Meet Our Guides
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.
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.
After discovering climbing in 2014, Holly quit her corporate job and never looked back. Formerly an industrial process engineer (B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Florida), she's now committed to curating impactful experiences and healthy learning environments for her clients. While Holly's climbing roots are in the eastern United States, has climbed and adventured all over the world, including Thailand, France, Italy, and Nepal. Holly began her climbing career teaching outdoors for Movement Gyms (formerly Earth Treks) in the Washington DC area before transitioning to guiding full time for Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides. Holly loves adventure climbing as an infinite medium for learning about oneself and building connections with partners. She is a certified Lead Guide through the Professional Climbing Guides Institute. During the winter season, Holly guides in Joshua Tree National Park for Cliffhanger Guides and Athena Rock Climbing. Holly has been climbing for 9 years, and guiding since 2019. She's a holds PCGI Lead Guide and SOLO WFA certifications, and her favorite climbing destinations are Railay Beach, Thailand; Indian Creek , Utah; and obviously, Seneca Rocks.
Find Holly on IG: @heelhookholly
Kyle is a life-long West Virginian who was too young to remember the first time he saw Seneca Rocks. In 2007 he started his trad climbing life at Seneca, and this is also when he became active in the local caving scene. From 2012-2016 he was a wild cave guide at Lost World Caverns and
member of the West Virginia Association for Cave Studies—where he played a very active role (mostly through aid climbing domes) in discovering new passages in the Friars Hole Cave System that eventually led the cave system to having over 50 miles of mapped passages—the first cave in West Virginia to do so. Since 2016 he has been leading backpacking, climbing, caving, canoeing, and outdoor education trips for the Spruce Knob Mountain Center and
participating in the Germany Valley Karst Survey through exploring the Hellhole Cave System. In 2021, Kyle met up with Tom and began a mountain guide/ fishing mentorship that has proved the intricacies of guiding and instructing multipitch climbing courses might just be easier to do than regularly catching large fish. Kyle is the author of Field Notes from the Alleghenies and is
working on his second book.