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South Peak - West Face
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The Balle ss Boltchoppers 
Arrested Mental Development 'AMD' 
Back to the Front 
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Monkey See Monkey Do 
Neck Press 
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Old Man's Route 
Pedro's Problem 
Pleasant Overhangs 
Right to the Left (A Thought Forgotten ) 
So What 
Thais Direct 
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Back to the Front 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a

Type: Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Dan Miller
Page Views: 4,477
Submitted By: Jeremy Steck on Sep 24, 2007
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (21)
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Breanna Purnell seconding her father Ross Purnell ...

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This is one on the nicest face climbs at Seneca in my opinion. Great moves, good gear, and great position and tops out on a very thin and exposed flake. The crux is right around the first bolt, then fun face moves all the way to the top with an exciting finish.


Start at the highest point on the Old Man's Traverse Ledge, just right of a right facing corner(15ft high with wide crack). Easiest descent is via a small rappel tree in the gully behind the large flake about 30 Ft. below the top out. Rappel or scramble down to shuts on Conn's West.


2 bolts, 2 pins, standard Seneca rack. A larger microstopper is nice for the last move, but somewhat hard to place. Gear is plentiful for most of the route. This will likely become more popular since the R rating has been dropped in the new guidebook (it's definitely not R rated, especially for Seneca).

Photos of Back to the Front Slideshow Add Photo
Not a great photo, but this description has none so far, and this is the only one I have of me at the first bolt while  leading Back to the Front. The top of the starting flake is visible just to the left.
BETA PHOTO: Not a great photo, but this description has none s...
Looking up Back to the Front.  Great 5.9!
Looking up Back to the Front. Great 5.9!
Comments on Back to the Front Add Comment
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By Matt Desenberg
From: Wells, Me
Mar 1, 2009

Way underrated, go climb it!!

By Ben Annibali
From: Palmyra, Pennsylvania
Feb 25, 2010

This is an amazing climb with funky holds!! Its awesome

By kzoo
From: michigan
Apr 7, 2010

An unbelievable climb! The crux for me was definitely at the first bolt. Be careful placing a nut in the last crack - I grabbed the top of the flake and looked down to see my nut had wiggled loose. It would have been a long ride!! That crack tends to spit out pro.

By Andy Weinmann
From: Alexandria, VA
Jul 15, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a

I feel like this has two distinct cruxes. 1.)at the first bolt and 2.) the very top section finger crack. The top one sneaks up on you cuz the climbing below has eased off a bit in the last 15+ ft. Wouldn't wanna fall there...that ledge is potentially ankle breaking if you blow it.

I usually descend from that top area by belaying my 2nd down the chimney that faces the top of the Critter Cracks area. I then just down-solo the easy chimney (prob 5.2/3). There's also a large block lodged in the top of the chimney that you can sling and rap from if you wanna leave some tat behind.

Sweet route though. Great exposure and very airy!