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South Peak - West Face
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Old Ladies Route 

YDS: 5.2 French: 3 Ewbanks: 8 UIAA: II ZA: 8 British: D 2c

   
Type:  Trad, 4 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.2 French: 3 Ewbanks: 8 UIAA: II ZA: 8 British: D 2c [details]
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Page Views: 2,254
Submitted By: Laura Hahn on Nov 1, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (31)
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Description 

#1 Climb up through the notch between Humphrey's Head and the Cockscomb. Belay on a flat ledge with a view to the east. Or initially belay on the west side of the notch for convenience, then move the belay prior to doing P2.(90 feet)
#2 Move out onto the East Face by climbing right and then down. After one exciting move, begin traversing right on an easy ledge to several large trees. This is also a high version that allows the leader to protect the second: traverse right from the belay and step over to a narrow left-facing corner and good handholds. Finish on the ledge traverse. (75 feet)
#3 Climb up and right to the north end of the ledge and climb the sloping flake/ chimney. (100 feet)
#4 Walk right on the large Summit Ledge for about 100 feet to the final Summit Ridge. Many people simply scramble up the exposed 4th class section to the summit. If you are unsure of your ability, belay the final exposed section to the actual summit.

Location 

Begin on the Luncheon Ledge, at the gap between Humphrey's Head and the Cockscomb.

Protection 

Standard trad rack and long slings


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By manyalibo
From: ituri rainforest
Nov 10, 2010

Ahh, brings back memories of my first lead on this circa 1984 ... intimidated by the height of Seneca since all I'd been on was 30' of limestone, a spanking new pair of Fire's, partner who let me lead the crux pitch and then had to spend 45 minutes cleaning the #4 friend I carefully buried at the bottom of the pitch to protect against an upward pull. This was a few years before the Gendarme fell off so we got to climb that. Then on the ridge to the descent someone asked me to throw them the rope which I had coiled so I threw the whole rope, coming close to pitching it all the way to the bottom & leaving us stranded. Rapping off at night, drinking beer. Haven't thought about this climb in forever (gee, wonder why...) ... Guess I'll have to go back to it someday now!
By Matt Caldwell
Jun 1, 2012

First multi-pitch trad lead! Seems like a fun, quality route for such a low rating as 5.2. The exposure was definitely "interesting" for a new leader.
By Adam Marcus
From: Arlington, VA
Oct 20, 2014
rating: 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c

I really wasn't sure I was at the right start spot because the Horst book says the first pitch is 100 feet and looking up from the base, it looked more like 50 feet. After climbing about 25 feet, there's a tree directly overhead and you can go left or right. I think the "flat ledge with a nice view to the east" is to the right, but I went to the left. The second pitch is on the east face, so when the guidebook says to "move right and down onto a ledge on the East Face" it means that you're moving to the north (climber's LEFT from the orientation of the first pitch). It's not that confusing when you get there.

The second pitch is so easy it's hard to remember to stop and place enough protection for the second. I kept looking back and realizing I had just moved 20+ feet without placing anything, so then I'd have to move back and place something.

You can climb Windy Corner (5.4) as an alternative to the third pitch. Both end in the approximate same spot: on the east side of the Traffic Jam rappel.