Arborist Climbing Ropes and Throw Line

If you’re just starting out climbing trees for work or recreation, we will discuss the basic rope and line needed for efficiency and safety.  There are many options for the tree climbing gear listed based on experience level, climbing style, climbing intentions and budget.

Throw weight and line Getting your climbing rope into the tree and to your final tie in point (TIP) is the first thing to accomplish.  Your TIP should be as high in the tree as possible for efficient climbing and movement in the tree.  Be sure to select a structurally sound limb, large enough to support your weight.  Throw weights are basically small, lead shot filled canvas bags commonly sized as 8, 10, 12, 14 or 16 ounces.  Lighter weights require a lighter, thinner throw line to reduce drag and get maximum height.  Heavier weights generally won’t fly as high, but are able to descend through thick, twiggy crowns.  Throw lines are commonly 1/8 inch or 1.75mm in diameter, and up to 200 feet long.  Like throw weights, throw lines come in a variety of bright, high visibility colors to aid in climbing rope installation.  Throw weights and line can also be used to reposition a climbing line in the tree, or to a nearby adjacent tree.

Climbing Lines After isolating your tie in point, you need to pull your climbing line into the tree, over the limb and back to the ground.  Climbing lines are typically 12, 16, or 24 strands of woven, synthetic fiber commonly 7/16 or 1/2 inch in diameter.  Common lengths of climbing ropes are 120 or 150 feet, though single rope (SRT) climbing techniques may require longer lengths to provide safe, secure base anchors.  Half-inch 12 and 16 strand solid braid climbing ropes are typically used in the traditional climbing technique of double rope (DdRT) body thrust method.  A friction hitch is tied in the running (long) side of the rope with the end (or a split tail) anchored to the climbers saddle.  Climbers using mechanical ascent and descent equipment favor the double braid 7/16 inch climbing lines for double or single rope methods.

Arborist rope manufacturers use distinct color patterns to help identify and market their ropes.  Brand names such as Tachyon or ArborMaster are easily identified by experienced users based on color, diameter and climbing technique.  No matter which rope you select as meeting your climbing experience, technique or personal preferences, all arborist tree climbing ropes must be rated at 5,000 lb. tensile strength or greater.

For more information, contact Pinnacle Arborist Supplies, 501-663-8733.

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