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Barking Mad

By Ryan Thomas
June 2005, Caerphilly
A digital story from Breaking Barriers

"People might think that I'm barking mad for not liking football and liking climbing trees. I like climbing trees. I'm always looking for adventure and I have found adventure climbing trees. Most of the trees I've climbed I've reached the top. There are about two or three trees which I haven't reached the top. That considers me as a good climber, considering I've climbed hundreds of trees.

I'd really love to do rock climbing but there's no rock climbing places in Ynys Du so the nearest thing to rock climbing is climbing trees. It might not be as fun as rock climbing but it's still fun. Today I am going to climb a tree up by Ynys Hywel.

I always aim to try and get to the top of a tree. If you notice, with a tree there's always more than one way to get up because you get about a third of the way up and the tree trunk is split into multiple ways. I always go up the easiest way first. Then I go up all of the other ways and eventually I've cleared up all of the ways to get up there.

As you normally find, the hardest way to get up is normally where the highest part of the tree is. When I look down and I'm really high, I sometimes worry. Nearly all of the time I overcome my fear and carry on climbing.

The only trees I've never reached the top of are the ones with no branches up the top. My friends always think I'm mad to climb to the top of a high tree. I'm just as good at tree climbing as I am at rock climbing. I hope I become a professional rockclimber when I'm older."

Ryan Thomas

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