Recreational Tree Climbing (RTC) Training and Expertise Levels

Captain Monkey with friend

The normal progression of training and expertise level (may vary per Instructor) in Recreational/Technical Tree Climbing (RTC) is:

  • BTCC (Basic Tree Climbing Course), or similar training to learn basic DdRT (Doubled Rope Technique). Some instructors offer a course option for single pitch climbing only (no switchovers, re-anchoring, or additional moving around the tree after initial anchor setting).
  • Additional optional basic courses such as SRT (Single Rope Technique) and Beyond the Basics
  • Facilitators Course* (to take up non-trained, general or public climbers) – prerequisite BTCC or equivalent. Generally, new climbers who wish to become Facilitators must climb for a minimum of six months* prior to beginning unsupervised facilitation. However, depending on Instructor, both BTCC and the Facilitators Course can sometimes be taught concurrently, followed by the six month period during which the candidate gains climbing experience and keeps detailed climb logs, shared with his/her Instructor.
  • Instructors Course* (enables one to teach the basic courses) – prerequisite successful BTCC or equivalent and a current Facilitator
  • Senior Instructor* (enables one to train facilitators) – all previous prerequisites, plus a current Instructor.
  • Master Instructor* (enables one to teach anything in fields of expertise, including training instructors) – all previous prerequisites, plus a current Senior Instructor.

Costs and training specifics vary per Instructor. Please consult our Facilitator and Instructor Map for instructors and locations.

* Please note that facilitating tree climbing involves a very different skill set than tree care, arboriculture, or even solo climbing, so there are few short cuts in this process unless you’ve already received specific RTC training in these areas. It’s always best to talk directly with an Instructor of your choice to discuss training options.