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Post Trips

Big Winter Trip to Georgia;
Rocktown  Ellison's Cave

December 27th, 2022 to January 1st, 2023

The Georgia trip was a success! With our small crew, we were able to spend two days bouldering at Rocktown on Pigeon Mountain with stellar weather. Following bouldering, we geared up for Ellisons Cave where we spent 24 hours dropping the 125' Warmup pit and exploring the cave. Thanks for an awesome year gang!

Check out all the photos here

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Tadpoles Service Project

December 10th, 2022

Our Tadpoles Service project was a big success! Thanks to Molly's wonderful tour the girls learned a ton of information and left feeling great about the work they accomplished. We also managed to sneak in some fun too! 

For more information on the wonderful work the Industrustrial Commons is doing in our community, check out their website here

 

Check out all the photos here

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24 Hour Crusher

November 19th and 2oth, 2022

The third annual 24 Hour Crusher did not disappoint. Per usual, we mapped out an ambitious route to accomplish in 24 hours with our A team. This year's route was mapped at 24.3 miles from Harpers Creek Trailhead in the Wilsons Creek area to the Tannawa Trailhead in Fosco off of Holloway Mountain Road. This route went through and over Yellowbuck Mountain, Huntfish Falls, Timber Ridge, Schoolhouse Gap, Beacon Heights, and Shiprock.

Not only did our team complete this rowdy 27 mile adventure in 22.5 hours, they battled 5 degree weather and 40 mile per hour winds. As always, this one was for the books. Thanks for your hard work Crushers!

Check out all the photos here

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Tadpoles, Frogs, Salamanders Camping

November 5th 2022

11 Tadpoles and Frogs along with 5 parents led Whisper up to the Little River campsite this weekend, while 4 Salamanders and 1 parent took Jacob down to Steels Creek. Both groups had successful camping trips despite the abundance of "liquid sunshine"! Backpacking is a new skill for many in this age group and backpacking in the rain is a whole additional skill set. We are incredibly impressed with the positive mental attitudes, PMA, shown by all our students as they navigated these new challenges and refined their skills. 

Check out all the photos from the Frogs and Tadpoles trip here

Check out all the photos from the Salamanders trip here

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Frogs and Salamanders Rappelling

October 15th, 2022

What a beautiful weekend for rappelling! The changing fall leaves were spectacular against the clear blue skies and the temperature was cool with strong winds for a little spice. 

A short but steep hike to Sitting Bear Spire provided the perfect spot for everyone to play games in the leaves and search for wooly worms while waiting for their turn to descend 200ft off the overlook. 12 Frogs and Salamanders, 1 brave dad, and 2 instructors made a whopping 15 rappellers, totalling 3,000ft! 

We are extremely impressed with the bravery, behavior, and comradery of this group and look forward to our next trip together. 
Check out all the photos here

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Secret Flackamite Frogs and Tadpoles

October 2nd, 2022

We certainly lucked out with quality weather this weekend! With nine students and three parents, we descended into the forest for Secret Flackamite -- shhhh. Everyone was able to climb and many of the girls learned how to belay! A big thanks goes out to the Frogs for their mentorship of the Tadpoles; they are their way to becoming outstanding leaders.. 
Check out all the photos here

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Secret Flackamite Climbing and Camping

September 17th and 18th, 2022

With fourteen students from the Olders, Frogs, and Salamanders, we had a great weekend climbing, camping, and hiking! Saturday, everyone climbed their hearts out perhaps for the first time or going higher or harder than they ever have. That evening a few Olders continued climbing into the dark while the rest of the group went back to camp to play games! In the early morning, Olders went on a sunrise hike up to Hawksbill. The whole group went for a morning hike up to the Sitting Bear Spire then Celestial Point following breakfast. We look forward to the next adventure; thanks for another awesome trip gang!

Check out all the photos here

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Sierra and Yosemite Expedition

June 25th to July 13th,2022

What a trip. We had nine Morganton students and TAASC Dad, Alan Clark, along with Asheville TAASC. Based out of Fresno California, we began our expedition in the Mono Divide area of Sierra National Forest. We backpacked and explored for ten days in the Bear Creek drainage even climbing the 2002 named peak Spirit of America at 12 thousand feet!

