After over 15 years of uncertified and self-taught tree climbing, I was able to create the possibility to get officially certified in Tropical Canopy Access Techniques and Facilitation in the beautiful country of Panama in 2015. It was a great honor and pleasure to be taught by one of the legends in tropical canopy climbing, Joe Maher. Not only is he full of witty humor and wise lessons, he is an excellent instructor. Many thanks also to my lovely, strong and patient climbing buddy, Ashley Stumvoll.
The fat one
This little one is one of Joe’s classics whenever he visits Boquete, Panama. This one turned out to be one of my greatest nemeses, for I was not able to get more than two pitches in after entry, the mosquitos loved having me up there (see picture) and dropped my camera out of the tree out of haste and frustration. Nonetheless, once up there I was rewarded with a very close encounter with the legendary Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno). Which was actually the reason I dropped my camera.
One has to set himself some challenges. This one we chose specifically for the challenge it presented. Covered in vines, it was hard to retrieve our throwing bag and finding the right line to climb. But it did provide us with some nice climbing shots.