Base Camp Cullowhee hosts week-long excursions this Fall Break

Base Camp Cullowhee gives Western Carolina University students two choices of wild week-long adventures this Fall Break.

Andrew Blease, Base Camp Cullowhee’s adventure guide, talked about the trips Base Camp Cullowhee is offering.

“We’re [Base Camp Cullowhee] going to the Outer Banks and Red River Gorge located in Kentucky,” reported Blease. “We’re also going to go do some rock climbing and some hiking.”

The Red River Gorge is in the Daniel Boone National Forest and contains approximately 500 miles of trails through sandstone cliffs and limestone rock faces.

Assistant Director of Base Camp Cullowhee, Jennifer Bennett, spoke about what students should expect on the Red River Gorge Trip.

“This is the first year that BCC has offered a Fall Break Climbing trip to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky,” said Bennett. “Participants should plan on several days of climbing at different levels. The climbing in the Red River Gorge is unique and much different than that found in WNC. If it rains or people need a break from climbing, the Gorge offers awesome hiking trails with great sights.”

The Red River Gorge Trip starts on October 15 and ends on October 19.The Red River Gorge Trip will cost $225 for students. Students should be climbing wall belay certified to go on this trip. Base Camp Cullowhee provides free belay clinics every Wednesday and Thursday to ensure students are belay certified.

The Outer Banks Trip is from 14-19 of October and will feature Cape Lookout and Bear Island. Bear Island, which is part of the Hammocks Beach State Park, is an 892-acre barrier island filled with huge sand dunes, shrub thickets, tidal pools, mud flats, salt marshes and maritime forests.Bennett explained the excursion plan for the Outer Banks trip.

“BCC [Base Camp Cullowhee] has been offering an Outer Banks Fall Break trip for the past several years, and we keep offering it since it’s such a hit!” said Bennett. “The long drive is worth it as the trip is packed with fun and relaxation. We spend a full day sailing to Cape Lookout with a captain who is also a biologist and seems to know everything about every animal in the ocean, and we paddle out to an isolated island and camp for two nights, meaning we get an entire beach to ourselves. This is an awesome trip for people who have never been to the N.C. coast as well as people who grew up going to the beach. Camping on the coast is an awesome experience and will make you see the beach in a whole new way.”

The Outer Banks Trip is $250 for students. No experience is necessary and signing up early for this trip will help guarantee a spot on this trip of a lifetime.

All adventurers who choose to go on one of these week-long excursions must be sure to pack their personal items such as two pairs of socks, hiking shoes, rain jackets, shirts, a minimum of two water bottles and a backpack. Base Camp Cullowhee provides all outdoor equipment. All rental outdoor equipment has a rent period of two days, so students will need to pay what is needed for supplies ahead of time.  Forms for the trips can be found at or Base Camp Cullowhee, located in the Brown building.