In our series on the topic of micro-adventures, Daniel Zuberbühler and Pascal Haltiner from Fajro will show you what a micro-adventure takes and present ideas for excursions. In today's post they present an alternative for rock climbing: tree climbing!

A contribution by Daniel Zuberbühler and Pascal Haltiner from Fajro - with the support of Seat to Summit

Not many have the luxury of living close to and within walking distance of a climbing area. Nevertheless, nothing stands in the way of the climbing adventure right on your doorstep. You can find trees that can be climbed everywhere - be it in the country or in the middle of the city. Off to the micro-adventure tree climbing.

If you find a good tree, you can even enjoy the time on it for a while and have a coffee. Before you pack your seven things and set off, we'll give you a few tips on the way.

Why climb trees?

You can find trees (almost) everywhere. Countless tree climbing routes in the most varied of difficulty areas are just waiting to be discovered by you. All year round, without long climbs and without entrance fee. Branches, knots, holes in the bark, small and large branches - when climbing a tree there are a number of interesting holds and steps that will help you on your way to the top of the tree. And when you arrive at the treetop you have a fantastic view of the neighboring trees, the surroundings and the life that takes place in the treetop.

Everyone has their own challenge: professional climber Chris Sharma climbs a sequoia tree. (Photo Keith Ladzinski / Red Bull Content Pool)

How does tree climbing work?

You don't need any special equipment for tree climbing, your usual climbing equipment is sufficient. You need these things for tree climbing:

  • climbing rope
  • harness
  • 5-10 tape loops for attaching intermediate securing devices
  • Carbine
  • A climbing partner

The climbing and belaying technique is the same as for clean climbing. Belt loops that are placed around side branches or the main trunk serve as securing means. They are attached by the person in the lead and removed again by the climber who follows.

As with rock climbing, safety devices are attached by the person in the lead.

Particular care should be taken when attaching fuses to trees. Use thick loops of tape so that you don't damage the bark of the trunk and the branches. Injuries to the bark provide a good breeding ground for fungi, bacteria and other tree diseases.

Professional climber Chris Sharma also climbs trees

Tree climbing check: You have to pay attention to this before climbing

There are a few factors to consider when climbing trees. For the sake of simplicity we have put together a tree check. You can examine the tree from the bottom up for possible dangers or damage from three perspectives: wide-angle view, trunk, crown.

Wide angle view

It is advisable to start looking at the tree from a distance. If you stand too close to the tree, it is often difficult to spot electrical lines or nests of stinging insects. For this it is also advisable to pay attention to noises such as the hum of hornets, bees or wasps.


Inspect the trunk for bark integrity. A lack of bark can be an indication of a pest infestation or pathogen. Cracks and crevices along the bark are also a warning notice. Such trees should be avoided.

Crown look

If you discover dead branches near the ground of the tree, this is normal and usually due to the fact that these branches are getting too little sunlight. Dead branches in the upper area, however, indicate that the tree is dying. Trees with a collection of dead branches in the upper crown area should therefore not be climbed.

Particular caution is advised here during the leaf-free period.

While dead branches are relatively easy to recognize in summer due to the lack of leaves, this is more difficult in winter and the leaf-free period.

Five tips for the micro-adventure tree climbing

  1. The key point is often right at the beginning. The lower the lower branches hang, the easier it is to get in. Because as soon as you are in the branches, the hardest part is over.
  2. Always climb close to the trunk whenever possible. First, you have the most options for climbing there, and second, the places that connect the branches to the tree are the most stable.
  3. You should make sure that the branch you are securing yourself to is at least six inches in diameter. Branches that have a smaller diameter could break in a possible fall.
  4. When descending, stick to the path that you already chose for the ascent. There you know that the branches are stable and carry you.
  5. Due to the large number of side branches, conifers offer many opportunities for climbing, but lead to heavy soiling of the climbing rope, especially from the resin. That is why we mostly choose deciduous trees for our tree climbing micro-adventures. 

Here we go. The trees are calling

Series of articles with ideas and tips for micro adventures

Now it's your turn. Over the next six months, with the support of Sea to Summit, we will introduce you to one micro adventure per month and let you immerse yourself in the world of micro adventures. As part of our series of articles, we will give you monthly tips for your outdoor excursions until the end of the year. Until then: Call your friend or delight your girlfriend, go out with your family and pack your backpack. Now is the right time for a little big adventure. We'll see you outside!

Fajro specializes in experiential pedagogy and action-oriented learning, nature coaching, accompanying development processes and jointly exploring new paths. We are outside and make use of nature as a living space of experience.

When we at Fajro speak of micro-adventure, we mean the pleasurable and playful immersion in nature. An immersion that will sooner or later take everyone, young or old, out of their daily grind - into a world full of voyages of discovery and deceleration. Micro-adventures should open up the little wonders that are often unseen on the doorstep and inspire individuals and families to go outside. Having time for yourself, with friends or for family is almost as valuable as gold in our current reality and if you don't have enough time for big adventures, then you should just make them smaller. With the series of articles we would like to invite you people to brave the outdoors and immerse yourself in many micro-adventures.

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Credits: Images by Keith Ladzinski / Red Bull Content Pool