Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides

Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides

Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides
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8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
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13 reviews
Very good

Mike P
Morgantown, WV2 contributions
I have known the owner of this Seneca Rocks, WV based rock climbing guiding company (Tom Cecil) for 15 years now and everything Tom and his highly proficient and skilled guides do is top notch.

Well on this particular adventure I was taking my annual winter climbing pilgrimage to Joshua Tree, CA and it just so happens Tom and his guides were setting up shop out there for the winter months. Without hesitation I contacted Tom and gave him my dates of wanting to climb while I was on my southern CA leg of my climbing trip and he got it all squared away. I climbed with Tori in Joshua Tree for 2 full days before I set my wheels north towards the eastern Sierra’s. I’ve known Tori for about 4 years now and have climbed with her at Seneca several times in the past including the 2019 season.

The stoke and excitement level Tori brings to the rock is immeasurable. The positive and fun outlook she has in her profession of guiding is borderline addicting. I brought a list of “bucket list” routes I wanted to get on while in JTree and we hit all of them. Tori gave me a catch on every single route instilling confidence on my gear placements and movement over the rock. We went over refreshers such as rescue scenarios and different anchor systems in between climbing routes As an AMGA certified guide myself at one time, I may be a bit biased but I would highly encourage you to seek qualified instruction and guiding through Seneca Rock Mountain guides anywhere they may be working!

Get out and climb! Things are cooler looking from higher up!

Mike P.
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Maya W
Maryland16 contributions
I've climbed with Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides on 3 occasions. The 1st was the Intro to Trad course (near DC), the 2nd was the Top Ropes and Anchors course (near DC), and most recently a RoadTrip that consisted of climbing Nelson Rocks and summiting Seneca Rocks. I enjoyed all 3 of my times with this company and the RoadRTrip was especially memorable. I pitched my tent at Basecamp and it was such a wonderful experience. There is an outdoor shower, a bathroom with running water and lights, and there is an indoor/outdoor kitchen with appliances including a stove/oven and a refrigerator. Tom is amazing and very welcoming. They keep you well fed on Saturday and Sunday to fuel you for the climbs that await you. Everything is well organized and the guides are superb. They know the craft, they know the rocks/routes, and they are genuinely amazing people. I never once felt unsafe. This was also my 1st multi-pitch climb and I felt so accomplished atop Seneca Rocks South Peak- there was even a drone that captured us.
Written August 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Virginia Beach, VA2 contributions
My husband & I took our sons (ages 10, 12, & 14) for a two-day excursion with Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides & it was a wonderful experience. Day one was introduction to key techniques and practice on a variety of climbs, and day two was a multi-pitch climb to the summit. Tom (owner) was easy to work with & very responsive. Our guides were Stephen (both days) & Tori (day two) & we couldn't have asked for better. After hearing what it takes to become a guide, I'd feel confident with any SRMG, but these two were particularly knowledgeable, skilled, patient, encouraging, and fun! My husband was the only one of us with any true climbing experience, but by the end of day two we'd all caught the climbing bug. Thanks for helping us give our boys an amazing spring break. We'll be back!
Written April 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Baltimore83 contributions
This is one of those places that you take your child for an unforgettable life experience! I brought my daughter here for the first time when she was 9 years old. She is 26 years old now and hasn't stopped climbing or seeking outdoor adventure since. These guides are passionate about teaching rock climbing! They love climbing!!! They are fun and knowledgeable. Safety is paramount! Seneca is a top notch learning environment and SRMG utilizes every ounce of their skills and natural surroundings to make this place rock your world!!! I can't praise Tom Cecil and his crew enough!!
Written July 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
That day changed my life you mtnwoman...
Written September 29, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Upper Arlington, OH10 contributions
Though I'm no spring chicken and a new climber (less than one year), I've gotten in a lot of climbing and mountaineering in the past year, including trips to Eldo in Boulder, Mt. Lemmon in AZ, Red Rock in NV, and various peaks in the UK (including Ben Nevis in Scotland), CO, and WY. Thus, I've gotten in a lot of experience with guides and guiding services.

