ESSENTIAL CLIMBING GEAR
Webbing loops are one of the most versatile tools we can use in the tree. These flat nylon loops can be used in climbing or rigging scenarios to reduce time spent tying knots or to help with work positioning while pruning. They can be conveniently wrapped up into small little bundles to keep on the back of your harness in the event that you need one quick. If you don’t have at least one, I highly recommend that you pick one up to see what they can do for you because webbing loops are essential gear for any climber!
Webbing loops can be used when rigging limbs by first attaching a steel carabiner to the end of your rigging line. Next, a webbing loop can be girth hitched around the limb you are lowering and the steel biner can be clipped to the webbing sling. Though this may seem a bit cumbersome at first, with practice and repetition, utilizing webbing loops can easily knock time off of knot tying in the tree, as well as the time it takes your ground guys to untie the knots on the ground.
Once your ground guys get the hang of unclipping a carabiner, they will really appreciate and enjoy using this technique. The carabiner on the end of you rigging line also gives you a quick attachment point to hook onto you, as well as a stopper to keep your rope from getting pulled out of your rigging block. Once you master the technique, I have no doubt you will be praising the virtues of webbing loops!
VERSATILE CLIMBING EQUIPMENT
Webbing slings work great for attaching limbs to a speed line as well. Again, just a quick girth hitch and the log is attached. A carabiner, such as a DMM Revolver or a Petzl Roll Clip, can then be clipped to the other end of the webbing and then clipped to your speed line. Speed lines are one of the most versatile techniques that we can use as climbers. It makes our job and the ground guys’ job easier, which in turn, makes us all happier! Make your cut and watch the piece sail all the way to the chipper without anyone need to drag the brush!
Another great little trick that webbing slings are used for obtaining an extra foot hold. Sometimes you can get yourself into a position where it would be much easier if your feet weren’t on top of the limb, or in a precarious spot where no other limbs exist other than the one smooth branch you are slipping around on. By girth hitching the webbing sling around the limb, it will tighten right down on either horizontal or vertical limbs, and by simply placing your foot into the loop you create a foot hold that previously wasn’t there! This is great when working on large dead wooding jobs of wide spreading trees.
THESE SLINGS ARE LIFE SAVERS
I personally use webbing slings while doing dynamic cabling jobs. The slings are super lightweight and attach to the tree so fast that it’s not even funny! I usually put a sling around each lead and attach my 5:1 pulley system. I also keep all of my cabling gear hanging right at hand level with another sling. This keeps me organized and stress-free. If I am doing a static cabling project, I usually keep my drill attached with a sling, as well as my other heavy cabling gear, so it doesn’t have to be pulling on my side while I’m trying to drill through the tree.
These slings also become one of those tools that are a life saver when they are really needed. Maybe a part breaks on your chip truck on the way home, the radiator cover decides to no longer hang onto your chipper, or any other random problem that can come up on a job, these things can help hold stuff down or keep things held tight!
These webbing slings have a multitude of other uses as well. If you have a use that you recommend, please comment below with your tip!