I've started practicing my secured foot lock technique (see pg 42 of The Tree Climbers Companion) after work for exercise purposes. I'm going up about 15-20 feet then repelling back down (not really "climbing" a tree per se). I understand that it is probably one of the most exhausting methods for climbing if you're not in the best of shape or if you are unable to maintain the rhythm (which is why I'm doing it). But I think I'm doing something wrong here. I can only foot lock two or three times before I have to rest which will change with practice hopefully. But I have a few questions:
1. Is it normal for the Prusik to bind after I put my weight on it? Like I said I can only do 2 or 3 foot locks before I have to rest. Is there a better knot that wont bind up, thereby causing me to have to exert more precarious physical effort trying to get the rope unbound, or am I just screwed?
2. The rope tends to slip through my "footlock". The soles of my Keen sneekers have a slight arch in the middle of the sole running perpendicular to my foot. I'm wondering why I'm not able to secure the rope. Would you recommend work boots to practice?
3. Is it normal to vomit after 30 min of footlocking?
I'm sure all of these questions could be answered if only I practice more and gain strength, which I will. I will not let this beat me, if it kills me.
Some tips or encouragement from the footlocking pros would be cool
OK, I changed into my work boots. They have a defined heal and the rope is definitely slipping through. I can't "stand" on the rope for longer than 2-3 seconds before the rope slips through and I fall. This is my main problem. I solve that problem and I'm good.
Footlocking is very difficult at first but when you are used to it it is about the most efficient ascending method. For any kind of tree climbing I would recomend something like a lightweight hiking boot. Big heavy work boots are just too bulky and sneakers do not offer enough support, especially when footlocking. I wear a treeclimbing specific boot but you probably can`t find them here in the states (Scarpa Pro Ascent). As for your knot, I would use a klemheist instead of a prusik. It still binds up when you sit in it but can be loosend very easily but you need to experiment with 3,4, or even 5 wraps close to the ground to see what works with your rope type. I am going to post a video soon on footlocking but you can also check out one of my videos to see SRT with ascenders. I like to stay fit with all technics but footlocking is my favorite and has the most style in my oppinion. Try to make sure you are getting a good wrap with your feet and that you are able to hold it. I will try to post a vid soon so you can see what I`m talking about. Stick with it and you will learn it! Hope the info helps
I was just looking for the Scarpa Pro Ascent boots but all I can find is some info but no place to order them. Maybe they were available a few years ago but not now. But some of scarpa's other light boots may be great for climbing and footlocking.
hello, I watched your video and the technique you used to ascend the oak looks like your walking up steep stairs or a ladder, it looks very efficient. I saw a guy do this another time but can you tell me what equipment is needed to do it? I'm an intermediate climber, been climbing for 13 years, I use blakes with split tail now.
I know this is a bit late, but I thought I'd offer some advice for anyone else that stumbles on this thread.
THE MOST important thing when foot-locking (assuming you are using the technique on Page 47 of Tree Climber's Companion) is to try to stand up mostly on your upper foot. People mistakenly think that because the rope is wrapped more around your lower foot, that's where you should put most of your weight- then they experience the slow downward creep, or even a complete inability to stand up. Your lower foot should provide the friction, your upper foot should be what you stand up on.
Stiff-soled boots are better for comfort than sneakers, and do provide extra friction for the rope. But I've never noticed any difference between models of boots that I'd go out and seek boots that are best for foot-locking. Then again, I don't do tons of foot-locking.
I just never footlock anymore. When I was younger I thought it was a cool way to get up in a tree, but now that I'm 40 years old, I try and save my energy. If I can hip thrust up to the lowest branches, and then climb the rest of the way with alternating lanyard technique, I'm much less tired when I get to the top. I think foot locking made more sense in the days before split tail climbing systems. Now with a split tail and a lanyard it doesn't make much sense to me unless you want to do it in competition. As a sport it's way cool but just doesn't get used much in a work environment. In competition the trees are usually "pre-thinned" as well so it is easier to get a good shot with a throwline. If the tree is thin enough to set a throwline all the way to the top then it often doesn't need to be trimmed anyway.