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scott thriftIn 1999 I was recovering from my first shoulder dislocation, when my dad asked me if I wanted to climb Mt Rainier with him. I replied, "Sure, what's Mt. Rainier?" Dad gave me a book and 6 months later, off we went.

We did a week long mountaineering seminar with Rainier Mountaineering Inc. I fell in love with the mountain & the sport. I came home and took up rock climbing, as this was the closest thing to mountaineering I could do in this region. I spent the next 2 years learning as much about climbing & rope management as I could. During that time I summited Mt Rainier, Mt Whitney and Mt Shasta.

Two years later I returned to Mt Rainier & tried out for a guide position with RMI. There were 80 people more qualified than I; and only 6 open positions.

I knew I was far less experienced but decided I would have fun with it. It was a tough couple of days. I was passed over for a guide position, but was asked to stay on as a carpenter. Later I was informed that they had created the position for me because they were interested in keeping me on so I could gain experience. I climbed on my days off and was able to interact with some of the more seasoned guides. I picked their brains and absorbed all of the information they were willing to give me. I spent about 6 months there.

Since then, I have climbed 8 of the 15 fourteeners in California including Mt Whitney, Mt Shasta, and a multitude of routes on Rainier, Mt Baker, and Mt Hood. I have also climbed a couple times in Peru. I continue to climb in NC, WV, TN, CA, OR, WA, and Utah.

  • Professional Climbing Guides Association (PCGI) - Single Pitch Guide
  • Professional Climbing Guides Association (PCGI) - Top Rope Guide
  • NC Emergency Management - Mountain Search and Rescue Technician  
  • Office of State Fire Marshal - Technical Rescuer Anchors & Mechanical Advantage Systems 
  • American Heart Association - Adult and Pediatric CPR
  • Former EMT-B



christy thriftNature has always been close to my heart, but climbing put it all into an entirely different perspective. I graduated with a biology degree with a concentration in conservation and animal behavior in 2003! A few years later I got into hiking, backpacking, boating and of course rock climbing. I was at a cross roads in my life and needed something that would help me build trust and confidence in myself and others. I joined an outdoor club that helped me continue to climb on a regular basis and gave me the opportunity to fall in love with hiking and backpacking. These activities did help me gain the personal strengths I was searching for, and introduced me to some of my closest friends and now hubby!

I have spent many hours in wilderness settings and have gained a lot of peace and strength from it. A few of my favorite adventures were: rafting the White Nile, Living at the Rock Ranch and climbing daily at Hueco Tanks, Climbing at the New River WV, camping out in rainforests in Washington State, Hiking the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Rappelling and hiking the Narrows in Utah at Zion National Park and of course my NC home climbing at Crowders, Pilot, and Stone Mountains! It wouldn't be right if I didn't show love for the local Blue Ridge Mountains, those majestic peaks have a piece of my heart!

I am excited to create NC Outdoor Adventures Guides. Not only is this company giving me the opportunity to further my climbing knowledge but it thrills me to know that I can help others search for themselves on the side of the mountain! 

  • Professional Climbing Guides Association (PCGI) - Aspirant Single Pitch Guide  
  • NC Emergency Management - Mountain Search and Rescue Technician    
  • American Heart Association - Adult and Pediatric CPR  
  • Office of State Fire Marshal -Technical Rescuer(TR)
    • TR Water Rescue NFPA 1006 Block 
    • TR Water Rescue Operations 
    • TR Water Rescue Techniques
    • TR Water Rescue Transportation
    • TR Water Rescue Victim Management


Climbing Instructor

Nathan BakerAll my life I’ve wanted to climb things. Trees, hills, rocks, and even man-made structures; whatever it was, I wanted to get to the top of it. It wasn’t until 2014, however, when I learned that there were whole communities of people like me out there, and that there were even places throughout the world frequented by many members of these communities for the sole purpose of climbing! When I stumbled upon a random “climbing gym” for the first time, for instance, I was perplexed when the worker asked me whether or not I needed to rent “shoes”. “No,” I replied confidently, “I’m wearing ASICS.” I had no idea what rock climbing shoes even were. Well, since that first day of exploration and humbling revelation in the climbing gym, I’ve spent a lot of time learning and training in becoming the climber I am today. I’ve been blessed enough to have met a wife who loves to climb with me. Together, we’ve climbed sport routes of volcanic rock in the Andes mountains of Chile, multi pitches of the limestone towers in world-renowned Potrero Chico (Mexico), deep water solo routes of sand stone in the wild, wonderful West Virginia, and (of course) amidst our locality in NC, some of the extremely “sandbagged” trad routes put up by those tough old North Carolinians, whose mental willpower must have been as hardened as the granite they often climbed on. I decided to pursue a career in climbing, since I love it so much. Being that another passion of mine is to teach and share what I love with others around me, it made sense for me to become a climbing guide and instructor with the PCGI. I love the atmosphere at NCOA, and l always look forward to meeting and encouraging new people who are interested in the world of climbing, whether they just want to enjoy a fun day at the crag or they choose to make it a life passion as I have.

