kidding. I have some long workdays coming up this weekend and may not be able to look at this until next week. I'm going to try to come back with something more detailed for us to get started from.
Leon. Work this weekend? Iâ€™ve never worked weekends! (Lie) Be safe and hand the rakinâ€™ over to someone else.
Letâ€™s start with a little organization here. How about starting a message group using an e-mail distribution list? I forget what they call these groups. I think Yahoo has that kind of service free, no? Does anyone volunteer to set up the group? Others can then join the group and have the inside track on the discussion, or you can NOT have others enter the group, avoiding a free for all. Possibly you can make personal INVITATIONS into the group. Just brain storming here.
Start with one part of gear, figure it out with the group, then move on to the next item. Maybe a starting list would help. Maybe start with items in the Z133 that are mentioned first. Later bring up new items not on the Z133. Again, just brain storming.
Any other suggestions? Anyone else want to participate? Patrick? You in? (your name was dropped earlier).
Second thoughts about having the discussion on a separate group away from the board here as mentioned in the previous posting. Letâ€™s use the board here as opposed to going somewhere else. It keeps the conversation centralized.
For those just entering this conversation, read completely what has already been said so far on the â€œStandards Forumâ€to get an idea of the development of the conversation, not just the last posting.
So I ask again, who wants to roll up their sleeves? The call for leadership on this topic is still taking place. However, there needs to be organization, or you end up with a town hall free for all meeting where little or nothing gets accomplished.
Don't pay for the Z133 standards. On 10/19 the Z committee will meet to put the final touches on the 2005 standards. This will make the 2000 version obsolete. If you know of a climber that has been through the EHAP training they should have a hard copy. Go to Treebuzz and find the thread about the new Z standard.
Well this appears to be going a little slow. I'm going to take Peter's advice and start with some ideas on one subject (climbing equipment) and see if I get any responses.
Here is what the Z133 has to say about arborist climbing gear. Some of this is quoted, some is my paraphrasing. In a few places I have added my own opinions, which are in parentheses:
Saddles: "Type II saddle belts and lanyards as specified in ANSI A10.14 shall be worn when above ground level". (Seems to me like rock climbing harness would be okay as long as the climber doesn't mind being incredibly uncomfortable. Also I would have no problem with a homemade harness, for instance one made out of tubular webbing as long as the parts all meet the safe weight requirements)
Ropes: ANSI says that arborist ropes should be 1/2 inch, have a MBS of 24kn when new, and should be designated as arborist climbing lines by the manufacturer. Split tails should meet the same strength requirement. The new edition will probably include the newer 11mm lines as OK. It does not mention static entry lines.
Lanyards: (Lanyards should have the same MBS as ropes. Other than that it doesn't really matter what you use.)
Carabiners and Snaps: These should be double locking and at least 5,000 lbs MBS. (I don't know where they came up with the 5,000 lbs. It makes much more sense to me to use 22kn, which is the standard in every other industry I'm aware of, and is only 50 pounds less than 5,000.)
Other climbing devices: The only other device the Z133 currently as far as I can see mentions is the false crotch, which it says should be rated to 5,000 lbs MBS. (My opinion is that ascenders, descenders, false crotchs, etc. are all OK as long as they are rated to 22kn and used properly.)
Splicing: "Splicing shall be done in accordance with manufacturer's specifications."
Here's a few more quotes from the current Z133:
"Equipment used to secure an arborist in the tree or from an aerial lift shall not be used for anything other than its intended purpose. EXCEPTION: The arborist climbing line may be used to raise and lower tools."
"Ropes and climbing equipment shall be stored an dtransported in such a manner to prevent damage through contact with sharp tools, cutting edges, gas, oil, or chemicals."
"Arborists shall inspect all compnents of their climbing system for damage, cuts, abrasion and/or deterioration before each use. Excessively worn of damaged compnents shall be removed from service"
"Arborist climbing lines shall never be left in trees unattended".
Well there you have it, folks. A crash course in what the Z133 currently has to say about arborist climbing equipment. Obviously this does not cover everything that could be mentioned (tree hammocks, for example), and there is no reason that we cannot change what it does cover. My fingers are tired so I'm going to let this go for some responses.
What do you guys and gals think? What needs to be added? What needs to be taken away? What needs to be changed? What is the average wing speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
If this does take off, and a real discussion begins about this we should probably give it it's own thread.