Tree Climbing

Climbing trees is an opportunity to learn from the natural world

Reach higher

Though the sport of climbing is an individual experience, the lessons that can be learned from it apply to a multitude of relations – from personal to global.

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Reconnect

By embracing our inherent desire to experience the extraordinary, we open up the possibility to rekindle a meaningful relationship with nature that for so many people has been lost. 

Tree Climbing FAQs

What kind of trees do we climb?
     We climb fig trees of the species Ficus aurea. They are known as strangler figs, ficus trees, higerones, matapalos, and other names and can be found throughout the tropics. The unique way in which these trees grow allows us to climb on the outside, and sometimes also the inside, up into the canopy.

How do we climb trees?
     We use a climbing technique that has been developed specifically for the climbing of fig trees, using top rope systems and nylon slings as anchors. It is similar to traditional rock climbing in that gear is placed as the first climber ascends and is then retrieved by the second climber. Gear is never left in trees. 

Does climbing impact the trees?
     Wherever we go we make an impact, but we try to keep ours as small as possible while spending time in the trees. To do this, respect is the first thing we practice while tree climbing and we follow a set of tree climbing ethics that help us ensure we are minimizing our effect on the environment we are climbing in. We always climb barefoot and make conscious choices of what routes to climb based on where other plant life may be growing in the trees.

What is it like in the canopy?
     The canopy is a completely unique ecosystem that is rarely experienced by humans. Bursting with life, plants and animal can be found growing piled on top of one another, stretched out along the branches of the massive trees. Using our gear to maneuver about the canopy, we are able to explore a typically unseen world and get a peak into what life is like living above the forest floor.

Who we climb with

Youth, students, community members, and more

Youth climber

Youth climber

Youth climber

Youth climber

Student researcher

Student researcher

Youth climbing

Youth climbing

Student climber

Student climber

Canopy researcher

Canopy researcher

Ready for a climb!

Ready for a climb!

Climbing up to the canopy

Climbing up to the canopy

Climbers at the indoor Palo Vivo Climbing Center located at Riochante

Climbers at the indoor Palo Vivo Climbing Center located at Riochante

Base of a fig tree

Base of a fig tree

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Help us get more kids in the trees!

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