WILL I BE ABLE TO DO IT? WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE DO I NEED?
Climbers do not need special skills or previous experience to climb with us at a facilitated tree climbing event. Climbers are given easy to follow instructions and individual attention. People's climbing ability tends to develop and improve rather quickly. A basic level of fitness is required, but perseverance and determination can overcome most obstacles and challenges as technique is more important than brute strength. Most people can do it. Call us if you want to talk through it!
IS THERE A WEIGHT LIMIT?
While our climbing systems and equipment can accommodate climbers weighing up to 500 pounds, the primary restriction is based on waist size. Climbers must be able to fit into our harnesses and helmets. Our harnesses fit waist sizes roughly between 19" to 45" (measured around the belly button). Participant height is not a factor. All climbers must fit into our climbing equipment and allow it to be fastened properly in order to climb.
WHAT IS THE AGE LIMIT?
Our basic climbing experiences are appropriate for ages 7 years and older. The ability of a climber to understand the technical climbing system and perform safety processes is most influenced by the stage of cognitive development rather than size or physical ability. Note that some climb events and offerings may be further limited to an older minimum age & some Rec Departments might limit the upper age.
IS IT SAFE?
There are risks associated with climbing trees, which is why we use professional equipment approved for use in technical tree climbing as well as follow the guidelines set forth by the Global Organization of Tree Climbing (GOTC). These guidelines and the climbing systems we use are designed to minimize the associated risks of injury to climbers. Professional companies and climbers around the world follow these guidelines. In doing so, no serious injuries have been reported in the nearly 40 years that RTC has been an organized activity.
WHAT IF I HAVE A FEAR OF HEIGHTS?
The fear of heights is a common fear and many people have a fear of falling. Each climber faces their own challenges. You can approach your fears at a pace you are comfortable with. Most people who have expressed one of these fears to us have been able to successfully challenge their fear given the sense of security they felt in the climbing harness. The climbing experience is not necessarily about climbing high & our climbing guides do not force climbers to do anything they are not comfortable with. We provide encouragement, answer questions, and help support you through your challenges.
IS IT LIKE ROCK CLIMBING?
It is different than rock climbing, even though both activities use rope, harness and involve climbing to height. With rock climbing, the harness and rope are there to catch you if you fall. With tree climbing, you ascend and descend using the rope. You are suspended by the rope and harness at all times. The rope & climbing system gives you security and control, allowing you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view. When you decide it is time to go down, a facilitator will assist as you lower yourself to the ground.
CAN ADULTS CLIMB TOO?
Absolutely! Adults love tree climbing as much as kids. Since we tend to become more cautious as we get older, you will find that climbing with rope and saddle instills the sense of security that may have been lacking when you climbed as a child. Taking up tree climbing as a recreational endeavour opens a whole new world! Adults can join us at our Adult Climbs, Open & Open-Advanced Climbs, and many of our Rec Climbs. If you end up loving it as much as we do, then be sure to check out our Beginning Tree Climbing class.
DO I NEED TO RENT OR BRING MY OWN GEAR?
We provide all the climbing gear you need (helmet, harness, gloves, safety glasses). As a climber, you will want to bring a bottle of water and wear closed-toe, sturdy-soled shoes.
WHERE DO WE CLIMB?
We climb in parks and nature areas by permit. We are located in Waukesha, Wisconsin and most of our public climb offerings take place in in and around Waukesha & Milwaukee Counties, Dane County, and the Fox Cities area. We can also come to your property if you have a special tree you'd like to connect with.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
Weather-appropriate clothing that you'd be comfortable hiking in. We generally recommend sturdy-soled shoes like hiking boots or tennis shoes, long pants to protect skin from scrapes against bark and chafing from the harness, raincoat or jacket if weather warrants. Dress in layers as body temperature rises when climbing. Hats can be worn under the helmet if they are thin enough and not attached to your shirt/jacket.
WHAT HAPPENS IF IT RAINS? (and other weather related issues)
Light rain and snow by themselves are not necessarily a safety issue or cause for cancellation. Our staff will make a judgement call, taking into consideration intensity of expected precipitation, air temperature, and the ground conditions beneath the tree. Severe weather (thunder/lightning, high winds, etc) presents safety concerns for climbers and staff; therefore, Treetop Explorer, LLC reserves the right to cancel a climb due to weather forecasts or current weather conditions. Read more details about our weather cancellation policy.
DOES IT HURT THE TREE?
We take a number of precautions in order to keep our impact to a minimum. For instance, we utilize protective sleeves to keep the rope from causing undue injury to the tree. Typically, the primary injury a tree sustains will come from participants who intentionally pull off leaves or break branches and twigs, which is why we ask climbers to refrain from such activities.
WILL I LEARN HOW TO CLIMB MY OWN TREES?
NO. The intent behind our Facilitated Climbs is to provide a controlled environment where participants can experience recreational tree climbing. Climbing under facilitation allows participants to climb without the need to understand all of the intricacies involved with technical tree climbing, tree health, and climber safety.
Our facilitated climbs do not present nor cover any of the information, knowledge, or skills necessary to climb trees on your own. Climbing trees and climbing them on your own is dangerous and involves great risk, therefore specialized training is necessary. People interested in learning how to climb trees on their own, whether for recreational or professional pursuits, can enroll in one of our Tree Climbing Courses.
How we climb
Climbers pick up the easy-to-follow instructions quickly!
The technique utilizes leg power rather than upper body strength!
Safety knots are fun to tie and give climbers peace of mind.
Climbers return to the ground when they are ready. Even descending is fun!