Local arborist wins Utah Tree Climbing Championship
June 12, 2015
Ryan Torciollo, a Samak resident, won the 22nd Annual Utah Tree Climbing Championship June 5-6, at Lester Park in Ogden.
The competition consisted of five different events that involve many aspects of tree work, including sawing: Work Climb, Aerial Rescue, Belayed Speed Climb, Secured Foot Lock and Throw Line. Competitors are judged on a wide variety of factors including speed, technique and accuracy. To wit, the current version of the International Tree Climbing Championship Competition Rules is 50 pages long.
Torciollo is the owner of Great Western Timber Company, a tree service company in Park City. "I’m a certified arborist and do all aspects of tree work — tree pruning to large, hazardous removals and everything in between," he said.
"I started doing [tree work] about eight years ago in Colorado, for a friend of mine. And then after a year there I moved back to New Jersey and did tree work around there for a while before moving out here," he said.
The past few years had been a case of close, but no cigar for Torciollo.
"The last two Utah state chapter competitions, I placed third," he said.
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This year, he broke through, beating out 37 other competitors for the title.
"I didn’t get a chance to practice too much because of the rain," he said. "All winter, though, I was climbing a lot in Iowa. I was doing a lot of big-tree pruning and that kind of got me in shape all winter for now."
By winning the regional event, Torciollo qualified for a national competition in Colorado, as well as the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) International Tree Climb Competition in San Antonio, Texas, next April.
The ISA has 20 U.S. "chapters" and around 20 international ones.
In 11 of the previous 15 international competitions, the winner has been either a New Zealand climber and a German one.
Torciollo says he is "psyched" to go up against them next year..