When Out On a Limb
Have you ever been out on the tips during a limb walk and found it really difficult to get back in? Maybe you were on a dreaded drooping limb walk that ended in a wobbling uncoordinated fight back to the base of the tree? Or perhaps you experienced a mega long limb walk in a 200 year old White Oak that has been reaching for the sun for the last 100 years. Regardless, we may have a technique that could make this whole process a little easier for you!
Have you ever heard of the O Rig Technique? This is a really simple set up that extends your climbing system an arm’s length above you so that you can continuously grab armfuls of slack out of your system as it’s being tended as well. The great thing is you only need a couple extra pieces of gear that you probably already have in your climbing arsenal to make it possible! This simple technique not only makes coming back from limb walks easier, it can make moving upward in the tree easier as well!
Make the Big O
The first thing you need is a climbing system with a Hitch Climber Pulley; this will act as the central hub for everything. A spliced eye on the end of your climb line will also help streamline this whole system and eliminate the need for tying a bulky termination knot. Regardless, you will begin with your Hitch Climber setup in a normal fashion with a friction hitch like the Distel and two carabiners through the bottom and middle holes of the Hitch Climber. Now we are going to add another prussic tied with a Distel or English Prussic onto the terminating end of your climb line (spliced side). This can then be attached to the carabiner that goes through the middle hole of the Hitch Climber. Pull about two feet of slack into the terminating end of your rope and pass your spliced eye through your middle D ring. Now clip your spliced eye into the carabiner clipped to the bottom hole of the Hitch Climber.
As you can see, this whole system makes a big O now. You can now pull down on your terminating end, which will pull the Hitch Climber higher. Be sure to never pull your Hitch Climber out of your arms reach or you’ll need to ascend up to a limb to retrieve your climbing system! You can now adjust your climbing system to the correct distance from your harness to make it comfortable to pull tons of slack out of your system. When you want to climb with a normal setup, just pull down on the line above your Hitch Climber and pull down on the prussic on your terminating end at the same time. This will slide your climbing system right down to you. I like to pull it close enough to me so that my bottom carabiner sits right at my D ring with my spliced eye bent around the other side of the D ring.
Share Your Story
You can easily switch between ascent mode and climbing mode with the quick pull of a rope and pulling on a prussic. It’s quick and simple and a great trick to have up your sleeve! The only extra piece of gear you really need is a prussic! Awesome! Let us know if you are using the O Rig Technique now in the comments below!