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    This Saturday, October 18, regional arborists will gather up in the trees at George Rogers Clark Park. But these arborists are not climbing trees simply for fun or to educate others; they are competing for the title of 2014 Kentucky Tree Climbing Champion.

    The event, hosted by the Kentucky Arborists Association, begins at 8:00 in the morning with preliminary competitions. In these contests, the 25 climbers will participate in five separate events. The first is the Work Climb, which tests the contestant’s ability to use a tree climbing rope and saddle/harness to complete a practical work task. The next, the Aerial Rescue event, is a timed challenge assessing each competior’s ability to reach and safely lower a climber who is unable to descend. In the Throwline event, climbers attempt to toss a throwline and climbing line through targets at heights between 30 and 65 feet. The Belayed Speed Climb judges a competitor’s speed in climbing a predetermined route to about 60 feet using a belayed climbing system for safety. The last preliminary event, the Secured Footlock, also measures the climber’s speed. However, this time they must use a footlock rope-climbing method.

    At about 2:30 p.m., the top three competitors will advance to the Masters' Challenge. This is a race to the top of the tallest tree in the park, which is 100 to 125 feet off the ground. The winner will go to the 2015 International Tree Climbing Championship in Tampa, Florida.

    This family-friendly event is free and open to the public. Children can put on safety gear and participate in a special supervised climb with a small donation to the Kentucky Arborists Association. Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the park from the Louisville Dessert Truck and Holy Mole.

    Kentucky Arborists Association, the state chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Their purpose is to promote science, technology, and practice of professional arboriculture throughout Kentucky and in general to stimulate a greater interest, understanding, and appreciation among the public for urban trees. Limbwalker Tree Service, an award-winning team of Certified Arborists dedicated to the care and preservation of trees, is a sponsor. Other sponsors are Encon Equipment Sale & Rental and TreeStuff.com.

    Photo courtesy of: Kentucky Arborists Association

    Rebecca Ball's picture

    About Rebecca Ball

    As great lover of books and adventure, I grew up wanting to be anywhere else. I satiated some my wanderlust in the castles and expansive forests in Europe over the past few years. Now, I live in the city that will always be home with a cat who thinks she's a person.

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