Two Happy Treeclimbers!

 

Ben & Logan Huff, Anacortes, WA

Logan

May 4, 2004

We were pretty excited when the box arrived with the gear!  We went to the woods that afternoon and tried out the harnesses, my son and I.  They fit great and with the CMI Ascenders were able to go right up into a nice oak tree about 50'.  We descended with our Pirana - it works great - love the extra hooks for locking in during a descent.  It was our first time up with good gear and truly a great time of it, we had.  Named our tree - "El Primero".  Yesterday we tackled one of the old growth firs that are near our home here on Fidalgo Island.  Using our New England rope, 'The Fly', we ascended 95' together, only 5' from the top of this awesome tree - the view was incredible, looking down on the surrounding Oak, Alder, Cedar, Hemlock and other Douglas Fir and Grand Fir.  We are looking forward to doing a Tyrolean Traverse at a location about 10 minutes from here - we have a stand of Old Growth Fir that are on a steep slope - we can use one 200' rope for the ascending and the traverse right over to the hillside.  We really appreciate the T-shirts and wear them every time we go out. 

 

Thanks people for being there and providing such great service and products for us recreational tree climbers - you are turning over new chapters in the book of our lives and we really appreciate it.

 

.We want others who have not entered the wonderment of recreational tree climbing to see what outstanding experiences are to be had.  We were just up this evening in a great old oak in a stand of fir, cedar and alder, looking over a lake as the sun was lowering in the sky - that special light at the end of the day made our experience all the more thrilling.  So what if we were packing our gear out in the dark - it was worth every minute.  That same lake, Heart Lake it is, was the scene of a little drama just this morning, too.  A friend and I were doing some studying, looking out over the lake and about 60 - 70' out a mature bald eagle swooped down and nabbed a trout right before our eyes - beautiful creatures!  Of course we are careful to avoid disturbing any nesting sites we discover in the canopy.  One of the Park Service Administrators is even interested in our helping pinpoint nesting sites of the eagles, peregrine falcons, and other canopy life, including mammalian fauna, as we discover it.  This amounts to a 'pass' into the forests for us and gives us just a bit higher motive in our ascents, which we don't mind at all.  So, we have much to thank you all for.  Again, the gear is great!   Ben & Logan

 

May 22, 2004

Again, we thank you for the awesome gear!  The CMI ascenders work great and we especially like the Petzl Pirana descender (the hooks make for a quick, secure belay).  The harnesses are very comfortable to climb in.  It makes it nice to be able to stop every once in a while and just soak it all in.  It is such a great feeling once you leave the forest floor and begin to ascend through the layers of life - what a connection!  

     We just finished a climb in an awesome old growth fir about 15 minutes from our home.  6.5' diameter and 140' in height.  I went ahead to set up the climb, hoping that Logan would join me after school.  The climb went well as we are learning how to work with the gear.  I had just finished relocating the climbing rope (we use the New England 1/2" rope called "The Fly" and what amazing rope it is!) when I got a call from my wife saying that Logan was having a bad day.  Bummer.  I made another pitch, getting to where I could free climb safely and I just happened to look up and noticed an Osprey clutching a small rodent in his claws.  He launched - scolding me for disturbing his meal.  I was about 15 vertical feet below him.  Never would I approach this close on the ground!  Then, Logan called, sounding kinda down but he decided to come out anyway.  We use camera phones to talk back and forth on - what fun gadgets:  "Hey guys!  Look at the view from where we were today!"  Well, Logan slipped into his New Tribe harness and made the climb, joining me on these huge limbs (some 12-14" diameter).  He brought me a yogurt and cookies snack - wife's orders, you know.  We hung out for a while, relishing the experience.  I did a pan with my digital camera on movie, looking at the snaggy top, launching out to show the view straight out, tipped the camera a bit and turned it down to look down the tree, ending up showing my feet standing on a limb.  Got some nice shots of Logan.  We sent some shots to some of the family via camera phone.  While we were up there, I started squeaking on a piece of survey ribbon, making a dying rabbit call and within a few minutes we were serenaded by a pack of coyotes.  If we had stayed around, we would have had them right to the base of the tree (done it before) but we had to scoot as it was getting dark on us.  One of our goals is to rig some kind of bait on a nearby limb to try and entice a Bald Eagle or another Osprey, maybe even an owl or a hawk of some kind.  Even crows would be cool at this height.  Thanks again, guys!  Ben & Logan

Ben

June 28, 2004

Hey gang!  Just wanted you to know what having your gear has helped me to do. 

 

On June 25, I was in dire need of an attitude adjustment so I thought maybe a climb would do me good.  I grabbed my gear (I carry it all in one mountaineering pack) and hiked to an Old Growth Fir not far from our home.  On the first shot, I got my fishing line over a nice limb and in short order I had 'The Fly' in place and was ascending with my CMI ascenders.  I took my time going up, content to stop every few feet and soak it all in.  The New Tribe harness was quite comfortable and after some experimentation I found that if I wore my fanny pack like a bandolier across my chest, used a carabiner to keep my line closer to my chest, I could really relax - hands free.  The climb was pretty easy and before long I was poking my head up through the top branches.  I was delighted to find not only did it have a top (most are broken off or dead in the Old Growths) but that the top was arranged just right for a nap.  The limbs spread out to where I could lay back and get quite comfortable - there was even a branch just over my head to shade my eyes!  I spent a couple of hours relaxing, enjoying the scenery. I could see Mt. Baker and some of the surrounding islands in addition to looking down on some nearby beaver ponds.  I ate some fruit and watched the swallows performing their acrobatic flights in the trees all around and below me - what marvels they are to observe.  At times a gentle breeze would rock the tree and my what a great experience.  Time just slipped away somehow.... I attached a shot of me reclining at the top, and one of an orange damselfly.  Thanks again for providing the great gear to make it all possible.  Ben


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