Following our time backpacking, everyone got a shower before heading up to Yosemite Valley. We climbed for four days and got the opportunity to check out two of Yosemite's three groves of Giant Sequoias.

Big shoutout to all students for your dedicated training before the trip and stellar expedition behavior; I look forward to more expeditions with you. Emme and Rachel, don't be strangers!

Check out all the photos here

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Trail work day with Wild South

May 15th,2022

we were able to get out and dig with Wild South in the northern end of the Wilsons Creek Wilderness area. With about 15 people and the knowledge from Jen Grady, we were able to dig 26 water bars in two hours; take that water!

Check out all the photos here

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Lake James Canoe and Camping

May 7th and 8th,2022

Preparation for this trip began during the Thursday meeting with raft building! Both the youngers and olders were given limited materials and little direction to fabricate.  Using lashing skills and gratuitous amounts of duct tape, they created some funky rafts! 

Upon arriving at the lake, we did a brief paddle and stroke talk before beginning the raft race! With three youngers on their craft and two olders on theirs, it was a fun event with plenty of sabotage! Following the race, we packed up the boats and departed across Lake James battling some heavy winds. With winds too strong to finish our journey, we stopped at a beach for a few hours. There was plenty of free play along with LNT fire building during our siesta.

That evening was spent at Lake James State Park's Long Arm boat in camp sites. Cold temps and heavy night time rain left many student with hard lessons come the morning, but everyone adapted well to the difficult conditions. 

A big shoutout goes to our older students for their mentorship to the younger on this trip. Youngers, you guys absolutely crushed it despite your limited experience and tricky conditions! 

Check out all the photos here

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Irish Creek Backpacking

April 1st-3rd, 2022

This spring has held lots of backpacking trips in preparation for the Sierras Expedition and Appalachian Trail, however everyone on last weekend's trip to Irish Creek agrees this one was particularly special. With many new Youngers on this trip the Olders jumped into action each taking a specific Younger under their wing for the weekend. At every turn the Olders were happy to lend a hand setting up a tent or cooking diner. In our closing circle the gang shared how the accommodating mileage allowed them to really slow down in their busy lives, observe the new spring growth, and take in the view. 

Check out all the photos here

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Banff Film Festival

March 18th-20th, 2022

This past weekend was awesome. Blasting out of Morganton at 4:00pm in the sugar cube, our bus, we made it just in time for a quick bite and the start of the Banff Mountain Film Festival at Brevard College. Everyone set up camp at the Wijy Cemetery in headlamps after the films!

After a late night, the group meandered up to Wijy's Wall. As expected, the wall was still wet after days of rain, so we enacted plan B! The olders with alumni Noah Green headed out on a hike towards Looking Glass finding dry rock at Fate Osteen while the youngers and Brevard TAASC stuck around for a fun rappelling clinic with plenty of free play in between. 

Saturday evening was full of ice cream cones and more films. Sunday, we were home by noon. A big shout out goes to Ryan and Brevard College for reserving tickets and seats for our program!

Check out all the photos here

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Weekend Backpacking

February 4th-6th, 2022

This weekend was our first backpacking trip of 2022. With eight students, we descended into the Linville Gorge under the guidance of Student Leaders Emme and Rachel. Friday night with heavy winds and temperatures around 15F, we camped at the bottom of Conley Cove along the Linville Gorge Trail. Saturday, we meandered along the river to the base of the new Leadmine Trail where we camped for the night. The following morning everyone was up and at 'em early despite the cold temps; the group with full packs fired up the Leadmine Trail and the MST over two miles and 1,400 vertical feet by 11:00am!

Check out all the photos here

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Winter Hike

January 6th, 2022

This weekend's winter hike was a blast. With 14 students and one parent, we headed up to Carvers gap to experience some winter conditions. Jacob, Mike, and 4 younger students headed up the closed road to the top of Roan Mountain while Whisper and 10 older students ventured up to Bald Knob. Some mild gusts and a decent base of snow provided great conditions to train for bigger winter trips.

Check out all the photos here

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High Altitude Hike

December 12th, 2021

Sunday was a fun day hike in the Roan Mountain Highlands. The refined group of 10 started our Journey out at the headwaters of Roaring Creek making our way up the old tractor road. From the end of the tractor road, the group found their way over to the infrequently visited Big Yellow Mountain where we ate lunch and enjoyed the cold and windy but splitter weather. From Yellow Mountain, we meandered back over to Little Hump Mountain where we enjoyed some hot chocolate before heading down. It is short day trips like this which allows us to refine our skills and systems for bigger trips!

