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Climbing class offers views of the world

If you have ever fantasized about climbing way, way up into a tree, Tim Kovar has the means to make that fantasy come true.

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTOS - Two young boys frolic in the treetops during a one-day tree-climbing course in Oregon City.Kovar, founder of Tree Climbing Planet, a one-of-a-kind professional tree-climbing school with its home base in Oregon City, has a one-day intro course teaching anyone over the age of 8 how to climb a tree.

The next class, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 23, is designed as an introduction to the basics. Participants will learn about tree-climbing techniques, equipment, knot tying, rope placement and basic tree inspection.

Kovar advises people to register early since there are only eight students per class. Spots fill up quickly.

“It’s a unique opportunity for the public to spend time in the treetops, using techniques that canopy researchers use to experience a rarely explored world that rests right above our heads,” Kovar said.

Tree Climbing Planet

Kovar, a master tree-climbing instructor with 20 years of teaching experience, moved to Oregon in 2004. He originally worked with New Tribe, a Grants Pass company that makes recreational tree-climbing gear used worldwide.

In 2005, he co-founded Tree Climbing Northwest, which was operated by New Tribe, and then in 2010, he branched out on his own and founded Tree Climbing Planet.

“It became a bit of a challenge for our international students to get to our location in southern Oregon, so after a few years of teaching there, I moved my school to the Portland area, which made life much easier for myself, and easier travel for the students,” Kovar said.

“We teach individuals how to access the canopies of the world for a variety of reasons, including science, ecotourism, photography, video production and research. Some of our special work is with physically challenged students, getting them out of their wheelchairs and into the canopy. We also offer international tree-climbing expeditions to remote locations like the Amazon jungle,” he added.

“Tree climbing is a great way to reconnect with nature and a safe activity for the whole family. We occasionally offer day trips into the tops of the trees for private parties. If you'd like the ultimate tree-climbing adventure, you should sign up for our ZZZs in the Trees, overnight campout high up in the branches of a mighty oak tree,” Kovar said.

Passion for trees

Students of all ages come to Kovar, and some have very specific reasons why they want to climb trees.

A couple of years ago a 69-year-old woman called Kovar and told him she needed to climb the endangered trees of the world and she needed to do it now.

“I was a little concerned because she was turning 70 in a couple of months, and her list of where she wanted to climb was pretty radical, even for a professional tree climber,” he said.

The woman traveled to Oregon City for two weeks of training, and during her class time, Kovar learned more about her vision.

“She is a world traveler and has seen the destruction of the planet, and especially the forest. first-hand. On her 69th birthday, she got this idea to go to these forests and document what is left. As her vision grew, she decided if she was going to write about the trees, perhaps it would best to do it from the eyes of the trees, high up in their branches,” Kovar said.

After her training she started the process of fundraising and has made a couple of international trips to the Amazon. Read her story at wildtreewalker.com.

Outdoor classroom

TCP’s main location is in Oregon City on 150 acres of forested farmland. Mature oak trees with wide crowns and suitable branches serve as the outdoor classroom, making learning easy for the novice. The site also contains a variety of big-leaf maples, giant Douglas firs and western red cedars, which play important roles as teachers.

For more information, including a class schedule, visit treeclimbingplanet.com; registration for classes also is available on the website. Send an email to Tim Kovar, international master tree-climbing instructor, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 404-313-0562.




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