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YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c R

Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 1450', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c R [details]
FA: Paul Ross, Layne Potter May 19th 2006
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 1,635
Submitted By: USBRIT Ross on Jun 2, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (3)
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BETA PHOTO: Mercury. You can see the "White Spot" ab...


Takes a line between Tsunami and Seduction of Stone . Starts just above and left of the lowest part of the slab between the two waves,small cairn....

P1 Straight up to a bolt at 70',continue to double anchors.100' 5.7R
P2)Trend slightly left to a bolt at 40'. Do not go to the the groove on the left but follow slim dark dyke's up to the right, good cam placement in the crack at the small overlap. Then straight up to double anchors. 200'5.8+R
P3)Go under the white spot to the large open groove system. Up this then easy scramble to anchors below a clean open slab.250'5.3.
P4)straight up from the belay and head up through pot holes to double anchors.,no pro. 200' 5.6R
P5)Continue straight up the open slab to double anchors ,no pro. 200' 5.6R.
P6)4th class left to the ridge to a fine summit.

Descent :- Return to top of P5 and rap the route.


The climb is best approached from the Three Fingers Canyon Road. Park about 1/4 mile from entrance to canyon and walk north for about 20 mins easy walk.See crag photo.


Cams.5" to 2.5" Four 4mm to 5mm cord slings for placement over spikes. Two 60 meter ropes

Photos of Mercury Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Traverse below the "white spot" which yo...
BETA PHOTO: Traverse below the "white spot" which yo...
Rock Climbing Photo: On the Mercury slab
On the Mercury slab
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting last pitch
Starting last pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: South end of the Surfing the Swell formation. A)Se...
BETA PHOTO: South end of the Surfing the Swell formation. A)Se...

Comments on Mercury Add Comment
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By rob bauer
From: Golden, CO
Apr 28, 2008

[revised] Beautiful climbing, poor protection. I couldn't reach the anchors with a 60m rope which turned out to be short! (Measure your rope; I'm NOT kidding, you need 200 feet.) I would welcome a few suggestions from the originators for roughly 2 extra bolts per pitch.

P1 Climb 100 feet to the double bolts. P2 Up left to the bolt and then follow those thin friable black dikes up right to the overlap and place a big nut or small cam, it's the only good piece on the pitch. I got a small so-so nut higher up as well. End at the double anchors. P3 Traverse below the "white spot" to the crack. There is a single bolt at the top of the crack; which you should clip with a long runner if this is your first piece. Continue up through the Gates of Mordor (you'll know it when you see it). I got a questionable tie-off on the right gate, but then head left and belay in the crack or up to a big block. (It should work well if you didn't build in too much rope drag. We set up a belay at that only bolt and wasted a pitch.)[I suspect the original party 4th classed in here.] P4 Climb to the top of the pyramid to the double bolt anchor. P5 Climb straight up through the potholes. I got a questionable #.3 camalot cantilevered vertically in a hole, but it is the only piece on the pitch. (This pitch needs a couple of bolts.) P6? We bailed rather than risk another solo pitch. (Yes, the angle is starting to drop, but shit happens and my partner just didn't want to risk it.)

The double anchor raps work with a 60m rope and rope stretch, but from the top of the pyramid you will only reach that single bolt below the Gates of Mordor. You have a short rap or downclimb from there to get back over to the bolts at the top of P2.

The climb covers some beautiful rock, the climbing is fun, but has an "unfinished" quality about it, like someone was in a hurry. Though not desperate, it's not for the faint-of-heart. I would welcome some specific suggestions for some minimal number of additional bolts, otherwise let's not be lazy and call it "trad," you are soloing and risking the aunt of all fall factor 2 falls. Pity.
From: Keswick Cumbria.UK
Apr 29, 2008

Sorry about the length of a couple of the pitches. We cannot remember this problem . We were climbing on a 60m rope, perhaps ours were a bit long ,or yours a bit short?( I have found this problem not uncommon). However on some routes and on odd occasions I have had the second undo his belay to reach a better stance. These routes are adventure and the first ascents are done on sight from the ground up on fairly blank rock some initiative and at times unconventional climbing techniques had to be used .These days as one can witness in the various climbing magazines other than most alpine routes nearly all so called "first ascents" of rock climbs and or "free ascents" are frigged to death from above and below. As far as backing up or renewing belays with extra bolts I don't see any problem.I climbed this route (aged 69) in my style,and felt very comfortable with the protection or perhaps at times the lack of it.Anyway second ascent info on these climbs is very useful and hopefully in time some or most problems will be rectified.
By rob bauer
From: Golden, CO
Apr 29, 2008

OMG,as the kids say, my rope just measured 184 feet!!! BAD NEWS FOR NEW ENGLAND ROPES, MY MAXIM EQUINOX 10.2, 60m ROPE IS NO BETTER THAN A 55m ROPE!!!! I am so bummed and I will change my comments. (First rope I ever bought that was short.) I will return it and measure every new rope that I buy. I will return it this week and change my notes on both spots with my apologies. Thanks for the heads up on rope length. (33 years of climbing dashed by the power of the internet, thank you.)

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