  • PCGI SPG guide


Lead Guide and 30 year veteran climbing instructor

darrell kiddMy journey to climb and become a climber began more than 25 years ago here, in NC, at Crowder's Mountain. Since that time this journey has taken me into 16 states. It has caused me to hike and carry climbing gear over literally thousands of miles of approach trails. I have climbed and belayed more than 100 miles of vertical, technical rock. Rock climbing has afforded me some of the most exhilarating and fulfilling experiences of my life along with a couple of the most terrifying. I have had the great fortune to plan..., prepare for...., then execute and celebrate numerous mountaineering adventures. I have also had the good luck and good wits to survive a few adventures not-so-planned. You take what the mountain gives you and, hopefully, you learn from it all. Whether laboring up desert spires in the 105 degree summer swelt of southern Utah or shivering through unexpected ice storms on alpine towers in Wyoming, I have learned to climb my way out of trouble.

Lessons learned on rock become lessons applied in life. At this stage in life my adventure days may be past, but I can re-live that sense of adventure, the excitement and even the fear and trepidation of this great sport in the eyes, and through the expressions, of students and clients. Teaching and guiding gives me an opportunity to give to others a portion of what the sport has given to me. I have been a climbing instructor for close to 20 years at a local college.


Assistant Guide

daniel bomfimAdventure and exploration are some of the best experiences to be had. You learn about the world around you and more importantly about yourself. I believe that is one of the major attractions I have to the climbing. You can always push your physical and mental limits, no matter what level you are. And you get to see and experience beautiful locations in the process. And what better way to enjoy your passions then helping other people share those experiences and achieve their goals. 

I guide mostly kayak trips and assist with NCOA’s climbing programs. I've also completed the Top Rope Guide and Single Pitch Guide courses from PCGI and always wanting to learn more and highly recommend taking courses whenever possible. On more of a personal note, I was born in Brazil moving to the US when I was 11, so Soccer is a way of life. I also speak Portuguese, Scuba Dive, love to hike and go camping.

I've been very lucky in my life and have gotten to travel quite a bit, some of my favorites have been : Climbing in Spain, going to Premier League match in London, watching Messi score a hat trick at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, scuba diving in Brazil, Hawaii, Bahamas, Honduras, Mexico, hiking in Alaska and seeing the glaciers, hang gliding in Rio de Janeiro, and touring several castles in Germany.

To finish I would like to share these two quotes that I really enjoy. "Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show." And "If it excites you and scares you at the same time, it probably means you should do it." And that is what is great about NC Outdoor Adventures, you can do what excites and scares you in a totally safe and fun environment. Hope to see you soon and happy adventures!

      • Professional Climbing Guides Institute (PCGI) - Aspirant Single Pitch Guide


Lead River Guide and Kayak Instructor

TRevor LeeHey, I'm Trevor Lee. I'm from Panama City Beach, FL. My wife and I came up here on a whitewater rafting vacation many years ago and that was all it took for me. We immediately started our plans on how to move. Its been 13 years now and I continue to fall more in love with whitewater everyday. I started my journey as a raft guide on the Nolichucky river. There I learned reading water and safety skills needed for whitewater. These days you'll find me in my kayak. I love being in my boat and you can find me on anything from class 1 to 5. The Nolichucky is my home river and will always hold a special place in my heart. I've also found a new passion and that is teaching people to kayak. There's nothing like the smile on someone's face when they nail their first roll. The joy that comes from being able to teach someone along their journey of discovering whitewater and help them become safe and better boaters is amazing. My training includes Advanced Swiftwater Rescue, wilderness first aid, first aid, CPR training, and I'm also a level 4 ACA certified kayak instructor.




