All together now: Now on its own (the event had previously been cosponsored by the City of Asheville), the Mountain Sports Festival owes its success to volunteers and board members, pictured here at Carrier Park. photo by Eric Crews

Outdoors: The adventure continues

The Mountain Sports Festival kicks off this weekend, May 27-29, with live music, outdoor-sports competitions and a variety of free gear-and-sports demos. Focused on “all-things outdoors,” the three-day event is based primarily in Asheville's Carrier Park, just minutes from downtown in the revitalized Amboy Road area. The riverfront park offers participants a chance to walk, […]

Gather ye icicles while ye may: Ice-climbing is an ephemeral sport, as what’s frozen today may melt away tomorrow, say enthusiasts like  Ron Funderburke. photo by Eric Crews

Outdoors: Some like it cold

The stars are still bright in the sky and a tiny sliver of new moon hovers as, just before sunrise, Ron Funderburke trudges through the freshly fallen snow with a backpack full of climbing gear. The record-breaking cold means conditions should be perfect for leading an ice route he’s been itching to tackle for weeks. […]

Outdoors: Wilderness medicine-attachment0

Outdoors: Wilderness medicine

Scott Lipscomb, an instructor with North Carolina Outward Bound, was leading a course near the headwaters of the Chattooga River when one of his students complained of a stomach cramp. Most people probably wouldn't have thought too much about it, but Lipscomb knew it could be something serious. After comparing the student’s symptoms against a […]

Polar plunging! Icy splish-splash benefits Meals on Wheels!

On Friday, it was hams from Paula Deen for the local nonprofit MANNA FoodBank. On Saturday, Jan. 22, it was a polar plunge for Meals on Wheels: As morning temperatures teased the freezing mark, 27 perky souls — including Buncombe County Chair David Gantt, pictured here in a photo by Jerry Nelson — dove into the Asheville Racquet Club’s outdoor pool. Here’s more about their polar plunge, from super heroes to … well, there are some interesting costumes.

Snow traveler: The time-honored art and sport of cross-country skiing offers locals like Ross Prince a chance to get into the backcountry when trails are transformed by snow. Photos by John Thompson

Outdoors: Skis to the kingdom

"Every mile is two in winter." So wrote 17th-century Welsh clergyman and metaphysical poet George Herbert, and it's easy to see where he was coming from. Anyone who’s ever trudged any considerable distance through even marginally deep snow knows full well that traveling through a snow pack is hard work and not easily enjoyed — […]

Outdoors: A standup sport

For most folks, surfing evokes images of sandy beaches, early mornings and long, peeling waves. But while forecasting technology has improved, those predictions are still pretty unreliable. In summer, East Coast swells are few and far between, and if one does materialize, chances are Atlantic beaches’ unruly winds will make even a good swell turn […]

Outdoors

Over the past few years, visitors to Rumbling Bald, a popular climbing and bouldering area in the Hickory Nut Gorge near Asheville, have witnessed some major changes. In 2005, the state of North Carolina purchased the land as part of one of North Carolina's newest state parks, Chimney Rock State Park. Last year, the state […]

Get your action pack here

Asheville's Mountain Sports Festival has grown into one of the city's most popular festivals. Last year, more than 15,000 people attended the multi-day happening, and organizers hope the action-packed weekend of outdoor sports-oriented events will be even more popular this year. With nearly a month's worth of activities packed into one party-like, music-filled weekend of […]

Outdoors: High-flying forest

"Are you ready?" asks the Navitat Canopy Adventures tour guide. Standing on a wooden platform 50 feet off the ground, surrounded by a lush verdant canopy, I nod, and a thrilling ride directly through the heart of the forest begins. Going down? Abby Burt (below) zipping through the forest on a Navitat Canopy Tour, which […]