North Carolina Rock Climbing

From: $460

per person dbl occ

Dates: Apr-Oct - see all dates

Total Days: 3

Activity Level: 3

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1-800-622-2236

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Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

North Carolina Rock Climbing

Price:

2014/2015

REI Member: $460

Non-member: $500

Trip Dates:

2014

  • Jun 20–22
  • Jul 11–13
  • Aug 1–3
  • Aug 29–31
  • Sep 19–21
  • Oct 10–12

2015

  • Apr 17–19
  • May 22–24
  • Jun 19–21
  • Jul 10–12
  • Aug 14–16
  • Sep 18–21
  • Oct 9–11

Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-12

Activity Level: 3

Activities:

  • Rock Climbing

Accommodations:

Established campsite (with showers), tents, 2 nights

Trip Highlights

  • Learn how to rock climb in North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest
  • Get trained on climbing techniques and gear knowledge by expert AMGA guides
  • Practice newly learned skills on Looking Glass and Cedar Rocks
  • Spend each night relaxing at a comfortable campground near our climbing sites

North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest, with a multitude of amazing rock-climbing areas, draws climbers from every ability level to its rock faces. On this introductory course, we spend time at areas ideal for beginner climbers: Looking Glass and Cedar Rocks, both located less than 15 minutes from our base camp.

Over two full days, we focus on the essential skills required to get out on the rock and climb. Educational topics include climbing movement and bouldering skills; knots, rope, and anchor work; belaying and rappelling; map reading; and communication while climbing. We also cover equipment—what's needed and what's not—as well as storage and proper use. Most importantly, we have lots of time to climb!

All meals, camping accommodation, and required technical equipment are provided. The course is run by professional instructors, certified by The American Mountain Guides Association, with many years of experience in teaching Rock Climbing 101.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Meet the group for a gear check and weekend orientation.
  • Day 2 - Practice climbing on Looking Glass Rock.
  • Day 3 - Learn more skills today and practice on Looking Glass or Cedar rocks.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Meet the group for a gear check and weekend orientation.

    Your trip begins today at REI Asheville at 6:30pm. We will begin the evening getting to know our guides and fellow climbers while doing a gear check and trip itinerary review. We will then caravan in our own vehicles to our campsite in Pisgah Forest, NC on the outskirts of Brevard, NC (approximately 20 miles away). Dinner tonight is on your own, so eat before you arrive (town is just a 5 minute drive away). Rest well tonight before our climbing adventure at Looking Glass Rock!

  • Day 2 - Practice climbing on Looking Glass Rock.

    We start our day with breakfast in camp and prepare lunches to bring with us to the rock. A 30-minute moderate hike takes us to Looking Glass Rock where we will begin learning the basics of climbing site awareness, equipment use and terminology. We then start looking at beginner to advanced climbing movement and technique. We'll have lunch at the climbing site and then continue working on climbing techniques and skills into the afternoon. We'll pack up and hike out in time to be back at camp before dinner. Back at our campsite we have access to hot showers and flush toilets. We'll enjoy dinner and another great evening around the campfire. All meals included.

  • Day 3 - Learn more skills today and practice on Looking Glass or Cedar rocks.

    After breakfast and packing our lunches we will head to Looking Glass Rock or another amazing climbing area such as Cedar Rock, depending on the group's skills and interests. We'll cover some review in the morning before delving into new skills. We'll have lunch again at the climbing site and then continue climbing into the afternoon. We plan to end by about 4:00pm. Breakfast and lunch included.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control, including weather and trail conditions. This trip is operated rain or shine.

Important Information about Air Travel

Contact REI Adventures prior to purchasing your airline tickets to confirm the trip has the minimum number of participants required to operate.

Price Includes

Professional instruction; transportation from the meeting point to the climbing area and back; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; tent accommodations; group climbing equipment (see gear list for details).