Assistant Guide

amanda krollI've always loved the great outdoors and traveling. I grew up in a military household and was blessed with the opportunity to live in a lot of different places. I initially got into rock climbing in college, as a Physical Education requirement and loved the challenge and camaraderie that it created. After taking this class it was another six years before I really got into rock climbing recreationally. I love the challenge; both physical and mental, that comes with rock climbing. It has been a great way for me to meet people and share my love of the outdoors with others. I also enjoy other challenging hobbies like hiking, aerial dance, and have recently taken up beekeeping.

I have travelled all over the world including some hard to get to places. Two of my favorite places that I have been is Ushuaia, Argentina and Havasu, Arizona. However, we are blessed to have so many fabulous places in North Carolina to climb and visit and to live in such a diverse country. I am looking forward to hiking and climbing all over it in the years to come!! The opportunity to share my passion with others is so exciting!



Assistant Guide

Aidan PeerbolteHi, I am Aidan Peerbolte and I have been climbing both indoors and out for about 6 years. My first higher level outdoor experience was actually a repel class with Mr. Scott and NC Outdoor Adventures on Pilot Mountain. We were repelling off of a natural anchor with a harsh ledge. Being very young, I was not thrilled about making those first few steps off of the edge. Mr. Scott was patient and tandem down with me. He helped me push past my fears and I have loved climbing ever since. Since then I have taken many different types of climbing classes, certifications and I am part of a year-round indoor team. I am also a college student that loves hanging out and playing my ukelele.




Assistant Guide

Paige CarlsonHey y'all! I'm Paige Carlsen, a river lover and overall nature enthusiast! I am a student, so weekend breaks from studying are taken at the river or any random place I can find to do some roll sessions in my kayak. I got into white water rafting a couple years ago and kayaking was quick to follow. The rivers I have rafted include the Grand Canyon, the Salmon river, the Snake, the Lower Gauley, and Hells Canyon. I have also kayaked a couple sections of the Snake river and the Toe in North Carolina as well! The thrill of the wave and the respect for the water are hard to find anywhere else, and I love sharing those life changing experiences with anyone who's willing to!

These past couple of years I have also gotten into rock climbing. I have climbed sporadically since I was young, but my friends here at NC Outdoor Adventures have really helped me grow! Here I've spent time learning proper rope management, multi-pitch, and managing top rope climbing. Since then, I have gone on to summit The Grand Teton in Jackson, WY through the climbing route Owen Spalding, the first of many future climbing/mountaineering trips. I have also done some bouldering in Grayson Highlands Park, climbing in Linville Gorge, climbing Pocatello, ID, and a lot of weekends in climbing gyms.


Assistant Guide

Kimberly DronskyI have always been an outdoor kid. My parents started taking me camping when I was 6 months old. All during my childhood I camped, fished, and swam the lakes of Texas and Arkansas, climbed the rock faces of the coves and jumped in the lakes, went canoeing in the swaps of Louisiana, and overall enjoyed playing outdoors in the woods and getting dirty with my brother and friends. We moved to Maine when I was about 12 and the outdoor lifestyle slowed down due to building a log home, school, and the teenage life in general. I did do some cross-country skiing, and ice skating while ice fishing with my dad to pass the winter blues. Fast forward 20 years, I have gotten married, had 2 kids, was a leader in the Girl Scouts and met a few friends that have gotten me back outdoors. For the last 10 years, I have been mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, and backpacking on a regular basis. I have done short section hikes of the Appalachian Trail in TN, NC, and VA. I recently picked up hiking in Maine while visiting family in the summertime. I also enjoy rock climbing, white water rafting, tubing, and visiting the local wineries and breweries of NC, VA, TN, and ME. I am always up for an adventure that involves dirt roads and seeing "what is over there?"

      • SOLO - Wilderness First Aid Cert.



