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Crags Near Seneca (route 28/55)

Original Post
Daniel Roberts · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 25

Hey everyone,

When driving to Seneca from DC I'll see some crags in the distance (i think on route 28 and 55).  was wondering if anyone had any info on them. looked like a long hike to get to the base, but was wondering if anyone had every climbed them.


Chase Morgan · · Washington, D.C. · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 0

There is Smoke Hole, a relatively new sport crag near Seneca. I don't know much about it but do plan on going at some point. There is definitely some beautiful climbing along that road though. I wonder how much of it is accessible every time I drive back from Seneca. 

Josh · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 24

I'm pretty sure you can't see the popular Smoke Hole crags (i.e. Long Branch, Entrance Walls, Eagle Rock, etc.) from Route 28 when driving to Seneca from D.C. I believe all of those areas are at the other side of the canyon from the Route 28 side. Your best bet is to talk with one of the local Seneca guides as I'm sure they would have the best information regarding any other possibly developed areas around Seneca. However, if there are any developed areas they know about, there's probably a reason why they have chosen not to list them on places like Mountain Project (i.e. on private land, etc.).

tpitts · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 10
Barry M · · WV · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0

You can't see Smoke Hole from 28.

Somebody has surely climbed there. One or two of the cliff lines I have heard of people climbing there but have not seen anybody climbing there or met anybody that has. 

Mark O'Neal · · Nicholson, GA · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 1,415

Smoke Hole has a guidebook 

Db5504 · · Shippensburg, PA · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 951

OP, I think you might be talking about the North Fork Mountain cliffs. They're visible from Seneca, most of 28-55, and spruce knob. Roughly a mile and a half of broken cliff stretching across the top of the mountain, I've been scoping them out for a while.

Adam Byrd · · Morgantown, WV · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 207

I think the North Fork Mountain Traverse is still waiting to see a second ascent.  The documentary on the FA is ​​Almost Alpine​​​​​​

Alan Rubin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0

I know that a few New England-based climbers did a number of routes on the North Fork Mountain cliffs during annual visits to the Seneca area in the late '70s/early '80s. The late Paul Duval was particularly active there and paid several visits with various partners. As part of those explorations in 1980, Ken Nichols and I climbed an excellent route up the front face of a prominent pinnacle in front of the cliffs and a relatively non-descript route on the main wall behind. I have no doubt that others have been up there as well.

Shadrock · · Here and there. · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 367

Not sure if this will help or not, but I found that the area around Seneca features several crags in various stages of "development" which almost always involves very discreet local practices and ethics. I only climbed in the area for about 3 years, but I found that building some relationships with folks at the guide schools unlocked some interesting beta. So, it's well worth grabbing a beer on the porch with some of the folks in town and getting to know them. I found the scene out there quite different than what I'm used to in the West, where posting on forums, etc, usually answered most of my questions. In WV, it seemed to be more a matter of patient investment and getting acquainted with folks, which seemed kind of weirdly esoteric at first but really grew on me after awhile: I can really appreciate a place where not every single piece of information is always available to everybody. It's just a different place. Anyways, I know that this doesn't answer your specific question, but I thought I'd share it since it took me a while to find my way around the climbing scene out there and I wish somebody would have told me this when I got there. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern States
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