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Go out on a limb and try something new! Celebrate your birthday or any other event in your life with a tree climbing adventure!  Climbs are $15/person. Have a slumber party or birthday party and sleep in tree boats for $35 (including tree climbing) or for $20 w/o tree climbing. ALL climbers must have a Activity Release Form & Participant Agreement - Minors must have guardian signature signed prior to climbing. Forms can be downloaded under the Register for Camp link. Discover an experience about which few can brag.


Tree climbing is Great Fun at Camp Fontanelle


What is recreational tree climbing?

The following is from Harv Teitelbaum's site with additions honoring God.

Recreational tree climbing uses arborist rope and techniques to safely climb into trees. As the climber pushes or pulls down on one end of a rope that has been worked up and over a tree limb, the other end pulls the attached climber up.

This Doubled Rope Technique (DRT) provides safety to both climber and tree. The climber is always attached to the rope and a secure harness with special self-belaying knots. Most supervised recreational climbing takes place on the rope, with only incidental contact to the tree. In addition bark-protecting devices, such as cambium savers and false crotches, are usually employed to further protect the tree from friction and wear.

Interested? Perhaps you'd like to participate in one of our scheduled open climbs, or arrange a special climb just for your scout or camp group, school class, birthday party, family reunion, or corporate team building session. (Minimum charge applies. We provide all the necessary instruction and equipment.)

Benefits Of Tree Climbing

It's fun!
Builds self-confidence
Sense of accomplishment
Recreational and relaxational
Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise
Reconnects with God through trees
Can be done individually or in a group or family

Tree climbing is a great way to hang out on a hot summer day!


How Did Recreational Tree Climbing Get Started?

A professional arborist named Peter Jenkins wanted to share his love of trees and tree climbing with others. With his knowledge of rock climbing, he modified the equipment used in his work for recreational use and began telling the world about this new experience. In 1983, he founded Tree Climbers International (TCI), an organization dedicated to sharing these safe and proven techniques. Today, at the TCI Founder's Grove in Atlanta, "Treeman" still gives climbing instruction and holds community climbing events.

Is  Tree Climbing Safe?

Since TCI's founding in 1983, and with more than 11,000 participants worldwide, no TCI-supervised recreational tree climber has ever been seriously injured. Prior to climbing, the tree's setting, root system, bark, trunk, structure, and canopy are examined to appraise its overall health and appropriateness for climbing activity. Lines are placed only over live limbs that are overly sufficient to support climbing activity. Lines are weight-checked and bounce-tested prior to climbing. Camp Fontanelle uses New Tribe recreational tree climbing saddles and professional arborist rope, along with helmets. (Rock climbing saddles and rope do not meet our safety protocols, and are never used.) All equipment is inspected before and after each session. Camp Fontanelle follows all TCI standards and protocols for
climbing events.

What Effect Does Tree Climbing Have On The Trees?

Unlike some competitive practices and techniques for ascending into trees, recreational tree climbing is non-invasive and does not employ cleats or spurs. In addition, nothing is left in, on, or near the tree. Using the doubled rope technique (DRT), the climbing rope slides over a limb or branch as the climber ascends and descends. On all climbs, Camp Fontanelle uses cambium-saving devices through which the ropes pass, further protecting the tree by minimizing contact between rope and limb. As a result of the repeated examinations and continuing attention and maintenance given to the trees we climb, they tend to be healthier than other trees. Respect for nature and for trees is an essential aspect of recreational tree climbing.

Can Anyone Do This, Or Do You Need Great Upper-Body Strength?

Individuals do not need special athletic abilities or strength to participate in recreational tree climbing. What's more, climbers usually find that their ability improves rapidly simply by becoming comfortable with the climbing process. Experience and technique are more important than great strength in becoming an accomplished climber. In addition, there are many assisting devices that reduce the amount of raw muscle power needed to comfortably enjoy tree climbing. It must be stressed, however, that being in good physical condition is important before beginning any energetic sport such as tree climbing. Physical exertion is involved, and any health problems or concerns should be addressed by a physician beforehand.

How About People With A Fear Of Heights?

While we can't predict how an individual will react to tree climbing, we've had very positive feedback from those who've told us they have a fear of heights. We attribute this to several possible factors. First, the climber is always secured to the line and has time to become comfortable with the system before gaining much height. The climber's position and movements, whether to go up, down, or stay in place, are always under the climber's control. Also, concentrating on the climbing technique focuses attention away from feelings of anxiety. Last, the pace of motion is on a slower, more natural, human scale, compared to the more unnatural pace of some fear-invoking situations. There has even been talk of employing tree climbing as therapy for dealing with this fear.

Does Introducing People To Tree Climbing Result In Unsupervised Climbing?

No. At our public and private group climbing sessions, we show articipants how to ascend and descend only. We do not cover essentials necessary to climb on one's own, such as knots and knot tying, rope placement, equipment, etc. Instead, our participants tell us they gain a new-found respect and appreciation for trees and a desire to take part in future supervised sessions. Those few who do invest the time, money, and effort in taking the Basic Tree Climbing Course are instructed in wilderness, wildlife, and tree climbing ethics."

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