previous adventure
next adventure

Saturday tree climbing class was business as usual this semester. Sean, Sarah, and Colin taught with me. Jon, Emily, Ishan, Jen, Linbo, Caitlin, and Mike joined us as students. Here's our interpretation of business as usual.

Class 1: We headed down to the sycamores at Monkey Run for hand-over-hand climbing. Hand-over-hand climbing is what comes to mind for most people when they imaging tree climbing, and thus it provides a really fun introduction to the course. Oh yeah, and there was snack.

Class 2: Having all of the tree gear in one central location away from outfitting is really great, however the location of the tree shed encourages running the entire course on COE's Mt. Pleasant property. This is what we did, though Sean and I are typically big fans of visiting some of Ithaca's old growth forests. We taught Texas Kick (a style of ascending), some alternate ascension, anchor building, and getting the rope in the tree near the field trees. To conclude the class, we launched potatoes with the big shot (8 ft sling shot) into the adjacent field. Protective goggles and 80's jacket were required.

Class 3: Big Tree Day! Big tree day has traditionally been costume day for Saturday Tree. I dressed as a gangster in a pin-stripe suit, Sean was a pirate, Colin was a Bear, and Sarah was a pair of pants. Of the students that participated, Emily was a highlighter, Jen was something sparkly, and Caitlin dressed up as well. On our way to Mt. Pleasant, Colin and I had an impromtu snowball fight in the Lynah parking lot. Colin wore the bear suit under one of Petzl work harnesses, which was really amusing. Sarah helped run my tree, which had more people in it and Sean was the ground person. We had snack in the tree and returned to campus nearly an hour late...yikes. Sean and I stayed behind to pack-up gear.

Class 4: The weather report and deteriorating platform meant that the overnight in the tree had to be called off. Nevertheless, we took what students we could still convince to come down to Stewart Park to practice motion-lanyarding. A cold rain pelted us the entire time, but we did have a 1-1 student-instructor ratio. Emily and I had to jog most of the time to stay warm, so not much learning occurred. Emily has her hear set on a tree overnight on her birthday.