Joint Adventure Camp

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12 years 9 months ago #135469 by TreeTramp
Joint Adventure Camp was created by TreeTramp
Suffering with deformity caused by arthritis is most often viewed as a crippling disease that reduces those people’s activities greatly let alone being able to climb a tree. We all have seen an elderly aunt those hands will never open again. The disease knows no age and oddly mostly effects ladies. But determination trumps the challenge.
Each year the staff of Saint Louis Children’s Hospital sponsored by Arthritis Foundation conducts a Joint Adventure Camp. The Rotary Youth Camp in Lee’s Summit has been open for over 80 years and is free to any group that desires a sanctuary for those with special personal challenges. All they ask for is each person spends a least an hour of service. They do wonders with a talented but small staff.


We were able to set up eight doubled ropes and two triple rope climbing stations in a beautiful white oak and then our trampoline swing nearby in a lofty walnut. All afternoon regardless of ability we had climbers reaching heights they never imagined before. The look on the faces and the thrill of overcoming limits was rewarding. The campers, staff and helpers all took turns and one lady got to the top as decided that she was staying there well past the end and we could just take her rope down last. It is nice to host an event like this where they just won’t stop having fun.


Inquiring minds may wonder just how one climbs with limited hand grasp. The traditional system of a Blake’s Hitch requires two hands to pull down, hold, push up the hitch, slide up the prussic and repeat. All motions require balance, skill and strength to overcome the rope friction thru the rope sleeve and being able to pull, push and slide. Our system has advanced well past that with almost zero friction. Those whose hands can’t close used a loop of webbing around the wrist to pull down after wrapped around the rope with a girth hitch or a prussic. This allows those without fingers to be able to pull a rope and climb. The friction at the anchor point is eliminated with the rope thru a pulley secured to the limb with a webbing loop. The Blake’s Hitch is replaced with a Michoacán Hitch that arborist use. It is in the same family of friction hitches made by braiding a cord around the rope like the French Prussic. The hitch is tethered to the climber with another webbing loop of a length matching the climbers arm span. The up rope is then secured next to the friction hitch so when you pull down the up rope pulls everything up. By having it farther up the rope the climber pulls down far below the hitch and is rigged so it self-advances with each powerful cycle. The climber uses a foot loop that grabs fast but slides up easily again using the Michoacán Hitch. To descend the climber can pull down on a wooden ball threaded just about the friction hitch and if not able to grab they can then pull down on another webbing loop girth hitched just above the ball. Grab the webbing, loop it around your wrist and even fingerless hands can make it come down slowly. For those needing even more mechanical advantage all you need is one more pulley placed next to the friction hitch with the up rope secured back up at the anchor point to have three ropes. In the hands of an able-bodied climber these systems work much easier that your traditional settings that require lots of knots that really need a lot of effort to make slide.


We have facilitated hundreds of climbers on rope but nothing compares to the reward of helping those do things they never knew they could do and see far horizons that they never knew they could see.

See you at the top!

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12 years 9 months ago #135471 by 2chops
Replied by 2chops on topic Re:Joint Adventure Camp
Very nice. Well done.

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12 years 9 months ago #135478 by treeman
Replied by treeman on topic Re:Joint Adventure Camp
That sounds like quite the system, Dan. Dealing with arthritis victims sounds like it is different than dealing with somebody that has a more complex problem like muscular dystrophy.

So Dan, tell us a little bit about the differences. I know you've worked with about every kind of climber imaginable.

Could you give us a picture of your wooden ball set up? I don't think many people have seen that setup.

Thanks for spending your time with less advantaged people. It's really an inspiration for all of us.

Treeman

Waving from a treetop,
Peter Treeman Jenkins

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12 years 9 months ago #135480 by TreeTramp
Replied by TreeTramp on topic Re:Joint Adventure Camp
Peter, Good questions and comments.
I will get to thinking and shoot some pics and reply soon.
Be safe and thank a Vet on Independence Day, Dan

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