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TOPIC: Beginner Looking for Opinions on Gear

Beginner Looking for Opinions on Gear 1 year 6 months ago #137773

Hello all,

I am seeking advice on tree climbing gear. I plan on learning to use a DdRT system to ascend and descend using a friction knot and tending pully. I would like to keep my setup safe and simple. I have a few questions:

1) What length of rope should I purchase if I plan on climbing trees no higher than 100 feet?

2) What is a reputable tree climbing rope that is spliced on the ends? (Attachable to carabiners.)

3) (More of technique advice than gear.) Once I have ascended to my final point where I will begin my descent, how will I be able to retrieve my cambium saver hung at the top of the tree from the ground?

4) Are there adjustable lanyard options available? (I understand remaining in a loose lanyard may increase likelihood of a fall.)

5) What lanyards do you recommend? (Homemade or bought, length.)

I appreciate any help, looking forward to enjoying the canopy with you all.
Last Edit: 1 year 6 months ago by bniebla735.
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Beginner Looking for Opinions on Gear 1 year 6 months ago #137775

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bniebla735 wrote:
Hello all,

I am seeking advice on tree climbing gear. I plan on learning to use a DdRT system to ascend and descend using a friction knot and tending pully. I would like to keep my setup safe and simple. I have a few questions:

1) What length of rope should I purchase if I plan on climbing trees no higher than 100 feet?

2) What is a reputable tree climbing rope that is spliced on the ends? (Attachable to carabiners.)

3) (More of technique advice than gear.) Once I have ascended to my final point where I will begin my descent, how will I be able to retrieve my cambium saver hung at the top of the tree from the ground?

4) Are there adjustable lanyard options available? (I understand remaining in a loose lanyard may increase likelihood of a fall.)

5) What lanyards do you recommend? (Homemade or bought, length.)

I appreciate any help, looking forward to enjoying the canopy with you all.

The answers to your questions are potentially as deep as the ocean is wide. There is a huge range of technique and gear preferences out there in the tree climbing world. Have you had the chance to view Treeman's climbing basics DVD, that will help alot.

I recommend a 150' rope, it gives you the most options. 120' is next but in a 100' tree it will require more technical ability to make up for the shorter length.

For every rope recommended, someone else will say "terrible choice" ;-) So many variables. If you plan on carrying gear on your back to get to trees then you might want a rope that is lighter per foot than another rope type. TCI instructors often recommend 1/2" New England Ropes Safety Blue. Nice solid 16-strand rope, great for Blake's Hitch climbing, it is heavy per foot. Looking at lighter and thinner 24-strand ropes, the following are excellent, each with specific characteristics: NE Ropes Fly (or Dragonfly), Sterling Scion, NE Ropes Tachyon, Yale Bandit or Blaze, any of the Yale 11.7mm 24-strand double braids like Sumac, Aztec, Calamine, Poison Ivy etc. they're color versions of the same construction.

I would caution against splicing both ends, start with a spliced or sewn eye (I prefer a sewn eye) on one end only. I think you need a strong reason to have both ends spliced. Several reasons not to have eyes on both ends. The strongest is that you can't slide a Dan House style cambium saver on to the rope if there's not a "free" end to the rope. The Dan House saver is the most intuitive and easy-to-use cambium saver on the planet. Sherrill Tree sells the House saver as "The Caterpillar".

Here's a Dan House cambium protector in use with 11.6mm NE Ropes Tachyon:



To remove a Dan House saver (I call it a "pipe") from a tree you simply tie an overhand knot on the end of your rope and pull. But... it is wiser, especially if your pipe is set high in a tree, to tie the overhand knot and then attach a throwline to the end of the rope with the overhand knot above it, then lower your rope with the throwline. A pipe on the end of your rope can get hung up very easily if the rope end flies free out of the tree, lowering the rope with a throwline is smarter and safer.

FYI you can create a mid-line or "other end of your rope" lanyard using the tail of your main climbing rope, see Treeman's climbing basics DVD. Pre-made lanyards are expensive and generally oriented towards professional tree workers. For rec climbing I recommend building a simple adjustable lanyard. Think of it as a short rope second climbing system.
-AJ
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Beginner Looking for Opinions on Gear 1 year 6 months ago #137779

Thanks moss! Found your advice very helpful. I am looking into 150 ft, 1/2" rope since I do not plan on trekking too deep into the woods and like the "easier to grip" advantage. I see you recommend New England Ropes Safety Blue 16 strand. My final question is if this New England rope is spliced at one end. I really appreciate your informative and swift reply! :)
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Beginner Looking for Opinions on Gear 1 year 6 months ago #137780

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bniebla735 wrote:
Thanks moss! Found your advice very helpful. I am looking into 150 ft, 1/2" rope since I do not plan on trekking too deep into the woods and like the "easier to grip" advantage. I see you recommend New England Ropes Safety Blue 16 strand. My final question is if this New England rope is spliced at one end. I really appreciate your informative and swift reply! :)

Splices are typically added by arborist gear retailers at your request, so yes you can order Safety Blue with a traditional spliced eye or a sewn eye:

NE Ropes Safety Blue spliced eye options at Treestuff
-AJ
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Beginner Looking for Opinions on Gear 1 year 6 months ago #137781

Excellent! Your advice is invaluable to clearing up my confusion on DdRT. Thanks again moss!
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Beginner Looking for Opinions on Gear 1 year 6 months ago #137782

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You're welcome! If you haven't found these yet...

Leather and Dan House rope sleeves

You'll need the 3/4" ID sleeve for 1/2" rope. I noticed they only offer it in 30", that's a bit long, you can undo the tape, unscrew the end ferrule and cut the pipe to whatever length you want, screw the end cap/ferrule back on, re-tape it.
-AJ
Last Edit: 1 year 6 months ago by moss.
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