Exploration: Eden Grove - Big Tree Climb

This past October, the Ancient Forest Alliance teamed up with expert tree climbers Matthew Beatty of the Arboreal Collective and Damien CarrΓ© of Expedition Old-Growth to ascend a giant Douglas-fir tree in the endangered Eden Grove near Port Renfrew. The days before the climb saw intense rains and hurricane force winds the brought dozens of trees and power lines down across the roads. Despite the many challenges we faced, we were thankfully still able to access the area and complete the climb in one day. After setting the first lines with the Bigshot slingshot (this took an extra 2 hours after the first well placed line slipped away from us when going to tie it off...), Damien made the first ascent. After reaching the top, he dropped a tape measure down to acquire an accurate height measurement, which turned out to be 210ft (64m). The width measured 9ft (2.75m). That's a BIG tree!! Seeing it in the forest setting gives you some sense as to what its even larger neighbour Big Lonely Doug may have looked like before the forest around him was clearcut by Teal-Jones in 2012. The Eden Grove, or 'Lower Edinburgh Grove', is found on Edinburgh Mt. within the traditional territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation. The tree climb was also documented by the Nootka St film crew, who were there filming for their up-and-coming documentary titled 'Hunting Giants', which will feature my explorations for new record-sized trees and the AFA's efforts to save them! Watch for that in Spring of 2017. For now, here are some photos I captured of the climb. It's always a profound and humbling experience entering this suspended world high above the ground. Much like exploring the worlds oceans and caves - or even outer space - the tree-top canopies of temperate forests are a world full of things yet to be discovered and staggering natural beauty. Sadly, fewer and fewer of these ancient giants remain each year that passes. My hope is that these images will inspire action that results in our old-growth forests being protected once and for all.