Chilly, challenging and exciting would describe the annual tree climbing competition on Saturday, September 22. Over 25 volunteers, dozens of spectators, friends and families endured the brisk first day of fall in Squirrel Park on the Purdue University campus. The day started at 38 degrees with fog and drizzle, giving way to partly sunny skies, a high of 55 degrees, accompanied by 25 mph gusts of wind which made the events even more demanding. However, with 17 entries from 7 states, a new Indiana champion came through with an excellent display of climbing skills.
Wes Moore, 2012 Tree Climbing Competition Winner
Our new champion for the Indiana Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture is Wes Moore
of Muncie, employed by Gillette-Duling Tree and Landscape
. Wes competed against the other finalists, based on preliminary event scoring, Jeff Clark and John Montgomery in the Masters Challenge to become the 2012 Indiana Champion. It was a surprise and incredible accomplishment for a first-time competitor
in any climbing event. Wes has been employed as an arborist in Indianapolis and Muncie for several years and revealed his abilities quite well in every event. Congratulations to Wes and as the Indiana champion, he will be representing our chapter at the International Tree Climbing Competition in Toronto in 2013.
Indiana Chapter climbers also participating in the competition included, Dustin Bruntz, Trent Shelton, Tyler Roehler, Kris Brown, and Brian Gresham.
Once again, we had a wonderful team of judges and volunteers from Indiana and surrounding states to assist with the competition. I am always astonished at how much effort and coordination goes into the climbing competition and very appreciative of the dedication with those involved, each year. With that, I would like to thank, on behalf of the IAA the following:
Luke Dunlevy and his family at TreeStuff.com for their incredible generosity, time and support of our event and our chapter. This event would not be what it is today without their dedication to the industry and the climbing arborist.
Bellingers Professional Grounds Maintenance and Wright Tree Service for use of their aerial lift trucks for the weekend.
AnchorBridge Rope Works for their support and sponsorship.
Judges and Volunteers who dedicate two full days of setup and work at the event, making this competition run smoothly and successfully.
Wes Moore planning his next move.
Head Judge: Jason Diehl
; Judges and Scorers: Vince Kowalski, Greg Manning, Cormac Nagan, Rick Denbeau, Christian Schultz, Mike Abrams, Michael Franklin, Marti Shoffner, Thomas Gannon, Mike Ames, Greg Cushing, Adrian Wilson, Jeff Thierbach, Marco Vargas, Gary Brough, Joe Russell, Wes Tregilgas, Art Burns, Stewart Kranktzky, Josh Lowen, AnneMarie Nagle, Madeline Westbrook, Patrick Miller, Carmel Schultz, Cory Petry, Mike Ames, Jeff Simmons, Justin McVey, Matt Huser, Adrian Wilson, Joventino Perez, Jon Snyder, Steve Zimmerman, and I hope I didn’t leave anyone out… my apologies.
This was the first year that a pre-event workshop was held on Friday, before the competition, to help new competitors and veterans prepare for the experience and learn more about what each event entails and the rules. Thanks to Cormac Nagen and Rick Denbeau for providing their time and expertise in the workshop and we already have confirmation for another offering next year.
Please make plans to compete or volunteer next year in the Indiana Tree Climbing Competition. It is a wonderful experience from both perspectives. The opportunities to meet others in the industry, share ideas and experiences and just enjoy a day watching these “treeathletes”.