Honorary Members

John Christian

John’s Contribution to rock climbing is legendary with first ascents from Seneca Rocks, WV to Carderock, MD.

Jan and Herb Conn

The Conn’s founded the UPROPE newsletter; pioneers in the dawn of rock climbing in the country; FA’s for routes all over the country

James Eakin

Jim Eakin edited the Great Falls guide.

Pete Grant

Active participation: leading countless trips and writing trip reports. Being a mentor for all members. Served as the Club database programmer for the online database for several years (2005-????).

John Gregory

Gave the Club the copy rights to John’s Carderock guide so they could use his material for the guide; Selma Hanel complied. John also edited the galleries for her. John Gregory signed the original agreement to do the restoration work at Carderock, MD. John’s service to the Club continued with the trail construction at Seneca Rocks, W.V. and building the pavilion at Seneca Shadows. All of that was the Club and the AAC. John Gregory is a regular at Carderock, MD and wherever the rock beckons.

Ozana Halik

Revitalized the Club in 2005 with a vision, when membership and participation was at a critical low. Ozana would hear no part of dissolving the club and soon took charge. His slogan, ” LEAD, FOLLOW OR GET OUT OF THE WAY”. Ozana applied for a gear grant from REI in which the Mountaineering Section was awarded $3000. An Assortment of climbing gear was purchased for use at club functions like Carderock Wednesdays, Seneca and GFNP. The GearMeister and Gear room were created to keep track of, dispense and maintain the Club’s implements of diversion. The gear collection has grown from ropes, harnesses and belay devices to ice tools, mountaineering boots and a circus tent.

Ozana approved the creation of a Club database in which to bring the Club into the 20th century, which led to everything we do and see online involving the website and membership database. Ozana created ROCKBUSTER, an addition to the database which allowed the membership to check out videos. RopeBAY is a venue in which members can buy and sell their used climbing gear. In addition, Ozana designed and purchased the club t-shirts and club stickers. Ozana remains an active climbing member.

Selma Hanel- Rosenthal

Editors of the Carderock Guide

Alex Tait

Produced the recent edition Great Falls Guide and introduced photographs and route lines in 2005.

Vincent Penoso

Member since 1998. Served as the UPROPE newsletter editor until 2007. During these years he served as secretary (current 3rd term in 2012), vice-chair, gearmeister and webmaster. Photographed all images (including the cover: legendary climber Chris Sharma), edited, published and produced the Second Edition of the Carderock Climbing Guide. He was inducted into honorary member status in 2010 for continued service to the club.

Annette Rebellato

Elected to the honorary list for her editing and layout expertise in the editing and publishing of the the Second Edition of the Carderock Climbing Guide.

Jeanette Helfrich

Jeanette has been a stalwart member of the Washington DC climbing community since the 1980s. She has served as a leader of both the Mountaineering Section (Chair 1989, Vice Chair 1988) and the Blue Ridge Section of American Alpine Club (Chair 1999-2003). As an active climber in our area, she has mentored many new climbers including many women climbers.

Over the years she has taken on numerous assignments for the Club. Her most recent contribution to our climbing community has been leading the effort to organize and digitize 68 years of Up Rope newsletters. She, along with others on the committee, collected old issues from past officers and members all over the country as well as from the PATC archives. Making Up Ropes accessible online will provide a valuable resource to area climbers to research history of local climbing areas as well as the history of expeditions and far flung trips by our members. Without her perseverance and attention to detail this project just would not have happened.

Martin “Marty” Comiskey

Marty has helped mentor and guide countless Club members through the rigors of foundational to advanced skills, especially in the areas of rope-work, anchor building and self-rescue. He has taught numerous seminars on these items and created a continuing series of small “skill clinics” at our Carderock Wednesdays. For the past few years he has led at least 2 day-long self-rescue clinics each year. His knowledge of climbing knots is seemingly endless and his energy for sharing these skills is equally boundless.

Marty was inducted as an Honorary Member in 2013.

Robert “Bob” Graver

Bob has been a mainstay of the Club for years and served as Chairman in 2008 and 2009. He worked hard to create the Alpine Skills Weekend program that the Club holds each year on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. In addition, he has helped new trad followers and leaders as well as new ice leaders.

Bob has always had a high level of enthusiasm for climbing and for getting more people involved in the Club and on Club outings. He was inducted as an Honorary Member in 2014.

Neil Arsenault

Neil has been a PATC-MS member, and occasional Chair, since the 1970’s, almost as long as he has been an active climber. He was a significant figure in first ascents at Seneca Rocks and numerous other East Coast locations. Neil has also been important to the community through his career as an outdoor gear shop owner and extensive dispenser of expertise boot and crampon fitting and the 80’s revolution in rock and ice climbing gear and associated changes in technique. Numerous individual club members have benefited for decades from his advice and hands-on fixes in everything from crampon fitting to crevasse rescue training. Neil’s wide contacts in the community have lead to our annual Whitetail training day and have supported climbing access over the years. Neil was inducted as an Honorary Member in 2019.