Check out all the photos here

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Tadpole's Hike and Sleepover

November 13th and 14th, 2021

Last weekend the TAASC Tadpoles and female mentors from Youngers went on a beautifully chilly hike in the Linville Gorge Wilderness. Our small but mighty crew hiked a little over 3 miles only stopping for lunch at Reference Rock. After a quick visit to Mike's Treehouse the crew headed down the mountain for more fun at the TAASC Leadership Center. We climbed, played, learned to make quesadillas, played some more, and watched Planet Earth before passing out on the climbing mats. A great time for everyone involved, can't wait to see what these awesome young ladies will do next!

Check out all the photos here

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Raven Knob Trail Work and Camping

October 15th-17th, 2021

The classic Raven Knob trip was a success! We arrived at camp Friday night with enough time to work on our camp craft and rest-up for the big day ahead. Saturday morning the TAASC students worked hard to rough a huge section of the Zeke's Peak Memorial Trail they have been working on over the last few years. Asheville TAASC reinforcements showed up just in time to fi nish off the bench-cut leaving just a few switch-backs before we can call the trail complete. Lots of laughter, conversation, and games at camp on Saturday night as the Morganton and Asheville gang caught up with each other. The energy carried into Sunday morning and after some light work and hours of games, the groups bid each other farewell excited for the next trip with both groups. We are happy to help Raven Knob Scout Camp because of the butterfly effect it has created in so many lives. Mike's love for the outdoors-- that he has so generously passed on to anyone and everyone he could--can be attributed to his experience as a student and instructor at Raven Knob and for that we are grateful. 

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Tadpole's Climbing Day 

October 9th, 2021

We are so happy with how the first Tadpole trip turned out last weekend! Six Tadpoles, five girls from the Youngers, and several parents joined us for a fun-filled day. Due to downpours the previous week we changed the location to Cliffhangers indoor climbing gym in Mooresville. While it was not the original plan, it was much better! Indoor climbing allowed the students to climb as much as they desired with auto-belays, top-ropes, and bouldering. The girls climbed for hours pushing themselves to reach the top and try every climb they could. 

I was so impressed with the progress I saw in such a short amount of time. This trip allowed students to grow in confidence and become comfortable with heights and being on belay; the group will be extra ready next time we can climb outside. They truly demonstrated what it means to climb like a girl... way to go TAASC girls!

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TAASC Tadpole Update

September 2021

The new fall season is off to a great start for all TAASC groups this year; however, we wanted to give a special update on our new young girls program:

The TAASC Tadpoles currently have 4 members, with more expected to join, and will be capped at 10 Tadpoles. We have been meeting at Catawba Meadows Thursdays 4:30-6:00 to have access to wooded areas, open fields, and running streams. All of our meetings have a similar flow. The girls have a chance to socialize and share at our opening circle. Followed by a group building or energetic game. Lessons are typically two parts, a naturalist aspect and a recreation aspect. Last Thursday, the girls went on a tree identification scavenger hunt before setting up and walking on slacklines. Each meeting ends with journaling and a closing circle. 

Through this meeting and lesson style Tadpoles hopes to: Teach girls to love the outdoors--to replace the fear of dirt and bugs all too often taught to girls with appreciation, to prepare girls to move to the Youngers group-- learning to be outside comfortably will allow them more energy to learn harder skills in years to come, and to Instill self confidence--confidence is the key ingredient for the bravery required to paddle whitewater or climb mountains.

We have followed closely in the footsteps of Asheville TAASC's booming girls program and can not thank Beth, Greg, and Becky enough for the inspiration and model. We hope Tadpoles can be another way TAASC positively impacts the Morganton community for years to come. 

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Old Flackamite Climbing and Camping Post Trip

Sep 18th-19th, 2021

Last weekend's Climbing and Camping Trip to Old Flackamite was great! With many new students on this trip, there were many firsts from camping, climbing outdoors, cooking a real meal on a camp stove, to dealing with a bit of weather. Everyone hammered down and climbed their hearts out on Saturday until a bit of weather ensued. The olders stepped up to clean routes in the rain and organize the youngers to head out. After a fun night at camp, the group went on a short day hike to Celestial Point.

