Texas Tree Climbing Championship

Welcome to the 2017 Texas Tree Climbing Competition!

Sorry, all slots are filled for the competition.
If you would like to be put on a waiting list to compete, email John Giedraitis at jpg@isatexas.com with your name and telephone number.

NOTE: Mandatory gear inspection will be held on Thursday evening, May 18th, from 6:00-9:00 PM at the Tree Clinic/Bartlett Tree Experts shop at 757 Shady Lane, Austin, TX 78702.  This facility is just a few blocks from the park. 

This year the competition will be held in Govalle Park in Austin on May 19-20, 2017.

The winner of our Texas competition qualifies to represent the Texas Chapter in the 2017 North American Climbing Championship. The competition is made up of 5 preliminary events:

  • Throwline — tests a climber’s ability to install a climbing line high in the tree.
  • Belayed speed climb — hand over hand climbing to the top of a 50 foot tree. This is a pure power house event.
  • Footlock — like climbing the rope in gym class, only the rope is doubled 1/2 thick climbing line and there are no knots to grab. This is a balance of skill, calmness, agility and pure strength. See a video here.
  • Aerial rescue — a 160 pound dummy is set in a tree in a simulated injury — rescue scenario. The climber must assess the situation and safely bring the injured climber to the ground. See a video here.
  • Work climb— We set four stations in the tree, climber’s time starts when they are already in the top of the tree and finish when they are on the ground and unclip from their gear. See a video here.
    • hand bell station — climbers simply ring a bell with a hand saw carried on their harness.
    • pole saw station — climbers use a pole saw (already hanging in the tree) to ring a bell.
    • limb toss — using a short piece of pvc pipe that simulates a branch, climbers, toss the limb into a target painted on the ground (as if to avoid dropping a branch on a customers prized rose bush!).
    • limb walk — a plumb-bob is hung from the end of a long low branch. Climbers must climb out to the end of the limb and ring a bell without putting too much weight on the limb. You have to put all your weight in the saddle vs. standing on the limb. If you put too much weight on the limb, the plumb-bob will drop and set off a buzzer!

The top 5 finishers from the preliminary events quality to compete in the Master’s Challenge where the winner earns the right to compete in North American Tree Climbing Championship. The Master’s Challenge combines all the skills from the preliminary rounds into one big climb.

In the past, the Friday morning gear inspection and walk through process has been lengthy and led to a late start time for the competition.  With this in mind, and considering we have 42 competitors this year, we will be holding a mandatory gear check, on Thursday May 18, 2017 from 6pm – 9pm at the Tree Clinic/Bartlett Tree Experts shop – 757 Shady Lane, Austin, TX.  All competitors must attend and bring their gear along with a pre-populated gear check form.  Any competitors who fail to have their gear checked on Thursday will NOT be allowed to compete. If you know you will be unable to arrive by 9pm, please contact Jim Dossett at 512-240-3060 with your approximate arrival time so a time can be arranged to complete the gear check.

Event walk through will begin on Friday, May 19th promptly at 7:30 and the event will begin at 8:30.  Competitors who are late or do not have their gear check completed by start time will be disqualified. If you are not present for roll call, you will be disqualified . If you are not present with your rotation group when your name is called at any individual event, you will be disqualified from that event.

All preliminary events are to conclude by end of day on Friday.

The final event will be held in Govalle Park on Saturday, May 20th. On this day, we will also host a recreational climb and the Texas Tree Fair. These events will be open to the public, so please feel free to bring family and friends!

We look forward to seeing you all and wish you a safe trip to Austin and a safe and successful competition!

Don’t forget to register for the pre-climb Advanced Technical Rigging Workshop with Phillip Kelly on May 18th. A one-day workshop that will make you safer and maybe even save your life.

Climbers – Register Here

Exhibitors and Sponsors Information is Here

Pre-Competition Advanced Technical Rigging Workshop Information

Contestant Information and Forms are Here

 The International Tree Climbing Home Page

Event Rules and Regulations

1983 – 2016 Texas Champions

Texas Tree Climbing Championship Pictures Here and Here

Contact Markus Smith, Chair at markusloud@gmail.com or
512.467.8733 for more information

See you in Austin!


Click here to see the 2016 Texas Tree Climbing Championship information


Thanks to our Sponsors and Exhibitors