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karl1991

New climber- branch walking confidence!

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Hi all,

I am new to climbing and I am struggling abit with a few things but mainly getting out on the branches...

I don't know what the problem is, I anchor into a point bigger than my wrist, sometimes tree dependant as big as my thigh! But I'm not very confident at getting out on the branches, any advice at all? I start walking out but only get a slight way out before looking for a growth point to bring them back to! This is ok if only cutting back but I know I need to overcome the fears. It's not the height that worries me it's the branch/ anchor point.

Help appreciated

Thanks

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Limb walking grows with experiance. You have to have faith in your anchor point. Have you tried using a longer lanyard for your secondary line so that you don't have to worry about swinging back into the trunk? Try getting a second line out on a limb above the one you intend on walking so you are between the two lines like a V shape.

 

The only other method is just to keep practicing. Do some reccy climbing with someone with more experiance and just push yourself that bit further each time. Eventually you will find your legs. It's all about confidence in your climbing system.

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It's amazing how strong a branch Union is. I regularly go smaller than my wrist for an anchor point if it gives me a better rope angle for limb walking, I'm about 13 stone. It does depend on tree species. My best advice is to try and keep as much weight in your harness as possible, so you're almost walking on the sides of the branch. Any slack and you stand more of a chance of losing your balance, take it slow and steady

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Here's my take, branch walking is impressive, I remember at college watching the instructors go out to some very small bits. But it's not obligatory to do it at every opportunity.

At the moment your job is to get out there and cut that bit off, if that involves crawling, riding the horsey with your strop round the branch or whatever then do it, the stylish stuff will come with experience.

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The more you do it the easier it is...Lean back on your line, trust your gear, if your unsure about your anchor point go bigger. I like to have a good nosey while im going up and make sure everything is sound, then you know your safe...its all 1 big mind game. I used to cack my pants but after you realise your gear is more than good enough and the tree your in is solid you start to have fun.

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The higher your anchor point the easier it is, so smaller is often better than bigger when it comes to how thicker stem to stick your rope round. Also try just springing away from the stem, feet flat against the tree sit back in your harness and give it a little jump. Once you get used to swinging in and out try using that swing to start off a branch walk, that little momentum and already having all your weight in your saddle can help the hole motion of getting out to the tips

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I had a problem with it too, to begin with. As is often the case, my confidence grew when i slipped and "fell", my gear and everything of course catching me. Only then, did I really start to trust my gear. Always keep your weight on the harness and your rope.

Sometimes when I've had to do some nasty storm damage, and I really do have to go out to the tip, I hang from my gear and climb the branch from underneath using hands and feet, like the monkeys that people often call us. Then either do what i got to do like that, or lanyard over, and then climb onto the branch from there.

Experience, trying new things, and keep trying, and you'll get there :thumbup1:

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Sounds as if you need a feel for wood strength and trusting in that knowledge. Just do a bit more weight testing of your tip with your tip tighed below that and a lanyard to steady. King Kong your intended tip and read the deflection in the limb and listen for fracturing..

Remember your angles, the more horizontal you go, the greater the force applied at the tip and thus more weight sharing needed between you tip and the limb you walk

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I was the same I was really scared and had the fear of loosing my balance, until I did I swung right out, it wasn't scary at all more fun! After that because I had swung out I didn't have the fear anymore and I got more confedent and it got easier! Sit back into you're harness and just walk, strop yourself onto the limb If it helps you. But once you have fell off you realise it's nothing to worry about! :)

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