Recreational Tree Climbing

  ►Private Instruction for Anyone

One participant $288
Two, Three, or Four Participants $164/person
More than Four Participants Call 607-254-2798

Recreational Tree Climbing is a comprehensive course for individuals or small groups wishing to learn how to climb trees safely. Taught by our senior tree staff, this class covers all the basic skills of tree hazard assessment, line placement, ascending, descending and moving around in the canopy. All equipment is included. No experience is necessary. Three classes of four hours each.


Canopy Researcher Training

►Scientists and Professionals

One participant $388
Two, three, or four participants $212/person
More than four participants Call 607-254-2798

This course is aimed at researchers who need to access and move around in canopies. This course covers SRT and DRT techniques in four sessions of four hours each, or two sessions of eight hours. We put special emphasis on low impact canopy movement and gear organization. Several of our senior staff have extensive experience climbing in the tropical rain forest and will be able to assist you not only with climbing, but also safety issues specific to tropical climbing environments.


Educator's Recreational Tree Climbing

►People wanting to learn to Teach Tree Climbing

One participant $388
Two, three, or four participants $212/person
More than four participants Call 607-254-2798

In four sessions of four hours, or two sessions of eight hours, this course employs basic climbing systems to explore teaching progressions and procedures for managing groups in the treetops. In addition to the standard recreational tree climbing curriculum, this course covers rigging for rescue and supervision of participants in a treetop overnight. Experience with basic climbing and lowering skills is suggested. All gear is included.


Youth Recreational Tree Climbing

►Youth Groups, Birthday Parties

$45 / per Participant

Youth Recreational Tree Climbing is designed to help kids ages 8 to 18 learn how to climb trees safely. Participants will learn the basics of getting ropes into trees, ascending a fixed line up, and rappelling back down to the ground. All gear is provided, and no experience is necessary- a great beginning lesson for a scout group, youth club, or birthday party expedition. Minimum of three hours. Minimum groups size is four participants.  (For kids under age 8 we recommend Private Instruction. See the listing above.)






Custom Courses

If you are interested in designing a custom course, below is a sample list of lessons that we could incorporate in a course.

  • Tree hazard identification
  • Line insertion
  • Hauling
  • Single rope techniques
  • Double rope techniques
  • Alternative climbing styles (direct aid, unicender, etc.)
  • Rappelling
  • Tree to tree traverse
  • Managing students in trees
  • High Angle Rescue


PE Credit Tree Climbing

►Cornell Students and Community

Students $295
Staff / Faculty $325
Community and the Public $370

Our PE credit courses are offered three times per semester in Ithaca, New York, and once a year in Costa Rica. Taught in a group setting, these courses cover the basics of tree hazard assessment, line placement, ascending, descending and moving around in the canopy. We visit several locations around the areas, sampling a few different environments and tree species. A much anticipated highlight of our local and international courses is the tree overnight. We have the option of camping out on our tree platforms or sleeping suspended in hammocks between branches of the same tree! All equipment is included in the course fee. For more information see our PE climbing courses page.


Redwoods Tree Climbing

Join Cornell Tree Climbing Institute staff for the experience of a lifetime - climbing some of the largest trees on the planet! In late May we will travel to the western slope of the High Seirra mountains of California. We'll spend the week assisting the UC Berkeley Department of Forest Ecology with Giant Sequoia restoration and ecology research.

You will learn the basics of roped tree climbing, including ascending, moving around in the canopy, rappelling - even moving from tree to tree without returning to the ground. We will stay in a rustic mountain house with electricty, running water, and hot showers. All gear, instruction, food and lodging, and on-ground transportation is included in the course fee.

For more information check out the details on the web or contact Mark Holton at or 607-254-2798.


Madagascar Tree Climbing Expedition

Join Cornell Tree Climbing in collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences for a one-of-a-kind exploratory expedition to Madagascar, Africa this December. We will spend ten days learning to climb in the rugged and remote Ranomafana National Park. As a participant in this inquiry-based expedition, you will gain first hand experience in the field of tropical forest canopy research. 

During the day, hands-on professional instruction will take place in small groups with a 3:1 student-instructor ratio. This course offers an opportunity to experience a critically endangered habitat full of endemic species including lemurs and over 1,000 species of orchids.  In the evenings, we will stay in the nearby research station with hot showers and beds at Centre ValBio.

Your instructors combined have over three decades of teaching experience. Curriculum will include: tree selection, risk assessment, line insertion, Single Rope and Double Rope climbing and overall safety.  Your instructors are teaching towards mastery, and by the end of the course you can expect to be able to climb a tree without the assistance of your instructor.  More information