When it comes to climbing SRT, the climbing system can be as simple or advanced as you’d like. Regardless of the base anchor, rope, friction hitch, descending device, or tree the NUMBER ONE thing we need to pay attention to is safety!
Climbing with a traditional doubled rope system or Ddrt system, the climber was usually tasked with finding the ideal tie in point or TIP in the tree they would be working in that day. If the tree didn’t have a TIP that was quite high enough then the climber would just have t make do with bad rope angles and working harder than they had to. Bad rope angles can turn into really bad situations. In the event of a slip the climber will be thrown into a much more violent swing compared to a nice mellow rope angle. Ideally we are looking for the highest point in the tree to tie into but what if there are limbs in the way of our desired path?
Since we know the basics of SRT climbing we all know that our rope doesn’t move while we are positioning. This is ideal when it comes to redirecting your rope to maintain a good rope angle. Now all those limbs that were in the way of your desired path before are now your best friend because they can all be used as redirects. Climbing out above that long limb walk and dropping down through a natural union makes rope angle issues non existent.
So is redirecting your rope only good for maintaining a better rope angle? No way! By redirecting your rope through multiple unions throughout the canopy of the tree the forces generated on a singular TIP can be diminished. From what we discussed about RIGGING AND SOME GENERAL LAWS OF PHYSICS, we know that a rope being held at the ground ran over a limb with a climber on the other end will have ROUGHLY 175% OF THE CLIMBERS WEIGHT on it. With SRT climbing and base anchors, we are putting more force on a singular TIP. The best way to diminish these forces is to spread the forces throughout the canopy. Every time your rope is passed over a union the forces are spread and divided over the redirects. This is very useful in trees without one high central TIP. The rope could actually be passed over multiple smaller limbs to gain a higher TIP than what would usually be accepted with a Ddrt system.
Another simple way to maintain a higher TIP on smaller limbs is with a quick wrap. The climber can actually wrap their climb line around the leader making a candy cane of sorts. This wrapping will work the same as the “fishing pole” technique, where the force is dispersed the entire length of the limb opposed to the force just being applied at the tip of the limb. With every advantages comes a trade off, though you can tie in to a much higher spot in the tree, it does take more time to wrap your rope around the leader as well as retrieving your rope can be quite the task as well because of the extra friction from the wraps.
All these redirects can help us get to more places in the tree much more easily than ever before. Don’t become overwhelmed with over thinking your redirects. Try to make the tree work for you and think about making your job easier!