Mark Chisholm won top honors at the International Tree Climbing Championship in Chicago on July 25 at Morton Arboretum. The world championship title follows his recent win at the New Jersey Arborist’s Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) Tree Climbing Competition where he won for the 18th consecutive year.
In a league of 55 competitors from around the world and six competitions, Chisholm finished in overall first place in the Master’s Challenge. The five events in the competition were foot lock, speed climb, aerial rescue, throwline and work climb.
Belayed Speed Climb – Chisholm took 2nd place with a time of 32.34 seconds in this event that tests the contestant’s ability to climb up a predetermined route from the ground to about 60 feet up a tree with a belayed climbing system attached for safety.
Secured Footlock-Chisholm took 2nd and climbed to a height of 15 meters in 14.12 seconds using only two lines and his upper and lower body strength
Aerial Rescue – Chisholm finished in 1st place with a score of 34.17 points in this timed event that tests the contestant’s ability to climb to and safely lower a 150-pound dummy representing a climber who is unable to descend without assistance.
When not working in his family business, or winning championships, Chisholm shares his expertise with others. “Mark’s dedication, knowledge and commitment to the tree care industry are unparalleled,” said Roger Phelps, promotional communications manager for STIHL Inc. Chisholm, who is a third-generation professional arborist with the family-owned Aspen Tree Expert Company in New Jersey, has been a spokesperson for STIHL Inc. since 2001.
“Competing in the tree climbing championship series fulfills multiple aspirations of mine,” said Chisholm. “Not only do I have an amazing experience competing and challenging myself each year, but I am also able to spread tree care awareness and educate the public about the value of trees.”
Chisholm has earned three world championships and 17 top-5 finishes in his 20 years of competing in the International Tree Climbing Competition.