Welcome To Tree Trek Exploration LLC, and our school of tree climbing
We specialize in research and educational climbing using doubled and single rope techniques. We do not teach arborist-style climbing or commercial tree workers. Valid student/faculty or agency identification may be required for some programs.
Athens, Georgia or Lake Sidney Lanier, Georgia — Phone 706-372-5409 or 706-974-1630
Boca del Drago, Republic of Panama — Phone 011-507-6853-2134
WHAT Is Tree Trek Exploration:
Tree Trek Exploration LLC trains researchers and educators to move through the forest canopy at will, using the latest and safest tree climbing techniques and equipment. If you’re not sure tree climbing is right for you, we also partner with Sawnee Mountain Preserve in Cumming, Georgia to offer two inexpensive “try it” tree climbs each month. Register at www.sawneemountain.org for one of these Saturday afternoon events. If you decide that this is right for you, our weekend-long basic Tree Climbing Classes include techniques that will teach you to move up and through the canopy and get safely back to the ground. We also have additional training classes for advanced techniques, and courses for program facilitators and instructors. And, there’s our unique rain forest/cloud forest climbing adventure.
All of our Tree Climbing Courses are Taught by Master Instructors.
Each of us has years of experience climbing in wilderness environments. Between the three of us we have climbing experience ranging from the wilderness and mountains of the Eastern United States to the West Coast with its giant redwoods, as well as to the neotropics of Central and South America.
WHY Climb Trees:
Just a few feet above our heads is one of the least understood places on earth. The forest canopy is unbelievably vast; the 2010 United Nations Forest Resources Assessment puts it at 9.8 billion acres, and the U.S. Forest Service’s global estimate is 8.5 billion acres. It is home to nearly three-fourths of all the species on our planet, including half the species discovered in the last quarter century. It is where nearly all the planet’s oxygen is made. Despite its huge size, only a handful of field researchers have ventured into this incredibly diverse and ever-changing ecosystem. Canopy cranes, hot-air balloons, elevated walkways and zip lines have helped them explore a few hundred acres of this treetop paradise that early 20th century explorer William Beebe called “the eighth continent.” Tree climbing is your ticket to the unexplored reaches of this new continent.
WHO Climbs Trees:
Our clients range from teenagers to 70-somethings. They include entomologists, botanists, herpetologists, biochemists, ecologists, primate researchers, birders, and everyone in nearly any field of biological science, along with high school students and college undergraduates. We even allow kids who’re eight years old or older to take part in our three-hour public “try it” climbs.
WHERE is our Tree Climbing School:
Our main sites in North America are located outside Athens, Georgia or on the west side of Lake Sidney Lanier, on the edge of the Appalachian Mountains and about 75 minutes north of the Atlanta International Airport. Our field station is located in a tiny rain-forest village on the west end of Isla Colon (Columbus Island) near the international border between Panama and Costa Rica.
Not for Arborists:
We do not train professional tree workers and arborists; many of them only want to learn advanced climbing methods and systems that often are far too advanced for beginners. We do not — and will not — teach methods such as hitch climbing, spur climbing, dead-wooding, rigging, or any method of limb removal. Several government agencies and many of the most reputable tree-care companies have said they don’t want their new workers to learn those techniques, and we agree. The new tree worker who insists on knowing and using many of those methods is often an accident waiting to happen.
We are proud of our perfect safety record — no accidents, ever — and we plan to keep it that way.
Our classes are aimed at researchers and educators who need to know the safest and least expensive way to climb with ropes in trees that might be 50 feet or 250 feet tall. We start every student with the basic Doubled Rope Technique (DRT). Once they’ve mastered that technique, they are welcome to learn Single Rope Technique (SRT) with requires a different set of skills and, often, a bit more money for gear. Our focus is only on climbing technique and we spend our time up in the tree with our students, helping them to be efficient and safe while on rope.
S0, we limit our our classes to small numbers so that each student gets the individual attention he or she deserves. We also keep our prices reasonable so that the training is within your budget.
WHEN do we have Tree Climbing Classes:
Training in climbing and facilitation techniques is regularly scheduled at the Athens or the Lake Sydney Lanier site from April to October every year. The four-week Tropical Ecology Climbing Course, which includes techniques for rainforest and cloud forest canopy exploration along with academic classes, is regularly scheduled at the Panama site in January and from mid-June to mid-July. Our winter training sessions and other training dates are often available by request. See our complete list of courses and dates.