The Best Climbing Tree on Campus

By Alex Conrad

Tree climbing is a great way to have a nice study break or connect more with nature. As stated on the Tree Climbing Colorado website, “when you climb up into a tree, you feel an almost immediate feeling of peace, of connecting with something timeless, deep-seated and right.” So, get out there and climb, meditate, sightsee, and all around relax among the trees.

First things first, what should you keep in mind when climbing trees? Well, for one, it’s not entirely legal on the Colorado College campus. One member of the Campus Safety staff stated that tree climbing is against the student code of conduct, but upon closer examination, it is no more illegal than throwing a frisbee or skateboarding. 

Safety is another concern while climbing trees. Whenever heights are involved, there is obviously a risk of falling.

“I trust trees more than I trust ladders,” so if you are sure-footed, you should have no problem with your climbing adventures, Leo Fries ’23 said.

Perhaps a more dangerous threat is that of wildlife. The squirrels on campus are not afraid of humans and will get close to you. During research for this article, the author received a laceration due to a squirrel.

So, without further ado, here is the best climbing tree on campus, in my opinion.

Just north of the construction site that used to be Olson Field, you can find the best overall climbing tree at CC, called Pikes Pine. This Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) has two large branches close to the ground, perfect for sitting on and watching the sunset. You can even see how worn out the branches are from all the use. 

 “[It’s] kinda cool to see the history of it,” Ellen Buford ’21 said. The sitting branches may be a highlight of this tree, but they are only the first rung of the ladder. About six feet up, a network of branches creates many great chilling spots, but the tree makes you work to get there. To climb up, you need to use some of the sappy, cut branches as handholds, making this a multiple ‘pitch’ climb. Once you are up to the second level, enjoy your time up there monkeying around!

Now that you know where to climb, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, find your place, nay, your home, among the branches, for “trees are home. We belong in nature and in trees.”  

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