Ryann Anderegg | Lehi Free Press
The 30th Annual Utah Tree Climbing Championship was held at Wines Park last week from Thursday, June 8, to Saturday, June 10. Each year, this event is held in different statewide locations to meet the needs of Utah’s broad community of professional arborists and allows other communities to enjoy the event.
Sixty competitors participated in the challenge, three of whomwere women. The event also had 35 sponsors and over 80 judges and volunteers to help make it a success. Some sponsors were the Utah Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Utah Community Forest Council.
Competitors were challenged and scored in five events – Work Climb, Aerial Rescue, Belayed Speed Climb, Ascent Event, and Throw Line. The events simulate the working conditions of professional tree climbers and test competitors’ ability to quickly, professionally and safely maneuver in a tree while performing work-related tree care tasks.
The top three climbers in each preliminary event earned medals in the men’s and women’s categories. The top winners competedin the Master Challenge Climb, which consisted of different aspects of the other five challenges in one climb. Sponsors donated medals and prizes to each of the competitors.
This year’s winners were Ellen Odmark for the Women’s Master Challenge and Evan Felt for the Men’s Master Challenge.
There were also medals for placement winners. The prizes were as follows: Each first-place event winner received $200. The Master’s Challenge winners received $1,000 plus travel expenses to attend the International Tree Climb Championship in Albuquerque, NM, on August 11-13, 2023, a chainsaw from Stihl and climbing gear from Arbor Master; the second place winner received $500; third place was $300; fourth place was $200, and fifth place was $100. The second and third-placewinners earned a chance to compete at the North American Tree Climbing Championship.
The competition also had a free kid’s climb on Saturday. Volunteers helped the youth into a safety harness, and they were hoisted up a line and had a limb walk where they walked safely on logs. This gave kids a taste of what they could work towards in the future.
The fun community event brought many people to Lehi City for a fun, challenging competition.