My experience with SRMG, Tom, and my guide Kevin were extremely positive. Tom was very friendly and responsive to my emails. My guide Kevin was very careful, patient, and positive. I also met another guide, I think her name is Tori, who was very nice -- I even saw her when she was high up on another pinnacle with her clients.

I actually wasn't feeling that well on the day we climbed, but we made it up ecstasy jr. and then old ladies' route to the south peak summit pretty efficiently. The little summit is just a grand place. Kevin loves what he does, and it shows.

As for Seneca Rocks, it really is a unique place. The old ladies' route is not that technically challenging (though I do think Seneca Rocks' YDS ratings are quite stout -- I'd add .1 to .2 to most routes), but it is really very interesting and thrilling.

I conclude with the best compliment of all, I am sure to come back and use SRMG again!
Written April 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Samantha B
4 contributions
Took Trad Fundamentals- The instructor knew the perfect pace for me, made me feel super comfortable and confident, and was really fun to climb with. Learned so much in one day!
Written November 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nicholas R
4 contributions
Just spent Memorial Day weekend 2018 at Seneca Rocks with my two boys (ages 12 and 14) taking the SRMG “Introduction to Trad Climbing Course.” Prior to this trip we had some climbing experience (gym climbing and clipping bolts at our local crag) but limited trad climbing experience. Our guide/teacher was Tori and she was outstanding: strong climber, obviously very experienced, super safe, lots of fun and an excellent teacher. Even though the forecast called for 3 days of rain, Tori’s ability to read the local weather allowed us to get up and down at least one multi pitch climb every day in between the occasional brief showers. After lunch one day when the rock was too wet to climb we spent 3 hours doing a ground class where she did a great overview of trad gear placement and anchor building. The owner, Tom Cecil, was a great guy and went out of his way to make us feel extremely welcome. We tent camped in the “Base Camp” on his property. This is a small but cool bunch of tent sites that are separated from the road and parking area by a fence. Adjacent and below these tent sites is the river. Although you do hear intermittent road noise, the majority of the sound at night was actually from the running water which was quite pleasant. The bathroom is nearby and nice enough. One of the coolest parts of the experience (besides the amazing climbing) was hanging out on the deck after a day of climbing with Tom, the guides, other clients, and the occasional local and having a beer and talking climbing. Tom has an onsite indoor facility where he took the time to go in depth one evening on some of the finer points of placing hexes with us. When you talk to Tom about climbing it is clear that he truly is a world class expert. We planned on cooking all our meals and there is a nice covered outdoor kitchen with a big glass industrial fridge where you can store perishables, but the reality is the pizza and other deli food from the general store and restaurant across the street was too tempting at the end of a long day. Next time we come, we will still pack some food for the day while climbing but will keep most of the groceries at home. We will definitely go back. When there, don’t forget to inquire with Tom about his drone photography services. He took some great shots of us on the summit.
Written May 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sean S
5 contributions
Just spent 2 incredible days with the SRMG crew. At first I was apprehsive about hiring a guide but all fears were put to rest after speaking with Tom. Highly responsive and thorough. I knew exactly what to bring and what to expet. Steven, our guide, was great. Super experienced and knowlegable. Safety first all the way. Highly recommended at any skill level. They cater the day to you and what you want to learn and climb. Saturday night after the climb Kelly, another guide, played music in the back area of SRMG. Great end to a long day on the rocks. Day 2 we decided to send the south summit on our own and Tom was kind enough to lend us a rope for the day to aid in our decent.

Met some great people and had a most excellent time. If you’re looking for a guide for the day, a class, or just want to hear some great stories and hang with friendly people, I implore you to stop by their place. You will not regret it. I will be back.
Written May 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lisa L
4 contributions
I would like to provide a comprehensive review for future participants.

