How did the tree climbing system work in AC3?

How do you think the tree climbing system worked in Assassin’s Creed 3? Did certain animations activate based on the meshes in front of the character? I mean were the climbing animations activated based on the particular layout of meshes in front of the character? I would like to create something similar.

More than likely it is exactly how you described. Although you could go overly complex and use something like “grab points” with IK, there’d be no point in the long run as most players wouldn’t care.

Can you explain to me how IK works?