Check out all the photos here

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Water Safety Course and Kayak Rolling Clinic

August, 2021

In August holding tradition, we hosted the Water Safety Course as well as Kayak Rolling Clinics. These courses and clinics are a great way for everyone to get back in the TAASC groove as well as learn life saving skills and techniques. A big thanks goes out to the Sevensma's and Cioffoletti's for letting us use their homes on Lake James to host these events!

Check out all the photos here

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Eleven Day Canoe trip

June 16th-June 26th, 2021

The eleven day Canoe Trip was an absolute success. We had ten students, Whisper, Mike, and Jacob. Starting on the Wateree River in Camden, SC and finishing in Jamestown, SC on the Santee River, we crushed out 170 miles. TAASC has completed this section of river five times before in 1998, 2002, 2010, 2012, and 2017.  

 

Overall the weather held out for us with only two afternoon t-storms and one rainy day. Three nights we battled four to five foot swells on the river moving camp back and even moving out! The headwinds on Lake Marion provided some spice, but only made those beautiful sandy beach campsites even sweeter. 

 

We are spending the next week at Folly Beach, SC in celebration of everyone's successful expedition!

 

Check out all the photos Here

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Flackamite Climbing and Camping

May 14th -16th, 2021

 

A few weeks ago we had the classic three day and two night Secret Flackamite trip -- Shhhh it's a secret. With many new students and climbers along with a crew of seasoned olders, we were able to crank out pitches! The evenings were filled with silly games and plenty of ramen noodles. Sunday, we even made it up to the Sitting Bear Spire for the Sunrise

 

Check out all the photos here

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Catawba River Canoe

May 1st, 2021

 

This past weekend's Catawba River trip was a great success. With eight students, we rallied through the rapids below the bridge water dam all the way to Judges in Morganton! We reviewed basic paddling skills and introduced more complex skills like ferrying, communication, and eddying. 

 

Check out all the photos here

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Stone Mountain Climbing Trip

April 16th-18th, 2021

 

Last weekend was the classic Stone Mountain Trip. With a small crew, we were able to cover serious ground and learn a bunch. Following a warm night at the campground on Friday, we quickly made it into the park and split into two parties of three. We climbed many of the classics and even got Eli and Meadow leading.

 

Check out all the photos here

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Bynum Bluff to Babel Tower Backpacking

March 27th & 28th, 2021

 

Our small group of seven descended into the northwest corner of the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area encountering heavy rain, wind, cranberry-sized hail, and plenty of electricity. While primarily new students, the group handled the conditions wonderfully with positive mental attitudes and quality systems to stay dry. This was a great way to train for the upcoming Appalachian trail trip!

Check out all the photos here

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Table Rock Attic Window Rappel

March 13th, 2021

 

The Attic Window Rappel was an absolute blast! After the three mile hike up the closed road and the summit trail, students warmed up on Eli's bushwack adventure and a series of 40' rappels. Most everyone made it down the 200' Attic Window Rappel and three of our twelve students had only rappelled once in our gym prior to this trip! A big thanks goes to the olders for their leadership and mentorship to the youngers on this trip!

Check out all the photos here

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Technical Rescue Clinic

Feburary 5th &6th, 2021

 

While we had to reschedule the Stone Mountain Trip due to snow and cold weather, the Portaledging and a Technical Rescue clinic did not disappoint! For those that could make it, Friday night was filled with juggling lessons, cooking outside, an old school climbing film, and portaledging from the tower.

 

Following cooking breakfast, we all buckled down for a crash course in basic first aid and technical rescue. From scene size up to life threats, hyporaps, BEAMing, carrying a liter, to a full liter lower, our crew killed it!

 

Check out all the photos here

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Little Hump Winter Hike

January 16th, 2021

 

Last Saturday, we ventured into a winter wonderland with a fantastic crew! After an early meeting time, we loaded up and drove out to Roaring Creek just below the Over Mountain Shelter on the Appalachian and Over Mountain Victory Trails. Before we could head out, we got the unique team building opportunity of getting our three vehicle crew unstuck from the snow and ice!!!

 

The team cruised up the steep one mile section of the Overmountain Victory Trail as it began to snow harder. A quick lunch and layering session ensued before braving the alpine zone above the tree line. With temperatures around 10 degrees and the wind whipping up to 20 miles per hour, the team marched to the summit long enough to snap a few photos and head down to seek refuge in the treeline.