Website: 1 star
As of May 2018, although it seems to be a good site, it is actually VERY inaccurate and confussing. The Chicks with Nuts and Family Climbing Adventure tabs are completely out of date and contain inaccurate information. Additionally, the pages describing the classes at first appear to say that there is a discount for multiple people attending the class. In actuality, you will only receive the discount if you sign up with the other person. In my case, a second person took the class, so I had to pay the rate for a private class $700, when it was actually a semi-priavte class with 2 people. In a complete different part of the website under "rates," it says that you must sign up together. I didn't see that page, and when I asked the owner about it he got very offended and accussed me of being unfair. He also spoke to me disrespectfully about my own climbing business, implying that I was holding his business to a different standard than my own. He got mad at me and was acting like I was trying to cheat him. His response to my question about the fee really hurt my feelings. To me it seems unfair to pay for a private class when it is acctually a semi-private class. However, it is because of their poor website design that I didn't find this information out for myself, instead of needing to ask him about it.

Pre-class Communitation: 2 stars
I sent many emails back and forth to the owner before decided to sign up for the class. I sent 11 emails and he returned 8. He was courteous and answered my questions. Most of those communications were trying to clarify information on the website about the details of the different classes. Despite all of those emails, I still did not understand the pricing situation that I described above. One month ahead of time, I asked who my guide would be, where we would be climbing, and how I should prepare.
The owner never responded. One week ahead of time, I still had heard nothing from SRMG. I had to ask if the class was still on and if I could reserve a camping spot. At this point the owner apologized for not responding; however, he still never answered my previous questions. He did send me a packing list. Because I was traveling 10 hours by car alone, I sent an email when I was leaving and when I expected to arrive, and the owner did respond wishing me safe travels.

Facilities: 4 stars
The SRGM home base has a small but clean campground, outdoor open air shower, outdoor deck kitchen, and indoor 30ft trad climbing training room. The tent camping is on clean gravel. The outdoor shower has heated water that works but is a little cumbersome because you have to turn on the propane, walk out of the camping area to turn on the water, walk back in and undress while the water is running/leaking all over the shower area. The floor boards on the changing side are rotting under a mat. Kitchen was cluttered and an average-level of clean.

Learning to Lead 3 day class: 5 stars
My instructor was Stephen and he was excellent, knowledgeable, and patient with explaining gear placement and anchors. He answered every question I gave him, even slightly off topic. He was VERY safe for both himself and us in the class. I was very impressed by his professionalism and easy going interaction and courteous correction of our mistakes. I would highly recommend him. From what I breifly glimpsed of the other guides, they were also amazing, safe, professionals.

Post class Communication: 2 stars
I left when the owner was repeating himself about how I was being unfair and unreasonable about wondering why I was charged the private class rate, when it was a 2 person class (instead of just calmly showing me on the website where it said that you must sign up together to get the discount and apologizing for the confussion). So his first post trip email was regarding this issue. Despite the fact that I had intentionally waited to talk to him about it until we were alone and the other customers and guides had left, he called the other client who was in my class and my guide Stephen asking them about it specifically. Stephen emailed me apologizing that I hadn't enjoyed the class. I NEVER said anything bad about the class or Stephen, I was just asking why I was charged the higher rate. That fact that the owner made my question about the rates public is a large part of why I decided to post this review publicly in this much detail. I ended up apologizing to him and Stephen for causing a "big thing" and of course said they could keep the money. I had not intended to involve others. I really thought there had just been a mistake when they charged me the higher rate initially. When I arrived back home, I let them known had made it and they wished me well.

Conclusion: 4 stars overall
Because the climbing and teaching were so excellent, it raises the overall rating for SRMG to a 4 out of 5 stars.
Written May 26, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Lisa, Thanks for feedback and input. We will try to do a better job in the future. You are right about the website, after almost 25 years with the same site, it is confusing in places, the new site was suppose to go live on April 1st but I'm finding out these things take longer than expected. There still seems to be some confusion, you were not charged the Private Guiding rate of 295 per day. You were charged 50 dollars less than the the standard "1 person signs up" rate, $235 less than the Private Guiding rate. Thanks again for the feedback, our goal has always been to provide the best possible experience for our clients, we obviously failed with you.
Written May 27, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sheri R
6 contributions
sign says 1 mile to the top of Seneca rocks but seemed a little farther. Very steep in a lot of areas but well worth the climb to reach the top. Benches along the way if you need to stop and catch your breath.
Written October 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides

Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:30 AM - 10:00 PM