Climb me if you can

Vchoice — By on March 21, 2011 7:59 PM
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Tree Climbing classes in Hong Kong

Reporter: Christine Tai Lai Chi

If you are bored with the wetland park and rope climbing nets have lost their appeal, consider taking a trip to the countryside where you can breathe in fresh air while getting strong and nimble. Consider tree climbing.

Tree climbers need to do sufficient warm-up exercises, especially for their arms. This sport requires a lot of forearm and wrist strength. Once the tree climbers have warmed up, they throw a rope onto a tree and knot it. Finally, they can start climbing with the help of different tools like safety belts and goggles. Equipment used in tree climbing resembles those used for climbing rocks but is made from different materials, and can be borrowed from Tree Climbing Hong Kong, a learning centre at Sheung Shui.

These days, tree climbing classes are not just for horticultural professionals. They are also a leisure activity for all ages. Classes usually last for half a day or even longer. Beginners are usually taught the basic skills of self protection, knotting and climbing.

Li Kwok-man, a climbing specialist with years of tree climbing experience, has taught tree climbing since 2008. “Learners always feel it’s dangerous at the beginning, being afraid of falling from high trees,” Li says the students find it easier after getting used to the protective equipment and safety measures. After a few hours, they are able to walk along the branches.

Li strongly recommends the activity to teenagers who can challenge themselves through this sport. “Climbing trees makes people become more confident,” Li says. “When people climb up high on the tree, they feel like they can conquer nature.”

Li says it is also a good and fun way to get in touch with nature. “As trees are alive, the feeling after climbing trees is totally different from climbing rocks.”

Tree climbing can even become a career, Li adds, but frequent exercise, practice and experience are required to pass the certified examinations.

If all this has got you interested, then just one gentle reminder – not every tree can be climbed! When you reach an advanced level, you will learn about taxonomy, biology and structures of trees, so you can pick the best “climbing partner”. Then you can climb hard, play hard in a safer way.

Tree climbing classes are often open to the public. For more information, please visit http://www.treeclimbing.hk/

 

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