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!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

10th Annual Great Falls Adopt-a-Crag 10/20/12

10th Annual Adopt-a-Crag Great Falls
Saturday, October 20th, 2012. 
8am - noon.

This is the area's longest running and largest Adopt-a-Crag events. Volunteers will work on various projects throughout the park in the morning and then be treated to a free BBQ and raffle courtesy of Mid Atlantic Climbers and our generous sponsors.

We also need a dedicated crew of about 25 volunteers to work on a trail near Cow Hoof Rock. This crew will will break for the BBQ and raffles with everyone, but will then return and work until about 4pm.  Please contact the Adopt-a-Crag coordinator Victoria Guido if you are interested in this particular project.
Details and Registration (Please RSVP)
Great Falls Event on Facebook

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Carderock 2012 A Success!

Hard at work

Last month's Adopt-A-Crag at Carderock was a huge success!  We had a great turnout, with 55 people making short work of the massive amount of mulch provided by the park service.

Getting clever with the "shovelling"
Every year on National Public Lands Day, climbers join the C & O National and Historic Park to mulch the climbing area above and below the cliffs to manage impact and control erosion.  Along with this work, volunteers worked to brush social trails beginning to develop in the surrounding area.

Bombs away!

After all the work was completed, volunteers were fed a generous spread provided by Earth Treks, followed by a raffle of gear provided by our sponsors.

Thanks to all our volunteers as well as our sponsors: REI, Earth Treks, Sportrock, Solid Rock Climbers for Christ, Misty Mountain, Friksn, Patagonia, Eastern Mountain Sports, and Metolius.

If you'd like to see more photos from the event, check out Mark "Indy" Kochte's collection here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ilchester Time Lapse

Our good friend and photographer Indy put together this great video high-lighting the trail work completed at our September 8th, 2012 Ilchester Adopt-A-Crag.

Ilchester Trail Work Weekend (9/8/12) - a Time-lapse/slideshow view. from Mark 'Indy' Kochte on Vimeo.

Makes you want to attend an Adopt-A-Crag, doesn't it?

Good thing we've got three more lined up this Fall.  Check out event page for all the details.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hauling Rocks and Building Trail at Ilchester

The first Adopt-a-Crag of the fall season at Ilchester was a huge success! Mid Atlantic Climbers' volunteers proved once again that they are some of the toughest, most committed volunteers around!  
Thank goodness for climbers and their rigging skills!
More than 40 volunteers came out on a warm Saturday morning September 8th to combat erosion at the Ilchester Cliff in Patapsco State Park. Volunteers moved rocks, logs, and earth, and built new structures designed to stop the erosion at the cliff top. Volunteers even rigged a high line designed to move the heaviest logs, boulders and other materials to the desired location.

Dropping the rock into place.
The logs and rocks were positioned to stop soil from eroding off of the cliff top. The new trail re-route will benefit all park visitors; it connects the stairs down to the cliff top and the trail leading away from the cliff.

After a morning of hard work and pizza lunch courtesy of of REI, MAC raffled off some climbing gear and gym passes thanks our generous sponsors: The Access Fund, Earthtreks, Patagonia, Solid Rock Climbers for Christ, Eastern Mountain Sports, Sport Rock, Osprey Packs and Friksn.
Because of the efforts of our generous spo
nsors, the folks at Patapsco State Park and volunteer coordinators this event was a HUGE SUCCESS!

Events like the Ilchester Adopt-a-Crag truly demonstrate climbers' commitment to the Patapsco State Park and show how much DC and Baltimore area climbers really care about our climbing resources. By cultivating a healthy relationship between the user group and the land owners, MAC is proactively working to keep climbing areas open in DC, MD and VA.
Mid Atlantic Climbers has 3 more Adopt-a-Crag events coming up this fall. Anyone interested in coming out should RSVP HERE and anyone interested in getting involved in planning or leading future events should feel free to contact 

All experience levels welcome.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Happy Hour Benefit Fundraiser Sat 9/22/12

Happy Hour to Benefit Friends of Muir Valley.   
Saturday, September 22nd, 2012  
All Day/Night
Kick-off the fall season, by grabbing some food and drinks with other climbers at The Greene Turtle in Olney, MD. Just bring the flyer (or digital copy on your smart device) and 20% of your bill will be donated to the Friends of Muir Valley to ensure that this wonderful climbing area stays open!

