Tree-climbing gains popularity as a full-body, outdoor workout
By Markia A. Holt
Published: Friday, June 28, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
Tree-climbing is emerging as a recreational sport, similar to rock-climbing.
St. Louis instructor Guy Mott says tree-climbing builds muscles and can lead to improved fitness and weight loss.
“If you engage in a tree-climb, it is a full-body workout. It is much more interactive and therapeutic to be outside as opposed to a gym,” Mott said. “It helps people to gain an appreciation for nature.”
Because of the rope-and-harness system, participants need only basic physical ability, such as being able to easily climb a flight of stairs, he said.
Mott is a certified arborist who teaches a class in climbing through St. Louis Community College.
Heather Allen, 34, is a St. Louis Community College staff member who took the course in April. “We learned about tree biology, how to tie various types of rope knots and, of course, how to maneuver through the tree branches,” Allen said. “With the help of the harness, we were able to get really high up in the trees. It was amazing.”
Climbing begins by placing ropes over branches in tree crotches, providing strong anchor points. Each rope goes through a leather sleeve to protect the tree. Students then don a tree-climber's saddle and helmet. Participants also have the option to wear gloves, which improves grip and guards against rope burns.
Bill Henske, 42, is a teacher at Maplewood Richmond Heights School District whom Mott trained to work with his students. Tree-climbing, he said, “acts as a powerful metaphor teaching students to conquer challenges and their fears.”
Markia A. Holt is a staff writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.