• Thursday, August 29, 2013 10:37 PM | David Giacomin
    Check out this interview with Tom on Vimeo:
    Tom Cecil On Climbing Ethics
  • Wednesday, August 28, 2013 10:37 PM | David Giacomin

    Crack Climbing Workshop 2013 - Trip Report

    New River Gorge, Fayetteville, WV

    by Rick Dotson


    The Workshop was a great success.  Twenty-two members participated including Brenda Huber, Chris DeRosa, David Lysy, Derek Marble, Emily Cumberland, Ex Pow-Anpongkul, Henry Barkhausen, Jason Salmanoff, Jeff Misiewicz, John Huber, Karlena Lara-Otero, Katie Hammer, Kyle Grim, Nathan Gordon, Peter Jensen, Reed Bumgarner, and Tim Knepp.  Special thanks to my Co-Trip Leaders, Bill Baker, Greg Christopulos, Jenny O’Brien and Eric Mountford.  Actually everyone chipped in when needed often without being asked.  It was a pleasure climbing with such great people.

    Some members have posted photos at these sites.

    Peter Jensen took these:

    And by Derek.


    The weather was amazing.  The first two days the temperature was in the 70s with blue skies.  But this being the New it needed to rain at least one day and this was Sunday were it drizzled all day but we climbed under a big overhang.

    While not surprising given how much training the club is offering and the trips that everyone is taking but I was impressed by the high level of technical skills of all the climbers.  Anchor building, top rope set up and leading were all very good.  This is not always the case when I climb with people from the gym.

    Many people were leading and mock leading and some people were top roping but everybody did most of the climbs.   The climbs were picked to provide a variety of routes not often found in the DC area like hand cracks, finger crack, stems, laybacks, and wide cracks.  We even had some arêtes and face climbs for variety.  Everyone crushed the routes and it was nice to see people getting on routes outside of their comfort zone and doing so well.

    We stayed at Chestnut Creek Campground.  This is a nice clean quiet campground in the woods.  They also have a large pavilion which is nice in case of rain.   I made my reservations with Brian and before we arrived he had passed away.  Rest in Peace.

    We ate at a number of good restaurants and there are many more in town.  Someone in our group suggested a restaurant review so other members would have beta when they arrived so here are a couple of reviews.

    Cathedral Café  has great food, great coffee, great service and the most beautiful food I have ever seen.  It was a shame to have to eat it.  Pies and Pints, great food, great brew and the service was very good.  We got two large pies, Cuban Pork and Steak and Mushroom, both were excellent and feed 8 people.  Diogi’s Mexican Grill got us in quickly as a group of 15 that could have been a problem at some of the smaller places.  It seems that some people were very happy with their food and others though it was average.  We had a very good waitress and we had a good time.  So I give it thumbs up.  Tudors Biscuit World serves a good country breakfast.  The coffee was not so good and the service was slow.  Gumbo’s, while we did not eat here this is a place I like and it looks like they are moving into a new bigger place so check them out if you are in town.



    Friday we decided to climb at the Junkyard because it can be very busy on weekends due to the easy top rope setups and the high quality of the routes. 

    Nasty Poodle Chew 5.6  dirty wide layback crack with spiders.  What more could you want in a climb?

    Keep it tight but don’t give me AIDS 5.6 

    Jumping Jack Flash 5.7 – nice layback crack in a corner

    New River Gunks 5.7  - nice face climbing with an overhang at the top

    Mr. Ed   5.8  - wide crack with a tricky start

    New Yosemite    5.9 - Awesome splitter crack with multiple cruxes

    The Contortionist 5.9 – not many people chose to tackle this wide crack

    Four Sheets to the Winds 5.9+ awesome overhanging route with 3 distinct roofs

    The Entertainer  5.10a – cool hand crack with an tricky overhang near the ground

    Team Jesus 5.10b – face climbing around a small crack with a tough crux

    Rapscallion's Blues  5.10c – Amazingly hard stemming with 2 big roofs

    Realignment 5.10d – hard vertical finger crack


    Endless Wall

    Climbed at Endless on Saturday mainly to do two super classic climbs: Fantasy and Black and Tan.  

