Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. The PATC’s Mountaineering Section again had a big year during 1987. Climbing, access, and conservation were the three major activities. Climbing was really good. Over the winter of 1986–87 members climbed in New England (Lake Willoughby and the White Mountains) and locally, rock when weather permitted and ice when it was too beastly
cold to contemplate rock. Skiing, with emphasis on mountain technique, was also very popular. Spring unleashed rock-hungry hordes, and the Section spread its members from Stone Mountain, North Carolina, north to Maine and west to California over the course of the year. A big trip to Peru was highly successful, and other members climbed in the Bolivian Andes as well.
Access work continued at Bull Run Mountain in Virginia. The Mountaineering Section now manages a trail easement to the climbing area. We ask that climbers interested in climbing there either a) climb at Bull Run during one of the Section trips or b) join the Section to help cover the administrative costs of managing the property. The Section also worked with local climbing activist John Gregory to persuade the National Park Service to permit a volunteer work project at Carderock, one of our local crags. It took six months, but we were finally successful! Work will begin in 1989. Other projects included climbing instruction to nearly 200 people during the year. Several Boy Scout Troops also requested and received instruction in various climbing and rope-handling techniques. The Carderock guidebook neared completion, with publication scheduled for early 1989.
One project was started in response to an alarming number of local climbing accidents (none of them on Section trips, fortunately). An ad hoc group was formed to develop a three-part response: 1) provide, through local retailers, climbing seminars with an emphasis on safety; 2) develop and distribute an analysis of local climbing accidents, similar to the A.A.C.’s Accidents in North American Mountaineering, and 3) coordinate our instruction program with other local groups and national groups to ensure that climbing safety measures are being emphasized and taught properly.
The coming year should be fun—a film festival is scheduled for February 1989, climbing plans are shaping up with lots of different objectives being listed, and who knows what else the year will bring. Climbers interested in participating in Section activities are encouraged to contact us: PATC Mountaineering Section, 202-638-5306, 7-10 P.M. weekdays.
Stuart Pregnall, Chairman