Climbing North Carolina

Self-Rescue for Climbers
Wilderness Medicine Courses for Climbers
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Our Guides
Travel Climbing
Gallery of Recent Climbing Adventures







north carolina rock climbingWelcome to Granite Arches Climbing Guides!

Rock Climbing in the Southeast: We offer rock climbing instruction and guiding in North CarolinaTennessee, and Georgia.  Our focus is to help you efficiently reach your climbing goals, while developing superior risk management awareness and technical skill proficiency. In  short, our aim is to make you a better climber as quickly as possible. Our instruction can cover beginner rock climbing, intermediate and aid climbing, lead climbing, self-rescue and guide training.  
Ice Climbing:
  We also offer ice climbing instruction and guiding in the southeastern, northeastern and western U.S. 

The Mountain Experience:
We offer scheduled  group and custom ski mountaineering and mountaineering expeditions  to the western U.S., Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia.  Contact us for more details.

Climbing Rescue & Medical Courses:
We offer climbing-specific courses on wilderness medicine and self-rescue, either privately or in scheduled classes throughout the year.  


Our Courses: Our guided rock climbing instruction and guiding is tailored to the client's goals, is highly personalized, and is loosely organized around the following  knowledge suites:



Intro to Outdoor Rock Climbing:  gear overview; basic climbing movement and techniques; belaying and ground anchors; basic risk assessment; and more. 


Top Rope Setup:  rock and tree analysis; rigging options; media selection and ERNEST analysis; cliff side safety systems; and more.                                     


Lead Climbing I: single-point protection workshop (nuts, sliders, cams, etc.); rope physics/selection; rack selection and organization; reading routes, choosing placements and riggings; avoiding zipper, z clips and backclips; learning to control rope travel and drag; lead climbing psychology.  The course makes extensive use of mock leads with transitions into anchors.  


Lead Climbing II: advanced leading concepts, theory and practice (exploiting cam angles, wedge physics, building awareness of vector dynamics; utilizing multidirectional anchors as URPs while leading; identifying and managing critical curvature) and involved advanced mock leading problems.


Multi-pitch Climbing: complex anchors, macro-micro route finding, anchor selection and orientation, and more.                     


Self-Rescue I & II:  belay escapes, directs, knot passes, raises, lowers, ascensions, pick-offs, rescue theory/planning, and more.


Guide Skills Course: client care, climbing with multiple clients, advanced belay systems, advanced rappel systems, transitions, and more.

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Our Guides:

David Kessler is an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor and a NOLS Certified Wilderness First Responder. Dave has been climbing and teaching for 33 years at many of the most popular areas in Tennessee, Kentucky, Wisconsin, New York, Canada, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Colorado, Wyoming, Oregon, West Virginia and North Carolina.  Currently he enjoys guiding primarily in Tennessee. More.

Scott Perkins is an AMGA certified Single Pitch Instructor and he has completed the AMGA Rock Instructor Course.  He has climbed all over the US, has 50+ ascents of Mt Ranier, 20 of Mount Baker.  He has climbed and guided extensively in the North Cascades, Olympics, Canadian Rockies, Tetons, Winds, High Sierra, Alaska, Mexico and the Andes of South America, including numerous solo summits of major mountains.   More here.  

Ryan Prentiss is an AMGA certified SPI who began climbing in college out in Northern California.  Since that time, Ryan has worked for the North Carolina Outward Bound School as a climbing instructor, has an Outdoor Education certificate from CSU Chico, and has a current WFR from WMI.  He has climbed and guided in numerous climbing areas from California to North Carolina.  More.

Swis Stockton is a USMGA/AMGA Certified Rock Instructor, WEMT, Paramedic, ACLS/PEPP/BTLS, and Wilderness Advanced Life Support (WALS) certified.  He completed the Swiss/UIAGM High Altitude Guides Rescue Course and has guided in Peru, Ecuador, and the US on rock, snow and ice. More.


We hope to climb with you soon!

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Granite Arches Climbing Guides
Asheville, NC, USA
Chattanooga, TN USA
Johnson City, TN USA
Winston-Salem, NC, USA

Phone: (423) 413-1432

Website copyright 1997-2014
  by Granite Arches Climbing Guides

Permits:  Granite Arches holds a special users' permit to operate in the
National Forests of North Carolina

Disclaimer: Rock, snow, and ice climbing and related activities are inherently dangerous.  We try to manage the risks of climbing, but no guarantee of safety is provided or implied.  You may be injured or killed while climbing.