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Perhaps when you were younger your first adornment from the instinctive joy of climbing was from a tree. It would seem that climbing trees as a youth is ubiquitous across culture, race, and sex. Sadly for most, somewhere in the process of maturation, tree climbing becomes weaned out. Well my friend it is time to rediscover your inner tree climber, but in a whole new way.
Providencia offers a variety of tree climbs that can be as easy as 5.5 rock climbing and as hard as 5.12. This unique climbing is mainly thanks to the strangler fig trees, which provide up to 35 meter high climbable ‘routes’.
By no means are any of the tree climbs here a small feat and therefore protection for potential falls is required. The best solution for protection is to bring a ton of slings and girth hitch branches and columns of root as you go.
Some of the better climbing trees are one road north (on the west side of the road before the bridge) of Enrique and Ana’s Bed and Breakfast. Make sure to ask the landowner before you climb. Once you have permission, follow the easy trail to the trees. The first tree you will see has a steep overhang with a large column root starting at the base and following the underside of the tree up to the top. This climb is estimated to be in the hard 5.10 range, and is the only fully inverted climb listed in this guidebook.
Continuing up the path towards the right you will come across an obvious and very tall strangler fig. The west side of the tree (much vegetation ) provides easy climbing around 5.8, while the east side (no vegetation) includes a much harder pinchy 5.12 climb with little protection.
At the base of the same tree you will notice an area cut out that allows you to step inside the tree. Stepping inside you will notice that the strangler fig has killed off the original tree, and now leaves a tall hollow column. You can climb the inside of the tree as well, which may be a good method for setting up top ropes.
As with most of Providencia, the best way to get the most out of your experience in the valley is to acquire the assistance of a local guide to take you to these locations.
If you want to add individual tree climbs as graded routes below, go for it!
Ethic inherited from Providencia
Respect the land owners. They are kind enough to let you use their property for your enjoyment.
Respect other climbers. Climbing is a community sport where the only opponent is the cruel crux that sends you airborne.
Respect the environment. Above all, respect the environment. The plants, the earth and the rock itself were here long before you came into existence and will continue to exist long after you are gone. Sustain its survival by treating it properly.
Pick up trash, even if it is not your own. Take at least one piece out on every trip.
Do not kill flora or fauna, no matter how small or large.
Live and climb as though you are organic with your environment.
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