Rising to the challenge: Wisconsin Tree Climbing Championship hosted in Cedarburg this weekend

NOW: Rising to the challenge: Wisconsin Tree Climbing Championship hosted in Cedarburg this weekend

CEDARBURG, Wis. (CBS 58) -- You might want to look up if you're in Cedarburg this weekend.

Forty competitors will be at Cedar Creek Park, hoping to become the best tree climber in Wisconsin for the Wisconsin Arborist Association's (WAA) Tree Climbing Championship.

"It's to show the epitome of professionalism in style, safety, and ability," said chairman and climber, Gary Kohler. "Your endurance, your upper body, your legs, and you have to learn how to spread that out to give you longevity in the industry and the competitions."

The unique championship adds an extra reward to a dangerous job.

"They're all tree workers, and most of them are either lead climbers, foremen, they've been doing this a while," Kohler said.

There are five judged events throughout the three-day competition, and it's a true test of strength and skill.

"From throwing a line to setting a line, climbing through five workstations in a tree, rescuing a victim out of a tree, and then of course a couple of events where you just go as fast as you can," Kohler explained.

This is the WAA's first time hosting the championship in Cedarburg. It's held in a different town each year.

Competitors said the exposure is helpful for their profession.

"Letting them know that we're just not monkeys in a tree or guys with chainsaws and a truck, that we can move around a tree, protecting the tree and protecting ourselves," Kohler said.

With more than 30 years of championships, it's a tradition for arborists worldwide.

"We want to keep this competition going for years and years to come, so the more new competitors we can get, the better," said head judge Shelly Wollerman.

The championship runs through Sunday. Winners will compete in the international tree climbing championships next year.

Click here for the schedule, and to learn more.

Share this article: