Asheville School



Asheville School - School Life

Outdoor Programs

An appreciation for the great outdoors has been a part of the Asheville School experience since its founding in 1900.

Asheville School's founders chose to locate their school in the mountains of Western North Carolina because of the mountains' natural beauty and for the abundance of recreational opportunities that this unique region provides. Nearby, there are countless spots for backpacking, rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, snow skiing, caving and mountain biking.


The mountaineering program provides the staff, training and equipment you'll need to develop your skills in these activities and foster a lifelong love of outdoor adventure.

Students can take mountaineering as an afternoon activity for daily on-campus instruction and practice. Our on-campus facilities include a high-ropes course, an Alpine Tower, a climbing wall, a swimming pool (for kayak instruction) and 200 acres of forested land with miles of trails for biking and exploring. After students have demonstrated a mastery of the basic skills and safety procedures, they may join us for off-campus trips to places such as Looking Glass Rock in Pisgah National Forest, the Tuckaseegee and French Broad rivers, and the Tsali Recreational area. The mountaineering program also sponsors optional trips throughout the year. These trips are open to any interested students. 

All new students go on at least one overnight camping trip during their first year at Asheville School. No matter what your level of interest or skill, the mountaineering program at Asheville School can teach you, inspire you, challenge you and thrill you.

Students with mountains in background.
Bonfire woodpile
Student with camping and backpacking supplies on back.
Student climbing on tower.
Person pressing apples through apple press
Student practicing fire skills with small woodpile and flames.
Student cutting honeycomb.
Student kayaking in swimming pool.

Mountaineering Activities



Asheville School stables, Ireland Riding Ring and picturesque riding trails make Asheville School a great place to ride. Our Equestrian Program offers lessons for riders from beginners through advanced levels.

Beginners learn basic horsemanship, including grooming, tacking up and basic riding techniques in English style. Advanced riders spend most of their time honing their skills either on the flat area within the ring or over jumps as skills permit.

The program is offered as an afternoon activity. In addition to daily riding on class days, students are encouraged to attend off-campus equestrian activities such as horse shows, hunter paces and trail rides. Students have shown in horse trials, dressage, hunter/jumper, gymkhana and open horse shows.

The school provides horses for students who do not own their own horses. Those students who wish to bring their horses to school may board them at the Asheville School stables for an additional cost.

Equestrian Director Diane Wilson is a graduate of the Talland School of Equitation in Great Britain. She brings more than 25 years of experience in training and teaching riding, and she has competed in side-saddle, hunt seat, saddle seat, hunter/jumper, dressage, eventing and barrel racing.

For the most advanced students, Asheville School offers Exceptional Equestrian, a time for students to travel off campus and train at a local hunter/jumper barn.

A student rides a galloping horse
A student smiles while riding a horse around the ring
A smiling student brushes a horse
One brown horse looks over a fence
A girl brushes a horse
A boy works with a horse in equestrian
A boy takes off a horse's bridle
A student rides a horse around the ring
Three students riding on horses around the ring
A boy rides a horse in the riding ring
Two students ride horses in front of a barn