About us

Who we are?

We are the Mountaineering Section of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC), a non-profit organization that protects the trail and lands of the Appalachian Trail along with other trails and facilities in the Mid-Atlantic region. 

PATC-MS has been the premier rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering club serving the D.C. Metro area since 1937. We are a diverse group of local climbers who share a common interest in promoting environmentally responsible climbing and having fun while doing it!

What we do

  • CLIMB! Whether local or further afield, almost every weekend our members are out climbing. Each year, several expedition-minded people organize longer trips.
  • INFORM! We publish a newsletter, the UPROPE, that details recent club events, articles, book reviews and the latest and greatest climbing-related news of interest submitted by the membership. Members have access to all historical editions of UpRope.  Guests are welcome to download and view the latest edition here: Link to Latest UpRope!
  • MENTOR! Many of our members have decades of climbing experience and serve as mentors to those who want to learn the basics as well as more advanced skills. We are NOT a climbing school or guide service. 
  • LEARN! We sponsor lectures by climbers. Guest lecturers have included: Hans Florine, Jules Lines, Rosie Andrews, Fred Beckley, Greg Collins, John Harlin, Lynn Hill, Jeff Lowe, Paul Piana, Marc Richey, Doug Scott, Mark Wilford, and Jimmy Chin.
  • SHARE! We manage a forum where members can communicate and post impromptu climbing trips and discuss climbing issues. 
  • MEET! We gather for a monthly meeting to discuss club business, socialize, and learn from guest lecturers. 
  • SUPPORT! We have grant programs available for members to apply to each year.  Programs include the Expedition Grant (max $500), Single-Pitch Instructor (SPI) Test Reimbursement Grant ($400), Women’s Leadership Grant ($600) and the Wilderness First Responder Reimbursement Grant ($400).  Details about these grants can be found under the Members Benefits Section