The Fairfield climbing Meetup hosted this event at Tree Climb Connecticut. Our guides, Gary and Mike, host this course and help train professional landscapers and arborists to get their certification. We just took the adventure course which didn't go over all the knots and cut right to the fun part - climbing trees!
|I'm glad I didn't have to do all of that|
Of course we weren't going to put in all that effort of lugging ourselves up just to go right back down. Once we reached the top of our rope, each of us spent a good deal of time just hanging out enjoying the view. One of the ropes went quite high, 50 or 60 feet, and even though I was tied in much like I am while climbing, for some reason I felt less comfortable with it. Occasionally the wind would spin me so that I wasn't facing the tree, and that seemed to enhance the feeling. By seeing the tree right in front of me, I guess it made me feel more grounded.
|It's a looooong way down!|
I also learned (the hard way) that there's a big difference between climbing harnesses and tree harnesses. A climbing harness will support your weight but the leg straps are fairly small as you're not sitting in the harness for very long. Most of the time your weight is on the wall and you take occasional breaks. Today, my weight was entirely on the harness and I quickly felt the straps digging into my legs. I tried one of the tree harnesses and immediately noticed how much more support it offered. It was much more comfortable while in the tree and allowed for hanging around a lot longer. But the damage had been done. I have a pretty spectacular bruise on my thigh, as well as up and down my leg from the rope.
Once we were done, I took a trip the the nearby REI. I now have rope and webbing for my own top rope rigging. No more waiting around for everyone to use one rope when we go climbing! If I'm not too sore to get out of bed tomorrow, we're supposed to be climbing at Chatfield again. I have no idea how I'll manage to grip anything, but I'll give it the old college try!