Want to do Ecstasy but there's a cue behind a slowly caterpillaring party of three? Here's your chance to do a stouter Seneca seven of equal or (arguably) greater quality.
P1: 35 ft. Short and possibly drippy (if rain was recent... P2 & 3 make putting up w/ any drippage worthwhile).
Start about 15 ft (give or take) to the right side of cave entrance. Stop at the beginning of the long, dark, frictiony ramp.
P2: 75 ft. Easy & exposed (if you want it to be).
Option a) climb up the long, dark, frictiony ramp.
Option b) get on the ramp by starting left of it, on the highly featured face... continue up the long, dark, frictiony ramp.
The ramp gets narrow in 2 places. In preparation for P3, it may be better to finish P2 past the second narrow section on the ramp.
P3: 50 ft. Short but stout (crux).
Climb up & right on the steep but featured wall to shuts that serve as the rap station for SJM & Ecstasy.
option a) one of the coolest free hanging rap ever (150ft) during which one can check out the sporty 12's in the cave.
option b) scramble up & walk north to more climbs.
(Triple S, Marshall's Madness, Crack of Dawn... area known as wall of a Thousand Pitons) or hike the switchbacks down the West Face trail.
From Roy Gap Rd cross creek & go up stone stair master. Upon reaching wood steps go right past Ecstasy & large cave. Start is approximately 15ft right of cave (or start on right side of cave for 5.8 variation).
cams small to kinda big...
grey Mastercam thru blue/#3 Camalot
rusty pins scattered thru P2 & P3. Fixed stopper on P3.
second pitch of SJM
BETA PHOTO: Red arrow points to rap for Ecstasy & Simple J Mal...
Pitch 2, Simple J Malarky
|By Shawn Heath|
From: Forchheim, Germany
Sep 14, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
This one has a star in the guide book but I don't think it was deserving of it. It looks like it sees a lot of traffic, judging by the polished rock. It was my first climb at Seneca, and if it were my only climb that day, I probably wouldn't go back. The first two pitches were easy, but the belay stance at the end of pitch two was a little uncomfortable. I tried to follow the directions of this topo and the book, and I think that if you do that, you end up trying to overcome an overhang immediately off the belay. The overhang is probably 5.8 or 5.9 with it's great holds, but it's scary how you've practically got your crotch in your belayer's face, and if you fall, you'll shock-load the anchor and probably hit the ledge before toppling over the drop-off above the cave. So I went left where I found pitons and lots of awkward moves off good holds, traversing hard right while climbing to the top. I ended at some rap anchors which I was really hesitant to use because I was 160 feet up and didn't notice an intermediate rap station. I don't know, maybe the rope will reach. I didn't try...
Anyway, the route-finding on the third pitch was a bit difficult. I kept thinking "this is only 5.7, don't make it harder than that", so I don't know if I wandered too far or not, but it seemed the easiest way to go, and it wasn't that fun.
I didn't use any cams bigger than .5 Camalot, but I did place a few hexes.
Oct 1, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
I've done this route probably 10 times over the past 15 years, usually with a newbie. I think this route deserves 3 stars, it has a bit of everything. Pitch 1 up the face is PG rated with a huge comfortable area to belay on, Pitch 2 is easy, but really exciting and exposed. Make sure you go all the way to the end of the ramp to build your belay and do the best final pitch variation. The last pitch (Muscle Beach) is 5.8 and has 2 crux sections; leaving the anchor and exiting the overhang. You can get a great nut high in the crack before making the final moves to the top.
|By Andy Weinmann|
From: Alexandria, VA
Jun 4, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
I definitely would not put this in the category of Ecstasy, but it does have a nice final pitch and if you happen to have TWO ropes it is a very cool rap off the cold-shut anchors. P1 & P2 probably go at 5.3/5.4 at best.
There are two ways to finish. The original route stops where a short corner blocks the ramp. At your feet there's a crack with an old fixed tri-cam (sling torn off) and (as of 02JUN2012) a fixed #9 Stopper. Directly above this are a series of overhangs. You move up and left, then back right, following the weaknesses in the roof system. You can get in a good nut before you leave the belay and then place a good cam in the horizontal at the first roof.
The other variation is as "Frogmen83" described it. You move beyond the short corner about ten feet to the end of the ramp and make the belay. Going straight up from here is the final pitch of Muscle Beach and the roofs go at 5.8.
I guess you could make the belay at the end of the ramp and then move back right and over to do the original final pitch so that you're not climbing directly over your partner.
|By Seth Derr|
From: harrisburg, pa
Aug 27, 2012
I thought this one was pretty great. I haven't done Ecstasy so I can't compare the two, but this has three pitches of varied climbing and great exposure. Climbed it on a rainy day when not much else was dry, and i'd gladly do it again.
|By Ted Bjorklund|
Oct 28, 2012
Left a pair of la sportiva miuras near the base of this climb...pretty new, size 40. Please send me a message if you found them, or are going there soon.
Apr 22, 2013
"Airy and committing" is what Horst has to say about this route, and that about sums it up. Great exposure on the technically easy second pitch. I've no idea about the third, because route finding on this climb is challenging. We built our belay for p3 at two fixed stoppers near the end of the ramp and climbed almost straight up, but I've no idea if we climbed the actual third pitch or something else entirely.
May 5, 2013
It's best to set up the anchor at the end of P2 near a couple of fixed nuts at your feet. You can also see an old, unusable tricam with a shredded pink sling jammed in the crack.
|By Mark Maier|
Jun 16, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
If the first pitch is drippy (it was very wet when we did it), you can climb the Totem buttress instead to the first belay. Because the second pitch traverses a lot, and is very exposed, be very aware of the fall potential for a second or third as gear is placed, or removed. We did the Muscle Beach finish, which is quite good. There are plenty of protection opportunities and you sure have some air below you.
|By Jonathan hudson|
From: baltimore, MD
Jul 12, 2013
3rd pitch is worth it! Stiff 5.7! varied climbing. DO IT!
Apr 28, 2014
repeat for emphasis -- DON'T RAP unless you have 2 ROPES. it might look like you can reach an intermediate anchor around the lip of the cave/edge of the p2 ramp, but it's a trap! it's too overhanging and you will get stuck twisting in the wind several feet away from the wall.