Rockfax Description
The arching corner is a magnificent line and is climbed in two very long and sustained pitches. Some big cams and nuts are needed to protect the first pitch. Start at the base of the corner.
1) 5a, 42m. Ascend the corner until it starts to steepen and widen. Climb the wide crack to a flake from where easier climbing gains a big ledge on the left and a belay.
2) 5b, 50m. Climb the corner and its subsidiary to its end. Traverse right across the slab on small holds stepping down at a steepening to a pillar of compact red rock and better holds. Move up to small ledges (the site of an old belay) and continue for 5m before stepping right to a weakness in the overhang above. Climb up this and the easy groove above to the top.
2a) 4c, 50m. An easier but poorer finish moves left around the arete from the belay ledge and then climbs up the wall above the edge of the arete on big, but at times dubious, holds to a grassy final 10m. © Rockfax

Ticklists: West Country Climbs, Rockfax West Country top 50, UK Extreme Corners, Ultimate E2 ticklist, Alex's Cornwall and Devon ticklist, The best the UK has to offer for beasts (apart from the lakes cos its always wet), CUC Climbing Club, Part 2: Hidden Gems, Adventures & Harder Offerings.

Hidden 11/Aug Lead O/S
nickstephens 10/Aug AltLd O/S
with Jay Jackson
manbat 14/Jun Lead O/S

Wow, proper adventurous from the ab in until you top out. The off-width near the top of P1 is heinous, bold (even with a #5 cam), and by far the technical crux for me. Haven't been that terrified on lead for a while. I don't see how it can be climbed at 5a. Found the traverse on P2 surprisingly amenable, despite the run out. However, I had a lengthy pause psyching myself up for the run out climbing above the peg. From here it's about 4c and fairly quickly eases to 4b moves with some dubious cams. The top groove is easy, but with very brittle looking rock. Definitely E2 in my book, and although not technically very hard, both pitches demand 5b moves. ***

Steve Woollard 25/May AltLd

Amazing climbing both pitches. Led P1 and agree with the consensus that it's E1 5a. P2 solid 5b and very bold.

with Steve Thorpe
FlavioL1989 15/Apr AltLd O/S
JenShelley 15/Apr AltLd O/S
The Grist 11/Apr AltLd O/S

Led pitch 1. Great pitch. Exposed traverse on pitch 2. Great fun. In the sun all day......I did not expect that.

J.A.Thomson 30/Aug/16 AltLd dnf
with Dan
Hidden ?/Aug/16 Lead
Adam Hill 03/Jul/16 -

Went looking for adventure, this delivered. Heavy seas the day before kept half of P1 wet. Pumped to see dry rock today. Ab in kept dislodging loose rock. Found the hardest moves on P1. P2 was all in balance. Fantastic situation, stunning climb.

with Simon
kennythescot 18/Jul/15 AltLd dog
with Luke Robinson
Bristoldave 27/Jun/15 Lead O/S
with Derwood
dbrooks 27/Jun/15 2nd RP

started to lead top pitch, grabbed what i thought was a solid block, pulled it and myself off the wall, smashed my head against the rock and landed inverted below the belay.... got back on the lead but head wasn't in the right place and got Dave to finish

with Dr Dave
Hidden 07/Aug/14 AltLd
Hidden 30/Jul/14 2nd
tim newton 25/Jun/14 AltLd O/S
burto 15/Jun/14 Lead
with hertha
msoldn 14/Jun/14 AltLd O/S

Spectacular, one of the very best!

with Mark
Avon Man 14/Jun/14 AltLd O/S

A great adventure. P1 would be very bold without a no. 5 cam, and P2 is just bold full-stop! It's a good idea to pre-place a rope to belay from at the top (we didn't).

with msoldn
markalmack 27/May/14 AltLd O/S

had to rescue jimmy, after him pussying out on the offwidth because we didnt have any wide gear. Traverse pitch was wet, so we did the escape pitch. incredible rock, but dont think it would hold a fall.

with james marjot
Johnny Baker 16/May/14 AltLd O/S

A big route - double abb, pre placed rope to finish plus two big contrasting pitches. New SS peg at the end of the traverse on 2nd pitch.

with Sam Richards
alasdair19 ??/2014 -
SJS 26/Aug/13 2nd
with Nick
Nick Russell 26/Aug/13 Lead O/S

A big adventure route and a fantastic line, abbing down round the arete and seeing the corner for the first time was awe inspirig! Watch out for the loose bits on P1... I found the offwidth section to be the hardest physically, but the P2 slab traverse was harder mentally. Runout with a very exposed feeling on those small holds.

