Tree climbing in competition? Are you trying to break the world record during the ascent event? In beautiful Belle Isle Park in downtown Detroit?

Yes please!

The first attempt to break the world record of the Ascent event of the International Society of Arboriculture will take place during the 28th edition Michigan Tree Climbing ChampionshipFrom September 16 to 18 Beautiful islandthe popular island state park along the Detroit River that happens to be one of the most visited state parks in the country.

The fastest five men and two women in a pre-climb event will have a chance to make the final in Belle Isle.

Michigan’s 2021 champions are Josh Burr of Oxford and Katharine Chornyak of Ypsilanti – the first woman to represent Michigan this year ITCC event in Denmark. Burr and Chornyak represented ISA Michigan. The records Belle Isle climbers are trying to break were set last week at this international event.

The men’s record is 10.21 seconds and the women’s record is 13.63 seconds, according to Jason Diehl, current head judge of the North American Tree Climbing Championships.

The last time ISA Michigan had a champion qualified for the ITCC Finals was in 2016, when Lucas Drews of Rockford placed fourth out of more than 50 competitors in the men’s division.

Climbers are expected to be active Friday from noon to 5 p.m. for the preliminary events and much of Saturday. The Master’s Challenge event will take place on Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon.

A male competitor is surrounded by leaves in a tree as he competes in a rock climbing event.

What is the Ascension event?

Climbing is an important skill for arborists, who sometimes need to reach the treetops to tend to it. The world record climbing event will require competitors to ascend a 15 meter (approximately 50 foot) rope to a bell.

Competitors must effectively attach their selected and approved ascent system to the ascent line(s), ascend to the bell in less than 60 seconds and transition into a descent system. The descent is not part of the event. Points are earned for speed and for meeting pre-determined safety goals.

Belle Isle climbers should compete in an area of ​​the island with large, mature oak trees, said Heidi Frei of the Stewardship Unit within the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Parks and Recreation Division.

Belle Isle has hosted the tree climbing event once before, in 2021.

Frei said participants will be climbing different trees this year. When not climbing, ISA members spend time helping with the trees on the island, including planting new trees and moving a red button tree from one location to another. . Last year, ISA members demonstrated how to cut down a preselected oak tree.

“What better way for us to get help caring for our trees than to have arborists and professionals on site?” Frey said. “They have been great partners for us on the island and some of their members regularly volunteer to help us.”

Arbor Fair Saturday features exhibits, fun activities

Children attempt technical tree climbing during a 2021 event at Belle Isle Park.  They are suspended from sturdy trees by ropes

Spectators are encouraged to bring picnic baskets and enjoy the 982-acre island park, which features three lakes, plenty of grassy areas, a small beach, and over 200 acres of forest land. Visitors can also experience the Arbor Fair, a free public event offering education on trees and industry equipment, rock climbing for kids, crafts and other fun activities and exhibits from 10 a.m. at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Arboriculture and forestry are among the most difficult and dangerous careers, but they are important fields. The DNR works with many private foresters and arborists to help care for more than 20 million acres of forest in Michigan.

Anyone planning to attend any part of the event is encouraged to dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes for walking. Don’t forget your sunscreen and insect repellent. The event is free, but vehicle entry to Belle Isle Park requires a recreational passport.