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Gunsight to South Peak Direct

5.4, Trad, 150 ft, 2 pitches,  Avg: 3.8 from 126 votes
FA: Chris Scordoes and party
W Virginia > Seneca Rocks > S Peak - W Face

Description

From Gunsight Notch, climb the arete towards the South Peak until you are able to move onto the East Face on thin flakes. Climb around the Gryphon's Beak and finish on the regular Gunsight to South Peak route. Great exposure for a 5.4!

Location

Start at the Gunsight Notch. You can climb Banana and Debbie, scramble up ledges on the west side, or take the trail up the east side to Upper Broadway and scramble a short 5.0 to gain the notch. To descend use the standard South Peak rappel routes.

Protection

Standard Seneca Rack, eats passive pro.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Exposure even from the start.
[Hide Photo] Exposure even from the start.
Major Seneca features to aid in locating routes
[Hide Photo] Major Seneca features to aid in locating routes
"Direct" route uses the east (climber's left) face underneath the Gryphon's Beak, before passing behind it to the west face and continuing up the summit arete until a good belay stance can be established at approx the end of yellow dotted line
[Hide Photo] "Direct" route uses the east (climber's left) face underneath the Gryphon's Beak, before passing behind it to the west face and continuing up the summit arete until a good belay stance can be estab…
Go left from here.
[Hide Photo] Go left from here.
Gunsight to South Peak Direct
[Hide Photo] Gunsight to South Peak Direct
Windy day in the notch.
[Hide Photo] Windy day in the notch.
Bryce topping out on Gunsight.
[Hide Photo] Bryce topping out on Gunsight.
Gunsight to South Peak Direct
[Hide Photo] Gunsight to South Peak Direct
Leaving the bolted anchor on the East Face and starting the traverse to the summit. Photo taken from the keyhole rappel.
[Hide Photo] Leaving the bolted anchor on the East Face and starting the traverse to the summit. Photo taken from the keyhole rappel.
Really exposed!
[Hide Photo] Really exposed!
Mike following
[Hide Photo] Mike following

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

dinglestyle
Catonsville, MD
  5.6
[Hide Comment] This climb is really on the east face. I would rate it 5.6 I would say Candy Corner and Critter Crack are very comparable in rating. This climb scared me more then Castor, which is a 5.10, the first time I climbed it. Be ready for some of the best exposure in the East. Feb 20, 2009
Conway Yao
Washington, District of Col…
  5.4
[Hide Comment] The "Climb VA/MD/WV" guidebook by Horst makes it appear that there's a belay stance right above Gryphon's Beak on the west face, but we weren't able to find any. We established a belay on the summit ridge, which has plenty of rock horns or boulders to sling. Only downside is no direct line-of-sight to Gunsight Notch, so communication can be tricky.

Second pitch is really just a scramble along the ridge to the South Peak summit proper.

IMO, once you ignore the exposure, the climbing was certainly easier than other Seneca 5.6s like Critter Crack, for sure. Apr 8, 2019