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Monthly Meeting – Virtual

October 11 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Our October meeting will be held over Zoom. Join Russell Hicks, Chandler Berry, and Chris Zajchowski for a stakeholder discussion on Carderock and Great Falls.

Zoom link: https://odu.zoom.us/j/95327586790

For more information, please read the open letter from the research group to PATC:

Dear PATC Member,

Hope your summer was great! We write today as a team of faculty and graduate students from Old Dominion University, Kansas State University, Eastern Kentucky University, and the University of Idaho. Many of us are climbers and all of us participate in outdoor recreation in our spare time on our nation’s public lands. We value the work you do as an organization and – at the suggestion of the PATC Mountaineering Section – are reaching out today to let you know about our upcoming work in your back yard.

In 2022, we were hired to conduct a multi-year project with the National Park Service at Carderock and Great Falls with the goal of better understanding how visitors, specifically climbers, are using rock climbing sites at both locations. This follows a research effort at Harpers Ferry, which was funded by the National Park Service, and supported by the PATC Mountaineering Section, Mid Atlantic Climbers, Access Fund, American Alpine Club, American Mountain Guide Association, Sportrock and Earth Treks. You can find a summary of our research at Harpers Ferry on this StoryMap.

Dr. James Maples from Eastern Kentucky University has begun contacting key stakeholders in the D.C. area climbing community to connect with our team to help us learn more about the history of these sites and your impressions of current conditions. Stakeholders are members of the local climbing community, including guides, organizational leadership, and recreational climbers. The information gathered from these interviews will help to inform our next steps as researchers and help orient us to the challenges and successes experienced by the community. If you are interested in James’ previous work with climbers in the Red, please check out his recent book.

Additionally, trail cameras are being used at both sites to understand how climbers (and non-climbers) are using the spaces. Trail cameras are often placed at key junctions or heavily used sites to understand when those sites are being used most. These cameras only gather data related to use trends, and no identifiable information is being shared with park staff. Understanding trends in visitor use will allow us to provide better recommendations to the parks about areas of importance for the climbing community. Pending survey approvals, we will also be surveying climbers on-site in the months to come.

We understand research efforts like these may lead to a lot of questions. We have an open-door policy so please feel free to reach out to us in the days, weeks, and months ahead to help us make sure your voice is represented. Related, representatives from our team will be joining you at your virtual meeting on Tuesday, October 11th. We look forward to seeing you there.

Our best,

National Capital Area Research Collaborative – GRFA & CHOH Team

Ryan Sharp, PhD, [email protected]

Chris Zajchowski, PhD, [email protected]

James Maples, PhD, [email protected]

Jessica Fefer, PhD, [email protected]

Chandler Berry, MS Student [email protected]

Russell Hicks, PhD Student [email protected]



October 11
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm