Waldo Etherington

Professional tree climber. Yes, you read right.

If it exists, Waldo Etherington has probably climbed it. And then hung a load of ropes off it. Rock faces. Trees. And just about anything else you can think of.

At least mountains stay still while you climb them.

Big trees may seem immovable from the ground. But things feel different once you’re up there. High forest trees can swing metres from side to side. It’s how they resist storms and high winds. For Waldo, that’s all part of the charm.
He’s an expert technical rigger, helping climbers and TV crews access the world’s most inaccessible spots. Climbing trees isn’t an everyday activity for most of us. But Waldo’s turned it into an artform.

Bringing the wildest places home.

Waldo loves climbing for climbing’s sake. But often, he’s out there to do a job. His first big gig was with the BBC, leading climbing operations on an expedition to Borneo. Since then, he’s conquered the world with ropes, and helped us all see things we’d never see otherwise. But even when he’s not working, Waldo’s still out there. Take his expedition to Mount Roraima, for example. The 2,810m tepui (table-top mountain) was the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World. To get there, eight climbers – including Waldo, Anna Taylor, and Leo Houlding – trekked through 53km of pristine jungle. Then they found a new route up a 600-metre overhanging prow.

“It’s hard to comprehend all the life that trees support. There’s still so much we don’t know hidden in the branches.”

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