Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. It has been an interesting and active year for the Mountaineering Section (MS). The membership has been extremely active in rock climbing, mountaineering, and conservation projects.
Last year, the club supported a trip to McKinley, the 1982 PATC Denali Expedition. A team of five MS members spent several weeks on the mountain in poor weather. A summit attempt reached 18,400 feet before being turned back by weather. MS members were also climbing throughout Europe. Former member, Gianni Battimelli, met with section members and other D.C. area climbers to climb in the Dolomites and on other crags in Italy. Other members did rock climbs in England and Germany and alpine routes in Switzerland, on the Mont Blanc Massif, and in the Austrian Alps. A few members went to the western U.S. and Canada climbing in the Canadian Rockies, North Cascades, Tetons, Colorado Rockies, Smith Rock, Oregon, Devils Tower, and Eldorado Canyon. Of course, our regular weekend climbing areas, Shawangunks, Seneca Rocks, and Stone Mountain, North Carolina, were visited. Local ice climbers continued to go to New Hampshire to climb.
The MS has also been involved in several projects that are beneficial to the climbing community. At Seneca Rocks, the MS, the Forest Service, and the Pittsburgh Explorers have relocated the trail leading to the west face of the rocks. The new trail should decrease erosion on the slope and provide climbers easier travel to the west face. At Carderock, the AAC, Park Service, PATC-MS, school groups, and concerned climbers have joined forces to repair river bank erosion near the rocks. In addition to participation in these projects, the MS has been reviewing management plans for Shenandoah National Park and the Monongahela National Forest to insure that interests of the climbing community are represented.
The Mountaineering Section has also continued its normal activities. At monthly business meetings, the MS provided entertainment in the form of a slide show or film. We also scheduled regular weekly climbing trips to local crags. The MS offered training courses, on a monthly basis, in Basic Rock Climbing, and Advanced Rock Climbing. We also offered special courses in Direct-Aid Climbing, Mountaineering Medicine, and First Aid. The MS newsletter, Up Rope, continued to be a forum for the club and the local climbing community.
The Mountaineering Section of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club has maintained its objective of being an organization that is a positive influence toward the safe enjoyment of rock climbing and mountaineering, conservation, and good comradeship.
James Eakin, Chairman