Dozens gather for tree climbing competition in Kansas


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNT) – This weekend, tree climbers from across the country traveled to Kansas to compete for the number one spot in this year’s North American Open Masters Tree Climbing Championship.

“We do what we normally do at work as arborists, and we turn it into events for competition,” said Nicole Benjamin, arborist.

“We try to emulate proper work practices in a super high safety standard manner and really respectful manner to the trees,” said Bryan Brock, event organizer.

During the three-day event, more than 40 climbers showcased their skills for a chance to make it to first place. This is the third year Wichita is the host city for the competitions. The preliminary events were held at Oak Park off of 11th Street and the final was held at Hyde Park.

“We are just trying to build the community of tree climbers and build it up as an art,” said Brock.

Benjamin started climbing five years ago but has been caring for trees for the last six. She says she traveled to the Air Capital from North Carolina to compete in the events. She is one of a handful of women who got the chance to display her skills.

“Getting to do it with a bunch of friends and building skills and learning more things and then pushing yourself beyond your comfort zones is really kind of the spirits of why we do it,” said Benjamin.

This year is the third time Benjamin gets to participate as a tree climber. She says the “Tree-ple” community is supportive of one another and pushes each other to get out of their comfort zone.

“We would do almost anything for anyone here even if you just met them that day,” said Benjamin.

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