Winter white pine climbing

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13 years 3 months ago - 13 years 3 months ago #135080 by moss
Winter white pine climbing was created by moss
With heavy snow cover in eastern Massachusetts it's not possible to park at my usual roadside spots to hike to my favorite trees. So late last Friday I went to a well plowed parking lot by some woods, put on my snowshoes and set out to find some new trees. I was rewarded with a beautiful sunset and some fine white oak, white ash, and red oak, all good climbers. The best of all was a gnarly old double trunk white pine, an iconic tree battered by the elements but sound at heart. The next day I met two friends to go to the tree. Morning temperatures were in the single digits but there was no wind and the sun was shining brightly. When we reached the tree it was feeling warmer, the hike in certainly helped us to warm up. We set three ropes hand throwing and with a slingshot, took a little time but we got some nice settings in the 65' range. We all climbed DRT and worked our way up. The tree was challenging, many big old broken stubs making us work to re-pitch and advance in the tree. The pine and surrounding trees were still heavily laden with snow, we heard a large limb fail in a tree nearby, we proceeded with caution.

As we sat in the tree mid-crown an adult bald eagle flew by, deepening the feeling of connection to the winter woods.

Mayfly preparing to climb


David lead climbing


David (up top) and Mayfly


Mayfly on rappel


-AJ
Last edit: 13 years 3 months ago by moss.

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13 years 3 months ago #135081 by 2chops
Replied by 2chops on topic Re:Winter white pine climbing
Nice pics moss. It looks like you guys had a great day to go up. The Bald Eagle is a big plus. Good lookin tree too. I'm more of a hardwood kinda guy myself. But we have some very nice white pines around here too that I plan on sniping this year.

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13 years 3 months ago #135083 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Winter white pine climbing
2chops wrote:

Nice pics moss. It looks like you guys had a great day to go up. The Bald Eagle is a big plus. Good lookin tree too. I'm more of a hardwood kinda guy myself. But we have some very nice white pines around here too that I plan on sniping this year.


Thanks, I like white pine any time of year but especially in the winter, the green foliage is kinda nice, and if you want to get above it all, it's a good species to get into.
-AJ

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13 years 3 months ago #135088 by greenluck
Replied by greenluck on topic Re:Winter white pine climbing
Nice Moss.

Any guess on the total heigth of this white pine?

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13 years 3 months ago #135089 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Winter white pine climbing
greenluck wrote:

Nice Moss.

Any guess on the total heigth of this white pine?


Didn't measure it yet but guessing 110', that's typical for the taller whites close to the coast, they get hit by a lot of east wind and wet snow/ice in winter storms, tallest I've been able to find within 2-3 miles of the coast is 121'.
-AJ

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13 years 2 months ago #135104 by michaeljspraggon
Replied by michaeljspraggon on topic Re:Winter white pine climbing
By the looks of those broken stubs and the failing limb you heard White Pines must be very brittle!

I love the snow - pity it's all gone from here.

Michael

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13 years 2 months ago #135106 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Re:Winter white pine climbing
michaeljspraggon wrote:

By the looks of those broken stubs and the failing limb you heard White Pines must be very brittle!

I love the snow - pity it's all gone from here.

Michael


Ya, we'll miss the snow when it's gone here.

White pine actually isn't particularly brittle, we get a lot of heavy wet snow and ice storms close to the coast, so the old pines show all the scars from many winters of exposure, foliage and branches on the limb gets loaded with tremendous ice and snow weight, limb snaps. It's kind of an evolved self preservation strategy, better to break a limb than the main trunk. The limb we heard breaking was a red oak, no species is safe from the effects of heavy snow weight.

You can see from the photos that white pine limbs overloaded with snow break pretty far out from the union so the old rule prevails for pines, always set your rope as close as possible to the limb trunk union.
-AJ

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