Merlin

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Sun and Shade
5 mins
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The leaning mass of the Merlin Wall is one of the most impressive bits of rock in Northumberland - a place for displays of technical wizardry and super stamina. From the first chink in its armour - Merlin (1981) - the wall has seen a steady trickle of impressive and significant routes with The Dark Side (2003) being the current state of the art. The wall doesn't see much sun because of the encroaching trees and its angle. It can be dry in the rain if there has been a decent dry spell. Unsurprisingly the routes see little attention and so are usually dirty. Prospective on-sighters might want someone to clean the finishing holds before they set off into the unknown. The grades and stars given here are for routes that are in tip-top condition.

Route (click for voting and user comments) Symbols Grade
1
Twisting Crack
8m. A steep start leads to pleasant jamming above the bulge.
 
Pumpy
HS
2
County Ethics
10m. The leaning wall and shallow scoop above the lip gives the line. Despite being relatively safe it still doesn't see much...
 
3 Stars
Technical
Crimpy
E7
3
Merlin
12m. The original line here is devious but superb. Climb to the ledge, traverse right, then go direct to the top. There are...
 
3 Stars
Pumpy
Rounded
E5
4
The Pixies
12m. A counter diagonal to Merlin with poor gear and hard moves.
 
1 Stars
Strong
Crimpy
E6
5
Morgan
14m. Climb leftwards to the right end of the Merlin ledge, then climb the wall before moving right and heading through the...
 
1 Stars
Strong
Fluttery
E5
6
I Bet He Drinks Carling Black Label
20m. A traverse of the high break from Morgan to Mordreth is a wild and pumpy trip. Probably not the best route in the World!
 
2 Stars
Pumpy
Rounded
Fluttery
E8
7
The Dark Side
12m. How hard do you want it to be? The right-hand side of the pale shield and the leaning wall above lead to the break -...
 
3 Stars
Technical
Crimpy
Fluttery
E9
8
Mordreth
12m. A good line with powerful climbing and the added spice of some crusty rock. Climb to the big roof and pull over before...
 
2 Stars
Strong
Loose
E6
9
Macbeth
12m. Climb through the roof and follow good, but spaced, holds up then right before using a mono to climb the leaning wall to...
 
3 Stars
Strong
Pumpy
E6
10
The Arches
16m. A fine climb and a bit more amenable. Pull onto the hanging wall and follow it right as it gets ever narrower. Sustained...
1 user comment
 
3 Stars
Pumpy
E1
11
King Lear
12m. Pull onto the hanging slab as for The Arches then move up and left and use an undercut flake on the lip to start the wall...
 
1 Stars
Technical
Crimpy
E6
12
Hard Reign
14m. A fine climb up an unlikely line. Climb the hanging arete to the roofs (thread) then move out left and power through the...
 
2 Stars
Strong
E3
  • Latest Comments

    For BACK BOWDEN

    The Arches
    "Great route if your 5'7"......take a tall second just for the crack..." 12/Jun

    Outward Bound
    "Great route. not much in this and lost cause, hard 6a!" 20/Oct

    On the Rocks
    "Dare I say it's too straightforward for 6c; perhaps a stiff 6b? Definately worth..." 25/Sep

    Original Route
    "Surely deserves some stars? The first corner is pleasant and the jugs above are ..." 13/Sep

    On the Verge
    "E3 5b/c is more sensible for someone of average height. Only one tricky move." 12/Sep

    Charlotte's Dream Direct
    "The first ascent of the direct version was by Mark Savage in 2003. There were tw..." 02/Sep

    Hazelrigg Wall
    "Font 5+ highball with a good mat." 09/Aug

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