LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A Louisville man is competing this weekend in the International Tree Climbing Championships in Washington D.C.
Cory Petry is co-owner of Limbwalker Tree Service and works as a professional tree climber.
He spends his days among the leaves. “That’s probably one of my favorite things is just getting a view that nobody else will,” said Petry.
He’s taken his passion to the next level by competing for the title of International Tree Climbing Champion. “I’m the five-time and current state champion for Kentucky,” said Petry.
The world’s best competitive arborists have traveled to Washington D.C. this weekend for the worldwide competition. Petry will take on climbers from 18 countries competing in five events that demonstrate skill, safety and speed.
“It’s not like rock climbing, say that’s very two dimensional. We’re climbing a three-dimensional, living, breathing thing and it definitely takes nuance,” he said.
Moving from limb to limb takes takes agility and athleticism. “A lot of times tree workers have core strength that normal people would die for, because you have to be able to position yourself to do awkward work,” he said.
Each job is an opportunity to practice for the competition. Each tree, a problem that must be solved.
“How to get material from over someone’s house out of a tree and down to the ground safely without hurting someone or damaging something,” said Petry.
That real-life experience will help him as he works to be named one of the best arborists in the world.
“Forest. Scotty Forest. Another friend of ours is Josephine Hedger,” he said.
And with a name like Petry he’s destined to climb to the top. “Petry. It’s not lost on me,” he said. “Like some of the guys say I’m going to leave everything in the tree.”
The preliminary rounds wrap up Saturday.
The finals will be held on Sunday.
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