Seneca Rocks Climbing School – About


Seneca Rocks Climbing School, longest running climbing school in the Mid-Atlantic!

Seneca Rocks Climbing School is the oldest climbing school in the Mid-Atlantic region and one of the oldest in the country. In our 40+ years we have become experts at tailoring curriculum to the students’ ability level, interest and learning style. We can create the optimum rock climbing class for you, whether you are looking for a group class or private guiding.

Our Instructors

At Seneca Rocks Climbing School we provide high quality climbing experiences by providing high quality climbing instructors.  All of our instructors either have an American Mountain Guide Association certification or have taken the AMGA Rock Instructor Course.  Through independent courses and certification exams our instructors develop a wide array of guiding and instructional skills.  Combine this with intensive in house guide training and you get highly skilled climbing instructors.  Seneca Rocks Climbing School also requires that every instructor hold a valid Wilderness First Responder certification from a reputable provider like WMI, WMA or SOLO.

Our Philosophy

At Seneca Rocks Climbing School we believe that Yvon Chouinard and Tom Frost said it best in the 1972 Chouinard “Clean Climbing” Catalog with:  “We believe that the only way to ensure the climbing experience for ourselves and future generations is to preserve 1 – the vertical wilderness  and 2 – the adventure inherent in the experience.

In practice this means that Seneca Rocks Climbing School teaches students how to enjoy the vertical resource in a responsible manner.  LNT practices are always apparent on any program.  We also stress the value of clean climbing techniques and traditional climbing techniques.

Our History

Seneca Rocks Climbing School has been based in the North Fork Valley of Pendleton Co. WV since 1971.  The founder John Markwell originally ran Seneca Rocks Climbing School and the Gendarme climbing gear shop from his Volkswagen bus.  Many things have changed since the seventies but Seneca Rocks Climbing Schools continues to deliver top rate climbing instruction.  To learn more about Seneca Rocks Climbing School history click here.

  • Seneca Rocks Climbing School is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
  • Seneca Rocks Climbing School is a permittee of the Monongahela National Forest.