Assistant Guide

David RappOutdoor recreation and adventure has been part of my life from my earliest memories. Family vacations were spent camping in Northern Ontario, backpacking and canoeing in the Adirondacks and local whitewater. We spent time in state and National parks and that is when I decided I wanted to be a park ranger. I went to school for Outdoor Education and Recreation at small New England college where in addition to my canoeing and skiing, I started to rock climb, ice climb and work with adjudicated youth. For my college internship I applied to an Adventure company that did outdoor programming for youth at risk. Well they were not doing a lot of programs at that time, but asked if I wanted to come to West Virginia and raft the New, Cheat and Gauley and oh we are doing a climb of the Mexico volcanoes if you want to come along. I was hooked. I spent the next eight years as Program Manager/Guide running whitewater on the New, Cheat, Gauley and Upper Youghiogheny as well as teaching basic climbing and rappelling. It provided opportunities for me to paddle whitewater in Costa Rica, the Colorado River, Ocoee, Penobscot and lots of creeks. I also was able to work with and develop outdoor programming for youth at risk that included, rafting, climbing, caving, backpacking and community service. To gain more experience I spent a winter as an instructor at Outward Bound Wales at the Rhowniar Centre, the sister school to the original Outward Bound School in Aberdovey Wales. After all my adventures I decided I had one more goal to achieve and become a park ranger. I guess it helps being in the right place at the right time and became a Ranger at New River Gorge National River as climbing/river ranger. I recently retired from a 26-year career with the National Park Service working at Assateague Island National Seashore, Cape Hatteras National Seashore and Blue Ridge Parkway. My life has come full circle and I look forward to introducing people to the joys of the river and discovering the beauty of the natural wonders around them.

      • National Registry EMT
      • CPR for profession Rescue
      • SAR Technician
      • Swift water Rescue 


Independent Climbing Instructor and Guest Guide

mitchell rutledge

An intellectually curious individual talented in empowering others to step beyond perceived barriers and reach for their climbing dreams.

I was first introduced to rock climbing by a friend in 2012. Growing up outside camping, boating, mountain biking, and motorcycling, I had always enjoyed the feelings being in nature brought to me, but I had never considered trying rock climbing before that day. I now climb nearly every weekend! 

There is really nothing I don’t enjoy about climbing. Climbing works your mind, heightens your senses, feeds you with adrenaline, builds your confidence, shapes your body, connects your spirit, inspires you to push your boundaries, and surrounds you with the best community anyone could ever ask for.

In 2016 I pursued a climbing guide certification with the Professional Climbing Guides Institute and in 2017 I became Chair of the American Alpine Club - Charlotte chapter. I am skilled in leveraging both my recreational and professional climbing experiences with my professional knowledge as a mechanical engineer to teach quality education to those that seek it.

I believe climbing is for everyone and I want to show you that! Please reach out to me anytime with any of your climbing questions!

  • Professional Climbing Guides Institute (PCGI) - Single Pitch Guide
  • Professional Climbing Guides Institute (PCGI) - Lead Guide Course Completion
  • National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) - Wilderness First Responder



Asistant Guide

Amanda Standley

Howdy! I spent my earliest years climbing trees and playing in the dirt. My love for nature propelled me to seek outdoor recreational opportunities in college and in 2014 I fell in love with rock climbing. The wilderness has shown me the essence of life and rock climbing has provided me the opportunity to implement it. I have used it as a catalyst for personal and professional growth and whether it was the jungles of Thailand or the deserts of Utah, I have learned to show up in the world and tackle the challenges that occur. I learned to crack climb, multi-pitch, and trad climb in Yosemite, CA, and over the coming years I visited Squamish, the Wind River Range, and Red River Gorge. The physical and mental fortitude I learned unknowingly prepared me for my next journey, a 3,300 mile walk from Delaware to California, where I learned life lessons about human connection, vulnerability, and living presently.

Being an assistant instructor is fulfilling my mission of giving back to the community and spreading the gifts of rock climbing while nourishing human connection. It has enriched my life and can enrich yours too!

  • NOLS Wilderness First Responder
  • Girl Scouts of America Gold Award
  • BS in Kinesiology
  • 200hr Yoga Teacher Training



Asistant Guide

Sam Bujnarowski

For the longest time, climbing existed in the back of my mind. It was something I was interested in, but I never imagined I’d really get to climb, and especially not regularly. I was introduced to climbing during my childhood when my sister would take me to the climbing gym where she worked. Something about those moments stuck; fast forward about a decade later and what was once seemed impossible is now a part of my daily life.

It never ceases to amaze me how the experiences I’ve had through climbing have translated into my life as a whole. Overcoming fears, facing my shortcomings, and learning how to learn something new were all lessons I learned in an incredibly unique way thanks to climbing. Ultimately, it was getting the opportunity to share those experiences that lead me to guiding.

As a climber, I remember how difficult it was to break into the sport, but how exciting first-time experiences were. And as a guide, I’m interested in making that process as enjoyable, and educational, as possible. I’m constantly looking for ways to expand my skills as a guide while improving the experience of my clients.



NC Outdoor Adventures

NC Outdoor Adventures,
1173 Whitson Branch Rd.
Bakersville NC 28705
Phone: (828) 260-4505
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