I've enjoyed climbing and cutting trees for many years. I now want to go to higher levels, but safety is a primary concern, because I am afraid of heights.

I'm about to order gear for recreational climbing. (My long term goal is professional cutting.) Because mechanical ascenders (chest/hand/foot/knee) are not part of my life-support system, will generic ascenders be adequate? I'm not planning to cruise a canopy or go to heights with such ascenders, but just practice with them.

If an ascender fails, will my climbing line/prusik catch me? I'm unsure if I'd be ascending while on 2 points because I haven't been able to test this yet.

I want to be safe but as far as I can tell it looks like you could just foot-lock + prusik-slide your way up a rope w/o any mechanical devices at all, and that you and your rope (& prusik) are all that matters as far as loads and safety. If I were ascending with a foot ascender that snapped on me wouldn't I just kinda spin-out on my rope?

Please critique my intended purchases below to see if they are adequate for climbing and for safety.

o 150' of a 16-strand rope; unsure if it should be double-braided. I am a very cheap person but for buying rope, I'd only consider name-brand stuff (Yale/etc) and would only buy from a place I knew I could trust which, so far, is only sheffield/bartlett's/wesspur.

o Prusik & carabiner to attach myself to my rope (triple-lock/30-whatever-kN is the ansi for hardware) via my rock climbing saddle. I don't know the brand but it is "diesel" and certainly seems overkill/heavy but redundancy is fine with me here!

o a simple pulley (not for rigging or life-support), a figure 8 (not for life support), 1-2 extra carabiners (proper kN but not triple-lock.)

Am I right in thinking that, if I've got my rope and (sling/multi-function-lanyard/flipline/etc), and it's OK to un-hook myself from one setup while advancing the other, then I could climb as high as my line safely allowed?

I plan to use some sort of friction-saving device on any redirects but still want my rope to last, which is why I was thinking 16-strand. Are there any other options for my purposes? I definitely don't want some super stiff or heavy line and I absolutely need to be able to tie knots in it. I'm placing my first order with a 50/50 expectation something will be wrong and I'll need order #2 before I can even try anything out.

  • 1
    Where did you learn to tree climb? It sounds like you've never been technical tree climbing before, and don't understand how to do so safely. Your choices of equipment are somewhat unusual, which will complicate things as a beginner. There are at least a half-dozen safety-critical questions in here. If nothing else, read the excellent "Tree Climbers Companion" by Jeff Jepson for an overview.
    – oasisbob
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 9:55


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