The Seneca Rocks are a knife edge sliver of Tuscarora Limestone rising 900’ from a wooded base near the town of that name. They are the most climbed rocks in the Eastern US with several hundred routes described. (It’s treacherous up there; that V shaped slot collapsed in recent memory.) On weekends the rocks are crawling with virile young men and lithe young women free climbing on sheer walls and working roped routes to the very top of every little finger, then holding impromptu parties before rappelling down. It looked like great fun to Patty; she had once watched Em and Cassie climb an indoor wall at Huntsville AND there were tee shirts and medallions on offer …
So here is our climb.
REAL CLIMBERS PACKS
(Actually we weren’t OFFICIALLY included in this group due to insurance concerns about age and infirmity, but they thought we were cute to ask..)
The climb was a nicely graded trail which switch backed up 900’ to an observation platform with views of the valley below. Patty was more interested in a STOP about halfway up where we could watch some climbers in action.
Here, the lead climber is setting a belay for “Black Helmet” to climb. (All “our” climbers have names)
“…this could be dangerous…” voice of Marlin Perkins in background
We “summited” with a group of real outdoor kids. Al’s favorite was this guy who had a whole collection of Seventeen Year Locusts clinging to him. There was talk of toasted and chocolate coated Locusts (and his mother very seriously walked me through the planned menu.) In the end, it was more fun to release them into the wind from the platform; he kept the Millipede for a pet.
All this mountaineering gets your appetite going, so we stopped by the local General store/restaurant for lunch with a mountain theme –American Lamb sandwich, Appalachian Wilted Green salad ( the bacon drippings replaced with “healthful” canola oil) and Apple Dumpling (no ice cream, Silly, just a traditional little pitcher of cinnamon milk).
Sensing a theme here?