Ready for some human-powered adventure?
Come paddle a river, canoe a lake, climb the rocks, explore the forests and national
parks. WCU is home to some of the most amazing rivers, waterfalls, granite domes,
pristine national forests and national parks in the country. At WCU we aim to reach
new heights! We offer a variety of half day and full day trips along with extended
break trips such as fall and spring break expeditions! All trips and programs are
planned and executed by trained students and our professional guide staff. All staff
are highly qualified and hold certifications such as Wilderness First Responder, EMT,
ACA Swift Water Rescue, American Mountain Guides Association, and more.
Schedule - Trips | Clinics | Events
Spring 2021 Schedule of Programs and Events
See our upcoming events on Engage
Base Camp Cullowhee provides the following services to enhance your outdoor experience
Hours of Operation:
Fall and Spring Semester:
Tuesday - Thursday: 12:00pm-5:00pm
Monday-Friday: 10:00am-4:00pm BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
Who Can Rent Outdoor Gear:
Gear can be rented by any current WCU Student/ Faculty/Staff or Retiree. Any alumni
or family member of current WCU students/faculty/staff must hold a current CRC membership
in order to rent gear. Memberships can be purchased at the front desk of CRC.
How to Rent Gear:
Gear can be rented from the Adventure Shop, located in the Campus Recreation Center,
by reservation only. To offer the best service, and to keep our equipment in good
condition, we ask that patrons allow at least 15 minutes to go over equipment with
our staff for any rental pickup or return. Additional costs will be incurred for any
equipment that is returned dirty, late, or damages.
Any reservation made less than 48 business hours hours in advance may not be responded
to, and CRW does not guarantee equipment availability for late notice requests.
Gear must be rented from Monday-Thursday/Friday or Friday-Monday. No single day or
night rentals. Here is list of our updated Gear Rental Prices.
Creating a Reservation:
Gear can be reserved up to one month in advance by using the online request form,
by phone at 828.227.8813, or by visiting the Adventure Shop in the CRC during open
hours. All reserved gear must be picked up at the Adventure Shop and returned at the
Boat Shed during open hours. All gear requests are granted on a first-come, first-serve
basis. Please allow at least two business days for your request to be processed.
Once your request has been reviewed by our staff, you will receive a rental confirmation
email outlining the details of your rental . If you do not receive a confirmation
within 48 hours of your request, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 828.227.8813
Reservation Request Form
All cancellations should be made at least two business days prior to the rental start
date. If the Adventure Shop is not notified two days prior (enough time to make the
gear available to other renters), up to a $10 cancellation fee might be assessed at
the discretion of professional staff. At this time, credit and debit cards are the
only form of accepted payment.Cancellations can be made via email at email@example.com or phone at 828-227-8813.
Gear can be picked up at Adventure Shop at the date and time of your reservation.
Face coverings are required when picking up gear. Payment must be paid in full at
time of equipment pick up. At this time, credit and debit cards are the only form
of accepted payment.
All gear must be checked in at the Boat Shed during operating hours at the time specified
on your reservation confirmation. Face coverings are required when dropping off gear.
No credit or refund will be issued for items not used or items returned early. Upon
return, renter should allow 15 minutes to clean and inspect gear. Due to COVID-19,
Adventure Shop staff will guide renters through preliminary cleaning procedures for
each piece of gear. Gloves and cleaning supplies will be supplied.
Late, Missing, or Damaged Gear:
Renters will be charged a late fee at the daily rate for every day the gear has not
been returned. This will continue until the gear is returned. If the gear is not
returned within two weeks of the scheduled return date, the renter will be charged
full retail value of the item and shipping costs. Renters will be charged full retail
value and shipping costs for any missing equipment.
If any gear is damaged due to improper use, a staff member will record the participant’s
information, explanation, and put the equipment to the side so it is not used again
before professional staff look it over. Severity of damage and associated fees will
be determined by staff on all equipment. The patron will be assessed replacement
fees for gear that is lost, stolen, destroyed, or damaged beyond the point of repair.
Patron can pay immediately upon returning gear to the Adventure Shop or will need
to come back to pay within the next 2 weeks. Failure to return gear or pay the gear
replacement charge within 2 weeks will result in loss of BCC gear rental privileges
until the gear is returned or charge is paid. Failure to return gear or pay the gear
replacement charge by the last day of academic classes each semester will result in
the equipment replacement charge being charged to the partron's WCU account. Due to
the expensive cost of some gear, with approval from professional staff, a payment
plan can be created for patron to make payments on lost or damaged gear. At this time,
credit and debit cards are the only form of accepted payment.
Stand Up Paddleboard
Hours of Operation
Fall and Spring Semester:
Monday-Thursday: 4pm - 8pm | Friday: 4pm - 7pm
Monday and Thursday: 4pm - 7pm
Belay Workshops (offered Fall/Spring semesters)
Wednesdays: 6pm - 8pm
The Climbing Wall at the Campus Recreation Center offers an elevated experience with
one of the tallest walls in the UNC system. At just under 50 feet in height, the
climbing wall has over 1,500 square feet of space to boulder, top-rope climb, and
lead climb, with 7 rope lanes - 4 of which are equipped for sport lead climbing.
New to Climbing? We offer belay clinics that orient and introduce novice climbers
to the essential skills and basic gear necessart to get started safely at our wall,
all at no extra cost. Additionally, for those desiring that next growh edge, we offer
lead climbing clinics a few times a semester, and look forward to offering unique
workshops centered around the learning areas of our participants.
Kids Climbing Dates
Kids Climbing Night is typically the last Friday of the month from 5:00pm-7:00pm.
Kids can climb under the supervision of a parent or guardian. Please check in at the
Campus Recreation Center (CRC) front desk when you arrive. The cost is $5.00 per child.
Check our program schedule for specific dates.
Hours of Operation:
Fall and Spring Semester:
Tuesday 3:30pm - 5:30pm | For additional maintenance, students can book a maintenance
request time and drop off their bike in person.
Have a technical issue with your bike? Don't have the time to wait? You can drop
off your bike at the cycle shop by completeing our Bike Maintenance Reservation
The Cycle Shop also offers bike rentals. To rent a mountain bike patrons can come
by the Adventure Shop to setup a rental.
The Base Camp Cycle Shop is your one-stop shop for all your cycling needs. Students
have access to a fully equipped bike shop and trained technician to assist in repairs
and answer questions. Whether a road bike, mountain bike, or something in between,
we have the tools and knowledge to keep the cycling adventure going. Don't forget
to ask about our monthly clinics ranging from basic bike maintenance to essential
mountain biking skills. BCC also offers mountain bike rentals to explore nearly 7
miles of the WCU campus trail system.
Bike Fix-It Stands and Air Pumps
WCU also has two Dero Bicycle Fix-it Stands and Air Pumps located across campus and
are free to use. For maintenance issues please report to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fix-It Stands & Air Pump Locations
- Campus Recreation Center
- WCU Tunnel Entrance/Softball Stadium Parking Lot
Another campus feature we’re proud to share with the Western Carolina University community
is our WCU Trail System. At nearly 7 miles long, this trail was designed for hikers
and mountain biking. Enjoy!
WCU Trail System Map
Teambuilding and Team Development Course
These programs are built around fostering teamwork and communication skills. WCU's
Team Development Course, located behind NCCAT near the Wildflower trailhead, is a
series of structured activities consisting of ground-based initiatives and elements
that serve as a proving ground for teamwork. Teambuilding, as the name, might suggest,
is team-centered initiatives concocted from a series of game-like challenges. Unlike
our Low Ropes Course, we can make Teambuilding happen anywhere considering that it
utilizes very little hardware.
For more information on booking a program please contact Kay Tufts (email@example.com).
Learn more about our WCU Low Ropes Course at Booking your Team Development Course Experience at WCU
Ski and Snowboard Shuttle
Get outside and enjoy the winter in Western North Carolina. Shred some powder every Friday night during the months of January and February. Outdoor Programs offers ski shuttle services
to Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, NC! Make the best out of the winter and hit the slopes with Base
For more information on dates and times check out our Trips Calendar.
Base Camp has a variety of programs that will meet you where you are at. BCC is not
a club and you do not need a membership to join. Stop by our Adventure Shop located
in the Campus Recreation Center and let our staff help you get started. We specialize
in small group instruction, minimal impact techniques, traveling light and most importantly
building community! Below is a list of programs that are offered throughout the year.
First Ascent - New Student Wilderness Orientation Program
First Ascent is WCU's Wilderness Orientation program created to offer unique outdoor
adventures specifically for incoming students. These programs also offer students
the opportunity to move on to campus early, familiarize oneself with resources and
start building a community of friends that helps ease the transition into the college
experience. It's the perfect way to start your climb at WCU!
The program offers two different options:
- Wilderness Experience
- Base Camp Adventure
Find more information and register
Outdoor Guide Development Program (OGDP)
OGDP Returns for the 2021-2022 academic year!
The Outdoor Guide Development Program (OGDP) is an outdoor leadership training program
open to all WCU students offered during the Fall semester. Students are eligable
for academic credit through PRM 486 (4cr) Field Experience. OGDP is an immersive program
that provides a smooth transition and educational process to become a Base Camp Cullowhee
(BCC) Trip Staff. Certificates of completion will be given to those students participating
in a formal assessment of their skills and qualifications as pursuant to best industry
practice and established Base Camp Cullowhee Lead Guide and Instructor competencies.
OGDP focuses on giving students the necessary skills, knowledge, and awareness to
become competent outdoor instructors and guides. OGDP Foundations, Outdoor Essential Technical
Skills Day and the Technical Field Training are at the core of becoming a trip leader
and are offered during the Fall semester. OGDP is also Base Camp's professional development
for current staff working as trip leaders and focuses on improvement in technical
skills, leadership, and interpersonal skills.
Becoming an outdoor leader and educator is a lifelong journey that starts with developing
a core set of skills and knowledge. It is more than just being a climber, paddler
or backpacker. OGDP gives you the confidence and tools necessary to pursue a life
full of human powered adventure. Whether you want to become a trip leader with Base
Camp Cullowhee, work for an outdoor guide service, or just looking to refine your
outdoor leader toolbox; OGDP has something to offer everyone.
All students are required to register for OGDP prior to participation.
Academic Credit with Parks and Recreation Management
NOTE - The academic credit tie is not being offered during the 21-22 academic year. If you express interest in obtaining academic credit via PRM 486 Field Experience,
please email Jeremiah Haas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Students interested in OGDP can learn more by stopping by the CRC Adventure Shop or
OGDP Schedule - Fall 2021
|OGDP Workshops / Training
|Overview of OGDP and Welcome
||CRC Meeting Room
|Foundations Technical Workshop Day
||WCU Campus - Outdoors/Classroom
|Essential Outdoor Skills Day
||WCU Campus - Outdoors/Classroom
|OGDP Technical Field Training
||Pisgah National Forest
1. Foundations & Essentials: OGDP begins with the Foundations workshop day. Foundations are series of small workshops
that focus on the awareness of appropriate attitudes, knowledge, and skills as it
relates to outdoor leadership with particular emphasis on the relationship between
people, the environment, and equipment. This dedicated workshop day is offered once
in the semester and will be taught in a classroom and partially outdoors.
The Outdoor Essentials Skills Day is a day dedicated to learning all the camp-craft
skills requried to be a competent outdoor leader in the backcountry. This day will
help prepare you for our 4-day mini-expedition at the end of the program. Dates for
both of these workshop dates are listed above.
2. Experience Base Camp Cullowhee: Sign up for 1 outdoor program day trip, or attend one overnight extended trip as
a participant. One can participate in this experience at any point during their progress
through OGDP, Fall, Spring or Summer. During these trips you will learn about how
a Base Camp trip runs, you will see first hand how the instructor team works together
and also learn about some of our popular outdoor destinations. The Base Camp Cullowhee
program calendar is available on our website or at the CRC Adventure Shop.
