The Arboricultural Association Arborist Tree Challenge (3ATC) and College Climbing Competitions (CCC) are run by a team of Arboricultural Association volunteers who want to try and help advance UK climbing practice and safety. We aim to be inclusive and our 3ATC OPEN events welcome both AA members and non-members to participate. We also want to meet the needs of climbers at different levels of experience so have three levels within the open events from Novice level to our more advanced Premier Climbers.

College Climbing Competitions are run exclusively for students. Run as a team event each college can enter a number of teams of three students, to make it fair we ask that each team member must have climbed for less than two years. We recognise more experienced or mature students want to participate so have a premier student level where they will individually compete against their peers from other Colleges.

For any of the events please book in advance so we have some idea of numbers. Climbing places will be added on a first come first serve basis so if you’d like to take part please enter as early as possible.

Novice Climber – Ideal for students or newer climbers this may be the category choice for you. Following several entries from more advanced climbers we are changing the novice category to an optimum time event. We will run the climb and work out what an optimum time would be for a novice climber to carry out the climb correctly and achieve all the stations. This “optimum time” will be kept confidential and at the end of the contest the closest climber to this time will win the event. Unlike the Expert level your climb will not be based on fastest time so should encourage best practice and safe climbing. Your climb will starting from a top station you will complete a number of simple tasks in the canopy before returning to the ground.

Expert Climber – Come on, you have been climbing for a couple of years we know you can do it! This should be a walk in the park for you I know just like another day at work but well worth it for the goodies on offer. This event is based on the fastest safe climber’s time. Your time is reduced for some tasks so make sure you know what to do.

Premier Climber – As a premier climber you should be able to access the tree from the ground install your own anchor point access the trees canopy and finish the climb.

We expect every competitor to follow industry best practice and Health and Safety protocols whilst competing deviation may lead to disqualification.

If time slots are available competitors may enter the event as they wish but must elect their first “scoring” climb in their chosen category this is the only climb that will count towards prizes. Further climbs in other categories may be made to practice or simply to try and beat your own personal best but again the first climb is the only one that will be registered.

This year’s challenge is run on a first come first serve basis so book in early on the day to avoid disappointment. Climbing kit will be available on the day if you fancy your chances and we fit you in.

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