Climbing the Amazonian trees


the first tree climbing school west of the Rockies to bring you, official Tree Climbers, International standard courses and unforgettable adventures, right here in southern Oregon.

New Tribe’s school is possible thanks to our great friend Tim Kovar, a Master Instructor with Tree Climbers International, who moved to Oregon in the summer of 2005 and joined the New Tribe staff.

Have Tree Will Travel

Tim keeps a regular calendar of tree climbing courses and adventures based here in southern Oregon. He is also glad to travel, bringing the courses to you. Wherever you are in the world, contact Tim to learn more about arranging for this service.

About Tim

Tim “Tengu” Kovar first started climbing trees in the late 1970s in a small Midwestern US town. The treetops were a place to escape from the world below and the competition that comes with being a young boy. To this day Tim likes to disappear into the treetops.

In the early 1990s, Tim moved from Nebraska to Atlanta, Georgia, where he was training at a local Ninjutsu dojo when he first met Peter “Treeman” Jenkins, founder of Tree Climbers International. A bond was created. Tim started working with Peter as an arborist for Peter’s local tree care company. It wasn’t until after 6 months of doing tree work that Tim became aware of Peter’s recreational tree climbing school. “I asked Peter why it took him so long to inform me about his school,” said Kovar. “He told me he knew I would switch gears and go into the recreational field. Peter said he wanted to give me some hardcore training as a professional tree worker first, so I could develop my climbing skills to teach others. He was right. As soon as I saw how tree climbing touches everyone’s heart, I knew this was part of my vision.”

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Since 1993 Tim has helped over 5,000 people worldwide to climb into the forest canopy and intensify their personal connection to the natural world. He has climbed and taught in eight countries, working with canopy researchers, people with disabilities, eco-tours, and international tree climbing schools. He has also led international tree climbing expeditions.

As a Master Instructor for Tree Climbers International, Tim helped design and fine-tune the tree climbing courses that are being taught worldwide.

Tim is currently living in Oregon and working with New Tribe, teaching basic and advanced tree-climbing courses and leading guided trips into some of the world’s tallest trees.

“Time is running out for our ancient forests. They need our help but cannot ask for it. It is up to us to see through the eyes of the Trees and to act to protect the forests. Let me take you where your child’s heart soars, and let the love of the Trees touch you in a way that nothing else can.


Basic Tree Climbing Course (BTCC)

This is the Tree Climbers International (TCI) famous Basic Tree Climbing Course, which has been taught to novice climbers worldwide. This course teaches the skills you need to climb a large tree on your own using Doubled Rope Technique (DRT). Information about selecting a good climbing tree and detecting potential hazards is presented in detail. You will learn how to tie climbing knots, repeating each knot many times to learn “muscle memory.” You’ll learn safety rules, as well as how to respect and care for the trees you climb. You’ll get coaching and plenty of time to practice everything you learn. When you finish this class you will receive two exams: a solo climbing exam, and a written exam covering course content.

Click here to view a complete list of BTCC Objectives and Course Outline.

Please note: This course is physically and mentally demanding. It requires considerable stamina. Your muscles may be sore and you will be tired at the end of each day. And you’ll have a lot of fun learning, and with successful course completion, you’ll be able to go out on your own to climb your favorite tree. A year’s membership in Tree Climbers International (a $20 value) is included in the price of this course.

Cost: $450.00 (2½ days)


This course will teach you how to spend some quality time aloft in comfort. You will learn about secondary lanyards, working with webbing, using pulleys, installing Treeboat Hammocks, and constructing a Treeboat village. We’ll even take a brief look at a cat rescue. This is a full day packed with new information and intense climbing. We will not take time to review any material from the BTCC, so please come prepared and well-rested. Students have the option of expanding this course into overnight in the treetop. Prerequisite is BTCC.

Click here to view a complete list of Rigging Course Objectives and Course Outline.

Cost: $200.00 (1 day)

$275.00 with optional overnight

Introduction to Single Rope Technique (SRT)

(Note: This one-day introductory SRT course is part of Tree Week.

Tim has also developed a stand-alone, comprehensive three-day SRT Basic course.

See below for a description of the newly expanded course.)

This one-day course will familiarize you with some of the tools used for SRT climbing. We will teach you how to place your lines and how to navigate around the canopy. You will learn self-rescue and practice it until you can do it blindfolded. At the end of this day, you will be prepared to climb any tree up to 150 feet tall. Prerequisites: BTCC and Rigging

Click here to view a complete list of Intro to SRT Course Objectives and Course Outline.

Cost $250.00 (1 day)

Basic Single Rope Technique (SRT)

A Tree Climbing Northwest Exclusive

Tree Climbing Northwest is pleased to announce the addition of a new course to our schedule. The Basic SRT Course is designed for climbers whose focus is on ascending taller trees, those with summit branches at about 80 feet or higher.

This 3-day course is more intensive than the 1-day Introduction to SRT. The SRT Basic Course goes much deeper into canopy access, equipment use, and rigging tall trees. We will be on the rope for most of the class at heights up to 150 feet. This course is both physically and mentally demanding. If you are concerned about the fear of heights, we recommend you prepare for this course by first taking the Basic Tree Climbing Course (BTCC) and Introduction to SRT. However, this is a basic course and no previous climbing experience or training is required.

