It was a chilly, overcast day in Lindsay Ontario but that didn’t stop the folks at Fleming College who held their 19th annual Tree Climbing Competition on Tuesday! The competition, which is held at Fleming College’s Frost Campus, saw Arboriculture students take to the trees participating in challenges intended to simulate various working conditions of arborists in the field.
Competitors each performed in five different events throughout the day - Tree Rescue, Throw Line, Belayed Speed Climb, Secured Footlock and Work Climb – each event testing their ability to professionally, and safely manoeuver in a tree while performing work related tasks, and were judged based on their speed, efficiency and technique.
While it may have been the 19th annual FTCC, it was the first that I have had the opportunity to attend, and I had a great time watching from below with the other spectators as the students scaled the treetops vying to place at the top of their class! It was obvious they were a competitive but close group, and it was great to see them encouraging and cheering each other on.
Another thing that really stood out to me was the sense of comradery and the level of support the competitors were getting not only from their instructors but other local arborists that came out to the event. Becoming a good arborist, particularly a climbing arborist, requires a unique blend of knowledge, skill, and athleticism. At the end of the day, arboriculture programs such as the one offered through Fleming, undoubtedly play a vital role in ensuring students understand how to safely and efficiently perform the day to day tasks that they will face in the work force; but collaborating and learning from others within the arborist community is also an integral part of educating the next generation of tree care workers, and it was great to see the community embracing the students and the obvious level of respect they received in return.
The day wrapped up (and the competitors and spectators warmed up) with a fun filled awards ceremony at the campus pub, where the top ranking students were called up on stage one at a time and rewarded with their choice of an awesome selection of prizes - donated by industry associations, equipment manufactures, local companies and the school itself - as their classmates, teachers and other spectators cheered them on.
Despite mother nature’s efforts, a great time was had by all! We would like to congratulate all of the students that took part, and to thank Joe Outram and Brian Saxon for inviting us to attend, we hope that we can continue participating in the event in the years to come!
Check out pictures from the day's events in the carousel below!