Tree Climbing at Silver Falls was started in 2021. It took about 2 years of working with the Oregon State Parks before this program could get started. We are so happy to be here at Silver Falls State Park finally able to offer this recreational tree climbing program in Oregon!!! The reason it takes so long to start any recreational tree climbing program is because we have to do environmental reviews and work with local park management to make sure operations go smoothly inside the park. We also have to make sure the trees are healthy, no wildlife inhabiting each tree we use, and that we do not have a negative effect on local wildlife.
Tree Climbing at Silver Falls is run by people who have more than 50 years of combined experience.
Tree Climbing at Silver Falls is run by people with some of the most recreational tree climbing experience on the west-coast. Some of our guides have been managing recreational tree climbing programs that have taken around 500 people a year climbing. As far as we known that is more than any other recreational tree climbing program in the United States.
Our Goals & Mission
Our goals are to give people the experience of recreational tree climbing in old-growth trees, and also provide education about the unique ecology of these ecosystems while having fun. It is important to us that people enjoy a unique climbing adventure and that they also see the benefits of a larger tree climbing industry, that when done properly has no harm to the trees and teaches that we can utilize trees in a way that does not mean cutting them down for logging. We also want people to learn about the importance of protecting and preserving forest so it can turn into old-growth forest for future generations and wildlife.
Less than 4% of the United States' original forests remain in existence. According to the World Resources Institute, less than 1% of "Frontier Forests"--large, contiguous virgin forests with all the species intact--still exist in the lower 48 states.
Old-growth forests play a very important role in the health of planet Earth. They provide habitat for specific species of animals and plants, adding to the biodiversity that is important for adapting to environmental and climate changes. They also help reduce and decrease the severity of forest fires. Old-Growth help reduce local temperatures, keep for the forest floor more wet by providing shade and retaining moisture through it roots. Old-growth trees are much more likely to survive forest fires because of their size. That is why you often see old-growth trees that have live 500-2000 years with many burn marks. So in the past when a forest fire goes through a forest it burns the ground material and smaller trees but the majority of the forest's biomass and habitat, the old-growth trees, would still be around for animal habitat. Unfortunately most of our forests are logged timber land, full of small over crowded unhealthy trees, that usually completely burns down like matchsticks during a forest fire. So when there is a forest fire, the absence of old-growth trees is just one more reason, out of many, that forest fires are unusually more sever than in the past.
We are just beginning to understand the importance old-growth trees play in the ecosystem, but we now know that they play a major part in many roles. Unfortunately we have already destroyed most of our old-growth "virgin" forest in the United States. The positive side is, we know what needs to be done and we can choose to change things for the better. We know we need to protect them and preserve more forest with the intention to create old-growth forest ecosystems for the future. All of our small choices matter, and we can decided!
In 2012 Leo Rosen-Fischer started teaching rock and tree climbing professionally. Leo's parents and grandparents come from a long line of Swiss mountaineers and rock climbers. In fact some of the equipment (jumars) used by our tree climbing activity was first tested by Leo's granddad in the Swiss Alps. The company has allowed Leo to share his love of nature, climbing, and environmental topics to a larger audience.
Leo also has a Masters in Nutrition from the National University of Natural Medicine. He provides clinical nutrition services in Portland, where he also now resides, and is working towards opening a non-profit restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Check out his nutrition website! https://www.nutritionintherightplace.com/
When not climbing you will find Leo playing board/video games, cooking, dancing bachata and swing, sailing, and traveling.
Rilen is a photographer and tree climbing guide! He has been with us since 2018 and he is one of the most optimistic lovable guides we have.
On his time off he enjoys the world of Pokémon and photography.
Matthew Cunningham is the general manager the general manager. He started climbing with the company in 2017. Matthew has been working on ropes courses, zip lines and in tree house construction for over a decade.
Matthew has a Bachelors of Science from Bowling Green State University where he studied Environmental Science. He specialized in education and interpretation.
When not climbing you may find him kayaking, biking, farming or swimming.
We are currently hiring tree climbing guides and instructors at Silver Falls. We ideally want people with previous guiding experience, climbing experience, rock climbing, or tree work. Although not necessary, we are willing to train the right person. If you would like to apply or want more information about the positions please email your resume to info@TreeClimbingAtSilverFalls.com