Line Placement Gear
The first challenge you'll encounter with climbing large trees is rope placement: How do you get a rope over a branch if it's 50 feet up? Answer: You use a throw weight attached to a throw line. The throw weight (right) is a “beanbag” ranging from 6 to 16 ounces in weight. The throw line is a 1.75-3mm polypropylene or dynema line, which is usually 150 feet long. A skilled climber can lob such a line over a branch 70 feet high. Use an 8-10 oz. throw weight for the thinner throw lines (1.25-2.25); use a 12-14 oz. bag with the thicker lines (3 mm).
Many climbers use a "Big Shot”, a heavy-duty slingshot made by SherrillTree Arborist Supply, for shooting throw weights high into a tree. This is a large slingshot head that is mounted on an 8 foot fiberglass pole. The throw weight is usually attached to a line that is over 200 feet long. To keep the line from getting tangled, use a throw line cube (or stack your line on a tarp) that is placed in front of you. Always shoot with the line in front of you or you risk getting a serious cut on your ear.
Getting into taller trees to climb with single rope technique sometimes calls for different equipment. Climbers sometimes use a specially designed compound bow and weighted arrow set-up. However, most park rangers and other authorities don’t like seeing these kinds of tools in public places.
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