3. Overview of Trip Leading & Technical Field Training: The final phase of OGDP is completing an overview of what it means to be a trip leader
with outdoor programs and attend a 4-day technical field training (backpacking) which
will focus on teaching and reviewing all the necessary technical skills and interpersonal
skills one needs to have in order to move into a trip leader role. Students will work
1:1 with professional staff to check off on their competency checklist, provide a
self evaluation of their skills and receive a final instrcutor evaluation for the
4. Medical Certifications: The following certifications are required to work for WCU Base Camp Cullowhee: Wilderness
First Responder (Lead Guides), Wilderness First Aid (Instructors), Basic First Aid
(Apprentices), CPR/AED (Everyone), NC Epinephrine Administration, and WCU Van Driver
Training. It is the student's responsibility to obtain these certifications prior
to working. CRW offers CPR/AED courses in-house.
5. Apprentice: After completing Foundations, participating in BCC programs, completing the Field
Training, meet with professional staff and check off on your competency checklist
and obtain required certifications, you will be ready to start your journey as a Trip
Apprentice. Trip Apprentices are hired as staff with CRW and Base Camp Cullowhee.
Apprentices are paid $7.25/hour. Responsibilities include: help plan logistics, teaching
flow, manage safety and help to facilitate a quality experience for patrons. Once
you are an Apprentice, students will receive emails and newsletters regarding opportunities
for trip leading.
6. Instructors and Lead Guides: Depending on your skill level, apprenticing enough trips, obtaining proper certifications
and progress on competency checklists; students may be asked to join BCC as an Instructor
or Lead Guide. The process of completing OGDP is different for every student. Our
goal is to meet you where you are at, allow you the time needed to build confidence
and the necessary outdoor skills prior to stepping into a leadership role. You will
go through a field checkoff, at which time BCC trip staff will make sure you complete
all necessary skills on your checklist.
OGDP also offers an exemption process for those students coming in with a wealth of
knowledge, skills, certifications, and experience. The program also offers exemptions
for students who are majoring in Parks and Recreation Management (PRM). For more information
on exemptions please contact Jeremiah Haas email@example.com
7. Outdoor Essential Clinics: Once a student becomes a trip staff with BCC, it is required that staff keep up with
their professional development in order to keep the quality of instruction and risk
management high and to offer top-notch programming to our patrons. These FREE workshops
teach you the essential skills for becoming an outdoor leader. There are a series
of both Technical and Soft skill focused clinics and staff have to choose 1 from each
category, during both Fall and Spring semesters. This is a total of 4 workshops over
the year. OGDP Candidates and BCC Trip Staff can register for clinics at the Adventure
Shop, located in the CRC. You can attend Essential Clinics at any time.
- Where is Base Camp Located?
BCC is located on the first floor of the Campus Recreation Center.
- What are the Adventure Shop Hours?
Monday & Friday 10am - 5pm, Tuesday-Thursday, 12pm - 5pm
- How do I sign up for Base Camp?
Base Camp is not an organization you sign-up for. A lot of our programs, such as the
climbing wall and roll clinics, are free to students. We do offer numerous trips that
you can sign-up for and each trip is a certain, reduced, cost for students. We also
provide outdoor gear rentals for students, faculty, and staff, for a fee.
- How do I sign up for trips?
To sign-up for a Base Camp trip, you can either come to our Adventure Shop located
in the Campus Recreation Center or, you can sign up online.
- How much does it cost to rent gear?
Each item that we rent comes at a different cost depending on the item and how long
you want to rent it. We have items anywhere from $2.00 to $45.00. See rental rates for more information.
- What are the Climbing Wall Hours?
Fall/Spring Hours: Monday-Thursday 4pm - 8pm, Friday 4pm - 7pm
Summer Hours: Mondays and Thursdays 4:00pm - 7:00pm
- Who can sign-up for a Base Camp Trip?
Any WCU student, staff, or faculty are eligible to sign up for trips. Guests, or
an individual not directly affiliated with WCU, are ineligible to register for and
participate in BCC trips.
- What are the difficulty levels are Base Camp Trips?
The majority of our trips cater to beginners. However, for most trips, participants
are expected to be in good physical shape in order to participate in the activity.
- Is Outdoor Programs permitted to operate on US Forest Service Lands?
Outdoor Programs holds Special Use Permits with the US Forest Service, for the following
ranger districts - Nantahala, Pisgah and Grandfather. Outdoor Programs is permitted
to operate on National Forest Service Land. This permit states: The U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in its programs on the basis of race,
color national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation,
or marital or family status. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA Director,
Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 202.720.5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity
provider and employer.