 

Winter hikes and winter mountaineering trips are important tests of personal equipment systems and mental fortitude. Everyone had a great attitude and mostly solid systems!

 

 

Check out all of the photos here

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Bull Cave

December 11th, 2022

A few weeks ago, we snuck in a fun Caving trip with olders. With very few visitors in its history, we had the privilege of exploring Bull Cave in Bluff City, Tennessee. The cave has elements of verticality and of course mud and rocks! This made the trip great training for those planning on going to Ellison's Cave next week. A big thanks goes out to Mike and Reneae who own the cave.

Check out all the photos here

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Winter Day Hikes

December 3rd and 4th, 2022

This weekend we had two wonderful day hikes with students. Saturday, Older students tackled Celo Knob which is a big summit in the Black Mountain Range. Sitting at 6,327', students hiked over 3,000' vertical feet over 3 miles to attain the summit of Celo. They battled scattered showers, wind, and variable temperatures with great attitudes.

 

Sunday, the Frogs and Salamanders ventured up Little Hump Mountain near Roan Mountain, TN. Starting at Roaring Creek Road, students pushed 1,300' and a mile and a half up the tractor road before getting to the alpine zone where we were greeted with a breeze and colder temps. After a lunch in the rock outcropping, we made it to the summit with smiles all around.

Check out all the photos here

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Long Weekend Backpacking

November 11th to 13th, 2022

Big elevation changes, bushwacking adventures, and wild wind storms were the highlights of last weekend's backpacking trip. Our crew of nine spent the first night down by the river at Leadmine and the second on the beautiful rocky outcroppings of Rock Jock. These challenges were no match for our super dialled olders group as we explored the west side of the Linville Gorge. 

Check out all the photos here

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Trail Work with Wild South

October 22nd, 2022

Local land protector, Wild South, works non-stop to maintain our southeast Wilderness Areas and National Forests. Last weekend both Morganton and Lake Norman TAASC jumped in and helped mark a project off their to-do list. 

Our team of 25 collected a full truck bed of trash from the Wiseman's View Overlook and off hwy 105 from Wiseman's to Conley. Many interesting finds, beautiful views, and great weather kept the group happy and trash hunting all day. 

As always, it's a pleasure to give back to the areas we utilize however we can. Way to go team!  
Check out all the photos here

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Ampitheater

October 7th, 2022

With four students, we snuck down into the Amphitheater for a great day of climbing. One group of three climbed Good Heavens while the other group of three climbed The Mummy. The autumn colors were starting to show and the air was crisp. It was a fun day for all!
Check out all the photos here

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Table Rock Multipitch Climbing

September 25th, 2022

Last Sunday, we had a wonderful trip with five older students and nine total on Table Rock Mountain. Each group of three were able to climb 400' to 500' to the summit of Table Rock! Great work everyone, we are excited about our next climbing trip to Looking Glass Rock in a few weeks. 
Check out all the photos here

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Yellow Fork Falls

September 3rd, 2022

Saturday's hike was a great way to kick off the fall semester! With nineteen students and parents we meandered down the short but steep trail to Yellow Fork Falls. Upon our arrival, we were surprised to see the swimming hole drained! The water must have found a lower elevation outlet leaving the swimming hole a fraction of its former glory!

Despite the low water, everyone had a blast exploring and playing in the new swimming hole! Students discovered a fun rock slide and respectfully viewed salamanders, frogs, and snakes. Thanks for an awesome first trip everyone; we are excited to see what this semester holds!

Check out all the photos here

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River Trip in canoes

May 21st and 22nd,2022

This past weekend was a fun two day paddling trip on two different rivers. Saturday, we stayed local paddling the Catawba River from the Bridgewater Dam below Lake James to the Hwy 18 River access over 15 miles. This section provides some simple class II rapids to practice and hone in skills for the first half while the second half is a fun flatwater section with ample swimming opportunities!

After a fun night of movies, pizza, and cake at the Leadership Center, we were up and at 'em on Sunday ready to paddle section III of the Tuckasegee River. Students' hard work honing in paddle strokes, body movement, and teamwork paid off here. Traveling through the 5 mile section, students descended class III water with ease. Good work everyone!

