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Merchant Rock

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Description

Good range of quality problems on generally solid rock with varied styles on climbing.

Approach

Go down Conto Rd off Caves Rd, continue onto the non-sealed part for 2-3kms. There should be a sign at the second right with merchant rock written on it, take that right, then take an immediate left and park at the end of that road. There's an obvious path down to Merchant Rock, Maybe 50m long

Routes

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Grade Route

Sit start and up the obvious crack.

Warning Flora and Fauna: Birds Nesting

Sit start in the weird hole as for #19 - traverse left along the crack to join #70. Awkward moves to start to transition into the horizontal crack from the hole.

Sit start in the weird hole. Interesting moves to top out straight up.

Sit start under the roof on jugs,

Large boulder cluster which is immediatelly obvious on the right when you enter the crag from the carpark.

There are many lines all around to choose from, but most notably the Hueco Traverse (V4), the heady Bald Up Top (V4), and the technical Problem 25 (V6).

Sit start low on black flake. Up to good hold and then move right on slopey holds to gain big scoop, big stretch up.

Sit start in right hand side black streak/flake, head straight up to jugs and tricky top out.

Sit start using obvious hueco traverse left around corner to the end of cave and top out. Make sure you get a happy snap to plaster on social media

Start as 'Traverse on Huecos' and link into 'El Gecko Steppo' for some rad pump. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HOq1GHAkxs

Beautiful movement! Crouch Start on horizontal edge feature under the roof, then traverse left on beautiful underclings and technical feet until you're directly under the slopey hole feature, then channel your inner gecko to stick to the slopes and paste up to the odd undercling highstep move high to gain the top.

Unfortunately there is a super shit cheat way going up early then accross using crimps, but its definitely worth skipping it to do these moves.

Problem #25 with the direct exit up the slopey hole.

Sit start on the obvious rail. Up to underclings using smears. Long move right to another undercling and cross over into some crimps and up as for the Traverse on Huecos. https://youtu.be/bbmlyfziCJI

Sit start on the obvious rail. Long move up to a crimp then again to a good hold and an easy top out. https://youtu.be/YolXXk1Cvv0?t=111

Sit start with left crimp and right jug (Dont dab that heel!) Up to a huge span, then paste your foot and commit to the slappy dyno to the good lip. Harder for short people.

An easy offwidth with plenty of non-jamming beta

FA: Alex Leslie, 1 Nov 2020

Start in the obvious hole and head straight up the blank section. Tricky moves to gain the good holds up high.

Stand start and climb up using crack and features. Sit start is V1/2

Stand start on right side of offwidth

Sit start on low crimps on right side of black streak. Up into slots then into a slopey topout.

Sit start as for 'Problem #31', but instead of going up to the slopey lip traverse left on crimps to join 'Problem #29 Stand'. Avoid going up the the slopers on the lip. Tricky and contrived.

Sit start on crimps in left side of black streak, head up to the right.

Gaston Beta: https://youtu.be/zAKLD9-7Ryo?t=69

Long Beta: https://youtu.be/YolXXk1Cvv0?t=145

Stand start on obvious hold, head up.

Up with the obvious large flat ledge. Fun little mantle.

A burly, smaller boulder on the northeast corner of the Hueco Traverse Boulder, home to the slopey testpiece for which it is named.

Well featured face to warm up on and have a play.

Sit start as The Big Squeeze up escape left using funky footwork. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAKLD9-7Ryo

Sit start on rail and squeeze your way up the bulge to the crimp rail. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAKLD9-7Ryo

Sit start as The Big Squeeze, then traverse right on edges then up flakes to tricky topout.

Traverse further right of #22 and top out.

Stand start on huecos - escape out left following the undercling and ramp for feet.

Stand start with obvious huecos and up to the crack system, long reach up to jugs. Easy with long arms. Given V0 in the miniguide... at least v3/4 if you're normal sized.

Stand start on obvious holds on the right slab and slap bad slopers up high to a weird mantle...Low percentage...

The amazing, featured highball boulder for which the area is named. Every line is classic.

Sit start using obvious underclings on the left. Long first move to the rail. Follow the holds trending right, to topout with good flake.

Sit start and up.

Sit start on edges and underclings and up. Awesome

Originally "Dyno To Guppy" - the guppy has since broken off leaving a much bigger dyno to slightly worse holds. Sit start right on obvious vertical seam and left on high crimp - move up to good holds then into the stand start.

Stand start V9/10ish.

FA: Unknown

Sit start. Powerful jump between rails. Span (Will - FA) - https://vimeo.com/181463319 Double Clutch (Andy) - https://vimeo.com/183158439

FA: Will Atkinson, Sep 2016

Sit start as Half The World Away then traverse right on the horizontal breaks to finish as 'Ramble On'. Awesome! Avoid going down into the undercling system down low. https://vimeo.com/190715338

FA: Alan Pryce, Nov 2016

Start left on the obvious rail and traverse right and around before a big move up to large flake. Finish matching on flake.