Not Included

Transportation; park entrance fees where required, insurance of any kind; alcoholic beverages; soft drinks; guide gratuities and items of a personal nature. Note; alcoholic beverages are not allowed at the campsite per USFS regulations.

Closest Airport(s)

Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) NC, 10 minutes.
Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP) SC, 1 hour, 15 minutes.
Charlotte Douglas Airport (CLT) 2 hours.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Moderate (3) as we plan to climb for 4-6 hours per day and will have to hike moderate distance (30 minutes) from the parking area to where the climbs are located each day. To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest that you engage in a regular exercise regimen beginning at least three months prior to your departure. Most important to your enjoyment of the trip is your overall fitness level.

Weather

Temperatures can range from 50 – 80° F during the day to 40 – 60° F at night. Trip members should arrive prepared for all possibilities by following the gear recommendations.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. A limited number of single accommodations are available, and are assigned only as necessary.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Weekend Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and detailed pre-trip information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

North Carolina Rock Climbing Gear List

Having the proper gear is vital to your comfort and overall enjoyment of the seminar. Attached is a gear list that has been specifically designed for this trip.  We often get asked if all items appearing on this list are really required. Our guides assert that climbers must arrive prepared as indicated. If you do not already own all of the necessary gear and are not certain if you will participate in climbing trips on a regular basis, please consider renting.

Weather

Temperatures can range from 50 – 80° F during the day to 40 – 60° F at night.  Trip members should arrive prepared for all possibilities by following the gear recommendations below.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Tents
  • Kitchen and cooking equipment
  • Climbing rope(s)
  • Climbing Helmet
  • Climbing harness
  • Locking carabineer & belay device
  • Climbing shoes
  • Chalk bag & chalk
  • Any other required technical rock climbing gear
Camping Equipment
  • Sleeping bag and pillow
  • Sleeping pad/mat
  • Headlamp or flashlight with spare batteries/bulb
Luggage
  • Daypack, 30-40 liter, to be used during day out climbing
  • Duffel bag to leave at camp in tent​
Footwear
  • Approach shoes – sneakers or hikers
Outerwear
  • Rain gear (Waterproof, breathable shell jacket and pants)
Clothing
  • Midweight wool or fleece jacket/sweater
  • Midweight, thermal underwear top and bottom, synthetic or wool (no cotton)
  • Lightweight pants-loose and comfortable
  • Synthetic T-shirts
  • Synthetic long-sleeve shirt
  • Synthetic, quick-drying hiking shorts—loose and comfortable
  • Bring a few lightweight, easily washable items for travel and use when not climbing
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat
  • Bandana for sun protection
Travel Accessories
  • Energy snacks and powdered drinks
  • Eating utensils: 1 large bowl, insulated mug or cup, spoon
  • Two 1-quart water bottles or hydration pack
  • Sun block and lip balm w/high SPF
  • Hand sanitizer gel
  • Towel
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
  • Personal first-aid kit
Optional Field Gear
  • Camera with spare batteries
  • Reading and writing materials
  • If you want, feel free to bring your own harness, helmet, climbing shoes, chalk bag and chalk (please do not bring ropes or hardware)

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresRock Climbing North Carolina
 
4.7

(based on 33 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Guides (33)
  • Group camaraderie (30)
  • Activity level (26)
  • Quality equipment provided (25)
  • Exceeded expectations (24)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Casual adventurer (21), Avid adventurer (6), Casual/ recreational (6)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active adventures (24), All the details planned for me (20), I liked the itinerary (20), Good value (16), Travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts (13)

      Reviewed by 33 customers

      Sort by

      Displaying reviews 1-10

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      5.0

      Great Trip

      By mra608

      from Virginia

      About Me Casual Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Activity Level
      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Food
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Quality Equipment Provided

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Rock Climbing North Carolina:

          The trip was definitely worth it, and again our guides were great

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, I Liked the Itinerary
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • Wanted to do some more outdoor rock climbing with guides
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • The climbs were great (With spectacular views) and well suited to the ability levels of the group. The guides did an excellent job and picked a less used climbing area for our 2nd day, which we really enjoyed. Had a good group of other climbers with us at varying skill levels. The camp site and food were also quite good.
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • Definitely bring hiking boots for the hikes to and from the climbing sites, even though they aren't on the packing list. Also be prepared for rain - we got rained out in the afternoon on Day 1, but got some good climbing in on the morning of Day 1 and all of Day 2.
           
