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EXPEDITION CLIMBS

Most of the climbing and instruction done by Tree Climbing USA is directed toward the recreational and educational advantages to be gained from spending time climbing to, and in, the tops of trees. Climbing trees, as anyone who has ever been a child should know, is fun. Trees also offer an excellent opportunity to involve people in an experientially educational activity, serving as classrooms where life's lessons may be met head on. Most of this type of climbing is done in tame trees in an urban or suburban environment in a carefully controlled manner.

RainforestThere is, however, another type of tree climbing in which climbers take their activity into the wilderness environment and utilize it as a means of expanding their opportunities for a wilderness experience or for scientific exploration and research into the treetop canopy. For the wilderness adventurer the top of a tree can offer an entirely new and different way of experiencing wilderness from a unique perspective. For the scientist and naturalist the arboreal canopy is a whole new and virtually unexplored frontier. This type of climbing almost always involves climbing wild trees in a wilderness or rural environment.

Climbing wild trees in a wilderness environment, whether as an adventurous activity or for scientific purposes, requires skill and a degree of knowledge that must extend beyond that needed for an afternoon of pleasant climbing in a neighborhood tree that has been cleaned and made safe. The competent climber approaching a wild tree in a wilderness setting will need a kit bag of skills that go far past those needed for climbing in a tame tree. Before one even begins to climb, a certain amount of outdoor savvy is necessary just to get into the wilderness. Once into the wilderness it must be understood that every tree is going to present a different set of problems which must be solved before access to the higher limbs is granted. Once in the top of a tree one must possess enough confidence and competence to remain there comfortably for whatever period of time is involved. Whether one is only there for a few minutes to collect a few specimens or whether one expects to camp there and remain high for a longer period of time does not matter. Additionally, one must learn to work within the parameters established by contemporary wilderness ethics.

Too often, those who wish to do this type of climbing venture forth with no more experience of vertical travel than that offered by a climbing wall or a Ropes course. There is nothing wrong with having climbed a climbing wall, just as there is nothing wrong with having navigated the hair raising obstacles on a Ropes course. We would like to point out, however, that neither of these activities directly acquaints one with the skills involved with getting into a tree. The skills and experience gained on a climbing wall or on a Ropes course are only a couple of the tools that a competent tree climber needs to acquire before venturing forth into the wilder regions. Neither a climbing wall nor a Ropes course, for instance, will teach the methods involved in getting a rope into a tree in the first place; Nor will either of these activities teach one to ascend with double rope technique or teach one the use of ascenders for single rope technique. Climbing trees with competence and confidence requires a large array of skills derived from a diverse array of activities.

At Tree Climbing USA we have instructors who spend much of their time climbing in the wilderness environment. These people have drawn their knowledge from an impressive number of differing disciplines including rock climbing, alpine mountaineering, cave exploring, recreational tree climbing and other vertical pursuits involving the use of rope. These instructors are capable of bringing all of their knowledge and experience together to make competent expedition climbers out of those wishing to extend their climbing abilities to a new plane.

It is our desire to make safe and competent climbers out of those of you who wish to venture forth into the wilderness environment whether for recreation and adventure or in the interest of science.

Those interested in venturing forth into the wilder regions in order to explore the arboreal frontier may contact us by e-mail for more information on our instructional courses.

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