A close call...my flight to the ground.

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16 years 4 months ago #131229 by scottdb
Hi all...I have dithered about posting this story. Thank to friends who encouraged me to do so.

In November of 2007 I fell 20' from a willow tree when my TIP broke. I made an error in judgement. I am basically intact but it has been a rough few months.

If you would like to read my story and laugh, learn or cuss me out...it is attached.

Still groaning...Scott

Attachment Flying_briefly_landing_lucky.doc not found


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16 years 3 months ago - 16 years 3 months ago #131230 by oldtimer
Replied by oldtimer on topic Re:A close call...my flight to the ground.
Scott, Sorry to heard about your accident. It can happen to the best among us. I am glad you are still here to tell us about it!:ohmy:
Last edit: 16 years 3 months ago by oldtimer.

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16 years 3 months ago #131232 by TreeTramp
Replied by TreeTramp on topic Re:A close call...my flight to the ground.

First let me say I am so glad to read that you are recovering. Man that was close.

And thanks for posting your story for all of us to learn from; I would be just my luck to laugh or cuss and find myself in the same way.

It reminds me to remember to listen to your body and don't let your mind veto your body's request to quit.

Much better to come back again at a better day.

See you at the top,


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16 years 2 months ago #131467 by treeman
Replied by treeman on topic Re:A close call...my flight to the ground.
Hey Scott,
I too have made some bad decisions around when and what to work on in regards to professional tree work. I can list many close calls of an embarrassing nature where I was not thinking clearly before I climbed and started cutting.

The end of the day decision to climb was a big determining factor. The statistics say that the beginning of the day and end of the day are the risky periods in the workday for us professional climbers. Mondays and Fridays are bad days of the week as well. Your hurry to get it done with a date at the end of the day; bad timing. Do we as mortal professional climbers think of these kinds of things? Welllll……….sometimes, but certainly not always.

Why do we as professional cutters go up knowing the deck is stacked against us as far as risk is concerned? I really don’t know. It’s probably the same question why race car drivers do what they do. Probably the stimulation of being on the edge. And for us, a rational reason too; we are getting paid to do it unless we under bid the job and end up just paying expenses or worse.

Glad to hear your survival report card didn’t make a failing grade. Your intuition was right on the mark too. Please heed to it the next time it tells you to beware.

Waving from a treetop,
Peter Treeman Jenkins

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  • Tree Dimensional
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15 years 9 months ago #131958 by Tree Dimensional
Replied by Tree Dimensional on topic Re:A close call...my flight to the ground.
Scott, glad to hear you survived to climb another day. I am a newbie to this site and am little ashamed to be making my first post in the \"Accidents and Injuries thread\". I, also am a Certified arborist, and when I read what type of tree you were working on, knew what was going to happen.

Not to be condecending, but it appears that the majority of the people on this site are recreational tree climbs. I believe that, for the most part, these folks may need a lesson on tree biology. Each species of tree poses its own unique set of risks when being climbed. The trees in my area that pose the greatest risk are willow (weak wood and crotches) and maple (heartrot). A little further west of me, pines are the trees than can ruin your day. A large part of my tree work is in doing tree risk assessment, and the accidents that are described here all follow the \"normal\" failures thet each species of tree exhibits. There is a tree risk assessment book available that may assist in the decision, or cautions of climbing each species of tree. I am not going to mention the name of the publication, I will leave that to the other entrenched members to do.

Of course none of the posters here have a death-wish, but you hit the nail on the head on a couple points, you were tired (BTDT)and you weren't listening to the little voice in your head, well, until it was one step too late. I do have a important question to ask. If you would have used DbRT for access, would that limb have held? It is clear that you are an intelligent climber and have many mental and equipment resourses at your disposal, I ask about the climbing system to help the others on this site realize that there are MANY options when making a risky climb. I was born at night, BUT it wasn't last night. There is risk in everything we do in life, most people weigh the risk/reward, so do tree climbers. We could put enough safety and backups in a tree that we might not be able to move around up there. Tree climbers have to develop a systamatic way of looking at the potential risks and manage them, like you said it was a little branch that could have been left for another time. I have had this same ego related brain fart happen to me also, maybe better to return another day, BUT..... It is related with being professional, sometime we end up as statistics. But, I am positive that others will learn from our misfortunes.

As I just celebrated a milestone birthday, and my body is starting to show signs of previous abuse, I have made the decision that SRT might make efficient use of my remaining climbs. The two things that concern me are, the increased forces at the crotch, and the function of mechanical devices when used in WORK situations (sawust/twigs/inclement weather). The third issue is switching from one system to the other (SRT to DbRT). Is there anyone who works while using SRT, with a descending system on-line, before initiating the climb?

So there it is, I guess I ended up with as many questions as I did answeres. Sorry for my first post being in this thread, and I don't know much. Every tree I work on still teaches me something. I believe the best way to prevent injuries (climbing or otherwise) is to keep the ego in check, be open to ammend the way we access the tree, and listen to the little voice!

Glad to see you will be back at, and work safe.


PS Seeing you are expecting it, NEXT TIME YOU ARE OFFERED PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ASSITANCE ON SITE, TAKE IT!!!:angry: And your wife missed supper too!:lol:

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