Posted: Saturday, March 2nd 2013 at 7:03am
Tree climbers compete in Gainesville
By B.J. Williams Editor
An arborist practices his agility skills in the treetops high over the Martha Hope Cabin in Gainesville
GAINESVILLE - If you see something unusual in the treetops around the Martha Hope Campfire Cabin in Gainesville Saturday, your eyes aren't deceiving you.
About two dozen arborists, along with more than 50 judges, technicians and assistants, have converged on Gainesville for the 16th Annual Tree Climbing Championship sponsored by the Georgia Arborist Association.
Britt Hulsey of Hulsey Tree Service is the local liason for the event. He said there are several components to the contest, including a simulated rescue, all of which require speed and agility.
Hulsey said while the event is fun for arborists, the goal is to promote safety, since the job of an arborist can be dangerous. In fact, arborists have the second deadliest job in the country, according to the Georgia Arborist Association.
"These guys are all professionally trained and they do this in and out every day and go through rigorous training to be able to be certified arborists," said Hulsey.
Competitors arrived in Gainesville Friday for set-up and practice, but the competition gets underway at 8 a.m. Saturday with a preview demonstration. Competitive events start after lunch Saturday.
Hulsey said this is the second year Gainesville has hosted the championship. And, while there are prizes to be had, Hulsey said there's more on the line than that.
"Well, [there's] ropes, climbing gear and pride...yeah, definitely pride."
Link: Georgia Arborist Assocation
Link: Hulsey Tree
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