Mike W 11/Aug/13 Lead dnf
aostaman 27/Jul/13 AltLd
RCrockford 26/Jul/13 AltLd O/S

Led P1, scary crumbly rock at top of P1 and on P2. An adventurous route for sure!

with Mike B
Dilwat 13/Jul/13 AltLd O/S

Lead pitch 1 and had a good fight with the offwidth. Nick set out on P2 but I think traversed too early picking up the latter part of Andromeda Strain. Having made the peg here he watched it fall off into the sea. Going this way makes it very bold with just some shoddy placements in the rough area of the old peg. He finally found a way up to the better peg positioned at the base of the upper wall via some very fragile and dubious holds. What an adventure!

with Nick
nickdonohue 13/Jul/13 AltLd

Ian led pitch 1; I led pitch 2. Not obvious route finding. I traversed too low on pitch 2 (at a point where the corner got a bit chossy) which made for a very serious run-out (especailly when peg in middle of slab snaps off!!). I should've kept going up the corner (via steep moves on the slab)to pass the chossy bit - then you can get good gear at the point where it finally peters out and then you cross the very top of the slab.

Kevster 26/Jun/13 Lead O/S

Loose block half way up first pitch made the crux of the pitch all the more interesting. Good climb.

with Dave R
Hidden 14/Jun/13 2nd
kingholmesy ??/2013 AltLd O/S

Direct. Led P2.

with Colin
Hidden ??/2012 Lead O/S
mick1jones 15/Oct/11 AltLd dnf

Need lots of large cams (4 and 5) to protect crux on 1st pitch

with Rich Rogers
Hidden 04/Jun/11 AltLd
tuftynick 04/Jun/11 AltLd rpt
datoon 01/Jun/11 AltLd O/S
with K
khawk 01/Jun/11 AltLd O/S
with DT
jameshiggins 25/May/11 AltLd O/S

Pitch 2. Excellent adventure with some dubious rock. Climbed too high before traversing right.

with Neil Adams
Neil Adams 25/May/11 AltLd O/S

Excellent route despite a brief off-piste choss variation on the top pitch

kevin stephens 11/Aug/10 AltLd

Incredible and memorable route for adventure if not technical merit. Our 100m ab rope got wet in the sea belayed off thread, nuts and cam in bluff as described in Rockfax, also thread in boulder on edge of cliff so ample to get to belay ledge. Although not hard the top pitch is serious with looong runouts

philhilo 31/Jul/10 AltLd O/S

80m ab in, good sea running.Rock dry apart from part of crack on 2nd pitch but made no difference. Shame about wandering line across slab, otherwise impressive situation. Misha on 1st, me on 2nd. Bold but easy.

with misha
Misha 31/Jul/10 AltLd O/S

Had been keen to do this route since Phil mentioned it a few weeks earlier. Enjoyable climbing on weird rock. Not technically hard but pretty run out on P2, which Phil led. Save your big gear for the offwidth towards the top of P1, I didn't and ended up doing it at a run out E1 5a (looks like there used to be a good sling placement but it's loose now). Great route, though agree with Phil that it's not quite a brilliant 'top 50' route. The abseil in is more like 80m rather than 110m as the Rockfax suggests. It's not particularly intimidating as the wall that you abseil down isn't that steep and there are plenty of footholds to get in balance for the knot swap over.

with Phil
Legs 03/Jul/10 2nd O/S

The abb in is a little worrying, but we did not need to change at the knot as we had the luxury of an extra long abseil rope. We had slightly mis-judged the tides, so whilst I was being hit by waves, Macca quickly lead up to the high tide ledge for me to belay in the dry (At this point I would like to point out I only had a shorts, chalk bag and shoes with me). It was very cold at the beginning! The first picth was excellent, up this massive crack to the large ledge. Which I had to share with a seagul chick and nest with its mother dive-bombing me. The second pitch (i.e. Mecury connection), is a bold line which follows the crack, smearing with the feet to then abondon the safety of said lovely crack for a barely protected traverse to a bolt and ledge. A fall during the traverse would bring the climber next to the belayer! Macca managed to get to the bolt using crimps and smearing once again. The finish to the top took a bit of time to be figured out. Whilst this was going on the light had faded on us. It was left to me to second in the dusk, not really being able to see my feet and the tiny edges I needed. On the travers I took a massive swing as I could not see anything by this point, but I didnt drop to far. I got to the top at 11:30pm, pitch black. An epic climb and an epic adventure, and a throughly relieved second!