We'll have a table with some great raffles to sweeten the deal, and to raise some more money!

Muir Valley is a wonderful climber-owned property in the Red River Gorge and it's home to some of the best sport climbing on the East Coast.  Many of us have visited and enjoyed the routes, trails and roads on this property that are all maintained by the Weber Family for the sole purpose of preserving this unique environment and the wonderful rock climbing it has to offer. This is our chance to show them that visiting climbers care about this great destination crag!

Happy Hour Event on Facebook
Download the Flyer
Friends of Muir Valley Website

The Greene Turtle in Olney, MD.

Ilchester Adopt-a-Crag Sat. 9/8/12

Ilchester Adopt-a-Crag 
Saturday, September 8th, 2012 
8am - noon
Meet at the Hilltop Rd Parking area
A beautiful after-work crag in Ellicott City, MD has some serious erosion issues. Volunteers are needed to help install and replace erosion barriers at the cliff base this Saturday!

Need some incentive? We'll have door prizes for ya, and if the work's not done by noon, we'll buy pizza for lunch!

And of course, everyone's welcome to stick around and climb afterward!

Details and Registration. 
Ilchester Event on Facebook

Monday, July 9, 2012

HERA Climb4Life July 13-15th, 2012

It's 100 degrees outside, it must be time for HERA Climb4Life DC!

Climbers and outdoor enthusiasts from all over the DC area are raising money and awareness to help fight ovarian cancer.

Climb4Life is a multi-day event, that includes climbing, socializing and giveaways.  Teams are also raising money and competing for this pretty pig.

There's still time to join a team or start your own! Check out the HERA Page for a full listing of the events, join a team or start one of your own!

And what about that pig? Here you go.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Access Fund Conservation Team Open House at Northwest Branch

Exciting news! The Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team will be arriving in Washington, DC on May 9th, 2012 to work with the Mid-Atlantic Climbers on access enhancements to the Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park in Silver Spring!

Conservation Team -
Photo Credit Access Fund
The Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team will be at Northwest Branch Thursday May 10th through Saturday, May 12th undertaking park enhancements. Want to see the park upgrades? Come out on Sunday, May 13th, when the conservation team members will provide information about their work at Northwest Branch - and all around the United States - at an open session at Northwest Branch beginning at 2 PM.

The trail project and open session will be at Northwest Branch Park, which is located at 10701 Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20910 - immediately south of the strip mall where Trader Joe’s is located. For more information email

The Conservation Team is the Access Fund's newest stewardship program, with a staff of two trail specialists who travel the country ten months out of the year helping local climbers and volunteers maintain climbing areas. The team assesses climbing area conservation needs, works with locals to address those needs, and provides training on planning and stewardship best practices to keep those areas healthy.  For more information about the Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team, visit

Friday, May 4, 2012

Rockfest 2012 a success!

This year's Rockfest event at Rocks State Park was a huge success! We had over 60 volunteers who worked all day to complete multiple projects that massively improved the park for all visitors. Despite the dreary forecast, folks came out excited to pitch in and the forecasted rain held off until after our projects were complete!

Thanks to everyone who helped with the projects which included trail work including installing steps on the purple trail and clearing out an ATV emergency access trail, invasive species removal (only one reported case of poison ivy), trash clean up, and construction of a nature center play area.

Building stone steps on the purple trail.
Construction of the natural play area.
Trash clean-up crew getting ready to beautify the park.
We'd like to report that the rangers at Rocks State Park are very happy with the work we were able to accomplish and were very supportive of our event overall. Be sure to thank them for their work the next time you climb at the park!

Lunch was provided by Earth Treks!

