Even among the sandbag-iness that Seneca is known for, there are still some routes that new leaders to Seneca or newer leaders in general can cut their teeth on. Candy Corner is one of them. It is steep yet moderate with a few tricky moves thrown in there halfway up the route.
From the parking lot, cross the low bridge across the creek and take Roy Gap Road for about .25-.5 miles to the point at which the creek is directly on your left. There should be blue trail blazes at a crossing in the river along with some strategically placed stones to help you across. If you look up at that point, you should be able to spot the lovingly named "Stairmaster."
Start up the Stairmaster for about 75-100 ft. or so until you reach the base of the wooden stairs that lead you towards the start of Ecstasy Jr. There should be a trail to your right (if you are facing the stairway) that heads around the corner. Follow it around and up the boulder pile. You are now in the South End section of Seneca. You will pass a big cave on your left. You will also pass the start to Simple J. Malarkey and Tony’s Nightmare, and Totem. Around the arête that starts Tony’s Nightmare and Totem, you will be in another open area. Candy Corner is the steep left-facing corner on the outside of the wall ahead of you, the even steeper-looking one on the inside is Ye Gods and Little Fishes (often referred to as just Ye Gods, 5.8, and also a great climb). The open area is officially the “Dropzone,” so don your helmet, especially if there are parties above climbing Skyline Traverse.
There is plenty of space to flake out and set up a belay right at the base of the climb--no awkward slabs.
Route DescriptionPitch 1
: The only pitch of Candy Corner really worth doing, as the remaining part of the climb is just a link up to Skyline Traverse. Start the climb at the lowest angle section of the dihedral. Follow the dihedral straight up.
The climb will consistently steepen throughout, with a few short, steep sections right in the middle of the climb. Exposure in the dihedral is good, and it is super airy just to your left straight down the wall. Climb until you reach a large belay ledge. Belay from the cold shuts. (5.6, ~95 ft.)
: These cold shuts are shared with the finish of Ye Gods.
For shorter folk, the cold shuts are also situated awkwardly high on the rock. If someone has them occupied, there is plenty of space to build a gear anchor
: If you feel like continuing up the South End, go to the back corner of the belay ledge and climb up until you link up with the Skyline Traverse.
If you are there to climb only the first pitch of Candy Corner, rap down straight from the cold shuts. One 60m rope is enough to get you down. If you continue climbing, rap off where you would if climbing form the Skyline Traverse (the latter is not familiar to me since I only did the first pitch of Candy Corner, as it was recommended to me by the folk who just finished the route).
- 60m rope
- Standard trad rack, though you can supplement some tricams if they are not normally in your Seneca repertoire. There are some horizontal cracks (unlike most of the vertical ones at Seneca) that will take the tricams.
- Your normal alpine climbing kit.
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