with Macca
Macca_7 03/Jul/10 Lead O/S

My God! What an amazing situation and climb! Uber commiting and not helpped by timing the tides wrong!! Nice damp start!! led to a belay on the 40ft ledge then the real climbing begins! Crux on p1 is hard and scary p2 seemed simple after that. Led both pitches and think went to far right on the traverse? Max topped out at 11:15p.m.!

Bobby Gilbert 22/Jun/10 Lead O/S

I thought the off width on the first pitch was the crux! The top pitch is exciting though. Run out but always in balance and never too hard.

chris wyatt 23/Aug/08 AltLd O/S

P2 One of my more interesting leads. Abseil in had its moments too

Hidden 23/Aug/08 AltLd O/S
Hidden 14/May/08 AltLd
cem 07/Apr/07 AltLd O/S

We did Mercury Direct rather than the original version. Led p2

ecowaller 02/Jul/06 AltLd O/S

I led crux pitch...great climb, glad to have done it after so long, really luck with the weather, it was raining everywhere else!!!!

with Nick Arding
jimdanson 02/Jun/06 AltLd O/S

Second pitch up the corner was wet so we used the original finish.

with Mike Adams
Hidden ??/2006 -
Hidden 20/Sep/05 AltLd
Tim Steward 21/Jun/05 AltLd


with James Parrot
Mark Kemball 25/Sep/04 2nd
with Stu Bradbury
clark alston ??/2004 AltLd O/S


with Jon Wilson
Samuel P 20/Jun/03 2nd
with Luke
Ian JL ?/Apr/02 Lead O/S
with Duncan Henderson
WB ?/Sep/01 AltLd O/S
with Guy
Ian Jones ??/2001 Lead O/S

Is this really E2? Matt usually climbs VS and he had no trouble at all.

with Oleg, Matt York
nickdonohue 18/Mar/00 AltLd dnf

Did first pitch (bold off width for a section) but didn't try 2nd as slab was wet. Escaped on Quicksilver (original mercury finish).

with Joe Brown
colin milton 14/Sep/96 AltLd O/S

did the original E1 version. lead p1

with eric milton
Derek Ryden 03/Jul/95 AltLd O/S
with Mark Lee, Jim Cheshire
duncan ??/1994 AltLd O/S

Date approximate

with Dan Donovan
rogerskews 29/May/91 AltLd

While on the halfway belay ledge, three divers were laying an explosive charge out from the cliff. Not realising what was going on, when they detonated it, the belay ledge we were on shook in unison with our bowels and nerves, we were convinced the ledge could disappear and shot up the last pitch of Quicksilver at high speed !!!!! History Lesson:- Quicksilver originally went up the arete left of Mercury's corner (accessed from Mercury Connection) then out left and up the slab which was Mercury's original finish. Most people now climb Quicksilver as the big corner of Mercury instead of the left arete, then the old top pitch of Mercury ie the route originally named Mercury. Mercury Direct was renamed Mercury.

with Bryn Roberts
Hidden ??/1991 -
frank ramsay 04/Aug/90 Solo

backrope solo which made top traversing pitch entertaining.

TonyF 01/May/90 Lead O/S
with Pete Scott
eroica64 17/Jul/89 AltLd

Had the runs on pitch one. Do not eat Ginster's pasties. Poor Denis who followed me. We escaped up Quicksilver. Amazing place with a 300 foot abseil in.

with Denis Crampton
Hidden ??/1987 Lead O/S
Robmwatt ??/1984 -
Martin Bennett 28/Jul/80 -
with Martin Cornforth, IW, JD
Hidden 12/Aug/78 AltLd
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High E3
Mid E3
Low E3
High E2
Mid E2
Low E2
High E1
Mid E1
Low E1
Votes cast 21
High 5c
Mid 5c
Low 5c
High 5b
Mid 5b
Low 5b
High 5a
Mid 5a
Low 5a
Votes cast 19
Votes cast 17
Style of ascent
Alt Leads
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