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THE TREE CLIMBER’S COMPANION A REFERENCE AND TRAINING MANUAL FOR PROFESSIONAL TREE CLIMBERS CLIMBING TECHNIQUES THE BEST KNOTS “TOOLS OF THE TRADE” JEFF JEPSON 2ND EDITION REVISED AND EXPANDED The Tree Climber’s Companion Second Edition Revised and Expanded by Jeff Jepson Copyright © 2000 Jeff Jepson Published by Beaver Tree Publishing 1265 64th St. NE Longville, MN 56655-9746 Email: Sixteenth printing, February 2007 All rights reserved, Printed in the United States of America No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording or information storage and retrieval system, without express written permission from the publisher. Disclaimer Serious injury or death could result from the use of techniques and equipment described in this book. It is the reader's responsibility to seek qualified instruction on the techniques and safety of tree climbing and tree work. Every person involved in tree climbing and tree work should use good judgment and common sense while practicing new techniques. Unfamiliar techniques should be practiced in a controlled environment before they are incorporated into everyday work procedures. This book is sold with no liability to the author, editor, publisher, or critiques, expressed or implied, in the case of injury or death to the purchaser or reader. Cover design by Jim Clark Library of Congress Control Number: 00-131772 ISBN 0-615-11290-0 This book is dedicated to the memory of my Dad. Richard Harding Jepson 1921-1999 Acknowledgments For me climbing trees is infinitely casicr and more enjoyable than writing a book, even a book about climbing trees. I often feel, during the writing process, a little bit like a bear on a bicycle. Garrison Keillor explains this notion best: “He (a bear) can be trained to do it for short periods, but he would rather be in the woods doing what bears do there.” The awkwardness the bear feels—I understand. And I realize that without the efforts of my “trainers” and helpers, this book would not be what I envisioned it to be. Therefore, | wish to offer my heartfelt thanks to the following: Ryan Pels for his crew leadership, competence, and willingness to do what is needed to get the job done; Jim Clark, Levi Durfey, Scott Peters, Tom Dunlap, Bryan Kotwica, and Kim Stay for their valuable assistance; all the climbers who offered suggestions for improving the content of this book; a special thank you to my wife, Bonnie, for her constant encouragement and support; and a very special thank you to each of my children, Anna and Luke, for reminding me every day of the things in life which matter most. You have each, in your own way, helped the bear keep his balance long enough to complete the ride. Now he can go back into the woods where he belongs.