INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Climbers from all over the world have been scaling trees this weekend for the JAMBO competition at Holliday Park in Indianapolis. You’ll see mostly men on the ropes, but there’s also some serious girl power out there too. Throughout the work-week, those men and women climb in trees because it’s their job, but they say it’s also more than that. It’s also their passion.
“It’s life. It’s awesome,” said Boel Hammarstrand, who is a competitor from Sweden. “It’s the best feeling ever. When you’re in a nice tree and everything’s flowing, it’s like a dream come true.”
They say their dream is to be dangling from ropes very high in the air. Luckily, they’re pretty much experts. They’re finding their footing at the biggest tree-climbing competition in the world.
“It’s something totally new,” said Kayla Rutherford, who came to watch from Alabama. “We’ve never been here before ever.”
“It’s not just pure muscle,” said Hammarstrand. “It’s a lot more about skills and techniques than just muscle.”
Those skills and techniques are rooted in each of them, even if they didn’t all graduate from an official program.
“I call it the school of hard knocks,” said Bryan Brock, who came to compete from Kansas. “I just came out of high school and was working nonstop since high school.”
Even though there are more men than women out here, Hammarstrand is easy to spot with her purple hair and pink helmet. She’d love to see more ladies go out on a limb, like she does.
“I don’t feel like I need to prove anything, because I’m better than some of the guys,” said Hammarstrand. “If anybody says, ‘I would like to find out more about trees,’ anybody or any woman would say, ‘come hang out with me we can go climb it together.’”
“It really teaches you almost everything you need to do in life,” said Brock. “Patience, for yourself when you get frustrated and can’t get a job done sufficiently or fast enough or what you would…