Climbing Program Manager

Job Description

Climbing Program Manager        


Founded in 1967, North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) is a charter member of the leading outdoor education network in the world. Our wilderness courses, from the mountains of North Carolina to the shores of South Florida to the peaks of South America, deliver our mission to change lives through challenge and discovery. 

The Climbing Program Manager (CPM) plays a pivotal role both as a climbing specialist at a base camp and as a member of the Program Team. The CPM is responsible for insuring the overall risk management and quality of all NCOBS climbing programming.  This includes oversight of ropes courses maintenance, equipment inventories, curriculum, student instruction, staff training, staff recruiting, and staff development.  

The CPM will work with the Director of Wilderness Operations (DWO), Program Director, and Staffing Manager to facilitate program scheduling, staffing, delivery, and assessment.  The CPM  is expected to work up to 180 days annually. The CPM will work between February and November, with approximately half of these days being field instruction based.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Deliver climbing instructional days.
  • Schedule climbing blocks on the master calendar in conjunction with the Whitewater Program Manager.
  • Work with the Staffing Managers to hire and schedule climbing staff for courses, project days, and to facilitate staff trainings .
  • Design, coordinate, and implement all climbing and ropes course related trainings for NCOBS.
  • Oversee climbing related professional development training for climber staff and field staff. This will include organizing AMGA SPI courses.
  • Act as the advocate and coach for the climbing specialists and provide direct performance & feedback to them.
  • Collaborate with the Program Resource Manager (PRM) on all climbing equipment needs for the upcoming fiscal calendar year.
  • Monitor, maintain, and repair all climbing inventory.
  • Monitor, maintain, and repair all ropes course and climbing structures.
  • Oversee monthly ropes course inspections & annual climbing hut inventories.
  • Provide climbing briefs during pre-course.
  • Stay abreast with industry associations and standards. 
  • Develop relationships and coordinate scheduling with other climbing site users. 


Basecamp Leadership:

  • Work with the basecamp Program Director (PD) relating to the day to day management of the climbing program and climbing staff, and ensure consistent communication with basecamp leadership and field staff. 
  • Fill responsibilities as a senior base camp staff including being on-call.

Program Team:

  • Serve as a member of the NCOBS program team.
  • Organize and supervise annual ACCT inspections of ropes courses at all NCOBS basecamps.
  • Research and recon potential new and/or former climbing sites to be used by the school, as requested.
  • Work with Safety and Training Director in managing climbing related resources for the school including climbing manual, curriculum, and climbing specific LOPs.
  • Responsible for compiling end of season report, safety report summaries, and safety analysis.
  • Monitor the performance of the climbing/ropes program and climbing incident reports (IR).
  • Assist the DWO in the creation of the annual climbing operations budget.
  • Assist the DWO and PRM in tracking and reporting all climbing expenses.
  • Establish and foster relationships with outside contractors and land managers specific to NCOBS climbing programming.
  • Serve as field staff as needed.
  • Additional tasks as designated.


Working Conditions:

  • Must be able to lift 75 pounds and participate in vigorous to moderate physical activity including but not limited to climbing and camping in the field.  
  • Irregular work hours as necessary.



  • Minimum five years working for Outward Bound or another similar type program.
  • Minimum two years working as an NCOBS climbing specialist or equivalent experience.
  • Minimum AMGA Single Pitch Instructor certification or equivalent (higher level qualification preferred).
  • Personal and professional values consistent with the NCOBS mission, values, and principles.
  • Strong knowledge of Outward Bound history, standards, and programs.
  • An outstanding record as an instructor, trainer, course director, and/or administrator.
  • Experience with community living.
  • Current WFR, CPR, and other pertinent certifications and training related to the position.
  • Able to give and receive timely, effective oral and written feedback. 
  • Strong and effective leadership, supervisory, organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Personal initiative, motivation, and resourcefulness.
  • Strong presentation, writing, and computer skills. 
  • Cooperative attitude and ability to be flexible; good team player.


Compensation and Benefits:

  • Per-diem rate based on NCOBS pay matrix for the position. Option to recognize prior work. 
  • Availability to work shoulder seasons in an instructional position.
  • Robust seasonal benefits available. 
  • Pro-purchase. 
  • Room and board available at basecamps during the agreement. 

To Apply

At the North Carolina Outward Bound School, we are dedicated to the goal of building a diverse community of staff who are committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment. In this effort, we strongly encourage women, people of color, people with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

  • Apply through our website at  
  • Provide a cover letter and resume with three references.
  • Upload a technical experience / trip log. 
  • Qualified candidates will be contacted to set up an interview.

The North Carolina Outward Bound School is committed to equal opportunity for its employment, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex or sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, marital or parental status, status with respect for public assistance or veteran’s status.

Application Closing Date: 
Not Specified
Application Contact Email: 
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Asheville, NC
Job Experience: 
3 - 5 years

Job Details

Job Details: 
Experiential Education
Job Activity: 

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