Climb with us in the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts and learn the joy and freedom of tree climbing. Wildcat Tree Climbing offers the opportunity to learn the basics of recreational tree climbing and arborist tree climbing to enable you to set off on your own and climb the trees that will fill your life with fresh air, fun, healthy adventure, and a unique and thrilling sport -- or enable you to compete with other professional scientists or tree workers who use climbing methods (not bucket trucks) to do their work.
Wildcat Tree Climbing & Care is located in Williamsburg Mass, just 20 minutes from I-91, a few miles west of the Connecticut River Valley and the Five-College area of Northampton-Amherst-South Hadley. We provide opportunities to train in the deciduous forests -- oaks, birches, and maples -- of the New England bioregion. Got a special back country hiking and climbing adventure in mind? Tell us what you’d like. Ask about possibilities for camping or other local accommodations.
We offer complete classes for both Recreational Climbers and for Tree Workers and Arborists.
Wildcat Tree Climbing offers everything from very simple to extreme adventure climbing opportunities, with a range of challenges for people of varying levels of comfort and physical ability.
Our NETC trained and certified instructors invite you to join them in Massachusetts, where they will empower and guide you to get off the ground and into the realms of squirrels, the haunts of crows and owls, and the arms of New England’s rooted giants.
Patient and thorough teaching skills are complemented by attention to responsible behavior and safety. Knowledgeable about wildlife and the environment, we share a general love for all things outdoors and a passion for adventure. Keith has climbed some of the world’s higher mountains and explored the world’s most fantastic forest ecosystems (e.g. Congo, Madagascar, Sumatra, Thailand, Vancouver Island). The skills taught in our Basic and Advanced tree climbing classes will enable you to move in and out of trees safely, comfortably, and efficiently -- whether you are an arborist, tree worker, outdoor enthusiast, sport climber, professional scientist (primatologist, botantist, ornithologist, climatologist, leaf collector, bug catcher, etc), or professional photographer or other.
Wildcat Tree Climbing is also available for educational visits to share “show and tell” presentations to schools, camps and communities -- exposing people of all ages to different tree climbing equipment, and educating people about forest ecology, endangered species and environmental stewardship. Our presentations include stunning photography of forest ecosystems and wildlife taken all over the world. We welcome all questions and inquiries about working with groups in the woods or in the classroom. Our presentations include stunning photography of forest ecosystems and wildlife taken by professional photographer / photojournalist Keith Harmon Snow.
The "Care" in Wildcat Tree Climbing & Care relates to our professional and competitive tree care services, from tree trimming and pruning to tree felling and removal.
Wildcat Tree Climbing also offers custom tree climbing classes. Please contact us to discuss climbing in redwood forests or tropical rain forests.
Please contact us to determine availability and scheduling dates of classes.
The BASIC TREE CLIMBING class (BTC) is for adventure seekers, sport climbers and tree workers who want to “learn the ropes and get off the ground”. This is a one-day intensive that moves straight into the trees to practice basic skills of both the Double (DdRT) and Single (SRT) rope techniques plus demonstrate many of the new climbing devices available. You will learn to install the ropes in the trees, tie and use a variety of climbing knots, and ascend and descend both with the knots but also with other (technical) equipment. We will discuss equipment use and care; choice of ropes for different applications; advantages and disadvantages of various equipment and or knots. You can expect to do at least 5 climbs during the class (effort and achievement vary individual-to-individual: some people are more aggressive and climb faster and harder than others: its all up to you, your comfort, skill and adventure level). Class size is limited to a minimum of two people, and a maximum of four. No equipment is required, we have plenty of saddles, ropes, and technical gear to choose from and try out. This class is a prerequisite to the ADVANCED TREE CLIMBING and BASIC TREE WORK classes.
* The Basic Tree climbing (BTC) class is a "pre-requisite" to the ATC & BTW courses. Those interested in taking the ATC or BTW courses must demonstrate that they are proficient in basic DRT/SRT climbing styles or they must first take the BTC course.
The ADVANCED TREE CLIMBING class (ATC) is for people who have already taken the BASIC TREE CLIMBING prerequisite (or anyone interested who can demonstrate BASIC proficiency and knowledge of DRT & SRT systems). Building on the basic skills and knowledge gained in the first class, participants will be guided to explore the possibilities for employing more advanced methods and techniques for tree access, movement, maneuverability and descent. The class will go deeper into various methodologies used for DdRT and SRT. The practical application of lanyards, using and alternating between multiple climb-positioning systems, and a deeper study of the risks and dangers of tree climbing will be addressed.
*The Basic Tree climbing (BTC) class is a "pre-requisite" to the ATC & BTW courses. Those interested in taking the ATC or BTW courses must demonstrate that they are proficient in basic DRT/SRT climbing styles or they must first take the BTC course.
The BASIC TREE WORK class is specifically designed for individuals involved in the tree care industry or heading into this field as worker or careerist. Tree workers and arborists with tree climbing skills and knowledge have a professional edge on others lacking these skills. Tree climbing work using saws is an extremely dangerous activity however, and must be approached with the greatest respect and caution and awareness and education. The basic use of pole saws, hand saws, top-handled chain saws in elevated situations is taught, along with basic tree work-based work-positioning methods. Equipment not used in the BASIC and ADVANCED TREE CLIMBING classes essential for safe, efficient and successful tree work will be demonstrated. These include: pole saws, hand saws, rigging pulleys, tree climbing spikes, specialized lanyards, pulleys, rigging gear and ropes, and, especially, your PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT. Climbing for sport in a saddle and rope is one thing, hauling your self into a tree and working with a chain saw, hand saw, steel-lanyards, and PPE is another thing entirely.
*The Basic Tree Climbing (BTC) class is a "pre-requisite" to the ATC & BTW courses. Those interested in taking the ATC or BTW courses must demonstrate that they are proficient in basic DRT/SRT climbing styles or they must first take the BTC course.