Dave, I think you will find out that pole gaffs and tree gaffs are two
different animals. Pole gaffs are shorter and are made to set in clear
wood, tree gaffs are longer and are made to go through bark layer and
then set in the meat of the tree. They climbing chaps to use while
learning. You never hug the pole unless you want to breakout and slide
rapidly down it until your belt hooks onto a spike hopefully before your
body does. Knees straight both gaffs set and leaning out.
Practice close to the ground all aspects until you feel comfortable,
then go up to 10 feet, up and down to feel at home.
Skinning a tree is not as bad as a training pole, but we had crotch, leg
and arm straps along with linemen's gloves.
BE SAFE in all cases. You can always find a tree service that has a
climber that can go up and do the work and be on the ground before you
can get to the top. Here in So Cal they climb palms like monkeys. They
look like they are running up and down the palms. They are doing it
everyday all day.
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