2024 Kentucky Tree Climbing Championship (KYTCC)

Kentucky Tree Climbing Championship (KYTCC) 

Date: Friday Oct 11 & 12, 2024

Chair: Jason McKinley at jasonmckinley@arborstonetreeservice.com 

Location:  Constitution Square Historical Site, Danville, KY

Waiver Form:  Participation Waiver

Link to Register: Click Here

Tickets go on sale In-Sate Climbers 6/3/2024, Out-Of-State 09/23/2024

Places to Stay

Campsite - within walking distance of competition

Morley's Backyard, 234 E Walnut St, Danville, KY 40422, $25/person

Hotels - 5 min drive

Red Roof PLUS+ , 210 Brenda Ave, Danville, KY 40422

Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 200 Shannon Way, Danville, KY 40422

Hampton Inn Danville, 100 Montgomery Way, Danville, KY 40422

Houses - 10 min drive, good for groups

Wilderness Road Hospitality, 211 W Main St, Stanford, KY 40484

https://wildernessroad.com/ 606-879-0555

Congratulations to Ian Martin who will represent Kentucky at the 2024 International Tree Climbing Championship!

Overall Ranking- 2023 KYTCC

Out of State Competitors

In State Competitors


VENMO: Please contact Bonnie Burnick at info@ky-isa.org

Sponsorship Information Link:      2024 KYTCC Sponsorship 

ITCC Rules

ITCC Competition Event Descriptions Link: https://www.itcc-isa.com/about/eventdescriptions/events


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 Midwest, 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 KYTCC 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


Aerial Rescue:

The Aerial Rescue event is a timed event that tests the climber's ability to climb to and safely lower can injured climber who is unable to descend without assistance. Competitors are provided with details of the rescue scenario, and they are required to assess the situation and plan a rescue. This event simulates a job-site emergency. Injuries can occur and as the first person onsite it may be up to the trained tree worker to apply his/her knowledge and technical skills to rescue an injured person in a safe and efficient manner, so they can receive medical attention.

Work Climb:

The Work Climb tests the competitor's ability to move about a tree using a tree-climbing rope and harness. Competitors start in the tree and are required to visit five work stations throughout the tree to perform a specified task after which they must ring a bell.  The stations include handsaw, limb toss, pole pruning, limb walk, and landing. Each of these stations simulate tasks that are performed by tree workers when working aloft.


The Ascent Event tests the competitor’s ability to efficiently and safely use their selected and approved ascent system. The event assesses the competitor’s efficiency in attaching the ascent system to the ascent line(s), ascending to the bell, and transferring into a descent system.  The height of the bell may be set from 12 to 25 meters (39ft, 4.5in to 82ft, 0.25in). The event is divided into three main sections as follows:

The descent is not a timed portion of the event.


The Throwline is a timed event that tests the competitors' ability to accurately place a climbing line in a tree at heights of up to 60 feet. The competitor attempts to toss a line through two of eight targets. Each target is worth a different amount of points depending on difficulty.  A throwline is used for climbers to set their climbing line into a tree. A rope must be set and a climbing line installed in order for a tree worker to ascend a tree to perform tree work. Throwlines must be installed at a point that will be sturdy and secure to accommodate the climbers’ weight with gear while working in the tree.

Speed Climb:

The Belayed Speed Climb tests the climber's ability to climb a predetermined route from the ground to about 60 feet up a tree using a belayed climbing system for safety. This event is timed, and the competitor who reaches and rings the final bell in the shortest time is the winner. Sometimes multiple bells are used to mark the route, in this case all the bells must be rung in order to complete the event. Belaying is a method of securing and slowing a climbing line. If someone is belayed, then that means someone is tending slack in the rope as they ascend the tree or they are using a climbing knot or a mechanical device to slow the line. This event demonstrates that tree workers must determine the best and most efficient route to take to reach the top of the tree to avoid getting the rope snagged on branches causing them to break limbs or damage the tree.

Masters Challenge:

The Masters’ Challenge event is the championship round of the competition. The top men and top women finishers from the preliminary round advance to the Masters’ Challenge to compete for the title of ITCC World Champion. The Masters’ Challenge is designed to judge the contestant’s overall productivity and skill with a rope and saddle in the tree.  The stations are similar to the Work Climb Event stations event demonstrates that tree workers must determine the best and most efficient route to take to reach the top of the tree to avoid getting the rope snagged on branches causing them to break limbs or damage the tree.