High Tie Ins... or Big Tie Ins.
"You can have a high Tie-In, you can have a big Tie-In, but you can't have a high, big, Tie-In."
There are different schools of thought on the climbers TIP, or tie-in-point. When I first started climbing, I remember being told by someone who (as it turned out) didn't have much climbing experience at all that anything over 2 inches is thick enough.
It wasn't a nuanced, thoughtful or experienced advice- it was just stated as a fact. Now, since I never actually saw this fellow climb, and with weeks then months of climbing then under my belt, I realized how bad that advice was.
While it was sort of a crazy thing- using a 2" tie-in, the point that my past mentor may (or may not) have been making was to get as high into the tree as possible. The higher the UP, the less scary the OUT when limb-walking, and generally making your way to the tips. A high tie in is more comfortable, it allows ease of movement, and, particularly when removing a tree, makes for a safer top. If a 3" thick, 8 foot top lands in your lap, you can brush that one off. A 6" thick, 20 foot top... Ouch. Squish. Sirens...
Which doesn't mean I feel all that comfortable, necessarily, hanging from a wrist-thick TIP eighty-feet up. Which is why, drawing from a few years experience climbing more dangerous things than trees, I've learned the importance of backing up the TIP. Slings, basal anchors, and redundant tie-in's are your friend in this regard - next week I will get into more detail with a few tricks to give you the advantages of a maximizing TIP height, while keeping things real safe and un-scary.