FA: Russell Davis

Up to the left of ramble on. Start low on the rail and then up. https://vimeo.com/199656389 https://vimeo.com/312103531

FA: Alan Pryce, Jan 2017

The original. Stand start with the high horizontal break. Up through the slab with very cool on and off moves. Awesome.

FA: Andy Lampard

Sit start on rail down low then trend right and up to crux slab moves. Avoid coming out of the roof rightwards, instead stay under using powerful moves to gain the high break and up the stand. https://vimeo.com/28765825 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLS1NXOh2Cg

FA: Andy Lampard

Sit start. Big move up to a sloper and then up crack systems for a highball finish.

FA: Andy Lampard

Sit start as widowmaker, traverse right using slopey crimps under bulge. Once at the edge of the bulge, swing over, then lunge up to the slopey seam and topout as Frother. Bit morpho.

Sit/lying down start on low jugs and awkward feet. Power left to good holds on the flake and then up through horizontal rails. Powerful and awesome! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arINkJdsyyw

FA: Andy Lampard

Sit start with the two pockety features under the overhang (left hand on pocket right on crimpy pocket) with far left heel hook. Straight up, squeezing the undulating features into a juggy but heady top.

FA: Andy Lampard

Start super low, as Born Again Frother then go right to the starting pockets of Cat Herder and then up. Going to be a damn hard link up.

Set: Andy Lampard

Little boulder opposite Born Again Frother. Start in the obvious crack and up the prow. Low start could go.

Southwest of Merchant Rock proper, there is the Miniroof boulder at the base of the ramp leading to Contos Cave...

Contos Cave (V10) and Sea Hagg (V6) are the main events here..

If you continue around past the Contos Cave you will find yourself at Jonesy's Arete.

Low Sit Start in the mini-roof down on the flakes. Trend left with some powerful moves and up the good holds to top out. Avoid the dab!

Sit start on the low flake - bust up to large obvious jug at the base of the slab - mantle then straight up. Cool feature. Keep and eye on the swell!

Up the middle of the slab avoiding the jugs out left. Tricky moves to establish then delicately through the scoops.

Line of holds that actually extends all the way to the back...links have been made by various climbers over the years but the ending is elusive as the holds run out near the end of the cave and topping out looks hard and highball depending which exit you take. Have seen a corner press from a sit start get very close to finishing off the ending though which could be ~V10 on itself if done...adding the whole cave line would make for an epic!

Sit stat at the bottom of the large scoop feature on the left.

Sit start under black streaks and slap your way up. Desperate..

Sit start in the back of the cave on good huecos. Come out to the lip and arete with the left boulder in then up to the jug. Feet can use the left hand boulder

Warning Flora and Fauna: King Waves

As Sea Hagg, avoiding using the the left hand boulder. https://youtu.be/Ol0xdcNH8cQ

FA: Nathan Hoette?

Up the obvious highball crack. Don't die....

Up the face... Looks pretty hard

Use the arete and left face.

Highball arete. Awesome feature. Straight up using the arete and the right face. https://vimeo.com/198180131

FA: Chris Jones, 1999

Facing out to sea on the rocky platform left of the Contos Cave area.

Start on the obvious foothold, move slightly right then trend left on the vague ramp. Awesome delicate traverse.

FA: Will Atkinson

To the left of Steve's Dyno. Start as for Barnacle Bill and trend right to the arete.

Start on the same pocket as Steve's Dyno, but head straight up using tiny pockets instead of moving right.

Start on vague ramp on the left and on the obvious pocket then up and right on the slab to the obvious pockets up high. Blast for the sloper at the top

FA: Steve Holland

Start on the face left of the arete to slopey topout.

Stand start on crimps on the face right of the arete.

South of the rest of the boulders (and southwest of the carpark) is a lone stack of boulders a fair way off.

If you decide to make the trek, you can expect a reward in the form of a few classic lines for which the boulder is named.

Obvious start. Up the blank as crap arete

Problem 53 in the old mini guide. Given V4 in the guide - more like v5/6. Sit start on obvious diamond shaped jug. Fun sequence to gain the scoop - then soil yourself on the mantle.

Sit start as grandmother, but instead of exiting via scoop, traverse right and exit up the right side of slopey prow.

FA: Davide Cora, 8 Feb 2018

Sit start on opposing side pulls, straight up.

Sit start on opposing side pulls, traverse left and exit up using crimp.

Sit start on opposing side pulls, traverse left and continue using slopers.

Start as The Shark with right hand on the low rail and left hand reaching across the Boulder to create a short squeeze line. Slap your right hand and left hand along this feature until the tip of the ‘tooth’. Finish same as The Shark.

Low start matched on obvious hold on the low right of the prow. Big left hand move and up the prow.

Sit start low on corner of pocketed face with poor feet. Up using pockets and laybacks

FA: Robin Müller, 2010

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