Midnight Wall
Midnight Wall is the clean, highly-featured crag at the far north end of the Main Cliffs underneath an obvious overhanging prow. A rightward-down-sloping ramp starting 10m down from the prow marks the top of the crag. A smaller vertical crag lies above that ramp. The base of the cliff is defined by a slab sloping up to the left. The base of the crag is reached by a 110m (100m is just adequate with a final down climb) abseil from stakes (not in place) and some rock anchors on top of the prow. The abseil rope should be dropped over an obvious notch in the south-west side of the prow. The rope will then hang just touching the edge of the upper ramp. Whilst abseiling try to locate an obvious quartz-tipped 'beak' feature protruding from the crag about 60m down close to the abseil line. The cliff turns overhanging below the 'beak' having been vertical above.
1. Ataturk 120m E5
A demanding and complex climb mostly following the abseil line. Start at the lowest point of the wall at the toe of the base slab. A short ridge above a trench into the sea provides a non-tidal position to belay.
1. 20m, 4b Climb up the slab for 10m then up an obvious corner-crack to belay on the higher slab/ break line under the overhanging section of the wall.
2. 30m, 5c The steepest pitch. Move 2m left then up into a short hanging corner. Almost immediately move left into a second hanging corner then up this to its capping roof. (This point is just below the 'beak' feature). Use undercuts and the fin on the left to make wild moves over the roof. Move up and right on less steep rock to a quartz break (directly right of the 'beak') then traverse back above the 'beak' on top of the quartz break for about 4m to a stance, trying to avoid rope-drag.
3. 25m, 5b/c The boldest pitch. Climb the open groove above the belay into a zone of juggy quartz rock. Continue into a more pronounced groove with some hard, poorly protected climbing. Before the top of the groove exit right onto the right arete which forms a vague ledge. Make a technical crawl leftwards on this ledge to a sloping stance above and left of the groove.
4. 35m, 6a Follow the blocky crack and flake line above the belay for 10m to the obvious line of rightwards trending overhangs. Traverse under the overhangs rightwards to a good ledge. Move up into the corner above which becomes progressively harder culminating in a very thin move up onto the upper ramp. Scramble up the ramp to belay on the abseil rope.
[5.] 10m. Finish by jumaring up the abseil rope. The corner to the right above the ramp has been top-roped at about VS but is very loose.
Dan Donovan (2,3,4), Toby Foord-Kelcey (1), 20/21 July 2002
Dan believes the route to be easier than E5 but was climbing very strongly at the time .... individual pitches might only be E3-E4 but overall this route is substantial.