Orange County tree climbing business goes to new heights
There's a new business in the Triangle that will take you to heights you may not have achieved since you were a kid.Posted — Updated
There's a new business in the Triangle that will take you to heights you may not have achieved since you were a kid.
"There certainly is plenty of interest," he tells me. "Slots are filling up quickly for the summer."
People have, of course, been climbing trees for centuries. But, "recreational tree climbing" began to take off about two decades ago when it started in the Atlanta area. Since then, it's sprouted, so to speak, around the world, including Japan where it's very popular, Brandt said.
"It’s almost impossible to get hurt," he said. "It’s certainly impossible to fall. Everything is way over engineered in order to be super safe."
"I love being outside and I thought it would be a new way to enjoy being outdoors," he said. "I like the peacefullness of being up in the trees and having a new perspective on the forest."
Climbs, at the moment, are scheduled in Orange County's Blackwood Farm Park and River Park from May to October. The fee is $18 per climber for a 50-minute climb. A portion of the ticket price goes to help maintain the parks where climbs are scheduled. Private tree climbs also are available.
They are designed for ages 6 and up and of all abilities. "I've had gray haired ladies who have climbed with me and have had a great time," he said.
Strength also isn't required. There are setups that give the climber a mechanical advantage, for instance. Brandt said it is definitely possible for children and adults with disabilities to climb using their own power. Climbers can rise between 50 to 80 feet in the air depending on the tree they climb.
Brandt tells me that he'd like to continue climbs all year, as long as the weather is good and the people keep signing up.
"I want to give people an opportunity to get outside and get into a tree," he said. "I find that when people - as soon as they are up in the tree - they have a much bigger appreciation for trees and nature and ecosystems. Time just slows down when you are in the tree. It really helps you see how amazing these plants and trees are."
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