Climbing at Durant

Climbing Program

The Occonechee Climbing Program at Durant offers a complete package of climbing opportunities for scouts of all ages, from cub scouts to venture crew members. With our bouldering wall and 45 foot tower at the Durant Scout Camp, and gear for off-site, natural rock climbing, the Council can support almost anything your troop will want to do.

Bouldering Wall at Durant

Bouldering is climbing, but requires no rope or safety belay. Bouldering can be done at the base of a cliff, at a boulder field, in a climbing gym, or on man-made structures like Durant’s bouldering wall. The boulder wall also serves as a training facility for learning climbing techniques as well as skill challenges for experienced climbers.

Boulderers usually climb no higher than shoulder height off the ground, and others act as spotters. This style requires the least amount of gear – you only need your shoes and a spotter. Spotting is a very important part of your safety when you boulder. Your climbing instructor will teach you how to spot correctly.

Bouldering focuses on individual moves rather than endurance, and boulder routes are commonly referred to as boulder problems because the climbs are much shorter, curious, and involve problem solving. Even the most experienced climbers spend time bouldering because it’s not about heights, it’s about building skill.

The bouldering wall at Durant provides the opportunity for scouts of all ages to practice climbing technique. Particularly for Cub scouts who are too young to use the climbing tower, bouldering is an opportunity to experience the thrills of climbing in a safe and challenging environment.

Climbing Tower at Durant

The climbing tower at Durant is a four sided structure incorporating climbing and rappelling challenges. There are four climbing routes and several rappelling stations. Each climbing route offers a variety of options to get to the top. One of the climbing faces is a 45 foot vertical surface. The other side has a variety of angles to negotiate along the way. The climbing difficulties range from 5.3 to 5.9 within the climbing rating system.

Rappelling at Durant

Rappelling, also known at Abseiling (from the German word abseilen, "to rope down"), is the controlled descent down a rope. At Durant, rappelling is done from all three levels of the tower. Participants may rappel from the first level of the tower down a 20 foot vertical wall. The second level has a unique window rappel station. At the top participants can choose from a vertical wall 45 foot rappel or go over a ledge for a 45 foot free air rappel.

Natural Rock

The Council provides a full set of climbing gear (helmets, harnesses, ropes, and even climbing shoes for 15 climbers). With this gear, and Council-trained climbing instructors, scouting units can top-rope anywhere in the state. Read more about how to plan a natural rock event for your troop or crew.

Reserving Equipmnet

Reserving Facilities

All facility reservations are made at the Occoneechee Council Scout Office in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

The climbing tower requires a minimum of two BSA Climbing Instructors for an individual unit to open the tower. District and Council events also require a BSA Climbing Director be present. The general guidelines for tower use, is a limit of no more than 18 participants at any given time. The ratio of Climbing Instructors to participants is 1 instructor to each 6 participants. Typically a two to three hour session is an ample amount of time to challenge a group of participants. Groups larger than 18 should consider splitting a day up into two sessions. 

Occoneechee Council offers Instructor Certification training during summer camp and generally around the first weekend in April and the last weekend in September. The summer camp training sessions are for tower certification only. The spring and fall sessions include both tower instructor certification and introductory training as a COPE course facilitator. An additional spring only session is offered for natural rock instructor certification.

Units wishing to use the tower are encouraged to arrange for their own instructors. However, if needed, the council will assist in identifying individuals to serve as instructors for their event. There is an additional cost for council provided instructors. 

The boulder wall maybe operated within the guidelines of certified Climbing-On-Safely leaders. See Climb-On-Safely requirements in BSA document Climb-On-Safely 20-099

Usage Fees - Boy Scout Groups

The following fee structure is developed to help support the cost of maintaining the tower and boulder wall as well as the cost of certifying Instructors and Directors.

Boulder Wall Use Fee (full day)


Tower Use Fee (full day)


Council Provided Instructor
(per day, 8AM - 5PM, $200 minimum)


Units wishing to share the cost of a days activity with another unit may do so. The units are responsible for coordinating all the fees. All fees are due at the council office 1 week prior to the scheduled event.

Usage Fees - Non BSA Groups

Tower/Bouldering Wall - NON BSA Use Fees

Non BSA groups may request use of the facility by contacting the Reservation Coordinator. The following requirements apply:

  • The group must have proof of a $2 million liability insurance policy covering the activity.
  • Facility use fee is $400.00 per day for up to 18 participants. All staff will be provided by the council.

NOTE: A $100 deposit is due at the time of the reservation with the balance due 3 weeks prior to the scheduled event.

Any questions about use of the climbing facilities can be directed to the Council Office.  They will make arrangements for a council climbing director to contact you if the questions are of a technical nature.