Meet Our Guides

Tom cecil

Tom is the owner of SRMG, the American Alpine Club's Regional Education Director as well as an aspiring aerial photographer. Tom started climbing at the age of 13 at Seneca Rocks with his mentor. By the age of 14, he was leading Seneca classics like Ecstasy (5.7) and has climbed that particular route over 1000 times in the years since. Tom has climbed and/or guided 10 different El Cap routes and many other big walls. He has also put up more than 25 first ascents at Seneca, hundreds in the North Fork Valley, and hundreds in Thailand and other international locations. Committed to a climber’s lifestyle, he formed Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides in 1988 with one mission in mind: to teach the best practices and techniques and become a mentor for the new generation of traditional climbers. In 1998, Tom also became an adjunct professor at the Adventuresports Institute of Garrett College and continues to teach there today. Tom is currently working with the local guides of Vinales Cuba helping to train (through the PCGI) and certify a new generation of climbers in Cuba.

stephen hyndman

Stephen discovered his passion for rock climbing when he was 18 in Denver, Colorado. Shortly after, he was assigned to lead adventure camps for military youth in Colorado Springs. There Stephen discovered the therapeutic benefits of climbing and found a love of teaching. This led him to The Adventure Sports Institute at Garrett College in his home state of Maryland, where he studied rock climbing instruction and Adventure Sports Management. Stephen has been leading adventure trips around the world ever since. He has helped establish dozens of new climbing routes in Oman, Thailand, Cuba, and West Virginia. When not climbing you can find Stephen playing guitar, whitewater kayaking, and traveling the world. 

tori hyndman

Tori learned how to climb right here at Seneca Rocks, WV. Although she has climbed from New Hampshire to Patagonia, and from California to Kentucky, Seneca is still her favorite crag, and keeps her coming back year after year. Tori is the second of eight children, who spent the first twenty years of her life playing ice hockey. She started the first ever women's ice hockey team at her high school, before discovering her passion for rock climbing. Tori's never ending energy and excitement for life makes every trip feel like you're climbing with an old friend!

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Troy Phillips

Troy Phillips has been an outdoor industry professional since 2008 and has been instructing and managing rock climbing programs since 2012. Following a career in the Aerial Adventure Park Industry, Troy committed to his passion for teaching and began working toward developing his skills as a Climbing Instructor working primarily in the New River Gorge and right here at Seneca Rocks. Since then Troy has completed apprenticeships and formal trainings through the AMGA, WMA, Boy Scouts of America, National Ranger Training Institute and is a Certified Multi-Pitch-Guide through the Professional Climbing Guides Institute. Over the course of his practice Troy became an integral part of developing climbing programs and practices for the Boy Scouts of America as a member of their National Climbing Task Force. In addition, during the school year Troy works as an instructor for the School of Natural Resources at Hocking College teaching courses in Backpacking, Rock Climbing, and Technical Rescue.

Andy hershey

Andy has worked in the outdoor industry his entire adult life, and has worked with Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides since 2005. Following more than a decade as a professor at the Adventuresports Institute of Garrett College, Andy opened North Fork Adventures LLC, which now works hand-in hand with SRMG. In addition, Andy is a currently a Program Coordinator at the Yellow Breeches Educational Center, an experiential learning and adventure based school for students in need of emotional support. Since acquiring a bachelor's degree in Park and Resource Management; and master's degree in Sport Management almost 20 years ago, Andy has also worked as a backcountry ranger in Yosemite National Park, and with a variety of other outdoor education programs and guide services. 

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Holly Frost

Holly started climbing in 2014 and spent several years working for Movement Climbing and Fitness (formerly Earth Treks) before transitioning to outdoor instruction through the Earth Treks Outdoor School. In addition to her work with Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides in WV, she also guides and teaches in the Washington DC, Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides East. She has obtained certifications through both the AMGA and PCGI. Holly holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Florida, and practiced manufacturing engineering before transitioning to the climbing industry.

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Mike Paugh

Mike is a WV native and has been climbing at Seneca Rocks since 2004. He started guiding rock climbing in 2006 after receiving his AMGA Sigle Pitch Instructor certification. He is a huge proponent of the American Mountain Guides philosophy of “seek qualified instruction.” Mike credits his love and passion for rock climbing to his mentors including SRMG Owner Tom Cecil. He graduated from Marshall University with a Bachelor’s degree/RBA with an emphasis in Geographic Studies.  

Mark Phillips

Mark was lucky enough to enjoy the outdoors from a young age and first climbed Seneca Rocks with his Scout troop and SRMG in 2009. He has run summer camps and managed a climbing gym in Richmond, Virginia but was always long for the freedom and beauty of a natural landscape. Some of his favorite places to climb include Manchester wall and the New River Gorge but Seneca feels more like home. A self proclaimed knot nerd, Mark loves working with children, teens, and adults alike and will always make sure everyone learns something one a day out. Now, an industry professional for 6 years, he enjoys tall and easy multi-pitch routes and long walks on the summit.