Limb Isolation Trick

Quite often, I’ll achieve a great throwline throw over the perfect limb, only to lose it when trying to isolate it because the throwbag snags on the far side and jumps clear of the limb I want. This alternative approach occurred to me this morning:

This might be old news to seasoned climbers, but it only occurred to me today…

Nice Slender Pine

Climbed this in the sun this afternoon…


On setting up I learned two things: 1) My big shot will just shoot a 14oz bag to the highest point my throwline will go over and still reach the ground. 2) My throwline is exactly the same length as my rope. Thus, my rig looked like this as I clipped in…..


After that, though it was just a lovely ascent through the void… well, through the holly bush and creepers mucking up the bottom of the tree, and the many pine cones wanting to get into my t-shirt.

Emma Thompson Still Wonderful

From the LA TImes:

“When Skydance Media Chief Executive David Ellison announced this year that he was hiring John Lasseter to head Skydance Animation, many in and outside the company were shocked and deeply unhappy. Only months earlier, Lasseter had ended his relationship with Pixar — where he had worked since the early ’80s — and parent company Disney after multiple allegations of inappropriate behavior and the creation of a frat house-like work environment. Lasseter had admitted to inappropriate hugging and “other missteps.”

After announcing the hire, Ellison sent a long email to staff, noting that Lasseter was contractually obligated to behave professionally, and convened a series of town halls in which Lasseter apologized for past behavior and asked to be given the chance to prove himself to his new staff. Meanwhile, Mireille Soria, president of Paramount Animation, with which Skydance has a distribution deal, took the highly unusual step of meeting with female employees to tell them that they could decline to work with Lasseter.”

Emma walks.

>35m Sprydon Sequoia

This is properly tricky as the first fifteen metres comprise only downward-sloping limbs… You can see Jos in the first picture having slid his anchor down the limb to the first fork during his ascent. The heavy rain in the morning and moss on the limbs made it ridiculously slippery. This needed some quite tricky re-jigging and it did feel a teeny bit precarious during that corrective operation.

Once that was done, though, the view - and the wind - was absolutely tremendous!

I climbed down to what I estimated was half-way and set a doubled-rope anchor with my 45m rope, which at the ground left me six inches spare….. I give it a conservative estimate of at least 35m high.

The Robot Uprising

This article in the New York Times today is an excellent read.

How much of the internet is fake? Studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human; some years, according to some researchers, a healthy majority of it is bot. For a period of time in 2013, the Times reported this year, a full half of YouTube traffic was “bots masquerading as people,” a portion so high that employees feared an inflection point after which YouTube’s systems for detecting fraudulent traffic would begin to regard bot traffic as real and human traffic as fake. They called this hypothetical event “the Inversion.”

It’s a well-written, if sobering, reality-check on the internet and web-content.

What’s gone from the internet, after all, isn’t “truth,” but trust .

Monumental Coastal Douglas Fir

I just climbed this for a birthday treat, having checked it out last week on a beautiful sunny day when my gear was an hour’s drive away at home…. It is the largest Douglas Fir in Britain, described here as

“…believed to have been planted by the Earl of Portsmouth in the pinetum of Eggesford House from the first seeds sent to Britain by David Douglas. It was already the biggest known in Britain by 1867. Heavy low limbs suggest the site was quite exposed when the tree was young, but it is now deeply sheltered by Forestry Commission plantings now up to 51m tall all around it. It is just possible to thread the tape between the low limbs and to obtain a fairly meaningful girth.

The girth of the tree, measured at a height of 1.20 m, is 7.80 m (May 2013, TheTreeRegisterOwenJohnson). Its height is exactly 41 m (May 2013, Laser with Two-point measurement (e.g. Nikon Forestry 550/Pro) - sine methodTheTreeRegisterOwenJohnson).”

The top of the rope in this image shows where I was when I reached the end of my 42m rope coming down…

I’m proud of myself for climbing it very respectfully - using a tube cambium saver all the way up and all the way down again, and not breaking a single branch or twig.

There are a number of secondary growths from near the base that are each the size of mature firs, so you can climb them each individually or switch around in the canopy. It’s like an antique playground.

See the rest of the pics in the gallery below.