Tree climbers scramble for top spot

18th Annual Ontario Tree Climbing Championship – September 16th, 2006

Some people climb trees for a living! And some of the best tree climbers from across Ontario will be competing for the coveted title of Ontario Tree Climbing Champion. You can watch the climbers demonstrate their skill and professionalism at the 18th Annual Ontario Tree Climbing Championship at Centre Island, near the ferry docks, on Saturday, September 16.

The tree climbers, also known as arborists, compete in five preliminary events: the work climb; aerial rescue; belayed speed climb; footlock climb; and throw line. The top four men and top two women competitors then square off in the Master’s Challenge, a grueling 10 minute tree climb combining all five elements. The winners of the Master’s Challenge (one male and one female) are crowned Ontario Tree Climbing Champions and earn a chance to compete for the 2007 International Tree Climbing Championship in Hawaii.

The preliminary events start at 9 a.m. and wraps up at 3p.m. The Master’s Challenge starts at 3:30 p.m. Spectators can enjoy the preliminary events throughout the day and wander through a trade show of arborist tools and equipment. As well, the Ontario Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture will be selling books on tree care and urban forestry issues.

The competitors in the Ontario Tree Climbing Championship are the people who care for the urban forest in Ontario and they shine in this competition that showcases the challenges arborists face every day.