Check out all the photos here

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Tadpole's Camping Trip

May 13th and 14th,2022

Another successful camping trip for TAASC's Tadpoles this past weekend! Friday night the Tadpoles trekked out into the forest in light rain to find a beautiful mossy spot along Back Irish Creek many carrying packs half their size! Sheltering under a few large tarps, these brave ladies experienced many firsts in camp craft and independence. We worked as a team to pitch tents, cook dinners on gas stoves, and filter water. After a night of bright moonlight and Whippoorwill calls, we broke camp at astonishing speed and headed for a nice sunny field. After many games and enjoying the view, we headed home. These accomplishments are huge no matter the age or size. However, at this rate when they reach the Olders group they will be unstoppable!

Check out all the photos here

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Annual Appalachain Trail Trip

April 18th to 22nd, 2022

This spring break held yet another successful Appalachian Trail Trip. With 8 students and TAASC parent, Allan Clark, we ventured 52 miles from the Nolichucky River in Erwin, Tennessee to highway 19E in Roan, Mountain, Tennessee going over many high points including Roan, Unaka, Iron Mountain, and Big Hump! Through cold rain, cold temps, and long climbs, the group powered through this tough one; awesome work gang.

Check out all the photos here

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Weekend of Rappelling

March 26th and 27th, 2022

The last weekend in March held back-to-back rappelling adventures for all of our TAASC groups. 

Saturday the Tadpoles ventured to a new crag off of 181 learning the art of bush-whacking as they went. For most students this was their first time rappelling outdoors and strong winds with chilly temps made the experience even more extreme. If the girls were not actively rappelling on one of the three overhanging options, they were warming up with hot coco in the legendary Kiva tipi tent. 

Sunday the Youngers and Olders made the three mile trek to the Attic Window on Table Rock. However, met with wind gusts of 40mph, they were forced to take shelter in a large rock alcove to reevaluate their goal of the 200ft rappel. The clever group opted for a few shorter rappels just above and finished the day with a hike to the summit (and hot cocoa of course). 

Check out all the Tadpole photos here

Check out all the Younger Photos Here

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Worley's Cave

February 12th and 13th, 2022

What a rowdy weekend! We had three groups of Morganton TAASC students go into the cave. Saturday, Whisper took the Tadpoles while Jacob and Mike took the Youngers; the day was full of new experiences and challenges for all!

Saturday, we went back with the Olders completing the full "boyscout loop" -- over 5 miles in the cave. Trip leaders Meadow and Liam practiced route finding and line choice through the cave. With stoke for caving high, we have continued Thursday night lessons themed around vertical cave ascension!

Check out all the photos here

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Introductory Winter Mountaineering

January 15th and 16th, 2022

Last weekend, we had to cancel our weekend backpacking trip due to the incoming winter weather. But, that very storm gave us the unique opportunity to get students out for an Introductory Mountaineering Trip. Saturday, we all met at the TAASC Leadership Center to double check everyone's systems before heading up the mountain. That evening, we set up base camp on top of Gingercake Rock. The next morning, we woke up to a winter wonderland! A quick ice axe lesson and a snowy hike finished out our trip.

Check out all the photos here

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Zipathon

December 20th, 2021

Our last event for 2021 was a collective effort between Morganton, Asheville, and Lake Norman TAASCs as well as the Freedom High International Club! The goal was to zip 26.2 miles as a group. Utilizing Beanstalk Journeys at Catawaba Meadows, each individual journey is about 1,000'. With 26.2 Miles being about 139k', we exceed our goal with 142 total journeys!

A big thanks goes out to Mike, Kelsey, and Isaac for allowing us to use the course for this special event as well as all the Beanstalk Guides! 

Check out this Video Dave Denny put together of the event

Check out all the photos here

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Stone Mountain 1000ft rappel

November 19th - 21st, 2021

The classic Stone Mountain Trip was a blast. With colder temperatures in the 20s both nights, students were able to refine their systems or learn some hard lessons on cold weather camping. Saturday day, we all rigged four 1,000' ropes and got everyone down before the park closed! Sunday was followed by derigging and some fun topropes. Thanks to all 27 humans who joined us on this one. 

Check out all the photos here

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24 hour crusher!

