Rock climbers often call the first climbed route on a cliff face the "first ascent." Although most tree climbers I know don't label a new climb that way, today's climb warrants special merit. As the first branch on this tree was over 100 feet in the air, getting up into the tree is a real challenge and adventure. We spent yesterday afternoon and this morning shooting fishing line with a modified crossbow to get an initial line into the tree. After repositioning the placement to a safe part of the crown of the tree we used our initial line to haul a parachute cord and finally our climbing rope. Colin was the first to climb and he arrived to about half way up the tree, where our crossbow shot landed him. After that, I joined him and we swapped leads through the rest of the half of the tree to the upper branches.
Our estimate, although we didn't measure it, was about 250' feet. After installing a pulley and parachute cord in the tree, subsequent climbs will have less impact and be a lot less time consuming. Next week we will re climb this tree to collect seed cones.
Colin putting up the First Ascent
Dave in the Tree - Photo by Colin Crilley
Colin in Tree at about 180' feet
HDR image of Sequoia