          5.0

          Awesome

          By hamilton adventures

          from winston salem, nc

          About Me Casual Adventurer

          Site Member

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Activity Level
          • Guides
          • Quality Equipment Provided
          • Well Organized Itinerary

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Rock Climbing North Carolina:

              This was a well planned fantstic trip. Our group was small and full of different personalities with varied experience. The guides did a wonderful job catering to each of our levels of fitness and personalities. Awesome.

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • Well planned, all I had to do was show up!
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • Getting to the top of the mountain
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • Be ready to have a great time with qualified guides

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Excellent, exceptional experience

              By swashbuckler

              from Atlanta GA

              About Me Avid Adventurer

              Site Member

              Pros

              • Accommodations
              • Activity Level
              • Exceeded Expectations
              • Food
              • Group Camaraderie
              • Guides
              • Once in a Lifetime Experience
              • Quality Equipment Provided
              • Well Organized Itinerary

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about REI Adventures Rock Climbing North Carolina:

                  Everything aside the most important aspect of the trip to consider is that the guides are AMGA certified, our safety was their primary interest. The camp grounds have running water and bathrooms and there is a $5 parking fee at the entrance. You get to climb the rock rain or shine unless there is lightening. This trip was a positive, unforgettable experience.
                  P.S: Whats the difference between a pizza and a professional rock climber? Pizza feeds a family of four. So carry cash and tip the guides well. Have fun.

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Active Adventures, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • Me and my wife wanted a weekend active getaway. We usually backpack, camp in the north GA mountains but this Labor day long weekend we wanted to experience and get inspired by rock climbing. This trip was appealing to us for one, it is a 3 hour drive from Atlanta, it is climbing 101, instructions in the basics in climbing and most importantly safety for beginners and the guides are AMGA certified
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • Learning different climbing gear, safety knots, the physics and understanding the technique behind climbing with out slipping, climbing the rock and not to mention the breath taking views up top of the rock. Rescue stories at the camp fire that Wes and Todd were a part of and also their adventures as professional rock climbers, climbing in Europe.
                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                  • Although not necessary, train for the trip 3 times a week for at least 4 weeks prior to the trip if you want to enjoy every aspect of this trip. Squats, lunges, calf raises, improve your tolerance to walk up to 30 or 45 minutes, include hills, different terrain in your training regime even if it is on a treadmill. Rain gear, bug spray is important, the weather is unpredictable in the great smokies
                   
                  5.0

                  Rick climbing

                  By Sujata

                  from New Jersey

                  About Me Casual Adventurer

                  Pros

                  • Activity Level
                  • Exceeded Expectations
                  • Food
                  • Group Camaraderie
                  • Guides
                  • Quality Equipment Provided
                  • Well Organized Itinerary

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about REI Adventures Rock Climbing North Carolina:

                      My family and I really enjoyed this trip. It was just the right break from every day mundane work, TV and wifi. The guides were superb, totally helpful and kind, and not too pushy. The itinerary was well planned and we used every minute to relax and enjoy. It was nice to spend quality time with the kids too.

                      Thanks.

                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                      • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                      • I was interested to learn a new skill.
                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                      • learning to climb and meeting nice people
                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                      • Make sure you take the required gear and be fairly fit.
                       