November 13th and 14th, 2021

This past weekend was quite the adventure -- one for the books to say the least. Thursday night students planned their 29 mile route according to the maps along a local section of the MST or Mountains to Seas Trail. On Saturday, Six students and Jake departed at the Harpers Creek Falls Trail Head in Wilsons Creek at 9:45am. The crew pushed over Harpers Creek, Upper Creek, Hwy 181, and Steeles Creek to Little Tablerock by 10:00pm. Ready for their second water resupply and dinner, they found the spring dry, temps around 15 degree F, and whipping winds. They cooked with what little water they had left and waited for Mike to come to the rescue with a hot water resupply and moral support at the Table Rock Parking Lot.

Following the reunion with Mike, everyone rallied for an hour to Chimney gap where they dropped off the ridge to bivy for two hours. At 4:00am they were moving again, catching the sunrise on Shortoff and finishing at the Fonta Flora Country Trail Head. Following the finish line, the Sevensma's prepared everyone a big ol' breakfast; thanks you guys!

The group managed to finish in 24:15 with an actual mileage of 38.5 according to Rachel's GPS. This is a new record for TAASC; awesome work crew; you're all genuine crushers.

Check out all the photos here

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Grandfather Training Hike

October 10th, 2021

A few weekends ago was an olders only day hike in Grandfather Mountain State Park. With a whopping fifteen students, two parents, Whisper, and Jacob, we split into two groups. Starting at 221 and the Asusti Trail, each group travelled about 4.5 miles to the top of Calloway. One group of students training for the upcoming 24 Hour Crusher continued past Calloway and back down for a total of about 15 miles for the day. A big thanks to our olders group who continues to push their limits with smiles on their faces!

Check out all the photos here

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Blackfork Climbing and Camping

October 2nd- 3rd, 2021

We had a killer time climbing at Blackfork with the olders! We had a small but nimble group of eight olders. With easily accessed sport routes, a waterfall, bushwacking, and car camping, everyone had a jam packed two day trip.

Check out all the photos here

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Carolina Climber Coalition (CCC) Trail Work Day

September 26th, 2021

Last Sunday's Trail work day with the CCC, Carolina Climbers Coalition, was fantastic. We had an amazing turnout with 26 people! All these hands made it easy to bench cut in the remaining trail and try more technical skills like building rock and log steps. When students were not digging their hearts out, there were vine swings to play on, boulder caves to explore, and many crawling critters to examine. We are grateful we could serve the Burnsville climbing community while exposing students to the joys of trail work and the CCC. 

The CCC has been around since 1995 securing, buying, preserving, and protecting our climbing areas in North Carolina and across the southeast.  If you want to learn more about the CCC or become a member click here.

Check out all the photos here

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 Summersville Lake and New River Gorge

Sep 3rd-6th, 2021

The Summersville Lake Trip was a grand way to officially start the fall semester. From Grabner -- an inflatable whitewater canoe -- wars, deep water soloing, to sport climbing, everyone had a blast on Saturday. With a bit of weather moving in on us for our Sunday plans, we changed gears; one group went on a hike out to Longs View which overlooks the New River Gorge while the lead climbers headed over to the overhang protected Rico Suave Buttress to climb a few quality trad routes. Following the hike and climbs, we all regrouped to walk under the New River Gorge Bridge; a big shoutout goes to Mike's friend Benji for hooking us up with the tour!

Check out all the photos here

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Beach House

June 26th -July 3rd, 2021

Following the amazing 11 day canoe Trip TAASC students were rewarded with a beach vacation. Everyone had a blast at the Beach. Our house was right on the water giving us easy access to surfing, surf kayaking, and beach play. Highlights of the trip included paddling out in tropical storm Danny, mass skateboarding, and the Gallon Milk Challenge.

Check out the photos here

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Cliff Hangers and Short Off

May 29th-30th, 2021


Last weekend was one of those trips where we just rolled with the punches! It was planned to climb at Hawksbill for two days and bivy at the climbers camp, but weather pushed us out. We opted to climb indoors at the impressive Cliff Hangers Gym in Mooresville. Everyone rope climbed and bouldered hard. Aspiring Lead Climbers Meadow and Eli crushed out some hard routes on lead.

 

That night, we changed gears and hiked up to the seldom visited "Johns Kitchen" on the ledges of Short Off. We cooked dinner and bivyed. The next morning we spend exploring Short Off; everyone got their dose of bushwhacking for the week!

