At TCI EXPO 2013 in Charlotte, NC, TCIA convened an SRT Tree Climbing Summit. Over 40 people with unique expertise in certain aspects of SRT or other vertical rope disciplines participated.
We promised at that time that we would publish the Proceedings of that meeting.
Promoting professionalism is at the heart of what we do at TCIA. Helping arborists to be safer and more productive are key outcomes. So naturally when a new idea comes along that shows promise for helping the industry achieve these outcomes we want to be involved with its development. SRT is one of those ideas.
A Summit is a meeting of high-level leaders usually called to shape a program of action. That is exactly what we had in mind when we started developing this project. We managed to assemble over 40 thought leaders to shape a program of action.
We were, and are, striving to reach consensus on how to most safely use SRT. We need to tap into arborists’ experience with SRT and the opinions they have formed based on their experience.
SRT is certainly gaining popularity with climbers. Some use SRT strictly for ascent, but SRT work positioning is gaining popularity as well. Some research as well as strong anecdotal information suggests that SRT is a more “efficient” and ergonomically advantageous technique.
As with anything new, there is a learning curve associated with SRT. It is different than traditional doubled rope climbing techniques, and the hazards encountered with using it are different.
We must realize and accept that somebody else could have had a very different experience depending on their background, their skills and abilities, what trees they are climbing, etc. These divergent points of view could be equally valid under certain circumstances.
The idea is that if we exchange enough information from enough points of view we will eventually find common ground.
What common ground did we find at the Summit?
- There was strong agreement that SRT should be treated as simply “another tool in the toolbox,” appropriate for certain circumstances and perhaps inappropriate in others.
- Most Summit participants agreed that the rules and principles guiding SRT use should be applied evenhandedly to all climbing techniques.
- Many agreed that we need more research and certainly more published information about the suitability of individual components for use in an SRT tree-climbing system, as well as their compatibility with neighboring components in that system.
- What does the acronym “SRT” stand for? The best description seemed to be “stationary rope technique,” a system where the climber advances along a stationary rope but the rope itself is anchored in place.
Please click to view or download the <SRT Tree Climbing Summit Proceedings>.
TCIA is sincerely appreciative for the support of the following companies that made this Summit and the Proceedings possible.