Climbin’ the Big Ones

Did you ever climb trees when you were a kid? Did you ever want to climb a 300 foot plus tree? Have you ever wondered what its like at the top of a giant Coastal Redwood? Well if you don’t suffer from vertigo you can go to the top of a couple of big ‘uns in the two movies we have here.

These two movies are about a bunch of guys who climb big trees for fun – this is their hobby. They really know what they are doing and they have all the gear. They don’t take chances.

The first limbs on a redwood are often 100 feet off the ground so problem number one is how do you get your rope over the first limbs? The movies show how.

The first movie shows Tonk Russell (the one with the beard and the red hat) being “taught the ropes”. Remember Tonk works with trees for a living so he is no slouch. The view from the top is incredible. Just in case you are wondering much of the film is taken from a second tree quite close by that you see the guys crossing between later in the movie.

Germans climbing the Big 'Uns

The second movie is about a group of men who came all the way from Germany to “climb the big ’uns”. They spend their vacations going around the world climbing big trees. They asked Tonk to take them to a tree or two they could climb. You are not allowed to climb trees in State Parks. The trees they are climbing are on private property and their whereabouts are not freely shared except among the cognescnti.

Gear used in these videos

an excellent primer on the gear that is used by professional fallers and high tree climbers

An article written by Jerry (Gerald F.) Beranek, a local faller, is an excellent primer on the gear that is used by professional fallers and high tree climbers. Click on the “page” right to access an e-book of the article which is replete with pictures of each piece of gear and it even gives the locations of where to buy it. A pdf version of the original can be downloaded  here