Why You Should Enter Climbing Competitions
If you haven’t competed or even attended a climbing competition, I highly recommend checking one out.
After having competed in a couple competitions here and out-of-state, I can sincerely say that I LOVE IT!! You can find some of the best climbers in your state at these events.
One thing to remember is that competition climbing and actual tree work are two different animals! Competition climbing follows set paths up the canopy. In tree work, the route is not always clean or straight forward. Most of the time the tree has not been pruned out before, and is a complete cluster and a pain in the ass!
I attend climbing competitions for the knowledge gained, the networking aspect, and the inspiration. They reignite my fire for the tree care industry! Sometimes tree work can get stagnant and burn you out, but climbing competitions are a great way to re-spark your passion.
Of course I'd love to win my state chapter event and represent at the international level, but it's not what I focus on. I always try to take something away from each competition I attend. Whether that's a new harness setup, climbing technique, or an aerial rescue system--the knowledge gained is worth the trip!
The first time I watched a master’s climb, I was amazed by their smooth movements! The professionalism, the calmness, and the amount of skill oozing out in this master climb…I was fan-girling as I watched! They made it look flawless. Instantly, I was inspired to move and carry myself like that. I began researching tools, techniques and other master climbs that were recorded onto YouTube to gain even more information!
Your fellow climbers aren’t the only ones you can learn from. Having someone judge your climbing and give you feedback can be very helpful for your development. There is a certain judge who I can think of who always teaches me things, but he always answers my questions with another question. It’s a very big DIEHL, if you catch my drift!!
You may go into these events a stranger, but it’s very likely you leave with new connections. Keep an open mind when you go to these events, as you may not always agree with a certain topic or technique being showcased. What works for them may not work for you, but it doesn't mean the technique doesn't have situational value.
Share the knowledge you gain too! Let’s keep good information circulating so it can benefit everyone!
Adrenaline? Sign me up!
There is no shortage of adrenaline pumping at climbing competitions. Watching races can be a thrill, but it's nothing compared to competing yourself! The anticipation before your turn is an indescribable feeling.
The event that really gets me every single time is the aerial rescue. I have failed to bring the mannequin down so many times. When I succeeded, it was so satisfying! It’s the event that challenges me the most, especially when the situation calls for a pick off. Talk about INTENSE!
Alright, let’s get down to winning. I’m going to keep it super simple here: UNDERSTAND THE RULES!
That’s the first step to win. Read the rule book. Study the scoresheet and volunteer for an event at least once. Volunteering is a free way to look behind the scenes, talk personally with judges and learn what they are looking for in scoring. BOOM! Now you have all you need to practice and win!