When climbing in public parks and on private land, quite often we are asked by people who gather to watch, "what are you doing and why?". The best answer has come from longtime climbing friend Ewan Tulis, "cause it’s better up here". Mention tree climbing to just about anyone and it instantly invokes a smile and fond memories of that favorite tree they climbed as a child. Almost everyone has a story to tell. The relatively new sport of recreational tree climbing is a safe and non-competitive way to reconnect with nature and that child in all of us.

For some, technical tree climbing may be the best way to commune with nature. (Extreme treehugging!) Spend enough time in a tree and you begin to feel as though the tree is embracing you, and hugging you back. For others, it is an excellent way to overcome their fear of heights. Oddly enough, rope secured tree climbing is one of the most effective acrophobia-breaking exercises around. Time and again people with a fear of heights report that the ability to ascend and descend close to the ground while secured to a life line has been a helpful cure for deep-seated fears.

Recreational tree climbing may be for others a way to exercise in a natural setting rather than going to a gym. Technical tree climbing is an excellent workout, while at the same time being easy enough that anyone can participate. Even those with limited physical abilities can be taught to climb using specialized rope systems.

Alone with myself, the trees bend to caress me, the shade hugs my heart. - Candy Polgar
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