Merlin Dome, "Left is Right"

Page Type
Route
Location:
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Technical Rock Climb
Time Required:
Half a day
Difficulty:
5.4

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Page By:
Merlin Dome,
Created On: Jan 20, 2004
Last Edited On: May 12, 2007

Approach

From Needlerock Creek (below The Needles and Voodoo Dome), drive up the road and around the ridge. Pass a huge gully and park at a turn-out on the right (downhill side) below Merlin Dome. Approach by scrambling up a loose gully on the right side of the slope below the dome's apron. Exit the gully going left to some oak trees on the right edge of the apron. There is an area of broken slabs that forms a vague left-facing book. The climb starts on these broken slabs. This route is to the right of "The Right SIde," hence the name "Left is Right."

Route Description

Climb up the broken slabs (5.4) to a long, easy left-facing corner with a small pine tree. Climb this corner to a rounded alcove below a large oak tree. This first pitch is a 50m rope-stretcher. The belay in the alcove is difficult to arrange. From the alcove, continue up another left-facing corner, then traverse out to some hand-size cracks and climb up to a secure belay ledge. Continue up one more pitch to the upper right edge of the dome. Descend down the gully to climber's right (west) of the dome. Some rappelling may be needed in this gully. We scrambled from the top of Merlin Dome to the top of the Needles Ridge, then walked off further west through the forest, then descended a slabby gully with one long rappell.

Essential Gear

Two 50m ropes, full range of Stoppers and Hexcentrics, and some medium cams (0.5" to 3.0"). 15 or 20 carabiners, 6 short runners, 4 to 6 longer slings. I used a #2 Stopper to help secure a #9 Hex at the first belay.

Miscellaneous Info

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