When I was a youngin, a tree’s worth was measured by the amount of reachable, human-supporting branches protruding from its lower trunk. Our local giant redwoods are nice and all, but for a kid with going up ambitions they offer no satisfaction. Tall, boring nothings.
But check out this go getter! Had I pursued my climbin’ stuff career into adulthood perhaps I’d developed the daring and upper body strength of professional squirrel Chris Sharma. Recently, the famous rock climber embarked on a project that required him to free climb one of Humboldt’s giant redwoods. The Red Bull-sponsored ascent was conducted in conjunction with a team of UC Berkeley biologists collecting data to be used to assess the health of an over 250-foot-tall, 25-foot diameter tree.
Good news! According to this interview with Sharma on GearJunkie, an outdoor product review site, this particular tree was fine. But other water-stressed coastal redwoods, especially those in more drought-affected areas in the south, may experience problems in the coming months.
Also, non-sciencey people should not climb redwoods. Sorry. More info in GearJunkie’s interview with Sharma.