Top tree climbers to compete in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Democrats will meet in Boston, and the Republicans in New York, but this summer the tree climbers are coming to Pittsburgh.
The International Tree Climbing Championship will be held Aug. 7 and 8 in West Park, where the world's top tree climbers will test their skills on the mammoth oaks near the National Aviary.
The competition, which attracts climbers from around the world, is part of the 80th Annual International Society of Arboriculture Conference and Trade Show, Aug. 7-11 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
"We have everything from the guys who climb and drag bush every day to Ph.D.'s doing research on trees," said Jim Skiera, interim executive director of the Arboriculture Society. "And all those people will be in the park ... for the finals of the International Tree Climbing Championship."
Up to 3,000 people are expected to attend the convention, including 50 elite male and female tree climbers.
Last summer in Montreal, Bernd Strauss from Germany and Kiah Martin of Australia won the championships.