    Doce Doe 5.7 - nice crack in a corner

    Fantasy 5.8  hands\OW – a bit of Off-Width at the bottom of 70 feet of classic 5.8 splitter crack

    Grafenberg Crack  5.9     hand\corner\face

    Black & Tan 5.10a corner\fingers - technical stemming and laybacks with thin cracks

    The Diddler 5.10a arête\face – very hard ie. sandbag

    Aesthetica 5.11c overhanging face with two tough cruxes and some fun face climbing

    Bridge Buttress

    We climbed at the Bridge on Sunday because the 100 yard approach would make it easy to escape in the afternoon.  Since it was raining we climbed in the Rock Shelter Cave area which stays dry even in a downpour.  The rain stopped for a little while allowing us to get Zag and Angels Arete before it started raining again.


    Horton Tree        5.7  thin crack

    Labor Day            5.8 powerful laybacking all the way to the end

    Zag         5.8         Wide crack, use the crack or face climb around it?

    Macho Man 5.9  OW to Hands – tough OW start to a nice hand crack

    Angels Arete       5.10a     Super classic arête made harder because it was wet.

    High Times          5.10c  starts at about 5.8 hands, pull a 9+ overhang to 10b jams to 10c fingers


    Great climbs, great weather and great friends, what could be better?  Maybe another trip!

    See you all out on the rock.


    Rick Dotson

  • Thursday, February 28, 2013 4:43 PM | David Giacomin

    Winners of the 2012 Photo Contest

    We had over 80 amazing entries in our 2012 photo contest! During the annual holiday party our members had a chance to see the entries and choose their favorites; and we are happy to announce the winners.

    Club Colors Category

    Mark Fletcher at the top of Sasso di Stria (Hexenstein) in the Dolomites in Italy.

    Winner: Mark Fletcher

    Prize: "PATC-MS Red" Climbing/hydration pack

    Alpine Climbing Category

    Sunrise above he Clouds
    Winner: Janna Niebyl
    Prize: CAMP Alpine Snow Shovel & Petzl Crampon Bag

    Ice Climbing Category

    Trap Dike during DAKS BIG HAUS trip 2012

    Winner: Piotr Andrzejczak

    Prize: 16cm Black Diamond Express Ice Screw

    Journeys Category

    West Crack, DAFF Dome in Tuolumne, Yosemite National Park. Andy Weinmann leading, Mitch Hyman following.

    Winner: Andy Weinmann

    Prize: Adventure Medical Kit and Large EMS Travel Duffel

    Rock Climbing Category

    Ethan Atwood, Last Carderock Wednesday of the Season

    Winner: Travis Senor

    Prize: .75 Black Diamond C4 Camalot

  • Friday, January 04, 2013 4:41 PM | David Giacomin

    New Section Officers

    Congratulations to our new officers elected at the MS Annual Meeting.  Volunteering their time on our behalf for 2013 are:
    • Dave Giacomin, Chair
    • Andy Weinman, Vice Chair
    • Mark Fletcher, Treasurer
    • Eliddia Mader, Secretary
    And a big round of applause to our outgoing Secretary Vince Penoso, and Chair Court Zabel. Vince has apparently agreed to remain as Editor of the Up Rope newsletter; he publishes great newsletters.

    Jeanette Helfrich was given the status of Honorary Member at the meeting. Honorary membership is awarded to honor those that have provided exceptional service to our section and/or the climbing community at large. Jeanette has certainly done this. She was nominated by Joe Ney and Greg Christopoulos for inclusion in this very small group.

 2013 PATC-MS | The Mountaineering Section of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. All Rights Reserved.