Not sure? Is tree climbing right for you? We offer twice-a-month public climbs at the 975-acre Sawnee Mountain Preserve, near exit 17 on the Georgia 400 Expressway north of Atlanta. This is where beginners from ages 8 to 80 can decide if tree climbing is the outdoor activity for themselves or their students/staff. We put up about a dozen ropes in a huge white oak named Paula (for the wonderful retired school teacher who donated the mountain land to the preserve) and novices can wear themselves out for three hours and climb as many ropes as they want. These fun events are held from 1-4 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of every month except January. Private climbs for schools, families and youth groups are available on request. For additional information and registration, go to www.sawneemountain.org.
These courses use guidelines from the Association of Experiential Educators (aee.org) and the Global Organization of Tree Climbers (gotreecimbing.org), They are designed for anyone over the age of 16. All participants should be able to handle moderate to strenuous outdoor activities and have no medical problems that would prevent on-rope climbing. Classes are taught at Lake Sidney Lanier, about 75 minutes driving time north of Atlanta International Airport. We provide all climbing and safety gear. The cost does not include food or lodging but a variety of hotels and restaurants are nearby. Primative camping is allowed at no cost at the training site. Seven days advance notice is required to register for scheduled classes; individual training is available on other dates subject to availability of instructors. A $50 non-refundable deposit is required with all registrations and full payment should be made at the start of the course. Checks should be made payable to Hill Country Enterprises. Register with Bill@TreeTrek.net All courses are for climbing profieciency only, and do not cover the details of working with electricity or power tools in the tree canopy.
The 20-hour Basic Tree Climbing Course (BTCC) is taught the fourth weekend of February, April, June, August and October. It focuses on equipment selection and maintenance, basic tree-entry methods, double-rope climbing techniques, and moving vertically and horizontally in the canopies of two or more species. The cost is $250 a person; private instruction is $400 a person.
The 20-hour Beyond The Basics Course is taught the fourth weekend of March, July and September. It focuses on advanced climbing equipment and maintenance, advanced tree-entry methods, rescue techniques, single-rope climbing techniques, and rigging techniques. All participants must complete the Basic Tree Climbing Course or demonstrate that they have adequately learned the basic climbing method and safety procedures on their own. The cost is $250 a person; private instruction is $400 a person.
The 20-hour Facilitator’s Course is limited to no more than three participants per instructor and is separate from other climbing courses. It is taught by appointment only. It prepares experienced climbers to operate group climbs either as a private contractor or for camps, churches, youth groups, schools and recreation departments. It is normally taught at Lake Sidney Lanier, Georgia, but can be taught at your location if two or more healthy, mature hardwoods are legally available. The course includes additional climbing, safety and rescue techniques; equipment requirements for small, medium and large programs; proper set-up of the climbing venue as either a stand-alone program or as an element of a larger challenge course program; and paperwork and management techniques. Trainees will be required to set up and run a 3-hour small-group climb as part of the facilitator training. All participants must complete the Basic Tree Climbing Course or demonstrate that they have adequately learned the basic climbing method and safety procedures on their own. The cost of the facilitator course is $400 a person (plus travel expenses), or $250 (plus travel expenses) for those with ACCT Level II certification as a high ropes facilitator.
The 36-hour Rain Forest/Cloud Forest Researcher’s Course is taught Monday through Friday during the second or third week of May and December, at the end of the fall and spring semesters. It is designed to prepare students, instructors and researchers for climbing at biological field stations in difficult tropical conditions. All participants are taught the basic and beyond the basics climbing methods as well as techniques for accessing and working in humid/wet conditions. The cost is $400 a person; private instruction is $500 a person.
The Tropical Ecology Climbing Course (Canopy Access Techniques) is taught each Christmas break and again from June 15 to July 13 in coastal rainforest/swamp forest at the Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation field station at Boca del Drago, Panama. The course is recommended for both undergraduates and graduate students in various biological research programs, and those interested in adventure education and recreation. It includes a full spectrum of climbing instruction in all of the above methods, lectures in tropical ecology, individual research, potential course credit, 3-day field trip to a nearby highlands cloud forest, and immersion in local culture. For more information call instructor Joe Maher at 706-531-4516 in the U.S., or in Panama (during the summer and at Christmas) at 011-507-6-599-2794. Or you can cleck the field station website at www.itec-edu.org. The cost is variable and does not include transportation to or from Panama.
Tree Trek Exploaration * 251 Oak Grove Road * Dawsonville, GA 30534 * 706-974-1630 * Bill@treetrek.net
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