International Tree Climbing Champions Crowned


Forget what you thought about climbing trees. This year’s International Tree Climbing Championships in Tampa, Florida recently was no child’s play.

Some 58 arborists competed in five categories including aerial rescue, work climb, speed belay, secured foot lock and throw line. The events are meant to mimic skills used by arborists to care for trees or perform rescues. What results is a test of strength and climbing technique that at times has competitors swinging through the trees like orangutans. 

Jamilee Kempton from Hawaii took the women’s title while setting a new world record in the women’s 15m secured foot lock. Kempton reportedly works as a climber and crew leader for Oahu Tree Works. 

James Earhart from Virginia won the men’s championship.

To qualify for the contest, the International Society of Arboriculture holds regional competitions around the world.  For the different ways you can become a certified arborist click here.  

Photo credit: Arborist in Baltimore, Maryland – Getty Images