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This one comes from Costa Rica, from a small group of locals who are free-climbing giant trees using ropes and lead pro.
Our climber, Izzy Moore of Costa Rica, drops clear out of the frame. It is a massive fall (guessing 40 feet?), and if you look hard at the end of the segment, you’ll see his feet are not that much higher than the head of the person on the ground.
Says Noah Kane of solsunmedia.com, who filmed the segment last December, “Yes, he nearly collided with the belayer, Rafi Vargas.”
“Oh my god, dude,” Moore said at the bottom afterward, as shown in the documentary Climbing Giants. “I just kept seeing the tree move up and up. That’s so scary.”
Worry not, no trees were harmed in the making of this film, and these are not your typical trees. Known as “strangler fig trees,” they grow from seeds dropped into the tops of existing trees and form a hardened trunk from meshed vines and roots.
Says Kane, 22, a climber and student at Colorado College, “This unique trunk formation allows for similar free climbing techniques to rock climbing as well as the ability to place protection (slings) around sections of the trunk and actually lead climb.” Kane grew up in Costa Rica, living there for 10 years.
Happy Friday, and be safe out there this weekend.
Thanks to Kane for the video. Readers, please send your whipper videos and information—and any lessons learned—to Anthony Walsh, email@example.com. Thank you.