Thursday, March 14, 2013

We've Moved!

MAC is pleased to announce the re-launch of our website and blog. You can find our new blog here.

You can stay in touch with MAC on Facebook and Twitter too, and don't forget to update your RSS reader with our new URL: 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Meet the 2013 Access Fund Conservation Team Crew!

Check out this year's members of the Access Fund's Conservation Team!

Last year the Access Fund Conservation Team came to Northwest Branch and installed several stone steps over the course of a few days. A select crew of MAC members worked with the team to haul rocks from across the river, dig placement holes, and fill in gravel to improve the trail between the entrance platform and the warm-up boulders. The steps look great and make the trail safer for climbers and hikers.

While the Conservation Team won't be visiting us this year, MAC will still be back at NWB doing more trail work. We'll be there in the Fall, so keep an eye out on a date and help us protect local climbing!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Call for Action - Shenandoah Rock Outcrop Management Plan 2012

As we mentioned last month, Shenandoah National Park released an update to their Rock Outcrop Management Plan (ROMP).  After reading through the document and working with other organizations including the Access Fund, the Mountaineering Section of the PATC, and the American Alpine Club, we feel the following points are the most relevant to climbers.

- The ROMP focuses heavily on climbing, despite the fact that other activities such as hiking draw far more people into the park and as a result, have far greater impact. To use an example from the ROMP itself, Old Rag is visited by an estimated 50,000 people annually, but the number of climber use-days for the entire park is estimated at only 500.

- Several areas are closed to climbing: Marys Rock, North Marshall, Hawksbills Summit, West Summit of Old Rag, and 35 meters north of the "chute" trail at Little Stony Man.  While the ROMP does provide general information about impact and natural resources at risk, little detail is given on the types of impact in specific areas. There does not appear to be any definitive evidence cited that identifies climbing as a source of significant adverse impact within the park. More detailed information should be provided to further explain the need for restrictions.

- Given the fact that climbers make up only a small percentage of rock outcrop users, the park should consider the possibility that some climbing access could be allowed, even if other user groups are not. Park planners should consider ways to protect the natural resources without prohibiting access to climbing. Climbers have a rich history in Shenandoah National Park, and this history should be preserved as much as possible.

Mid Atlantic Climbers will be filing a letter jointly with the Access Fund voicing these concerns.  However, we strongly urge you to file your own comment, as a climber and an individual, by the deadline, Saturday, January 12, 2013.  No matter how brief, the more climbers that file comment the more our message is heard.  Simply click the “Comment on Document” button at

If you have any questions or comments on this, or about filing your own comment, please feel free to contact us at

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Shenandoah ROMP Update and Extension

As some readers may have already heard, Shenandoah National Park recently released an update to their Rock Outcrop Management Plan, or ROMP.  This latest version had some new restrictions on climbing in the park, and there was a very short comment period.

A joint effort from Mid Atlantic Climbers, the Mountaineering Section of the PATC, the Access Fund, and the American Alpine club was successful in getting the comment period extended until January 12th, 2013.

We encourage all climbers to read the ROMP, however we at Mid Atlantic Climbers be posting our thoughts along with suggested comments.

You can find the 2012 update to the ROMP here.

For a highlighted comparison between the 2008 and 2012 version, click here. Thanks to Jenny O'Brien for this.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Two Day Membership Special

We've had a really productive 2012, and we're excited about doing more in 2013.  We're thankful to all the climbers in our community that have become members of the Access Fund, because as the local affiliate, we receive a portion of their membership dues.  These funds help us organize our Adopt-a-Crags every year and continue to be a force in protecting local climbing.

Today and tomorrow, the Access Fund is hosting a membership drive at 20%off. 

Join or renew your Access Fund / Mid Atlantic Climbers membership today to ensure that we end the year strong and continue to protect climbing in 2013. 

PS - this is a great opportunity to give someone a really awesome holiday gift!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fall 2012 Adopt-a-Crag Recap

For ten years, Mid Atlantic Climbers and the Access Fund have been hosting Adopt-a-Crag events in the Greater Washington, D.C. area.  This year, the climbing community showed once again that they are seriously committed to stewardship. At four events this Fall, taking place in Maryland and Virginia, more than 160 volunteers came and gave back to climbing areas that have given us so much. In total, more than 613 hours of service.

Ilchester Adopt-a-Crag, Patapsco State Park, MD.
- Over 30 volunteers.
- Significant trail work and erosion controls above and below the Ilchester Cliff.  These improvements will slow erosion and help preserve the anchor and plant life at the top of the cliff.

National Public Lands Day and Carderock Adopt-a-Crag, Caderock Recreation Area, C&O Canal National Park, MD.
 - Over 50 volunteers.
 - Mulching along the top and base of the cliff to help control erosion.
 - Social trail brushing.

10 Year Anniversary Great Falls Adopt-a-Crag, Great Falls National Park, VA.
 - Over 30 volunteers.
 - Trail work near Cow Hoof Rock to help control erosion as well as provide a safer slope for hikers.
 - Social trail brushing.
 - Trash pickup.

Northwest Branch Adopt-a-Crag, Northwest Branch Park, MD.
 - Over 30 volunteers.
 - Trail repair due to fallen tree from storms earlier this year.
 - Installation of water bars to divert water off trails and control erosion.
 - Invasive species removal.
 - Trash pickup.

Thank you to everyone who came out both in the Fall and earlier this Spring to help give back to the areas we love and to show that climbers are committed to our outdoor communities.

We've already begun planning for 2013.  If you have any thoughts, comments, suggestions, or would like to get more involved with Mid Atlantic Climbers, please e-mail us.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Decision 2013

Yes, Decision 2013, the time when you get to speak up, make your voice hear, and help decide what what events and climbing areas Mid Atlantic Climbers will work on next year!

Mid Atlantic Climbers is starting to put together next year's event schedule and we need you to tell us what is important to you. Have you been to a climbing area lately that you think needs some TLC? Did you witness washed-out trails or access issues during your fall season?

Remember, if you climb in the Mid Atlantic region, you are a Mid Atlantic Climber -- so let us know what you think!