Type: Trad, 4 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 5,631 total · 48/month
Shared By: Laura Anderson on Nov 1, 2009 with improvements by Brian Malone
Admins: Ladd Raine, Shawn Heath, Vicki Schwantes, Jake Jones

You & This Route

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#1 Climb up through the notch between Humphrey's Head and the Cockscomb. Belay on a flat ledge with a view to the east. Or initially belay on the west side of the notch for convenience, then move the belay prior to doing P2.(90 feet)
#2 Move out onto the East Face by climbing right and then down. After one exciting move, begin traversing right on an easy ledge to several large trees. This is also a high version that allows the leader to protect the second: traverse right from the belay and step over to a narrow left-facing corner and good handholds. Finish on the ledge traverse. (75 feet)
#3 Climb up and right to the north end of the ledge and climb the sloping flake/ chimney. (100 feet)
#4 Walk right on the large Summit Ledge for about 100 feet to the final Summit Ridge. Many people simply scramble up the exposed 4th class section to the summit. If you are unsure of your ability, belay the final exposed section to the actual summit.


Begin on the Luncheon Ledge, at the gap between Humphrey's Head and the Cockscomb.


Standard trad rack and long slings


dr. morbius
ituri rainforest
dr. morbius   ituri rainforest
Ahh, brings back memories of my first lead on this circa 1984 ... intimidated by the height of Seneca since all I'd been on was 30' of limestone, a spanking new pair of Fire's, partner who let me lead the crux pitch and then had to spend 45 minutes cleaning the #4 friend I carefully buried at the bottom of the pitch to protect against an upward pull. This was a few years before the Gendarme fell off so we got to climb that. Then on the ridge to the descent someone asked me to throw them the rope which I had coiled so I threw the whole rope, coming close to pitching it all the way to the bottom & leaving us stranded. Rapping off at night, drinking beer. Haven't thought about this climb in forever (gee, wonder why...) ... Guess I'll have to go back to it someday now! Nov 10, 2010
First multi-pitch trad lead! Seems like a fun, quality route for such a low rating as 5.2. The exposure was definitely "interesting" for a new leader. Jun 1, 2012
Adam Marcus
Salt Lake City, UT
Adam Marcus   Salt Lake City, UT
I really wasn't sure I was at the right start spot because the Horst book says the first pitch is 100 feet and looking up from the base, it looked more like 50 feet. After climbing about 25 feet, there's a tree directly overhead and you can go left or right. I think the "flat ledge with a nice view to the east" is to the right, but I went to the left. The second pitch is on the east face, so when the guidebook says to "move right and down onto a ledge on the East Face" it means that you're moving to the north (climber's LEFT from the orientation of the first pitch). It's not that confusing when you get there.

The second pitch is so easy it's hard to remember to stop and place enough protection for the second. I kept looking back and realizing I had just moved 20+ feet without placing anything, so then I'd have to move back and place something.

You can climb Windy Corner (5.4) as an alternative to the third pitch. Both end in the approximate same spot: on the east side of the Traffic Jam rappel. Oct 20, 2014
David Engel
Santa Rosa, CA
David Engel   Santa Rosa, CA
I did this route in 1971 with Dave Templeton of the PATC Mountaineering Section and many times thereafter. It was a thrill during my high school days to lead this climb. Aug 12, 2015
This was our first route climbed at Seneca Rocks. It's really easy. Like a scramble with rock protection. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone but the absolute beginner. And even then, a beginner has to know how to deal with lead belaying and top belaying on traverses, and the third pitch is difficult to protect well in the chimney without wide gear assuming I didn't miss anything else. Unless you are an absolute beginner trad leader, start with routes rated 5.4. The book doesn't tell you that the belay station after the third pitch is a bolted anchor past the chimney section going upward to the right if you face the wall.

The only plus about this climb is that this got us to the summit ridge. We choose to scramble up the fourth pitch and to the summit ridge. Jun 7, 2016
Fan Zhang
Silver Spring, MD
Fan Zhang   Silver Spring, MD
For new climbers following pitch 2, the down climbing near the start of pitch 2 (the section immediately after the photo by David Engel of Karen Hoffman) may be intimidating and result in a bad traversing fall. Oct 26, 2017
Chad Silva  
I was climbing with double ropes, and a 60m just *barely* let me link P2&3. Feb 12, 2019