Plenty of Coloradans have bagged a fourteener or scaled a rock wall. But summer is the perfect season to experience the state from on high in a more unique way: tree climbing. “Up in the crown, trees have a wonderful geography, a terrain that you get to explore,” says Harv “Ponderosa” Teitelbaum, president of the Global Organization of Tree Climbers.

This isn’t the branch-to-branch clambering of your childhood, though. Today’s tree climbers barely even touch the limbs so as not to hurt the living giants. Instead, instructors sling ropes around the branches, which harnessed climbers then use to inchworm up using a system of knots, loops, and climbing ascenders. In Teitelbaum’s two- to three-hour beginner Tree Climbing Colorado excursions ($30), gravity defiers reach heights of about 50 feet; the adventurous can flip over and hang upside down. And unlike fourteener chasers, Teitelbaum isn’t limited to just 54; his potential summit list is endless. Exclusive: Read a firsthand account of climbing trees here.