Founder's Grove climbing system

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18 years 2 months ago - 18 years 2 months ago #123515 by Bradley Ford
Founder's Grove climbing system was created by Bradley Ford
The climbing system I used at a Beginner's Climb at the Founder's Grove in Atlanta was a dynamic rope system without a friction/cambium/rope saver. The rope was 1/2 inch arborist rope. A figure eight on the bight attached the working end to a New Tribe saddle, and the tail of the rope formed the bridge and 5-3 Blake's hitch attachment. A Petzl helmet was provided. This system was used by people of all sizes, and everyone was assumed to be a first-time climber.

I have two questions about the system:
1) Why was some form of friction/cambium/rope saver not used?
2) Why was the 5-3 Blake's hitch selected as the climbing hitch?

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18 years 2 months ago - 18 years 2 months ago #123516 by nickfromwi
Replied by nickfromwi on topic Founder's Grove climbing system
Just a guess....

I've never been there, but I read that the trees are White oaks. The bark should be pretty thick until you get pretty high up...So I guess it depends on where you were tied in.

Also, it seems that the additional friction from rubbing on the tree might be good for beginners...slows things down a bit and less strength is needed to hold your weight on the rope.

That being said, I wish TCI would use and strongly promote the use of friction savers or sleeves of some type. How many people have climbed those trees at the Founders Grove? I bet those things have lost many flakes of bark. I'm sure there's a few good crotches that a lot of people have climbed on.

Take care of the trees and they will take care of you.....tree climbers karma.

love
nick

Would you like a lanyard spliced up, or anything else for that matter??? Give me a call- 323-384-7770 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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18 years 2 months ago - 18 years 2 months ago #123517 by nickfromwi
Replied by nickfromwi on topic Founder's Grove climbing system
Oh, on the 5-over-3 blakes...I dunno. Extra friction might be good for beginners...more confidence.

Ever since the first time I used a blakes it was a 3-over-1 and it worked fine...never slipped (unless improperly dressed).

love
nick

Would you like a lanyard spliced up, or anything else for that matter??? Give me a call- 323-384-7770 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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18 years 2 months ago - 18 years 2 months ago #123539 by treeman
Replied by treeman on topic Founders Grove climbing
The white oaks have seen thousands of climbers. The bark has polished spots but no damage to cambium layers because of species. We are using sleeves now- but no damage has occured yet from past use. We always use a friction saver on thin skinned trees like beech, maple, sycamore etc. Corky bark like poplar gets a friction saver as well.

The Blakes B-53 knot is to increase friction. I also use it in my daily climbing as an arborist (26 years in the saddle)because I prefer a "slower" knot.

Waving from a treetop,
Peter Treeman Jenkins

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18 years 2 months ago - 18 years 2 months ago #123545 by jimw
I assume (dangerous to do, that's why I'm writing this) that a "5-3 Blake's hitch" is one with 5 total wraps and the tail passing under 3 wraps; correct?

Also, here in this thread I see "5-3," "5-over-3," and "B-53." Is there an accepted standard for describing the various configurations, or are all these (and more) in common use (and understood by everyone other than me)?

Finally, are any of you aware of a rigorous study on the characteristics of these various tyings of the Blake's hitch, specifically, how well they hold (downward), how easily they slip (upward), how secure they are, etc., etc., etc.

For example, how would a 4-2 (standard configuration) compare with a 4-3, a 5-2, a 5-3, etc.? Why would one choose one over the others? What if I wanted just a teensy more (downward) friction and was using a 4-2; would I choose a 4-3, a 4-1, a 5-2, a 5-3, etc.?

I know this must all sound horribly compulsive, and there are many combinations to evaluate, but if someone has done a valid comparison of the various configurations, we may all learn something of great value.

Thanks for indulging my hyper-inquisitive mind.

Jim

Peace.

Jim

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18 years 2 months ago - 18 years 2 months ago #123565 by Bradley Ford
Replied by Bradley Ford on topic Founder's Grove climbing system
Treeman,

Thank you for your reply.

Originally posted by Treeman
We are using sleeves now

Why did you choose sleeves (are they leather?) versus the other common devices?

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