World’s best tree climbers converge on Laurelhurst Park

Aug. 11 2012 Tree Climbers in Laurelhurst Park
Annie Lefever of Portland is guided in tree climbing by Tree Climbers International founder Peter Jenkins (Chijo Takeda)

On a recent Saturday in Portland’s Laurelhurst Park, a photographer snapped pictures of a bride and groom while a bucket ride lifted a family into a towering tree and kids gripped ropes strung from another tree’s limbs. In five stately trees nearby, arborists from 16 countries competed for the world championship in tree climbing.

If they weren’t in a tree themselves, most people in the park gazed up into the trees. Around them rose shouts of encouragement and animated exchanges in Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Norwegian, French, Swedish, German, Belgian, Austrian, Danish and English.

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