Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Merlin Dome; Needles, CA


After our success on Demon Dome we thought we’d give Merlin Dome a shot.


Route descriptions were poor but described and rarely harder than 5.9.  We found this dihedral with cracks and headed up it.


Anja cruised the first pitch 5.7


to a nice tree ledge belay.


I headed up the second pitch which was mellow 5.7.


Anja followed the second pitch to my nice fat belay ledge.


Anja headed up the third pitch.


About half way up it got dicey with kind of poor gear on some poor rock and very wondery.  She lowered off and gave me a shot.  It took some rope management and climbing on the double ropes was real handy here to manage rope drag.  I pulled through and wondered around and found a 3rd nice belay ledge.  Anja followed up but we just saw slab above with no bolts and didn’t look promising.  So we down climbed a 3rd class rap to the right and then down lead a 4th class gully to gain the base of the dome and walked back to our gear.  While not as big a success as our previous day on Demon Dome it was a nice 3 pitches of climbing.

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