* GET ON IT: This dry weather is not good for paddlers but it is for climbers, especially now that it is time to dust off the ropes and harnesses and make it to one of the nearby climbing crags for an after-work hour or two. The Mountaineering Section of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, long a leader in Washington area climbing, meets at Carderock on Wednesday nights and at the Virginia side of Great Falls on Friday nights to keep their skills sharp. You do not have to be a club member to take part, but you do have to sign a liability waiver and contact the trip leader beforehand. You will also want to have the basics down before you go, which you can learn at Earth Treks (www.earthtreksclimbing.com) or Sportrock (www.sportrock.com). The Carderock climbs start at 5 p.m., the Great Falls climbs begin at 5:30. Contact Mack Muir at 703-501-6723 or mackmuir@edisaurus.com to sign up. For more information, visit www.patc.net/chapters/mtn_sect/.

If hiking is your thing, the PATC has scheduled several treks this week, including a family hike on Roosevelt Island on Tuesday and a more demanding trip to George Washington National Forest in Virginia the same day. For Roosevelt Island, contact Lauren Lang at 703-631-9278; for George Washington, get in touch with Chris Nolen at 301-469-8931.

* GEARED UP: When Potomac Outdoors closed last summer it seemed everybody who ever set foot on a trail or put paddle to water beat a path to the store for the fire-sale prices. If you missed it, no big deal. On Saturday starting at 10 a.m. you will have a chance to scoop up a wide range of stuff you might have been eyeing or sell that boat or paddle you no longer have room for at home during the gear swap and flea market at Hudson Trail Outfitters in Fairfax. For details, call the store at 703-591-2950.

* PITCH IN: The Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts will head to Fountainhead Regional Park in Virginia and Cosca State Park in Maryland for trail work projects on Saturday. To sign up for Fountainhead, call Stu Moulton at 703-569-8977; for Cosca, contact Gary Ryan at 703-627-4923. Non-members are welcome. For ride schedules and information about the club, visit www.more-mtb.org/.

-- John Mullen

mullenj@washpost.com