                      5.0

                      Awesome

                      By Laura Lemmer

                      from Greensboro, NC

                      About Me First-Time Adventurer

                      Pros

                      • Accommodations
                      • Activity Level
                      • Food
                      • Great intro to climbing
                      • Group Camaraderie
                      • Guides
                      • Well Organized Itinerary

                      Cons

                      • None

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about REI Adventures Rock Climbing North Carolina:

                        REI's rock climbing trip was wonderful. The guides were extremely patient; they had a knack for relating to each person's ability level (most people in our group had indoor climbing experience and their own gear, but my son and I had no experience at all). I have already recommended REI to my family and friends. Go forth and explore what REI can offer!

                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                        • REIs excellent reputation
                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                        • Wanted provide a great, out-door climbing experience for my son and me.
                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                        • Meeting new people, learning the 101 of outdoor climbing and reaching the top!
                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                        • Don't hesitate to take an REI trip...great itinerary, fantastic, knowledgable guides and tons of fun!

                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Life on the edge

                        By Felina the explorer

                        from Miami, FL

                        About Me Avid Adventurer, Cautious adventurer

                        Site Member

                        Pros

                        • Exceeded Expectations
                        • Group Camaraderie
                        • Guides
                        • Well Organized Itinerary

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about REI Adventures Rock Climbing North Carolina:

                            I would highly recommend this trip to the true adventurer. Our guides were exceptional!!!

                            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                            • Active Adventures, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                            • I wanted a week-end adventure to explore the world of rock climbing. I wanted to learn the basics and have an opportunity to challenge myself with my newly learned skills.
                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                            • The highlight of this trip was getting to my first "pitch".
                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                            • If coming in from out of town and requiring hotel stay before and or after the trip make sure hotel is in close proximity to meeting point as the cost of a taxi will be just as much as that of the trip. Or rent a car to have easier access.
                             
                            5.0

                            Excellent Weekend Trip

                            By SUP808

                            from West Lafayette, IN

                            About Me Casual Adventurer

                            Site Member

                            Pros

                            • Accommodations
                            • Activity Level
                            • Exceeded Expectations
                            • Food
                            • Group Camaraderie
                            • Guides
                            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                            • Quality Equipment Provided
                            • Well Organized Itinerary

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about REI Adventures Rock Climbing North Carolina:

                                This is an excellent trip if you want to learn how to climb. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and tailor the trip to the skill level of the participants. This isn't a "we're following a pre set itinerary" trip. The guides make sure you get plenty of climbing in but that you are enjoying it and learning how to climb. The food was amazing. I was never hungry; pancakes, spaghetti, sandwiches, s'mores. All the good stuff. The campground was nice. Lots of families with kids on bikes but it was quiet. all in all it was the trip of the summer.

                                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                • Active Adventures, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
                                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                • This trip was a great value. Excellent instruction from AMGA certified climbing instructors and a once in a lifetime climbing experience. Our guides were amazing and safety was always a priority.
                                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                • Getting over my fear of heights and climbing the highest I have ever climbed on Looking Glass.
                                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                • Bring long pants to climb in to save your knees from getting scratched. This isn't a backcountry camping trip so bring that extra pillow to make sure you get a good nights rest...you'll need it.

                                (11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Best. Weekend. Ever.

                                By greyhound

                                from Arlington, VA

                                About Me Casual Adventurer

                                Site Member

                                Pros

                                • Exceeded Expectations
                                • Group Camaraderie
                                • Guides

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about REI Adventures Rock Climbing North Carolina:

                                    So you're probably reading these reviews and thinking, "do i really want to do this?" Yes, you do. My weekend of climbing was amazing. the instructors were great. the other participants were awesome. the food was tasty. and the climbing was spectacular. So stop reading this review, click on the "book this trip" button, then come back here so I can fill you in on some of the details that aren't covered in enough detail on this page and/or to put some things in context.

                                    Signed up? Good.

