74’high Face Climbing AWESOMENESS! (vid)

TR Solo Cottonwood at Mammoth

THIS is a dream come true. I (and other rock climbers) could literally climb this enormous tree without ropes which most people would deem impossible since the first branch is 45 feet high. Don’t believe me? Here is my proof:


I have dreamed about face climbing to the summit of an enormous old tree for a very long time. I attempted this same climb already but did not climb past the first branch because it was way too freaking cold. So I waited patiently for warmer weather, I went back, I ascended into the canopy via rope ascension, and I set up an anchor point for my dynamic climbing rope.

My original plan was to invite my rock climbing friends to join me which would allow us to belay each other up the face. HOWEVER, after lots of begging NOONE wanted to join me! I have so much passion for this yet no one to share it with! So I made a video. Maybe that will show my friends how exciting climbing trees can be?

Either way, check out the video! I ended up building a self-feeding solo-belay system and it worked great! I simply tied a figure 8 on a bight at the middle of my dynamic rope and anchored this at the summit then I used my grigri on one side and my hand ascender (extended with a sling) on the other side. I had to weight the bottom end of the rope for it to feed freely through my grigri so I tied my backpack to the bottom with a small prusik loop.

EDIT: I originally climbed into the tree by climbing arborist-style on my static line (PMI E-Z Bend). I then built an anchor out of static cord and rigged up my dynamic rope (Edelweiss Flashlight) to the anchor via a figure 8. I faceclimbed and self belayed myself using the dynamic rope. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BELAY YOURSELF WITH A STATIC ROPE. If you fall onto a static rope you could die.

I will be going into more detail about this in future posts but I hope you enjoyed the video and my boring/loopy narration skills!


I don’t like to be boring. Because of this, I edited the original video with multiple cuts and a bunch of weird commentary.

I received a message from a viewer that questioned what took place in between the cuts in the video. Did I hang dog? Did I ascend the rope? Did I sing “Pretty Women” and play a game of chess with a squirrel? Nope. I climbed, non stop to the summit.

Check out the “Fast Forward & Uncut” version of this video.

(Warning, if you get motion sick easily do not watch this in full screen. You will have a seizure and then vomit!)



Disclaimer: This article is for entertainment purposes only. If you attempt any of this you will be severely injured or die.

Tags: TREEfool, face climb a tree, free climb, freeclimb a tree, rock climb a tree, face climb on tree bark, climb on tree bark, climb a tree without ropes, face climb a tree belayed, solo belay tree climb, self belay tree climb, treeclimb, tree climbing not rope climbing, tree climb with no rope ascension, tree climb freestyle, free solo tree climb, freesolo tree climb


6 thoughts on “74’high Face Climbing AWESOMENESS! (vid)

    1. Nope, the blue rope is my dynamic line for belayed face climbing, the white rope is my static line for rope ascension, and both the green and purple ropes at the anchor are 8mm cords strictly used for anchors. Thank you for the question Bushwacker, I edited the original post to help clarify this for anyone else that has the same question.

      BTW, my next rope purchase will be a Sterling HTP 10mm line 😉

  1. great site. keep up the inspiring work, your posts and videos are great – and come at a perfect time as my kids begin to explore trees and climbing. your ‘climbing-way’ approach to trees is wonderful and yet it’s great to see your exploring arborist-ways too.


  2. Hallo, I live in Denmark and been a tree climber for about a year now, it’s cool to see how you do things! I definitely have a lot to learn.
    Also really cool to see how you face climb, since that’s all I do. Our trees however doesn’t have the same depth in it’s bark and we can’t climb it without the branches. i’ve wanted to try camping for a long time, but as you I have so much passion for this and no-one to share it with. So i’ll just have to do it solo.
    Anyway you’re a cool dude keep it up!

    1. Hello! I am confident that you are not the only climber over there so I would search for tree climbing expos or something like that. Thanks for stopping by the website and good luck!

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