Kentucky Tree Climbing Championship (KYTCC)

  • An arborist competes in the Footlock event at our annual Kentucky Tree Climbing Championship. ~ photo by Chris O'Bryan
KYTCC Event Date: Saturday, October 16, 2021
Location: Northeast Regional Library, Louisville, Kentucky
Set-up: Friday, October 15, 2021

"Day of Service at the Northeast Regional Library" 
Date: Thursday, October 14, 2021

Link to pay climber registration fee online by credit card:

Current ITCC Rules

ITCC Rules (valid until August 2022)

ITCC Competition Event Descriptions Link:

The Kentucky Tree Climbing Championship (KYTCC) is an annual event designed to test the professional skills of Kentucky’s working arborists. The KYTCC is an exciting, competitive event that promotes safe working practices, demonstrates improvements and innovations in techniques and equipment, and provides industry recognition to the general public. It also serves as a forum for climbers, professionals, and the public to gather and exchange ideas with one another.

The KYTCC showcases the talents of Kentucky’s best climbers as they compete for the title of state champion by participating in six different preliminary events (described below) that highlight the skills of tree care workers. Each event tests a competitor's ability to quickly, professionally, and safely perform work-related tree-care tasks. Competitors with the highest scores during the preliminary events move on to compete in a final event called the Masters' Challenge. The Masters' Challenge winner is named the champion, and then goes on to represent Kentucky at the International Tree Climbing Championship.

The KYTCC is an event attended by professional tree climbers from all over the Mid West, Southeast, and beyond.  It is an excellent networking opportunity for a wide array of arborists dedicated to the advancement of arboriculture as a profession.  Sponsorship of the KYCC is a great way to reach those influential professionals.  Anyone interested in supporting the KYTCC with sponsorship help should contact the KAA for more information.

Preliminary Events
Work Climb
The Work Climb tests the contestant’s ability to move about the tree using a tree-climbing rope and saddle/harness. The event setup is the same for both male and female contestants. Each contestant starts from a staging area in the tree and is required to visit five work stations throughout the tree, performing a specified task at each station. Each station in the tree is equipped with a bell; the contestant must ring the bell (or sound the horn) before continuing to the next station. Contestants earn points for successfully completing the task at each station and ringing the bell with either a handsaw, pole pruner, or hand as indicated.

Aerial Rescue
The Aerial Rescue event is a timed event that tests the contestant’s ability to climb to and safely lower a climber who is unable to descend without assistance. The event setup is the same for male and female contestants.

Throw line is a timed event that tests the contestant’s ability to accurately place a throwline and climbing line in a tree at heights between approximately 30 and 65 feet. Contestants attempt to toss a throwline through two of eight targets. Targets can be located in a single tree, four on each side; or in multiple trees as long as there are two distinct sets of four targets. The targets are worth 10, 7, 5, and 3 points, respectively, depending on the difficulty of the throw. Each contestant is allowed unlimited throws within 6 minutes, but a contestant can score in only one target on each side of the tree.

Belayed Speed Climb

The Speed Climb tests the contestant’s ability to climb a predetermined route from the ground to about 60 feet up a tree with a belayed climbing system for safety. The event is timed, and the contestant who reaches and rings the final bell of the course, in the least amount of time wins. There could be more than one bell placed in the tree to determine the route; in such an event, the climber must ring all the bells in order to complete the event.

Accent Event
The Ascent Event tests the competitor’s ability to efficiently and safely use their selecteand approved ascent system. The event assesses the competitor’sefficiency in attaching the ascent system to the ascent line(s), ascending to the bell, and transferring into a descent system. The actual descent is not part of the event. Points are earned for speed as well as for meeting predetermined safety objectives.