Does anyone remember back a few years when a little video came out on Youtube called Spiderjackery? The video showed a climber in Australia doing a mock work climb in a giant Eucalyptus tree. The greatest thing about this video was how fluidly the climber moved throughout the tree and how flawless his climbing was. Every swing was spot on and every landing on the limb was as smooth as butter! Let’s take a look at the video and break down some cool bits of what was going on!
Let’s Get (Spider)Jacked!
The climber in the video was Joe Harris, who is very well known for his work with the VTIO (Victorian Tree Industry Organization) and his great articles about forces in rigging among other things. He is also the star of many of the videos for ART, who make great climbing devices like the Snake Anchor and the Spiderjack. Joe is using the Spiderjack in the video and he is truly a master of this device as you can see!
The Spiderjack is a mechanical friction hitch that uses a clutch type camming device to control the friction that is put on the rope. It is used in a DdRT or MRS as you can see Joe using it in this configuration in the video. At the time of the video, the Spiderjack was one of the only devices that would let rope free fall through it when taking up slack. This was revolutionary at the time and other manufacturers followed suit with their own mechanicals.
The video starts with Joe at the top of the tree, and right off the bat he busts a sick move over to an adjacent limb! The video really does highlight the Spiderjack as well as Joe’s amazing climbing ability! As he flies through the tree you can see how smooth the device is to work with and how easily it can feed out rope to make for high speed swings and quick movements in the tree. At around the 1:00 minute mark Joe makes an awesome running decent down some limbs and around the base of the tree where you can hear rope just screaming through the device! This little section makes you really feel like you are there climbing with him!
Gravity Defying Device
After Joe makes it to the last limb walk in the tree he starts heading back up to the top. Here is where you can see the Spiderjack eating up rope as he pulls, hand-over-hand, above the device. The best part of this entire video comes at the 2:28 minute mark where Joe makes a big swing, which from the camera angle appears to be defying gravity as he swings upward into the tree right back to where he originally started the climb! This video really is a classic in the comp climbing community! The greatest thing about this video are the memories of years past where I would sit in a skate shop with my best friends and get totally stoked watching skate videos before we went out for the day and skated until the street lights were on. This video has the same vibe and totally creates the same amount of stoke!
After this video was released, I’m sure that sales of the Spiderjack sky rocketed because everyone wanted to be able to climb like Joe. Joe went on to compete at the ITCC that year and placed a super tight second place! This solidified not only Joe’s awesome ability to be a top notch climber, but also the fact that the Spiderjack was an amazing device that was capable of competing on the World’s stage!
Check It Out, Then Check Us Out
Take a look at the Spiderjackery video and see if it gets you pumped up to go on your next big sprawled out dead wooding job or be sure to send it to all your friends the morning of your next climbing comp to get the stoke high and get everyone pumped to climb their butts off! Also, check out this cool video about the Spiderjack 3 that ART released a couple years ago. If you want to try one out, visit our shop and swing around on one in our demo area!