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Tom Cecil

Tom Cecil

Tom was a lucky 13 year old when he was brought to Seneca Rocks on a climbing adventure with a family friend. Those two weeks in June 1973 changed his life forever.

Tom is about to spend his 43rd year climbing and 30th year guiding at Seneca Rocks.

The original passion for climbing quickly became an obsession to find the best methods to teach rock craft: to design and select the most efficient systems and tools to pass on this art.

This core experience forms the foundation for the development of SRMG’s curriculum and one-of-a–kind tools.

The following are a few of the milestones Tom is especially proud of:

These days if you don’t find Tom guiding a Seneca classic, teaching a Course or working with the Garrett College Adventures Summer Program you’ll usually find him somewhere in the North Fork valley hanging out with friends and the Mollster, putting up first ascents and hoping to find another Triple S; while he may not find it today, it doesn’t mean its not out there!

Andy Hershey

Andy Hershey

Andy Hershey has climbed and backpacked throughout West Virginia and the United States, and has worked with Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides since 2005. He has been employed as a full-time professor at the Adventuresports Institute (ASI) of Garrett College since 2005. Among other things at ASI, he coordinates the program's academic backcountry and climbing related curricula. In addition, Andy is the owner of Appalachia Mountain Guides LLC, which also operates under the name Coopers Rock Climbing Guides. Since acquiring a bachelor's degree in Park and Resource Management; and master's degree in Sport Management, Andy has worked as a backcountry ranger in Yosemite National Park, worked in an adventure setting with youth-at-risk as an Adventure Specialist and Program Coordinator at the Yellow Breeches Educational Center, and with a variety of other outdoor education programs and guide services. Andy currently holds the following certifications:

Gina Hoag

Gina hoag

Gina was introduced to rock climbing in the early 90’s and has been hooked ever since. Born in California, Gina spent her youth and early adulthood cross country and alpine skiing, backpacking and alpine mountaineering, She was fortunate to have the high Sierras, Cascades and Rocky Mountains, as well as the Cordillera Blanca of Peru and the Andean cordilleras of Ecuador as her stomping ground. Gina graduated with a BA in Psychology from UCLA in 1983. She went on to get her M.A. in clinical psychology, and a Masters of social work from University of Maryland. Her outdoor rock and snow lifestyle lead her to teach snowboarding for over 10 years in Vail, Colorado. Currently Gina owns and operates CORE Fitness Personal Training Gym in Timonium, Maryland. In 1997 she and her daughter had the good fortune to enroll in a climbing course with SRMG that began a friendship and working relationship that continues to this day. Since 2007 Gina has been involved with developing women’s climbing programs for Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides.

Gina has been a certified personal trainer by the American Council on Exercise for over 22 years. Her interests are varied but she is obsessed with traditional rock climbing! If you have any climbing related comments or questions please ask her in person on the SRMG deck!

Kelly Fields

Keli Fields

Quite possibly the longest apprentice at Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides, Kelly has been climbing with Tom Cecil since she first summited Seneca at age six. In addition to fifteen years of climbing at Seneca, Kelly has climbed all over North America with the guides from SRMG in places such as New Mexico, Joshua Tree, and Yosemite Valley. After attending the University of Maryland in Baltimore County to study music Kelly moved to Seneca Rocks to live and climb locally. Her most recent education comes from the Professional Climbing Guides Institute. After Kelly took the course at The Gunks, she not only flashed her rescue exam, she broke the speed record and is now a PCGI Certified Lead Guide. Recent testimonial-

  • Wilderness Rock Responder - Certified Pro level
  • 18 years climbing 5 years full time SRMG Guide
  • PCGI Lead Guide

    "Hi Tom and Kelly, Many thanks for an absolutely spectacular day climbing on Monday. Amanda and I had the time of our lives playing on Seneca Rocks under Kelly's superb leadership. Really, she is a fantastic guide, knowledgeable and mature way beyond her years. We got lucky with the weather holding off, and were thrilled that Kelly was up for guiding through the afternoon until Amanda could climb no more. We'll definitely be asking for her to guide us if we can make our dream come true and come back to visit you guys next year. Bruce"

    Stephen Hyndman

    Stephen Hyndman

    Stephen is from Chevy Chase, Maryland and has been guiding at Seneca for four years. He found his passion for climbing instruction when he moved to the front range of Colorado in 2008. There he led military youth on adventure trips throughout the rockies for Operation Purple. He has since earned a degree in Adventuresports Management from Garrett College in western Maryland. Stephen is a Wilderness First Responder and has earned certification as a Single Pitch Instructor from the American Mountain Guides Association. He also carries certification as a Search and Rescue Technician Level 3 and a Nordic Ski Instructor Level 1.

  • Wilderness Rock Responder - Certified Pro level
  • 10 years climbing 4 years full time SRMG Guide
  • PCGI Lead Guide When not at Seneca, Stephen can be found guiding and developing new routes in the Musandam Peninsula of Oman. He has spent three winters there working for Absolute Adventure of Dubai. You might also find Stephen in southern Thailand re-bolting with the Thaitanium Project crew.

    Matt Davey Karlson

    Matt Davey Karlson

    Matt Davey Karlson AKA "Matt DK" Has been guiding for four years at Seneca Rocks. A graduate of Garret College's Adventure Sports Program, it would be hard to find a more knowledgable and motivated guide.

    Matt's certifications include PCGI certified Lead Guide, AMGA certified Single Pitch Instructor and Leave No Trace Master Educator.

  • Wilderness Rock Responder - Certified Pro level
  • 10 years climbing 5 years full time SRMG Guide
  • PCGI Lead Guide

  • Certified Guides and Instructors

    Our guides and instructors are professionally trained and certified by the following organizations.

    PCGI Certified Guides

    PCGI Certified Guides and InstructorsProfessional Climbing Guides Institute (PCGI) is a registered non-profit organization. Professional Climbing Guides Institute (PCGI) develops and governs nationally recognized training, assessment and certification programs for rock climbing instruction and guiding. PCGI programs are designed to serve current professional and aspiring rock climbing guides and/or instructors, university/college rock climbing program leaders, youth program rock climbing leaders, climbing club/association leaders and recreational climbers seeking to improve safety and efficiency.

    AMGA Certified guides

    AMGA CertifiedThe American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) certifies guides and climbing instructors to the highly respected standards of their organization. The AMGA is the only internationally recognized professional association of trained and certified Guides and Climbing Instructors in the United States.

    Leave No Trace

    Leave no TraceThe member-driven Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics teaches people of all ages how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, and is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program used on public lands. Through relevant and targeted education, research and outreach, the Center ensures the long-term health of our natural world. In its simplest form, Leave No Trace is about making good decisions to protect the world around you-the world we all enjoy.

    Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides © 2012 all rights reserved.