Where to Gain Knowledge If You Are a New Climber
I've Walked in Your Boots
I remember having so many questions when I first started climbing. What are all the knots I'm going to need to know? How do I get all the way up there? Will this rope work well for rigging? What's a block? What's a VT? The questions were pretty much endless! The biggest question I had though, had to do with gear. What harness is best for a beginner and what rope should I be using? So I started looking into it, and even back then the results were daunting! No worries, though, because I'm here to tell you where resources for new climbers can be found.
Now-a-days, a new climber must be completely overwhelmed by the amount of gear that is on the market. Through online dealers, as well as the plethora of Facebook and Youtube personalities pushing their favorite gear, it is all a bit much to take in for the fledgling climber that just wants to get their feet off the ground. There has to be a good place to start looking for resources for new climbers, right?
Ask Your Work Peers
SURE! Most new climbers look to someone that they are working with for a bit of leadership. The only problem with this is the fact that tree work has the ability of being a very 'work isolated' type of job. By 'work isolated' I mean the fact that we could work our entire career and only see and learn the things that we do and use at our work place. This is great if you are working for a TCIA Accredited company that has a great trainer on staff, but if you are working for a 'Git R Done' type of company, it might be a little hard to learn the newest techniques. So with that being said, start looking for a mentor, whether it's someone at work or in your area.
Consult a Pro from Bartlett Arborist
The second place where resources for new climbers can found is right here! We have tried to compile a great amount of knowledge for the new climber, as well as the advanced climber. We want to make sure that you have a place to come to try to learn something new because we all remember what that felt like. Take a look through our website and through the blog. We like to feature videos of the products actually being used so you know exactly how they should be used too! On top of that, we try to put some great affordable kits together so you can take the guess work out your gear and get in the tree faster! Also, if you have any questions at all, you should always feel free to call or email us and we will get back to you as soon as possible to help you with what you need to know!
Take Advantage of Internet Resources
I know we have all heard it before, the infamous claim, 'I saw this on YouTube!' Although these words are filled with a stigma of not knowing what you are doing, YouTube is filled with super informative videos that can surely expose you to some great climbing techniques. YouTube has all but obliterated the idea of 'work isolated'! You can watch a video of a climber in a massive Eucalyptus from Australia one minute and then switch directly to some female climbers blasting up the Redwoods in California the next minute. The amount of knowledge available online is astounding between content available on YouTube and Facebook, and all of these resources for new climbers are literally right at your fingertips!
A Little Light Reading
Another really great resource for a new climber is a little book called The Tree Climber's Companion. This book has helped hundreds to thousands of climbers gain a grip on all the tips and tricks that really make a climber efficient. The small investment of less than $15 can open up a whole new world to a climber that wants to make the next step in their career. Jeff Jepson's writing and Bryan Kotwica's illustrations easily bring new techniques right into the palm of your hand. Every tree crew should have this book on their truck!
Attend Seminars and Tradeshows
Last but not least, tree climbing seminars, workshops, and tradeshows are a great place to gain a wealth of knowledge while being surrounded by others that are doing the same thing. The classes are usually top notch and the amount of networking to be done while attending classes is mind boggling. You can ask others around you the questions you haven't been able to get answered at work or online, allowing for real world answers from people with the experience you want to gain!
Being a new climber now-a-days really can be overwhelming, but keep in mind that this overwhelming amount of knowledge that is available is much better than the days of old when the knowledge was very'well'underwhelming! As long as you keep your head up, ask questions, and work hard, you are guaranteed to make it far in this amazing industry!