Climb into the crown of a 200-foot redwood

  • January 5th, 2016  

    LOS GATOS, Calif. – Jan. 5, 2016 – Those fortunate enough to spend time in California’s majestic old-growth redwood forests know the awe-inspiring appeal of being surrounded by the ancient giants, though few have experienced the magic of the forest roof top.

    In March, individuals will have the rare opportunity to go on a vertical hike into the crown of a 200-foot coastal redwood in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The three-hour guided climb will be led by Tim Kovar, master tree climbing instructor with Portland, Oregon-based Tree Climbing Planet and Cameron Williams, redwood biologist with the Department of Integrative Biology, University of California at Berkeley.

    This will be the fourth time Kovar and Williams have teamed up to offer the guided climb into an approximately 850-year-old redwood located on private property. “The landowner, who graciously granted us access again this year, shares our enthusiasm and passion for redwood education,” said Kovar.

    The redwood canopy’s diverse ecosystem is often compared to that of coral reefs, taking several centuries to form into its current state. The decomposition of needles and fallen foliage on large branches create rich soil that supports thick moss mats and hosts a variety of flora and fauna.

    Because of the delicate ecosystem, the climb is only offered once a year to a limited number of climbers to minimize the disruption of the tree’s natural cycle and to the inhabitants that call the tree home. Using specialized ropes and equipment designed specifically for canopy access, participants are guided safely into the forest canopy with care and respect to the tree and surrounding environment.

    Dates for the climbs are March 20 through 27. Offered twice daily to groups of four climbers, participants may register for either the morning climb from 9 a.m. – Noon, or in the afternoon from 1 – 4 p.m. The $275 per-person registration fee covers gear rental, instruction and insurance. No experience necessary and must be in good physical condition and at least 18 years old to participate. For additional information or to register, contact Kovar at

    About Tree Climbing Planet

    For close to 20 years, Master Tree Climbing Instructor Tim Kovar has been climbing trees and providing instruction in the remote jungles of the world. Kovar has taught tree climbing to canopy researchers worldwide, including ornithologists in Indonesia, primatologists in Uganda, entomologists in Ethiopia, and herpetologists in India and Central America. He has worked extensively with domestic and international researchers studying tree biology, forest ecology and the effects of climate change.

    He consults with eco-tour operators and guides tree climbing expeditions in India, Asia, Central America and the Amazon basin. He also works with film crews, photographers and writers and served as the personal tree climbing instructor to Richard Preston, author of New York Times bestseller, The Wild Trees.

    Kovar began his career as an arborist and lead instructor at Tree Climbers International in Atlanta, Ga., where he helped develop the standardized instruction being taught around the world. In 2011, he founded Tree Climbing Planet (TCP), a Portland, Ore. and Nashville, Tenn.-based technical and recreational tree climbing school. Prior to TCP, he co-created Tree Climbing Northwest, which was operated by New Tribe, a manufacturer of recreational tree climbing gear. For more information call 404.313.0562 or visit