My answer: A few hours ago!
If you had asked me yesterday, though, I would have struggled to think of the last time I climbed a tree. Probably when I was around 9 years old–there were a few trees in our yard that I could shimmy up.
But then yesterday a friend went to the Botanical Gardens here in St. Louis and discovered that a local organization called The Warrior’s Way was helping people climb a massive gumball tree. She gave it a try, and it sounded like a fun workout, so I went with another friend today.
As you can see in the photo, the ropes were pre-strung to the tree. You wear a harness, learn a few simple techniques, and then start “climbing.” For each step in the climb, you’re straightening one of your legs while pulling on the rope. Then you lean back and relax as long as you want to before moving up another few feet.
I wasn’t sure I’d like it, and for the first few feet I was still quite dubious. But I got a few additional pointers from the very friendly crew, and after that it was SO MUCH FUN. It was a workout, but it was also surprisingly relaxing. There’s no pressure, no race, and plenty of time to relax and chat.
I happened to be attached to the tallest branch on the tree, which was probably around 40 feet in the air (at the very top of the above photo). My friend’s rope ended at 30 feet, so she took a photo from her top position as I neared my final branch:
I’ve tried rock climbing, and while I’d like to try it again, I think I’d be more inclined to try this style of tree climbing again. It was awesome, and I highly recommend it. Also, it’s a good chance to find out if you’re afraid of heights!
When was the last time you climbed a tree?