By Ophelie Maraval
Climbing through branches with the skills of monkeys, Riki Peterson and Emma Jenkins won the WA Tree Climbing Championship last weekend in Hyde Park.
The competition attracted 24 participants, including novices, females and international climbers all vying to win a place in the big national final in Adelaide next year.
To have a chance to reach the final, competitors had to complete a series of activities including using throw lines and speed climbing.
Riki Peterson and Duncan Wolfe won their way through to a “Masters Challenge” in which they had to set up their own material and ring bells located at the extremities of a 5m tree in a limited time.
“In this kind of particular scenario we kind of want it to be perfect because we need it to run smoothly,” said Emily Livingston, one of two female finalists.
“There are very different levels of climbing. Some of us are very new, some are really experienced.”
Miss Livingston is also the President of the not-for-profit association, Tree Climbing Western Australia, which organised the event.
An arborist by profession, Miss Livingstone managed to make a career out of her passion.
The Boyd family, with their two children, came especially on Sunday morning to watch the speed climbing event.
“It’s nice to see something different. I’m in construction and I used to work at heights so this gives me another perspective,” said Mr Boyd.
Families and friends seated on the grass around the competition area could watch arborists climbing in the trees, with occasional musical accompaniment provided by the public.
The competition ran in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere with competitors encouraging and congratulating each other for their effort.