Photo: Chad Coleman

When you were nine years old, you could probably scale a backyard oak like a spider monkey. These days you’d be better off climbing trees in in ropes and a harness, a technique used by the group New Tribe.

What happened when Seattle Met’s Matthew Halverson took his fear of heights up a tall black walnut? Well, he didn’t exactly bond with Mother Earth or swing from limb to limb with grace:

I should clarify, though, that we’re not climbing this tree the way you scrambled up the maple in your backyard as a kid. We’re wearing helmets, we’re using ropes and harnesses, and we’re rarely touching the tree with our hands or feet. Aided by nothing more than a couple knots that are more secure than they look, we’re hoisting ourselves up a line alongside the trunk the way you’d lower yourself down into a cave.

Read about his adventure in rope-assisted tree climbing here and find out how you can take a class. If you build a tree fort, let us know.

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