MEET TREE CLIMBING GRANDFATHER LEON VISSER
A kid who couldn’t stop climbing trees, Arborist – Leon Visser, grows into a man still climbing trees.
The 60-year-old Arborist from Stellenbosch, Leon Visser, can’t get enough of trees. He studied and lectured on these magnificent creations and once he got into the hands-on business of managing and needing to climb them, it was the ultimate breath of fresh air in his career which sees him tackling the tallest trees he can find in the wild.
“I’m an arborist by profession. My work involves trees and tree health care, and basically anything to do with trees. That’s my day job. The other thing I enjoy doing is recreational tree climbing, for fun. It’s one of the things that I’ve grown to really lean into and enjoy”, explains Leon.
There’s no doubt that tree climbing has an element of danger, and as such Leon emphasises the importance of well maintained gear.
“Your gear is important. Your anchor points that you want to tie into are critical because if you’re anchored into something that’s going to fail, it doesn’t matter how much you’re putting your trust in that anchor point or that equipment, if it’s faulty, you’re toast!”
He adds, “The type of tree climbing that we do requires substantial equipment and gear. It’s critical to go through an assortment of safety checks, wherever we climb, and whoever learns to climb with me, gets taught how to climb safely and on your own.”
Like some real life grown-up Jack and the Beanstalk, Leon and his friend Tarl Berry climb to see what’s up there. And while it’s a somewhat fresh sport, those involved, like Leon and Tarl, are such enthusiasts.