Classes for Professional Climbers

Classes for Professional Climbers

TCI Climbing Program for Entry-Level Tree Workers

double end lanyard practiceDouble end lanyard practice

In this five-day program, students learn the fundamentals of tree climbing and tree climbing safety for tree work. No experience is needed. Read more

Aerial Rescue Photos

Rescue5

Checking the victim's head position.

 

Rescue4

Positioning before landing.

 

Rescue1

Meet "Rescue Randy." He's ready to participate in every class.

Rescue2

Reassuring the victim.

 

Rescue6

Getting ready to take the victim off rope.

 

Rescue3

Bringing the victim down.

 

  • Rescue5
  • Rescue4
  • Rescue1
  • Rescue2
  • Rescue6
  • Rescue3
  • Rescue5

    Checking the victim's head position.

     

  • Rescue4

    Positioning before landing.

     

  • Rescue1

    Meet "Rescue Randy." He's ready to participate in every class.

  • Rescue2

    Reassuring the victim.

     

  • Rescue6

    Getting ready to take the victim off rope.

     

  • Rescue3

    Bringing the victim down.

     

  • Rescue5
  • Rescue4
  • Rescue1
  • Rescue2
  • Rescue6
  • Rescue3

Classes for Professional Climbers

TCI Climbing Program for Entry-Level Tree Workers

double end lanyard practiceDouble end lanyard practice

In this five-day program, students learn the fundamentals of tree climbing and tree climbing safety for tree work. No experience is needed. Read more

TCI Climbing Program for Entry-Level Tree Workers

Tree work is difficult and very dangerous. There is no middle ground when you work in the trees. What you do is either right, or it's wrong — with potentially disastrous results. That's why worker safety is our first concern and primary emphasis. Throughout our program, students learn the right way to do things as well as the right things to do so they are safe and their work is competent and efficient.

  • Prerequisites

    In good health with weight appropriate to height.
    Must speak some English.

  • Length of Program

    5 full days. Taught April through November.

  • Maximum Class Size

    3 students

  • Cost

    $1,200 per person

PRACTICAL TRAINING FOR WORKING CLIMBERS

LEARN SPIKELESS CLIMBING TECHNIQUES. No tree climbing experience necessary!

Most of our students have never climbed a tree with a rope and saddle. No worries. First you'll learn and practice everything you need to climb safely. Then we'll teach you more advanced techniques and skills that are used daily on the job. While some theory is taught, our emphasis is on practical, hands–on training. Most of your class time is spent in or under a tree. And, due to our small class size, you'll get plenty of individual help.

Download the Tree Worker Program Outline

Please visit our CALENDAR for our Spring 2022 class schedule.

YOUR INSTRUCTORS

TCI's Tree Worker Program instructors are known for their vast knowledge and experience, patience, and ability to communicate clearly.

  • Peter "Treeman" Jenkins

    Peter "Treeman" Jenkins

    "Treeman," the founder of TCI (in 1983), is an ISA-Certified Arborist with over 25 years of production climbing experience. He has also been teaching tree workers and recreational tree climbers at all skill levels for almost 40 years, with no accidents to date. Peter no longer climbs for tree work, but in addition to teaching, he is happily performing residential tree inspections for risks and hazards as a Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ) tree inspector. He is a founder and twice past-president of the Georgia Arborist Association.

  • Bret McKee

    Bret McKee

    Atlanta native Bret McKee started climbing with TCI in 2005. In addition to teaching the TCI Basic Tree Climbing Course to our students, Bret is an actor and accredited stunt performer, a 4th degree black belt in the Bujinkan school of martial arts, a certified deep diver, fluent in German, and a photographer. He also gets called on to do light tree work and cat and drone rescues.

  • TJ Convery

    TJ Convery

    T.J. Convery, “TreeJ,” is an outdoor enthusiast and adventurer. He has been doing tree work in Atlanta for over 25 years and is a member of the Georgia Arborist Association. TreeJ is also a life-long power boater, sailor, and boating safety instructor, as well as a Merchant Mariner (Captain). He does mission work with Honduras Outreach and United Methodist Men.

    • Jepson

      "I remember when I first started doing treework back in the '80's. Peter was one of my most influential climbing mentors. He was an effective teacher because he was both knowledgeable and passionate about what he does. And he is funny. What a great combination! Thanks, Peter!"

