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South Peak - West Face
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Sidewinder T 
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West Pole Direct Finish T 
Unsorted Routes:

Le Gourmet Direct 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
Page Views: 2,747
Submitted By: Brian Adzima on Feb 8, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (36)
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BETA PHOTO: The rope is more or less going down breakneck. The...


Climb to the right of the pine tree. From here on look for the easiest climbing. Near the top work to the arête at left and move on to the west facing wall. Over 100 ft. Despite the name this route wanders back and forth across the south facing wall beside the traffic jam rappel. It feels like 5.8 climbing.


Located below the Traffic Jam rappel. Start at the west side of the south facing wall.


There are at least 4 decrepit pitons (2004), clip at your on risk.

Photos of Le Gourmet Direct Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Pat higher up the route.
Pat higher up the route.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pat leading the direct start of Le Gourmet.
Pat leading the direct start of Le Gourmet.
Rock Climbing Photo: start of Le Gourmet
BETA PHOTO: start of Le Gourmet

Comments on Le Gourmet Direct Add Comment
Show which comments
By Andy Weinmann
From: Silver Spring, MD
Aug 1, 2011
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Be very careful on this route. There are some rather large loose blocks (more or less on the center line/left of center) that will eventually go and the base of Traffic Jam/Neck Press rappel is right there. Sketchy!
By BredStache
Apr 23, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

There is a fair amount of loose rock on this route, even by Seneca standards. The best line is tricky to find and wanders across the right-facing corner. It DOES make the first two pitches of Le Gourmet into one pitch, but this is unlikely to save you much time.

Overall, it's somewhere between OK and Good. I wouldn't go out of my way to do it, but if you've exhausted the 5.6ish routes at Seneca, it's not a bad route to push your route-finding skills.

Photo credit: RESLScience 2012
Rock Climbing Photo: Brendan cleans a piece mid-route as John belays fr...
Brendan cleans a piece mid-route as John belays from a hanging belay near the top of the pitch. This could have been one pitch but John couldn't find the 6 more slings bundled up on his harness, d'oh!

Photo Credit: RESLScience 2012
By Gunkiemike
May 18, 2015

I would say that while this is a good-to-very-good pitch, it is absolutely NOT a 5.6. So if you're looking for, say, a 5.7 challenge, get on it. The gear is decent, if varied and challenging at times. (I was working hard to sew it up but my second said everything was bomber) The climbing was "thoughtful", and that's good for the lead head once in a while I suppose. Bottom line - I'm really glad I did it.

Calling this a 5.6 helps substantiate Seneca's rep for sandbag grading. My home crag is the Gunks, so that's saying something!

I didn't know what to make of the comment in the guidebook about going right of the first tree etc. What WAS very helpful was the bit about getting into the short chimney high up in the pitch; I wasn't clear on which way to go at that point.
By Fan Zhang
From: Washington, DC
May 1, 2017
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I also found the route finding and movement to be thought provoking and challenging. Instead of going left around the arête to rejoin Le Gourmet, I traversed back right into the big corner and stopped at the end of pitch 2 of Neck Press (the double anchors by the dead tree). I'm sure others have done this long linkup, but I'm not aware it's been named. Maybe "Neck Gourmet"?

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