                                    First, the climbing. You'll spend Friday evening in camp working on safety stuff; getting in to your harness, tying your figure-eight follow-thru, basic belaying. Saturday morning you'll hike to a wall and do some more safety stuff (as well as review what you learned the prior night). Then you'll climb. and climb. and climb. until you are too tired to climb anymore. Seriously, our group members (but obviously not the instructors!) were all spent mentally as well as physically by around 5-ish. Sunday you'll do the same thing, climb until you just can't climb anymore. The thing is, is that you really do notice some drastic improvement in your ability to climb (and confidence); on the first day we were doing 50 and 60 foot climbs, while on the second day we actually had a rope about 170 ft.! And not only were we doing longer climbs, we were also much more technically proficient. you will come out of this weekend having a good understanding of how to rock climb.

                                    Instructors: they were excellent. We had two instructors for our group of five. These guys knew what they were doing. They taught us the safety stuff and beat it into our heads. They also worked with us on improving our technical skills. Finally, and this is what really made the weekend special, they knew how to push each of us to attempt climbs we didn't think we'd be able to do, to push us past our limits. For example, when they set up that 170' climb, I thought to myself, "I can't do that". Because of the instructors saying "you can do this. just go do it", i did!

                                    Camping: it's been mentioned in other reviews but it's worth repeating; this is family/car camping. the campground was mainly occupied by RVs, trailers and tent compounds, so if you're an experienced primitive camper, this may be a bit of a letdown. But don't get too hung up on it; remember this is a ROCK CLIMBING trip, NOT a camping one, so enjoy the comforts of having running water, toilets and a shower close by. Also, since you're car camping, weight and bulk aren't much of an issue, so feel free to bring your more comfortable stuff (full size pillow, extra clothes, etc...).

                                    Food: we ate really well. Pancakes Saturday morning. Spaghetti for dinner Saturday night (along with salad). Both nights we made s'mores. Lunch both days consisted of sandwiches we'd made during breakfast. and there was also a ton of other food options: cereal, oatmeal, granola, chips, juice, milk, coffee, etc... In short, it's good quality camping food.

                                    Gear: although the gear list says sneakers are okay, i'd strongly recommend hiking boots with good quality socks; the approach to the climbing areas are rocky and you're hiking uphill for about 45 minutes (depending on where you're climbing) with a pack. While climbing, pants are your best option; with shorts you'll probably get scraped up when you lose contact with the rock face. Besides that, the gear list was pretty good, leaning towards a little more gear than not enough.

                                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Great for beginners

                                    By wookiejd

                                    from Nashville, Tenn.

                                    About Me Avid Adventurer

                                    Pros

                                    • Activity Level
                                    • Exceeded Expectations
                                    • Guides
                                    • Quality Equipment Provided

                                    Cons

                                    • Food

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about REI Adventures Rock Climbing North Carolina:

                                      This trip helped me see rock-climbing for what it was...hard work, perseverance and patience. The lead guide was an top-notch instructor with extreme patience and encouragement.
                                      The food at camp was OK, but for active people I needed more protein. Advice is to pack extra food for your nutritional needs.
                                      REI could've supplied better information about the camping situation. Some people packed for a backpacking trip with climbing, when it was car camping with day hikes to climbing areas.

                                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                      • All the Details Planned for Me, Good Value, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                      • I wanted to learn the basics of rock climbing technique and safety from a professional guide.
                                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                      • Pushing myself mentally when climbing an overhanging wall.
                                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                      • Train appropriately. Focus on grip, balance, calves and upper body endurance. By the second day many people were too tired or injured to keep climbing.

                                      (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      4.0

                                      Big Fun

                                      By DaveHause

                                      from carrboro, NC

                                      Site Member

                                      Pros

                                      • Activity Level
                                      • Group Camaraderie
                                      • Guides

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                          Comments about REI Adventures Rock Climbing North Carolina:

                                          It was great to get outside and on real rock to climb.

                                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                            • I chose this trip because of all the exclamation marks used by REI in the trip description!!!

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