      Jeff Jepson
      Author, "The Tree Climber's Companion"
      and other books for tree climbers

    If you don't see any open dates on our calendar, please contact us with inquiries or to register. Make sure to include your phone number!

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT OUR PROGRAM: Please read it all the way through!

    • Covid-19

      Safety is TCI's highest priority: safety for our students and safety for our instructors. Fortunately, protection against Covid-19 and its variants is pretty easy, since the vaccinations are so effective against it. Also, TCI's courses are taught entirely outdoors, adding another layer of protection.

      TCI prefers that our students be vaccinated against Covid-19. However, we recognize that many of our students do not want to get the shots. As has been our policy in the past, we may require the wearing of masks if/when you are in close proximity to our instructors and the other students in the class.

      Thank you for your cooperation.

    • Cost

      The cost for this 5-day program is $1,200. We take a $400 deposit by credit card with course registration. The balance is due by cash or check on the first morning of class.

    • Scheduling

      TCI's class schedule is shown on our calendar. Most of our classes fill up quickly after we announce them. If you see an open class that you can attend, we urge you to sign up for it quickly. Call us to register — we do not register students by email.

      Sometimes we can schedule a class upon request. Call to see what's possible. A minimum of two students is required for a class to be confirmed.

    • Cancellation Policy

      CANCELLATION POLICY - PLEASE READ THE INFORMATION BELOW THOROUGHLY

      The success of each TCI class depends upon every student's participation. We schedule a maximum of only three students per course, and we do not overbook. If you don’t show up, your absence has a major impact on us and on people who are waiting to take our training.

      With that in mind, TCI has the following cancellation policy:

      If you need to cancel, you must call us at least three weeks ahead of time. (We prefer to know as soon as you know.) This gives someone on our waiting list enough time to make travel and personal arrangements to take the course. We will refund your deposit minus a $50 cancellation fee.

      If you cancel fewer than three weeks ahead of time, you will forfeit your entire deposit unless you are able to fill your slot with someone else. In that case, we may refund your deposit minus a $50 cancellation fee.

      In the event of a health or family emergency (for which we may require documentation), we will refund your tuition deposit minus a $50 cancellation fee.

      TCI reserves the right to deny future program participation to students who cancel without adequate notice.

    • Location

      The TCI Entry-level Tree Worker Program is taught in Atlanta, Georgia. We meet at the TCI Clubhouse, 1290 Merry Lane NE, Atlanta 30329, on the first morning. After orientation, you will go up to Blackburn Park, where days 1, 2, and 4 of the class are taught. Training on days 3 and 5 is at the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse carport is fully equipped for teaching in the event of rain.

    • Lodging

      Due to the ongoing threat of illness from Covid-19 and its variants, we are not hosting students at the TCI Clubhouse. There are many hotels, motels and AirBnB's available nearby. Ask for recommendations!

    • Gear

      If you don't own gear, we suggest that you not purchase it until after you have taken our training, when you'll have a much better idea of what you'll need and use. We have all the gear for your training, including all the gear in the pdfTCI Climbing Kit for Entry-Level Tree Workers sold by WesSpur and American Arborist Supplies. However, if you own a saddle that you are comfortable in and a helmet, please bring it/them with you.

    • Certificate

      "Certification" of tree climbers is provided by any organization that we know of. However, upon satisfactory completion of our program, students will be given a certificate signed by your instructor. Show this to a potential employer along with the course outline, and you are sure to get a job!

      TWP CERT

    • ISA CEUs

      This program qualifies for 32.5 ISA CEUs in the Practice, Climber Specialist, and Certified Arborist categories. Ask us how to apply.

    • Recommended Reading

      TCI teaches Jeff Jepson's P.R.E.P. system of preparing for tree work. We highly recommend his book, The Tree Climber's Companion, which many arborists consider the "Bible" for tree climbers. It is not necessary to read this book before coming to class.

      We also suggest Jepson's three other excellent books, To Fell A Tree, Knots at Work, and (new!) Groundie. In addition, we recommend the ISA's excellent publication, The Art and Science of Practical Rigging by Peter Donzelli and Sharon Lilly.

      All five books are available onsite in Atlanta and in our website store.

    • See for yourself!

      Here are a simple outline and some photos to give you an idea of what you'll be doing each day in our program.

     

    Tree Worker Program Daily View

    Here's what you can expect each day of the Tree Worker Program.