Thanks to our generous sponsors, meals for the day were provided to volunteers, and at the end of the day we had raffle prizes for everyone who participated!

Solid Rock Climbers for Christ generously provided dinner for our hungry volunteers!
In addition to the raffle, we normally give a prize for the most unique piece of trash cleaned up. Luckily, the park had less trash than we expected, so we gave the prize of a clean Mid-Atlantic Climbers T-shirt for the dirtiest volunteer. Here's our winner:

We were very grateful that the rain held off during the day on Saturday, but its eventual arrival sent most people home on Saturday night instead of enjoying camping. For the few hearty souls who stayed the night, we were treated with a sampling of short climbing films and good company around the campfire.

Thanks to Mark "Indy" Kochte for taking all of the photos in this blog post. You can see even more photos from the event on Facebook here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rockfest 2012!

We know that many of you in the Mid-Atlantic Region have enjoyed the climbing that Rocks State Park has to offer - from bouldering to the classic Strawberry Jam. Now it's time to give back. Join us for Rockfest 2012 on April 21st to give the park some much needed love!

Even if you've never been, this will be a great opportunity to take care of local public lands, meet fellow climbers and outdoor enthusiasts, and have a great time doing it! We'll spend Saturday doing various projects in the park from trail work to invasive species removal, and will then have the special opportunity to camp in the park Saturday night. Volunteers will enjoy complementary lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast Sunday. After a day of hard work, volunteers can spend Sunday exploring the park, hiking, bouldering or climbing with friends!

Photo Credit: Indy Kochte

Due to the size of the camping area we are limited to 75 campers, so sign up to guarantee your spot!

Where: Rocks State Park
When: Saturday April 21 at 9am - Sunday April 22 at 3pm
What: Getting dirty with MAC and the Access Fund. Get all the details at our event page.

Projects Include:
Building a new emergency access trail to the cliffs.
Fixing a bridge
Removing invasive species and encroaching pricker-bushes to the cliff base
and more!

Share this event on Facebook and be sure to “Like” Mid-Atlantic Climbers.

We're excited to have the following companies contributing to make this event a success!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Local climbing organization committed to supporting regional recreation areas

This fall, more than 100 climbers, outdoor enthusiasts and community members gathered in the fall to support two Maryland recreation areas--Northwest Branch recreational park in Silver Spring and the Patapsco Valley State Park north of Ellicott City.

Paul Barringer, a local climber and MAC member who spearheaded planning of the Northwest branch event says that he enjoys the area because it is a little bit of wilderness right in the midst of the suburbs. “As an urban crag, Northwest Branch gets a lot of use--which brings a host of attendant problems like trash, wear and tear on the trail, and graffiti,” he said. Berringer explained that while bouldering at Northwest branch has a low impact on the environment, and access is easy, it is still important for climbers to play a major role in addressing problems in the area. “It's also great to have the opportunity to make a contribution and meet new people.”

According to MAC President Chris Irwin, both Northwest Branch and Illchester rock, the site of the season’s second adopt-a-crag, could be considered urban parks due to geographic proximity to high population areas, and increasingly high strain on the resources including the climbing areas. “Illchester rock in Patapsco and Northwest Branch are both right off of the highway, close to where people live, and they get a lot of use,” he said. “It is important for us as climbers and as environmental stewards to make sure we have the smallest impact on the natural environment possible,” he said describing several of the projects at the Illchester adopt-a-crag including construction of a retaining wall at the base of the cliff and stairway rehabilitation.

Describing the work completed at Illchester rock by MAC volunteers, Patapsco State Park Ranger and volunteer coordinator Robert Eckhardt said, “This kind of project costs me a lot, and for each of you to come out and do a little bit means a lot. The stairs look great, the retaining wall looks great, you really should be proud.”

Berringer, Irwin and MAC are looking forward to playing a major role in the stewardship of Northwest Branch and Illchester rock in the future and the group has several events planned in the coming months.

Mid Atlantic Climbers is in the process of scheduling follow-up projects at both areas, so that local climbers can continue to show their support for local areas.