Seneca Rocks – West Virginia

SenecaSeneca is one of my favourite places to climb, I just wish that it wasn’t so far away. We always stay at Seneca Shadows campground below the cliff, wake every morning to the sun rising over the summit and watch as the sun sets in the evening basking the rock in warm golden light.

Climbing here can be intimidating. The south summit is 900′ above the valley and most of the routes are vertical. The first time I came to the summit I reached up and pulled on a bomber hold. Coming up, I nearly went over the other side as my ‘bomber hold’ was the edge of the other face. Vertigo overtook me as I realized that the summit averaged the width of a sidewalk and in this spot was less than two feet wide. I crawled along the ridge that day, but with time came confidence and I was soon walking without fear.

For more information, pick up the guidebook Seneca: The Climber’s Guide by Webster.

Triple S – 5.8

Climbing Magazine has called this the best 5.8 pitch in the East, if not the world and with good reason! This one pitch route follows an overhanging corner crack getting harder as you get higher. Good rests can be found by steming creatively and the route will accept just about any climbing style you throw at it, from layback to hand jam…

Soler – 5.7

This route is it’s last pitch, climbing straight to the South summit on the East face. This pitch is steep and intimidating, but bomber handholds and great pro appears whenever you need it, making this route an enjoyable experience. If you can though, follow another route up to the stance for the last pitch to make a more interesting start.

Pleasant Overhangs – 5.7

The West face of the South summit is dominated by a huge, overhanging corner system which this route follows. Looking up from the ground, you would never believe that it is only 5.7, but sure enough, everything is there. The first pitch goes diagonally up and right across ledges and up corners to a cramped belay under the right side of the huge roof. The second pitch traverses left under this roof to reach the overhanging corner system, which is then followed to the top in the third pitch.