An appreciation for the great outdoors has coursed through our community since our founding. In 1900, the beauty of Western North Carolina’s mountains and abundance of proximate recreational opportunities attracted Asheville School’s founders and convinced them to set their school in this very spot. More than a century later, our climbers, kayakers, hikers, and mountain bikers still find new nooks and crannies of these mystic blue hills to explore.
Asheville School’s mountaineering program makes it possible for students of all interest and skill level to experience the joy and thrill of outdoor adventure, under the guidance of seasoned instructors.
Just steps from your dorm, you will find mountaineering facilities including a climbing complex that includes a bouldering facility and competition-level climbing tower, a swimming pool for kayak instruction, a robust gear and equipment cache, and 300 acres of forested land laced with miles of trails.
While working toward high-level mastery of skills and safety practices, students frequently embark on off-campus trips to area locales like Pisgah National Forest, the Green and French Broad rivers, and Linville Gorge.
We invite all of our students to connect with the wild and stunning place we call home. You may have never explored a cave’s otherworldly interior or experienced the calm of a night beneath the stars, but before you leave here, you will come to know the magic of this landscape.
Each fall, all third-formers kick off their Asheville School journey on a two-night backpacking trip. Between scenic hiking, setting up camp, and cooking over flame, they begin to bond with their new classmates and faculty—embarking on the journey of forging lifelong connections.
Spelunking, anyone? We lead caving expeditions during the year, where students explore unique and dazzling subterranean features and learn about important safety and leave-no-trace principles.
Since 2023, Asheville School has come together with cross-town rival Christ School to jointly host a friendly and high-octane Outdoor Adventure Sports triathlon. This new tradition is a feat of endurance as participants paddle, cycle, and climb for the gold.
Some of the richest biological diversity on our planet is just outside of our door. One of the best ways to experience its splendor? Fully immersed, on day hikes trekking up to ridgelines and overnight backpacking trips beneath towering trees.
Our robust rock climbing program includes both JV and Varsity levels. Beginners and intermediate climbers start with top-roping, bouldering and belay school at our on-campus climbing complex. Meanwhile, Varsity Climbing students train on-campus as well as at a top-notch local climbing gym where they meet and learn from fellow enthusiasts. Throughout the year, these talented climbers participate in USA Climbing’s Region 72 Bouldering and Lead/Top Rope competitions.
Seasoned rider? We will help you sharpen your skills and explore opportunities to compete. First time trying this on for size? Let’s start with the basics. Then, join our mountain biking collective as we pedal our way through off-campus rides, and participate in local competitions. With hundreds of miles of trails to choose from in the nearby national forests, there is almost always a new route to explore.
This crash course in all things outdoor adventure covers the fundamentals of fire building, camp setup, outdoor cooking, first aid, shelters, and survival skills. Before you know it, you’ll be ready for anything the wilderness might throw your way.
Our close proximity to a favorite local ski area means our elite ski and snowboard team can partake in other mountaineering activities by day and still hit the slopes for some runs in the evening.
Slicing through rapids, mist on your face, propelled only by paddle—the exhilaration is unmistakable. Our kayaking and canoeing instruction begins with the fundamentals on flat water in the pool. With the basics under your belt, it is off to the banks of the nearby French Broad and Green rivers to sharpen your skills and experience the subtleties of navigation through a stretch of class I-III water.
With stables, trails, and an Ireland Riding Ring right on campus, equestrian is an easy entry point for students to experience the outdoors and the incredible connection between horse and human. Afternoon lessons span beginner through advanced levels, and are all under the tutelage of our seasoned equestrian director.