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Unsorted Routes:

West Pole 

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

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 200'
Original:  YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
Page Views: 13,373
Submitted By: Brian Adzima on Oct 3, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (115)
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Pulling over the second roof


One of the best routes at Seneca, period. West Pole follows a more-or-less continues crack system through two roofs. It can probably be done in one pitch with a 70-meter rope.

P1: Climb up through the easy ledges to a pine tree. Belay either from rings (not advisable on a busy day) or gear.

P2: Follow the broken crack system until it runs into a corner at the bottom of the first roof. Go straight up through the roof and continue through the second. Follow a left-facing corner to a crack and then belay from rings.


West Pole begins at the same place as Old Man's and Conns West.


Like most Seneca routes, West Pole protects well with passive gear. A double set of nuts and some hexes works fine. There are probably some pitons on the route; maybe some even of WWII vintage.

Photos of West Pole Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Some routes beginning at the base of Old Man's Rou...
BETA PHOTO: Some routes beginning at the base of Old Man's Rou...
Rock Climbing Photo: Having fun on West Pole
Having fun on West Pole
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting up West Pole.
Starting up West Pole.
Rock Climbing Photo: The corner on the upper half of the second pitch, ...
The corner on the upper half of the second pitch, ...
Rock Climbing Photo: West Pole
West Pole
Rock Climbing Photo: Tanya following through the roofs at West Pole.
BETA PHOTO: Tanya following through the roofs at West Pole.
Rock Climbing Photo: Me leading past the second roof of West Pole.
BETA PHOTO: Me leading past the second roof of West Pole.
Rock Climbing Photo: Leading the twin cracks toward the West Pole roofs...
BETA PHOTO: Leading the twin cracks toward the West Pole roofs...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bob Batterman at the crux of West Pole. The best 5...
Bob Batterman at the crux of West Pole. The best 5...

Comments on West Pole Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 23, 2017
By Mark Cushman
From: Cumming, GA
Jun 14, 2007

One day when I was climbing a route nearby, two teenage girls headed up the trail and started racking up for Westpole. One of their fathers was a climber and had given them just enough gear to do Old Man's Route (5.2) - the route they TOLD HIM they were headed out to do. Instead they climbed Westpole with five nuts and two hexes!
By Jesse Morehouse
From: CO
May 27, 2008
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

You can climb it as one pitch with a 60m rope which is commonly done. A super classic and yes, its only 5.7+!
By Pete Hickman
From: Tacoma, WA
Jun 26, 2008

I think I left a C3 cam in the bottom of the roof this morning.
By Jeremy P Franz
From: Greenville, SC
Aug 10, 2008
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Great route, the direct finish (5.8) is exposed and enjoyable.
By dinglestyle
From: Catonsville, MD
Feb 20, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Beware of the lose block right after the crux. I think it would be hard to pull it out, but you never know what a desperate person will do. Another Classic sandbag +=next grade up.
By Josh Smethers
From: Malvern, pa
Aug 12, 2010
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

Awesome awesome climb. Had to set up a belay just before the first roof to decrease rope drag and get some gear back. Fun and exposed roofs, but totally do-able. Straight forward climb that was well protected the entire way.
By Andy Weinmann
From: Silver Spring, MD
Oct 11, 2011
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

There's really two ways to start this route. The original line goes up the first few ledges of Old Man's until you reach the large ledge for the start of West Pole.

The second (and I'd say more fun) option is to climb the face and ledges directly below the pine tree at the start of West Pole, finishing on a hand-sized, left leaning crack. This should be considered West Pole Direct Start and probably rates 5.5/5.6 PG13/R. The climbing is easier down low where it might be a little runout. The gear placements are there in the upper part, but don't pass them up. A fall would almost certainly mean you'd hit a ledge.

With 60m rope you can easily link this Direct Start and P1 of West Pole. A #4 BD Cam sized piece is helpful for the belay below the roofs.
By ajtwoface
May 19, 2012
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This is a great route! It has two great roofs. However, here is a word of caution:
When you are climbing it be careful, below the first roof on the face there is a loose piece that is faintly marked with a chalk x. Don't touch it, it is tempting because it is such a good handhold. Additionally, there is a cinderblock size piece in the first roof that is super loose. You can lift it up and out. The guides were talking of transporting it out last time I was out there. There is a good jam behind the block that you can use but also don't touch that block. Other than that, have an amazing time on this route!
By Jackxc925
Jul 11, 2013

Bailed off a horn before the roof, didn't have the gear to finish the pitch. placed all my big gear before the crux #1 placement
By Benjaminadk
From: San Pedro, California
Sep 15, 2013

West Pole is CLASSIC! One of my favorite routes at any grade, anywhere. Somebody is going to pull that block out someday....the back side lifted up a couple inches when i grabbed it. As someone else mentioned it isn't needed as a hold and in my opinion should probably be removed in a controlled way. But other than that this route is perfect.
By Mark Maier
Sep 29, 2013
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

The direct start, straight up to the first belay instead of using the Old Man's start, is a great way to bypass the endless line of people on Old Man's on a busy day. There are spots where a fall would really hurt, and your choice of protection spots is limited. Know how to use what the rock gives you.
By Fan Zhang
From: Washington, DC
Aug 17, 2015
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

We broke up this climb into three pitches. I led P1 to the big ledge with the pine tree next to the bolted rap rings, using the finger/hand crack just right of and below the pine (per Andy Weinmann's comment above). JV led P2 to just below the roofs. The triangular block I stepped on to start P3 was loose and wiggled under my feet. There's also a big plate with an "X" chalk mark on it that's loose next to the crimps below the first roof. Perfect BD C4 #3 placement below lip of first roof. To gain second roof, made big right hand move to reach white colored right pointing flake just over 2nd roof. Great rest after 2nd roof. As of 8/15/15, there was a large flat piece of rock (maybe 12"x12"x2") completely loose lying a couple feet below the Conn's West rap tree. The roofs on this route felt similar in difficulty to Shockley's Ceiling at the Gunks.
By Derek Michael
Jun 23, 2017

Accidentally headed up West Pole while attempting Thais - don't ask how... we were exhausted and screwed up. I got to the roofs and didn't feel up to tackling a large, unknown Seneca roof. Bailed off a less than superb chock stone to the left. FYI, the blue lined 120cm runner was left on June 23, 2017.

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