Old Ladies

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 38.83500°N / 79.366°W
Additional Information Route Type: Technical Rock Climb
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.2 (YDS)
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.1-5.2
Sign the Climber's Log


Cross the north fork of the Potomac. Follow Roy Gap road eastward (unimproved gravel. Do not walk so far as to be under the south end of Seneca.
Turn left up the west face path. Stop at the Luncheon Ledge between the foot of the Cockscomb and the face of 1000 pitons
See attached pix in the main body as well as John Markwell's sketch in the main body of the page.

Route Description

Rope up beneath the Cockscomb.
Work up the chimney that forms the S.W. boundary of Cockscomb. Belay from top 100 feet I think. You are now at the ridge top of Seneca and you can understand how narrow it is. Advance from the west face to the east face climbing out on an easy but exposed ledge that runs north midway up the east face The summit of the Cockscomb is above your left side as you traverse. Run this out to a belay with some protection on the way 100 feet . Belay and climb up to the very exposed south summit. Exit Go south from the summit and rappel out the west window next to the 5.7 "Traffic Jam"- three 75 foot rappels gain the foot of the west wall.
Bill Webster and Rich Pleiss in Seneca Rocks W. VA. A Climber's Guide Copyright Nippenose Books 1976 say 5.1, Rockclimbing.com and other sites say 5.2

Essential Gear

150' rope or 50 meters. Bring slings for running belays. Medium to small hexes, stoppers and friends. Bring some cordelettes for the belays. Rappell rings are good for rappels. Remember that each person should have a belay device good for the rappels.

Pix at


Comments on Rating

Author: stevepack
Date: Dec 26, 2005 06:15 AM
I thought Old Ladies was rated 5.0! Did they "upgrade" it like some of the other climbs?
Author: desainme
Date: Dec 26, 2005 08:59 AM
Not to the extent indicated above, but as a matter of fact yes.


Red Point Maniac

195 posts added

since 25 Sep 2001
Post Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2003 6:19 am Reply with quote Back to top
Take her up Old Ladies Route, I think it goes 5.3
Easy climbing, great exposure, lots o fun.
I think the cooles part of the climb is downclimbing to the traverse on the 2nd pitch where you go from the west to the east face.
If you go on a weekend, you'll probably be waiting in line though.


Red Point Maniac

Location: Uniontown Pa.

158 posts added
since 20 Feb 2002
Post Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2003 6:33 am Reply with quote Back to top
If you do old ladies make sure you have a guide book and bring it along with you. That route winds around and if the person you are going with can only do 5.3 then you realy want to stay on route.



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