Climbing Holds to a Tree

Attaching Climbing Holds to a Tree
Turning a tree without merit into a safe and awesome climbing structure.
ATOMIK - Attaching Climbing Holds to a Tree(12.2)
Just because it's there does not mean you should climb it

If you are not proficient in setting up a top rope belay and belaying, you should stop right here and consult a professional. Being in a tree is dangerous unless you know what you are doing.
Attaching holds to any tree can kill them. The tree in the How-To has to be removed so we are making the most of it while it is still up.

ATOMIK - Attaching Climbing Holds to a Tree(12.3)

Ropes and harnesses must be removed from the tree every time. They will not withstand the elements of nature.
Consider public access to the tree. It is important to not let anyone get up the tree without being roped in; therefore we removed the bottom 8 feet in this example.
We use a ladder to gain access when in use.

ATOMIK - Attaching Climbing Holds to a Tree(12.4)

Install a chain anchor with two points of protection.
That means if one system fails, there is a backup system.
This anchor has 3/8" chain wrapped around a 12" limb.
It is backed up using 4" lag screws through the bolt hangers.
NEVER use lag screws as a primary anchor.

ATOMIK - Attaching Climbing Holds to a Tree(12.5)
Safety first!

Now that you have a climbing rated rope through your top rope belay, you can work off of that or off of a ladder.
Always be attached to the tree when over 8" off of the ground via a daisy chain.

ATOMIK - Attaching Climbing Holds to a Tree(12.6)
Small footprints work best

The key to choosing holds for a tree is for them to be screw-on and to have a small foot print.
Small foot printed holds gives you a better change to the hold laying flush against the tree.
The larger the foot print of the hold; the harder it is to get the hold to lay flat.
You do not want climbers to be able to get their fingers behind the base of the hold and the tree.

ATOMIK - Attaching Climbing Holds to a Tree(12.7)
And the right spot

Move the hold around the tree to find a flat spot.
Look for a different hold if the one in your hand is not lying flat.
Remove any bark that may keep the hold from lying flat.
Use 3" to 4" Self Drilling Deck Screws with a drill driver to install the holds.

ATOMIK - Attaching Climbing Holds to a Tree(12.8)
Safety first. Belay always.

Safety first. If you don't know how to belay, seek a professional.
Always be tied in using a climbing rated rope and harness.
Always use a rated belay device, no matter the weight of climber.