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Dan Curtis

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About Dan Curtis

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    Senior Member, Raffle Sponsor 2012, 2013

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  • Location:
    Norfolk/Suffolk Border
  • Occupation
    Freelance Climber

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  1. There is currently a major revolution going on in tree climbing, coinciding fantastically with the release of the TCIA “Best Practices for SRT in Arboriculture.” SRT techniques have been being utilised pretty much since climbing in a controlled, rope aided, manner began. Over the years, mostly through rock climbing and caving, SRT techniques and equipment progressed and eventually began being used in tree climbing. To begin with, it was used as an access system, utilising the benefits of 1:1 movement, ergonomics and efficiency. Once in the canopy, a changeover would be made to a traditional DdRT setup for work positioning. In the first part of the 21st century, climbers began to experiment with using SRT work positioning (SRTWP). Very quickly, SRTWP gear has progressed and it is now at a stage where several pieces of equipment are available on the world market, with popularity seemingly growing by the day. Up until now, there has been no comprehensive guide, outlining safe practices and techniques. Those who have researched the topic will have found a lot of information online, most notably on arb related internet forums, though this information is rarely verified and most commonly based on individual personal opinion, without backing from industry bodies. The TCIA, among others, obviously saw a need for one single document, based on experience, testing and verification, to encompass SRT in arb as a whole. The guide begins with a grounding reminder of the dangers of complacency, stress and tiredness at work, very well placed to provoke a thought for every reader, especially those new to SRT. In a clear concise format, the guide sets off outlining the history of SRT, outlining the basic premise, as well as comparing SRT/SRTWP to more traditional DdRT techniques. It moves on to touch on standard SRT equipment, then a quick glance at the often repeated, with good reason, pre climb inspection and hazard assessment. These first few chapters set an excellent base for both experienced and novice SRT climbers. I would imagine that even veterans of the field would have learned something by now, particularly from the history of SRT section. The book heads on to touch on rope angles, forces and loads. The majority of climbers will have some experience in understanding the physics of rope work and the forces they can create. Being as redirects are commonly used in SRTWP, it is essential for the climber to understand the consequential loading they can create with their rope configuration. The guide manages to put across clear information, without getting bogged down into the very complicated mathematics of the angles of dangle, as is commonly found in other descriptions of the subject. Moving on through the practical application of SRT techniques, the guide covers many different anchor systems, access systems, work postioning tools, and the practical part of actually working the tree. All of the systems shown for each are given with a full description of their components, accompanied by detailed full colour photographs, their set up and use. Each has a brief list of their strengths and weaknesses, so the reader can quickly compare one setup to another. Personally I was a bit sceptical about how thorough the guide was going to be, but when I received my copy I was very impressed with the culmination of the efforts of numerous people across several continents. The guide will be useful to veteran and beginner alike, and I’m sure everyone will learn something from it, which they can then put into practice and benefit from. I would thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in SRT to get themselves a copy, even if only for the access systems. SRT may not be the be all and end all of tree climbing but this guide certainly makes the information available to put it on par with DdRT.
  2. There is currently a major revolution going on in tree climbing, coinciding fantastically with the release of the TCIA “Best Practices for SRT in Arboriculture.” SRT techniques have been being utilised pretty much since climbing in a controlled, rope aided, manner began. Over the years, mostly through rock climbing and caving, SRT techniques and equipment progressed and eventually began being used in tree climbing. To begin with, it was used as an access system, utilising the benefits of 1:1 movement, ergonomics and efficiency. Once in the canopy, a changeover would be made to a traditional DdRT setup for work positioning. In the first part of the 21st century, climbers began to experiment with using SRT work positioning (SRTWP). Very quickly, SRTWP gear has progressed and it is now at a stage where several pieces of equipment are available on the world market, with popularity seemingly growing by the day. Up until now, there has been no comprehensive guide, outlining safe practices and techniques. Those who have researched the topic will have found a lot of information online, most notably on arb related internet forums, though this information is rarely verified and most commonly based on individual personal opinion, without backing from industry bodies. The TCIA, among others, obviously saw a need for one single document, based on experience, testing and verification, to encompass SRT in arb as a whole. The guide begins with a grounding reminder of the