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To Tree Climb---Stealth Or Not

 
Author: Otto (SRT-Tech) Bushman
Date: February 26, 2007
 
To Treeclimb, Stealth or Not?

One of the biggest issues recreational tree climbers face is land access, or tree access; Finding areas to climb, without being hassled, arrested or ticketed. Many of us recreational climbers have experienced the arrival of the park ranger, police, land manager, security guard, park patrol etc....being told "NO CLIMBING!", or being ticketed or worse. I personally have been told NO many times, and the trees that I can climb are becoming scarcer and require driving over 40KMs outside the city now to climb. And yet treeclimbing is such a NON-invasive activity. We can climb for months on the same tree and leave no trace...compared to the multitudes of walkers, hikers and bikers that leave footprints and garbage.....yet we get tarred and feathered for walking the vertical trails....

It can drive many of us to say “Screw it”, and resort to stealth climbing. Choosing neutral or camouflage colors for our clothes or gear, climbing midweek to avoid the weekend crowds, night climbing, early morning or evening climbs before the park staff arrive or after they leave....just to enjoy the SAME parks and woods that EVERYONE else can enjoy with out being hassled.

I'm finding more and more a common theme in treeclimbing in PUBLIC areas....parks staff/police/rangers etc keep saying LIABILITY!! “What if you fall, you'll sue us..... or there is no climbing due to liability issues, we dont want people injured and suing us”. But when you try and educate them on how safe treeclimbing is, they shut it out and scream “LIABILITY, LIABILITY!!!”

I have tried to ask permission. I have tried to educate and take the authorities out for a demo climb. I try and I try to find areas to climb. But to no avail. So stealth I go; I will no longer share the joy of tree climbing, no longer climb with friends (too noisy, attracts attention). No, I will climb solo. You will not know I'm there, never see any trace of me. Like the wind I will slip in invisibly, dance around the tree canopy and move on, because you , the powers that be, fail to understand, fail to use common sense, and fail to allow me, a taxpaying member of the PUBLIC , to use the forest just like the rest of the public is allowed to. I'm sorry.

From SRT-Tech- Treeclimber, tree worker, groundsman, rope access technician (R.A.T.)

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