There are many types of climbing systems and equipment that can be used in professional tree work and other rope access industries. Generally a dynamic rope system is used to access and work within the trees canopy. Static rope systems are anchored in place for ascent only, then the climber transitions to a dynamic system for work. Recent advances in Single Rope Technique (SRT) equipment and practices allow climbers to ascend and work from static rope systems.
SRT climbing can be traced back to early mountain climbers and is now used widely in climbing, rappelling, caving and rescue operations. SRT uses a variety of rope friction hitches, prusiks or mechanical devices to aid them in the ascent, descent and work positioning done in trees.
A key factor in safe and efficient SRT climbing is the selection of the rope tie in point (TIP) and climbing rope anchor. A high initial TIP allows the climber to ascend the tree, but caution should be followed to select sound wood of sufficient size to support the climber. Canopy and basal anchoring systems can put very different rope angles and loads on the tree, and must be selected carefully.
Typical ropes used for SRT climbing are considered static, with very little bounce as the climber ascends – these include Tachyon, Velocity, Rocket Line and HTC in 150 – 200 foot lengths. Prusik cords such as BeeLine, Ocean Polyester (OP), HRC and RIT are popular choices to provide secure friction hitch for ascending, descending and work within the tree and they are easily tied.
Installing a micro-pulley or Hitch Climber pulley below the friction hitch eases knot tending for efficient movement along the rope. New equipment such as the Rope Wrench or Hitch Hiker help the friction prusik by reducing heat buildup and friction making the climb safer and more efficient.
SRT climbing is becoming more widely used, but requires knowledge and experience beyond more common climbing techniques. For more information about SRT climbing and equipment contact Pinnacle Arborist Supplies at 501-663-8733.