June of 2014 I was contacted by Michael Frankhauser.
He’s the creator of a rope climbing aid, known as the HAAS (Hauling Ass Ascent System).
Mike had seen some videos of Sammy climbing and wanted to donate a short, customized HAAS for him. Honored by such an offer, I told Sammy. Being only 4 1/2 yrs old, he only understood that a shiny piece of gear was coming in the mail, for him!
When it arrived, Mike even threw in a small HAAS shirt, Sammy was ecstatic!!
It was late at night when we opened the package, so Sammy was a bit disappointed to not go outside right away with it. Typical attitude of a tree climber.
The next day, we went to Nana and Pop Pop’s house and found a good climb.
As I was setting climbing lines for us, Sammy and I talked about how he had a completely identical climbing system as me now. What a proud look the little guy had!
These were my instructions before he went up. “Hold the rope and just keep wiggling your legs bud”.
That’s the basic instructions I would give anyone…. It’s just that simple.
And off he goes! It works for him better than even I expected!
To record and coach, I raced ahead.
What Sammy says at the end of this clip, about the birds nest, is validation for me and my reasoning for putting him on rope.
A few minutes later, he reached the rest area branch, at about 40ft or so.
The fact that a 4 year old can climb, talk and take in the view at the same time, should show to everyone what Kevin Bingham (Rope Wrench Inventor) and Mike have done for tree climbing.
Ahhhhhh…. Successful ascent!
Now that the ascent is over, I take us on a little limb walking and traversing adventure. During this process, 110% of focus needs to be on Sammy’s safety and recording with my phone isn’t a good idea to me.
Aside from what’s in the video clip, I show Sammy another really neat uniqueness about these plants. They have 3 different leaf patterns. A single lobe leaf, a double lobe (looks like Michigan) and a triple lobe.
Winding down on our trek, I capture Sammy’s awesome ability to rappel.
No picnic in the tree on this day. So, we grabbed a bite to eat inside Grandma’s house.
Sammy wanted to swing on the ropes but didn’t want to climb anymore.
Oh Yeah!! It’s all about the fun!!!
Forgive the camera angle please! There’s a good 6ft of clearance between Sammy and the tree.
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