Open Enrollment

Learn Climbing Mechanics and Ecology

Our open-enrollment courses are offered through the Missouri Botanical Garden and Shaw Nature Reserve. Registration and payment for these programs are handled exclusively by the Missouri Botanical Garden.  If you are interested in learning to climb trees on your own or would like to book a private program, check out our basic tree climbing course and educational programs.

  • Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Shaw Nature Reserve
  • Non-Members: $43.00 per Person
  • Missouri Botanical Garden Members: $35.00 per Person

This introductory two-hour single-pitch climbing experience for up to 12 climbers is the perfect place to start tree climbing.  The program is designed for first-time climbers, with an emphasis on basic mechanics, tree climbing techniques and safety, but also includes an introduction to trees, including the diversity of trees among us, and their ecological role in our world.


A “Take Off” Point for an Exceptional Program

We introduce each other, give participants a brief overview of what they will do, and in doing so, create a “take off” point for an exceptional program.  We also cover “what to do” and “what not to do” for the best and safest experience.

Ground School

Learn About Safety and Responsibility

We give each participant an appropriately sized helmet and saddle.  After everyone is geared up, our guides demonstrate the Double Rope Technique method for ascending the tree.  We believe it’s the safest and easiest-to-teach method of ascending a tree.  We conclude Ground School by reminding each participant of their safety responsibilities while climbing.

Canopy Climbing Experience

A Different Perspective

This is the meat of the program – the climbing.  Participants practice what they’ve learned during Ground School and they ascend their climbing system to enter the canopy.  We encourage them to look around, learn, and “hang out”.  We’ve found that after climbing the tree, climbers have a new and different perspective about their experience — far more powerful than merely reading or watching a demonstration.


Share Your Experience with the Group

Vertical Voyages creates an exceptional “landing” experience to maximize what climbers have just experienced and learned.  Climbers share their experience with the group.  We link the physical climbing experience with the educational and ecological messages we’ve given, emphasizing the importance of our forest resources.