For Benalla’s Jason Stewart climbing trees is just like taking a walk in the park.
The local arborist recently put his skills to the test, competing in the Red Bull Branched Out Climbing Competition in Wellington, NSW.
Competing against climbers from across the world, Stewart finished 18th out of 100, 16 places higher than last year’s competition held in Balranald.
The 41-year-old was also the oldest competitor entered in the competition by three years, but said he has no intention of slowing down just yet.
‘‘It was a bit daunting having so many younger climbers getting up there, but I have full respect for their skill levels and it was great to make the top 20 per cent in the competition,’’ Stewart said.
‘‘I would like to keep competing for the next four or so years and after that would like to take on a judging role and help with the competition.’’
Climbing trees is nothing new for Stewart, who works as an arborist by day for his local business North East Tree Services.
He said it was the love of what he did that prompted him to start competing in climbing events three years ago.
‘‘It’s one of those things where the adrenaline kicks in and you need to form respect with the tree and the equipment,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s nothing like going for a big through the trees.’’
The Red Bull Branched Out Tree Climbing Event is swing open to males and females over the age of 16 with at least two years tree climbing experience, with the fastest climbers progressing through to each stage.
Stewart urged anyone who loved climbing trees to get involved by visiting the Arboriculture Australia website.
Hard at it: Benalla’s Jason Stewart competing in the Red Bull Branched Out Climbing Competition in Wellington, NSW.