Anthony McConchie is an arborist. After falling into this profession as a way to make money during university, he has since become the Australian Tree Climbing Champion. This is his story.
I met Ant through mutual friends back in 2015. As we were chatting, he mentioned he might “climb that TV Tower” and pointed to a large metal structure in the car park near where we were standing, an odd thing to suggest.
I was intrigued, so I asked another friend if that was something he could do? He replied, “For sure, Ant is currently the Australian Tree Climbing Champion; he could climb anything.” Wha????!! There’s a tree-climbing championship??!! and Ant is the current champion!!!???
Now I needed to know everything.
So I asked if I could follow him around with a camera as he showed me the literal ropes of tree climbing. Ant agreed and let me tag along as he did his thing. Firstly, on the banks of the Yarra river with 15 metre high Red Gum trees and secondly, deep into the Otways, with the enormous 80 metre tall Mountain Ash Eucalyptus, an incredible sight.
Ant really put my fear of heights to the test. I was amazed at how fast, and easily Ant could scale a tree; not just that, I was also amazed at how technical and methodical it all was. I had it wrapped up in my head that tree climbing would be HIGH OCTANE ENERGY EXCITEMENT. And sure, it can be, but it also requires a lot of thinking and planning, which took me by surprise.
This also can be said about Ant himself. He wasn’t the adrenaline junkie I had him pinned as, much more of a thinker and lover of nature, who really enjoyed just giving things a crack.
So, put this doco into your eyeballs, I hope you enjoy it. See also 360 fitness.