You’ve always liked climbing trees, have you? Figure that working as an arborist is an easy job that anybody could do? Well, now’s your chance to see if you really can cut the mustard and swing into that career change you have been hungering for. Grab your gear and leave your fear of heights at the door. This Saturday, September 15, 2012 head down to Springbank Park in London, Ontario to check out the 2012 24th Annual Ontario Tree Climbing Championship (OTCC).
Before you get too excited about competing, know that the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) takes the OTCC pretty seriously. Registration to enter the competition began back on July 16th and there were a couple of questions they asked that just might knock you out of competition; like “Have you competed before?” and “How many years have you climbed?”. They want to know your arboriculture experience and climbing your Mommy’s crabapple probably doesn’t count. Sorry to burst your bubble, but this leads to the International Tree Climbing Competition in Toronto in 2013, so the competition is bound to be fierce. In fact all the competitors work in the arborist industry already!
So now that you can look forward to the competition from the perspective of the ground, what is there to look forward to? There will be five preliminary events: a work climb, belayed speed climb, simulated aerial rescue, foot-lock style rope climb and throwline challenge. Out of the 25 space for men and 10 spaces designated for women, the top 4 men and top 2 women competitors move on to the Master’s Challenge. Aside from the arborists shimmying up trees, there will also be a trade show of arborist equipment on display, compliments of sponsor Stihl Canada.
Now don’t get too disappointed about not getting your monkey climbing on. You will still get a chance to scramble up a tree if you come out to the competition this weekend. It is a little safer than the ones the experts get to tackle, and this one is guided by a professional arborist, but feel free to try the “Climb For All Ages” area. The bonus is that you get safety gear and a few pointers from the pros, but your gold medal tree-climbing dreams might have to wait for another year. Or two. The best part about the event though is that it is free to the public, so anyone and everyone can attend. Now that I like!
Hope to see you there!
- Tree climbers face off (lfpress.com)
- Local Man To Compete In Olympics Of Tree Climbing (chicagoist.com)