 

Check out all the photos here

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Flatwater Canoeing and Swift Water Rescue

May 22nd -23rd, 2021

 

This past weekend's trip was a huge success despite the low water table. Saturday, the group put in on Lake James at the Linville Boat Access. We reviewed and practiced paddle strokes as we travelled into the tailwaters of the Linville river. On the way back, our team encountered and diligently battled headwinds. The rest of the day was spent playing and practicing T Rescues -- as needed!

 

Saturday evening, we celebrated Meadow's birthday with cupcakes and played games at the TAASC gym where we all stayed that night. Sunday, we had  graduate Noah Green teach us about river dynamics and the complexities of hydraulics at Wilson's Creek. Between play we learned about the rescue position and reviewed rope throwing. Toward the end of the day, we even practiced setting up z-drags and 3-1 pulley systems to rescue pinned boats!

 

Check out all the photos here

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Lake James Canoe

April 25th, 2021

We spent last Sunday paddling on Lake James with many new or first time paddlers on the water. There were plenty of formal lessons about boats, paddles, paddle strokes, and rope throwing! The end of the day provided a bit of extra spice as the classic North to South katabatic winds began roaring down the channel. Eric Sevensma came to the rescue when a few of us could not battle the headwinds -- thanks for the tow!

 

Check out all the photos here

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Appalachian Trail Backpacking

April 5th - 9th, 2021

Over spring break, two tenacious groups spent five and three days out on the Appalachian Trail. The long mileage group began at Dickies Gap on Monday, and the short mileage group began on Wednesday just North of Damascus. Both Groups met up on Thursday night just outside of Damascus and completed 51 and 17 miles respectively. A big shoutout goes to all the students who were able to set aside the time to immerse themselves and maybe experience some type two fun over spring break!

 

Check out all of the photos here

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Bear Rocks Backpacking

March 20th & 21st, 2021

 

Two weekends ago, we caught a great spell of weather to play in the Wilson's Creek Wilderness Area. We started on Saturday morning with quite the adventure ahead of us. After a creek crossing, meandering up to the infamous sinkhole and setting up basecamp, we began our day hike with both Olders and Youngers. Following the old Holly Springs Trail, we made our way up to the maze of trails on Brown Mountain where we navigated our way to the bear rocks! A quick bushwacking experience lead back to basecamp -- dinner and a warm sleeping bag. The youngers left that evening while the Olders practiced leave no trace fires and refining their camp craft in preparation for the Appalachian Trail Trip next month!

 

 

Check out all the photos here

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Trail Work with Wild South

February 20th, 2021

 

Warm weather, hard work, and wonderful attitudes all around on the Trail Work Day. TAASC partnered with Wild South again to continue aiding in the construction of the new Leadmine trail! The Leadmine Trail will connect the Linville Gorge Trail to the Mountains to Seas in the southwest corner of the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area making a great impact in expanding our trail systems. 

 

Time and time again these young people show what it means to be a steward of the land and trails we love so much. Motivated by their passion for the outdoors.... and bribery doughnuts, TAASC has cut over 300yrds of fresh trail on Leadmine ensuring they will never walk that path without thinking--I built this. 

 

Thank you everyone for your hard work. 

 

Check out all the photos here

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Grandfather Mountaineering

January 1st & 31st, 2021

 

Two weekends ago, we had the opportunity to play in a bit of snow with some new pieces of gear. The original two day backpacking trip was cancelled but, the A team showed up bright and early on Sunday despite the cold rain in Morganton. Following dry fitting crampons, we headed up to the eastern slopes of Grandfather on 221.

 

Before starting the journey up the Daniel Boone Scout Trail via the Asusti and Tanawha Trails, we learned about our new gear including crampons, treking poles, snowshoes, and ice axes. We learned how and why we use these tools. The crew fired right up trail until about midday when the sun came out; the radiant heat quickly began to melt the snow in the conifers. For the rest of the day, we pushed through cold rain like conditions all the way to the summit of Calloway peak!

 

The adventure didn't stop at the summit; there was still over 4 miles of steep and slushy terrain to move over as the sunset. Powered by headlamps, pretzels, and cheese sticks, the A team made it off the mountain in one piece with great attitudes. Thanks for making that day a great one crew!

Check out all the photos here

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