Topics include:

—tree selection

—identifying hazards in trees

—gear selection and maintenance

—line placement

—line movement

—methods of ascending

—methods of descending


You will get plenty of time to practice all that you learn, assuring that these techniques are deeply rooted in your “muscle memory.” By the end of the class, you will be able to perform a switch-over (changing from ascending to descending while suspended on a rope) blindfolded.

We will end the class with a field trip to the New Tribe workshop, where you will meet our staff and have an opportunity to purchase tree climbing gear like what you used in the class.

This is an intensive course and enrollment is limited to two students per class. This guarantees you’ll receive plenty of personal attention from the instructor. Because space is so limited, we urge you to sign up as early as possible to reserve your place for the dates you prefer.

Cost $550.00 (3 days)

Cost $475.00 for graduates of Introduction to SRT


BTCC, Rigging, and Intro to SRT

Welcome to the ultimate tree camp. Tree Week is an intense learning experience for those who want the most out of a tree-climbing seminar. The first 2 ½ days will cover the BTCC, after which we’ll go directly into the Rigging class, and then on to the Introductory SRT course. The last day and a half will be open time to play, practice new skills, catch up on notes, and ask questions. The last night we will construct a Treeboat village and sleep in the treetops under the stars.

This is a great way to dive into tree time and spend some quality time with your instructor. When you leave class, you leave with confidence.

Click here to view a complete list of Tree Week Course Objectives and Course Outline.

Cost $900.00 (7 days)

Facilitator Course

We believe everyone should have the opportunity to see through the eyes of the trees. In the Facilitators Course, you will learn how to safely and proficiently share the tree climbing experience with others.

We will teach you how to prepare your climbing site and your trees. You will learn how to give a gear talk and orientation when working with first-time climbers. The physiological boundaries that your climbers may face will be covered in detail. You will learn a special climbing system that gives access to tree climbing to some people with disabilities, and to those who are older or overweight. Rescue techniques will be covered and practiced every day of class. You will learn about the three different types of rescue situations and how to deal with each one. The rescue portion of the class is physically demanding. You will help facilitate a climb, and you will lead at least one climbing event on your own.

You must be proficient and comfortable with DRT climbing before attempting to bring others into the tree. To earn TCI Facilitator certification, you will be required to pass a rescue test, a written and a climbing exam, and follow-up course requirements.

Click here to view a complete list of Facilitator Course Objectives and Course Outline.

If you are with an organization, we highly recommend that at least two from your organization participate in the course. Specialized facilitator training for camps or groups of climbers with special needs is available upon request. Please call for details. Prerequisite: BTCC and other requirements.

Cost $750.00 (3½ days)

Triple Crown Knot

Tree Climbing Adventures

Guided Tree Climbing Experiences

Introductory Public Tree Climb

This climb is open to the public for people of all ages. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon with like-minded folks! Bring family and friends, and don’t forget the camera. We provide all the safety gear and our certified Tree Climbing Instructor ties all the knots. After a brief introduction and a few warm-ups, we’ll put you into a special tree climbing harness and helmet, and teach you how to work the ropes and special knots to propel yourself up into the canopy and safely descend back to the ground.

No experience is necessary and minimal physical strength is required. If you’re seeking an adventure without the worries, then come hang out with us! Reservations are not necessary, but for parties of 5 or more, please call in advance.

Introductory Climb locations and schedule for Grants Pass and Cave Junction will be announced as soon as this information is available.

Cost: $12.00 per person (2:00-4:00 pm)

Private Group Tree Climb

A private group climb is similar to the Introductory Climb, but with special attention devoted to you and your group.

You can organize your own special tree climbing day. It’s a wonderful activity for birthday parties, church groups, scouting groups and after school programs.

Perhaps you’re with a scout troop and would like to learn some new knots, or maybe you’re an outdoor educator who would like to learn more about trees and their role in the ecosystem. Or go out on a limb for your next family reunion–it’s a great way to get that “Family Tree” photo! Let us know your wishes and how we can create a special occasion for you. “The sky’s the limit!”

Cost: $20.00 per climber (3 hours)

$200.00 minimum

ZZZs in the Trees

Come join us for an unforgettable night in the upper reaches of the canopy. This is your opportunity to spend some magical time aloft, drifting into what we call “tree time.”

You will receive personal instruction on how to use technical tree climbing tools to ascend and descend safely, and you’ll practice until you can do it instinctively. Your instructor/guide will have all Treeboats in place when you arrive at the top, so you can nestle right into your treetop bed.

To minimize the impact on the tree, we limit groups to three participants per event. Please call for details for larger groups.

Starts at noon on day 1

Finishes by noon on day 2

Cost: $575 for 1 person

$800 for 2 persons

$1200 for 3 persons (maximum 3 participants)

Guided Climbs

We start this day with an introduction to ascending and descending safely using technical tree climbing equipment inside a controlled environment. Once you feel comfortable with the gear, we will drive out to a special climbing area where you’ll get some practice before climbing to the heights.

The half-day tree climb will give you a taste of what it is like to be 100 feet or more above the forest floor. The vista from the treetop overlooks the valleys and nearby mountain ranges. Bring a lunch and enjoy the view. And be sure to bring your camera, as your friends won’t believe what you’ve been up to!

Cost: $250 for 1 person (4 hours)

$400 for 2 persons

$600 for 3 persons (maximum 3 participants)