dangers of complacency, stress and tiredness at work, very well placed to provoke a thought for every reader, especially those new to SRT. In a clear concise format, the guide sets off outlining the history of SRT, outlining the basic premise, as well as comparing SRT/SRTWP to more traditional DdRT techniques. It moves on to touch on standard SRT equipment, then a quick glance at the often repeated, with good reason, pre climb inspection and hazard assessment. These first few chapters set an excellent base for both experienced and novice SRT climbers. I would imagine that even veterans of the field would have learned something by now, particularly from the history of SRT section. The book heads on to touch on rope angles, forces and loads. The majority of climbers will have some experience in understanding the physics of rope work and the forces they can create. Being as redirects are commonly used in SRTWP, it is essential for the climber to understand the consequential loading they can create with their rope configuration. The guide manages to put across clear information, without getting bogged down into the very complicated mathematics of the angles of dangle, as is commonly found in other descriptions of the subject. Moving on through the practical application of SRT techniques, the guide covers many different anchor systems, access systems, work postioning tools, and the practical part of actually working the tree. All of the systems shown for each are given with a full description of their components, accompanied by detailed full colour photographs, their set up and use. Each has a brief list of their strengths and weaknesses, so the reader can quickly compare one setup to another. Personally I was a bit sceptical about how thorough the guide was going to be, but when I received my copy I was very impressed with the culmination of the efforts of numerous people across several continents. The guide will be useful to veteran and beginner alike, and I’m sure everyone will learn something from it, which they can then put into practice and benefit from. I would thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in SRT to get themselves a copy, even if only for the access systems. SRT may not be the be all and end all of tree climbing but this guide certainly makes the information available to put it on par with DdRT. View full review
  3. As I've said, tied correctly in the right place, it shouldn't come out accidentally. I do see your point with slack lengths, but this could apply to any redirect, or even base anchored systems in the event of a limb/equipment failure. I tried it with a twist, but personally felt it decreased the loading/cinching of the bight, maybe it can vary with rope types? I'm predominantly using it with Cougar Blue, perhaps a softer rope would have a different behaviour in the cinch? Haven't tried this yet but I see what you mean. I'll give it a go. If you were in the situation to retrieve from the static end, perhaps just a drop through a fork would give better results? You need a fork for this redirect and rolling a loop from above could be an issue. Assuming you mean DdRT, I'm intrigued how you'd tie a static redirect in a dynamic system without incorporating extra rope or hardware. Could you explain your idea here please?
  4. See above. I'd happily use it while routing down the outside of a segment of canopy on a reduction, or a stem removal etc. Tied correctly, in the right place, there is no reason for it to undo itself without you expecting it, though it does need planning on where you will put it, where you will retrieve it from and where you'll be going when it's loaded.
  5. Hi Paul, hope you're well. I'd say that this would fit into the short term-static category. I wouldn't imagine I'd hang on it for two hours, but then again I'd not imagine hanging on any redirect for that long very often.
  6. It shouldn't do. It needs more of a loop rolled to it than a flick. It will stay in with a shaken rope if tied correctly. Obviously if you do flick or shake off some branches then be sure to check it's all still in place before loading it again
  7. Be good to see you there if you're coming along. We'll here the usual array of gear set up
  8. I came up with this a few months ago, as I was getting boggled by the complexity of some of the gear-heavy retrievable redirects that were being posted. The original inspiration was a Precipice Knot (ABOK #391) but obviously needed to make it a bit more bomber than that! It's been tested by a few SRT guys including myself in the meantime and between us we've deemed it safe. It might not look it, but honestly try it out and let me know what you think of it. [ame] [/ame]
  9. 24" no problem, 28"is ok in softwood, wouldn't want to be doing a lot of hardwood with anything over 24"
  10. Thankyou to everyone who came and helped, competed or just came to spectate. The event gets bigger and better every year and it couldn't be done without the people who are there. Any feedback on the weekend would be appreciated, we like to know what we're getting right or what could be improved on. The results are all below
  11. They're not part of the cutters and climbers but Acle garden machinery will be there with a range of arb gear.
  12. It's a fast and cool way to do it. I've seen it before, Adam Bourne showed me it a few years ago. It's the only way I tie butterflies now.
  13. You 'avin a laff? Yes if you're there for half 8 Saturday but you'll still need to pay gate entry
  14. That's why you should enter the comp and get entry and camping free
  15. I think you're about right there. Are you coming Tom? The poles have gone up today

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