    • DAY 1: Traditional Climbing System using the Blake’s Hitch (“Closed system”)

      (Download the full pdfTree Worker Program outline for details.)

      Throw line use: Entry (5) and canopy (3) throws

      Rope placement: Includes placing the rope over a branch, cambium saver installation, and knot tying

      Preparing to climb: Includes warm ups, saddle set-up, gear check, clipping in and B.A.C.K. check

      Climbing demonstration of double rope end climbing (DREC) and setting pitches

      Foot work techniques (4)

      Hover over an image to see the caption.

      Treeman In Clubhouse

      Treeman opens class in the TCI Clubhouse.

      Teaching Trees

      Yes, you will learn to climb in these trees!

      Warm Ups

      Warm ups! It's a good idea to loosen your muscles before climbing.

      Knot Tying

      Learning how to tie the knots for the traditional climbing system.

       

      Throwline

      Throwline practice in an open field.

    • DAY 2:  Application of Climbing Technique

      (Download the full pdfTree Worker Program outline for details.)

      On day 2, students practice what they learned on day 1.

      PLUS:

      Advanced anchor point isolation using the “Yella” grapnel hook

      Monkey fist

      Climbing practice: Double rope end climbing (DREC)

      Tree inspection using the the Four Zone Assessment Method

      Hover over an image to see the caption.

      Monkey Fist

      Making a monkey fist for getting your rope into a tree.

       

      Tree Workers Monkey Fist

      Monkey fist is an easy way to set up an anchor point.

       

      Second Pitch Tw

      Setting up a second anchor with the other end of the rope.

       

      Rope Management

      Rope management is important!

       

      Yella Grapnel Practice

      Setting up a traverse using a yella grapnel.

       

      Sideway Movement

      Traversing to another side of the tree using both ends of the rope.

      Climbing Practice

      Taking a climbing break.

      DREC

      Practicing double rope end climbing (DREC) using both ends of the rope.

       

      Down Pitch

      Learning how to do a down pitch using both ends of the rope.

       

    • DAY 3:  Advanced Climbing Techniques

      (Download the full pdfTree Worker Program outline for details.)

      Lanyard use for positioning and life support

      Hitch-pulley climbing system

      Movement in a tree

      Hover over an image to see the caption.

      Carport Branch Walking Practice

      Practicing branch walking in the Clubhouse carport:"Start low, then grow."

      Climbing System

      Students learn to put together both these systems for climbing.

       

      Learning Lanyard Set Up

      Learning how to set up a lanyard in the Clubhouse carport.

       

      Preparing Redirect

      Preparing a redirect.

      Redirect with Pinto Pulley Lanyard

      Getting around a branch using a pinto pulley lanyard.

      High Climb

      Climbing with a rope walker system.

    • DAY 4:  Application of Climbing Techniques

      On day 4, students practice what they learned on day 3.

      (Download the full pdfTree Worker Program outline for details.)

      Advanced line setting with the Big Shot and APTA

      Hitch pulley climbing practice

      Branch walking practice

      Double-crotch climbing technique

      Lanyard practice

      Hover over an image to see the caption.

      Big Shot Practice

      Practice with a Big Shot.

       

      Preparing Line Gun

      Powering up the APTA (air powered tree access) tool.

       

      Air Gun Practice

      Getting a feel for an APTA (air powered tree access).

      Concentrating

      Preparing for a traverse in "Double-up."

      Tree Traverse

      Travelling from one tree to another using double rope end climbing (DREC).

       

      Double End Lanyard Practice

      Branch walking with a double-ended lanyard provides safety and balance.

      Branch Walking

      Practicing branch walking techniques learned on the ground.

       

    • DAY 5:  Rigging

      Day 5 is dedicated to rigging techniques and related information. Download the full pdfTree Worker Program outline for details. There will also be  a short discussion about leg spikes and other gear.

      Hover over an image to see the caption.

      Learning Running Bowline

      Learning the running bowline knot for tying off branches.

       

      Setting Up Portawrap

      Setting up a Portawrap.

       

      Rigging Call And Response

      The rope handler is telling the climber he's ready for the climber to cut the branch.

       

      Practicing Portawrap

      Practicing lowering a load (Treeman, in background) using the Portawrap.

       

      "Negative rigging"

      Learning to set up a "negative rigging" system.

       

      Fiddle Block Set Up

      Setting up a fiddle block for raising loads.

       

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