* DON'T LOOK BACK: Washington- area climbers are keeping busy far and near this spring. Earth Treks' Chris Warner went back to the Himalayas, this time for a journey up the 27,939-foot Lhotse peak, which stands next to Everest. Also on tap: Nanga Parbat and Gasherbrum 1 and 2. You can read his dispatches at www.earthtreksclimbing.com/journals.html.

Closer to home, the Blue Ridge Section of the American Alpine Club next will meet on Monday for Pat Brown's talk about his attempts on the famed Moose's Tooth (this is Jon Krakauer country) and the 14,573-foot Mount Hunter in Alaska. The talk starts at about 7:30 p.m. in the downstairs room of the Rhodeside Grill at 1836 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Dinner and drinks begin at 6:30 p.m. Non-members are welcome.

Also, the BRS will head to Seneca Rocks in West Virginia from Friday to June 13. You can climb at Seneca and Nelson Rocks as well as mountain bike, hike, camp, go caving and angling. The BRS, for legal reasons, can't sponsor climbs, but the event still is an excellent way to meet new climbing partners. Contact John Gregory at 202-337-9157 or gregoryj@mindspring.com.

For more about the BRS, visit http://brs.alpineclub.org. . . .

Sportrock, which has locations in Alexandria, Sterling and Rockville, offers an Open Belay program for beginners on weekends from noon to 5 p.m. You don't have to register; pay by the climb ($5 fee includes gear) and learn from an on-site instructor. Visit http://www.sportrock.com for details.

* RIPPLE EFFECT: The Canoe Cruisers Association will offer beginner classes on the C&O Canal through the summer. The first one-hour clinic starts Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Fletcher's Boathouse on Canal Road in the District. The first session at Swain's Lock in Potomac begins Thursday at 6:30 p.m. For schedules and details, contact Ed Pilchard at 301-434-4007. . . .

Hudson Trail Outfitters will host a boat demo day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lake Needwood in Montgomery County. Visit www.hudsontrail.com for details. . . .

REI will host a boat demo day on June 19 from noon to 4 p.m. at Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton. You can try out numerous kinds of kayaks and canoes and get advice from on-hand company reps. There is no charge for the event but there is an entry fee for the park. Paddlers of all levels are welcome. For more information, visit www.rei.com.

-- John Mullen