Applegarth © Steve Crowe
OS Sheet: 92
Map Reference: NZ118016
Approach: 10 minutes
The scar has seen activity for a number of years and the first recorded climbs were those of Ernie and Ruth Shields and Dave Staton in the 1960ís. These formed the basis for the first edition of this guide.
Situation and Character
A Limestone crag situated on the Northern side of Swaledale about three-quarters of a mile North East of the village of Marske. The scar forms the Western end of a line of crags extending West of Richmond. The climbs are concentrated in two sections of the crag, the Left-Hand Section and the Right-Hand Section, separated by a stretch of broken vegetated rock some 50 metres in length. There is a wide variety of features providing steep climbing on corners, walls and cracks up to 15 metres in height. Descents are possible at either end of each section, although abseiling from trees may be more convenient in places. In common with many other limestone crags, loose rock can be found so care should be exercised when swinging from jug to jug.
Access and Approaches
Applegarth Scar is on private land but climbing is permitted. The Coast to Coast path passes immediately below it. To reach the crag follow the minor road from Marske towards Richmond and park on the steep hill less than a mile from Marske. A gated lane (Public Footpath to West Applegarth) leads south towards the Swale. At the first gateway leave the track and turn left through another gate into the pasture below the scar which is soon visible in the trees up to the left. Time from the road is less than ten minutes.
The gated lane is no longer even signposted as a footpath, although it is a right of way still. It is clearly marked West Applegarth though.
The climbs are described from left to right. Note: most of the trees at the top now appear to be either dead or dying, so care is needed when choosing which ones to use for holds, belays, or lower-offs!
Left Hand Section
The major feature visible is a large corner groove (Cogden Crack) with a large cracked slab to its left above a jumble of fallen blocks; the First Boulder Slope. Some 20 metres to the left of here is a shallow square-cut groove next to a small sycamore tree.
1 Ivy Crack 12m S
Climb the left side of the shallow groove to a small ledge holding a sapling. Finish more steeply on suspect rock.
The next climbs lay several metres further right across the First Boulder Slope where the crag cuts into a fine, big corner with an upstanding block below the slabby, left wall.
2 Abbey Wall 14m VD
Start just left of the big block. Climb the centre of the cracked slab to a ledge at 7m. Move left and follow the crack to the top.
3 Cogden Crack 13m MS
Climb the slab immediately left of the large corner. From a small tree, move left to finish at the same place as Abbey Wall. Immediately right of the corner is a fine overhanging wall of excellent rock.
4 Chalk Crack 13m VS 4b
A really good route. Start 5m right of the big corner and right of the overhanging wall at a small V-shaped corner. Climb this by bridging and laybacking.
5 Hale 12m S
Start 4m right of Chalk Crack and at a lower level below a slanting off-width crack. Climb this crack to a large ledge then climb the shattered crack above. Scramble off to the left.
From here the crag continues rightwards, but no routes have been made until one arrives at a small grove of trees, predominantly Ash, growing around the base of the crag. A large, square block bars access to a wide chimney just left of a steep, white wall.
6 Cembran Chimney 14m D
Climb into the chimney from the left-hand side of the large block and ascend the wide cleft above.
7 Cembran Rib 14m S
Start 5m right of Cembran Chimney by a block at the foot of a fine arÍte. Climb the arÍte bearing right until a cracked break leads up the right side of the arÍte to a loose finish.
8 Ibex 12m VD
Climb the wide crack in the next, very big corner to the right.
9 Tached 12m VD
Start 5m right of the big corner, to the right of an arÍte and below a wide, chock stone chimney. Bridge up the outside of the chimney and move onto the left-hand rib near the top. Loose.
10 Hackerside 12m S
Start at the same point as Tached, but climb the wide corner-cleft immediately right of Tached.
11 Oxnop 12m HVS 5a
Start 3m right of and down the slope from Hackerside below a vertical fin of rock which runs up to a crack. Climb the fin of rock (shaky!) to gain a sentry-box. Climb direct past Ivy to a Yew tree.
12 Bents Dale 12m MVS 4b
Start 8m right of Oxnop below a big, Open-Book corner. Climb the corner, passing a bleached stump at 4m. Lower off the tree at the top. (Care with blocks hereabouts).
"Lower off the tree at the top" - the tree is dead! It looks like you should be able to scramble off leftwards instead (but haven't tried it as we did Bonsai instead, and confirmed the status of the tree from above).
13 Bonsai 12m MVS 4b
Start 3m right of Bents Dale in a short corner below a stepped corner. Climb up the short corner and into the corner containing the Bonsai tree. Climb this corner and the one above on the left to finish.
14 Gunnerside 12m S
Round the arÍte to the right is a recessed groove with a tree at 4m. Climb this loose groove choosing one of a number of possible lines.
15 Crackpot 12m E1 5b
Start just right of Gunnerside below a bottomless, cracked groove which overhangs at 4m. Climb the cracked groove to the bulge. Surmounting this block is the crux and care must be taken as both holds and protection assumes its stability! Move right onto sounder rock and finish at a large Ash.
16 Myrin 11m VD
5 metres right is a corner just right of a Yew growing out of the face at 2 metres. Climb the corner avoiding the Ivy on the right.
Moving right again one passes under a short, white corner with an obvious fragile flake on its right wall. Just right of this is an undercut crack.
17 Dinnertime Special 6m VS 5a
Climb the undercut crack.
This section which has some very attractive and generally shorter climbs is reached by walking rightwards past an obvious horizontally growing tree (if it is still there!) at the end of the Left-Hand Section and continuing under small walls for about 40 metres. The rocks gain height in the region of a cluster of small Elms which grow hard against the crag.
18 Applegarth Chimney 9m D
Start 6m right of the cluster of Elms below an instantly recognisable chimney. Climb the square- cut chimney which is bridged by a large tree
19 Starkieís Route 9m MVS 4b
Start in a V-corner 3m right of Applegarth Chimney. Climb the fine-looking corner and after 5m step right onto a small ledge and continue to the top.
20 Cave Crack 12m S
Around the arÍte to the right is a fine corner with a small, cave at its base. Climb this excellent corner.
21 Park Top 9m S check grade after rockfall! see note below.
Start just right of the next arÍte below a wide, flake crack. Climb this to finish at a Yew.
"The bottom of the crack is no longer climbable at that grade (or anything like it) due to rockfall and loose rock. It can be approached by climbing the crack to the right for a couple of metres and traversing left." Simon Caldwell 2006
22 Clap Corner 9m S
Start 4m right of Park top at the foot of a corner which appears promising. Climb the corner and the deteriorating continuation to the top.
An Ivy mass hides the next wall on the right.
23 Feldom Feen 10m VS 4b
Start in the narrow corner by a sapling, just right of the ivy mass. Climb the corner.
Around the next arÍte are two Ivy masses on either side of a steep wall.
23a Old Nick MVS 4b
Start at wall directly right of Feldom Feen. 3m right is a flaky crack directly behind a small tree climb the crack to its top which ends half way up wall then move right to arÍte and then to top
R.Lovett A.Haigh G.Gibbons 13th July 1998
24 Cumma Crack 10m HS 4b
Start from a ledge of blocks below a cracked recess jus left of the right-hand Ivy mass. Climb the cracked recess to tree belays on the top.
Five metres right a huge dead Elm projects from the face at two metres.
25 Munn End 9m VD
Climb the open groove behind the huge, dead Elm.
26 The Winge 9m VS 4c
Climb the fine, slim corner/groove 2m right of Munn End. A twin-stemmed Ash grows out of the face at head-height.
27 Wham Bottom 9m S
Start just left of the big Ash. Climb up the grooved recess to finish at a Yew.
27a. D.I.Y. 9m VS.4b
Climb over bulge at the start of arÍte between Wham Bottom and Blades then climb the groove in the arÍte leftwards and so to top
R. Lovett 25th April 1998
28 Blades 9m S
Climb a left-slanting, thin, cracked groove 3m right of the Ash. Finish at a Yew.
29 Barf Side 10m VD
Start 2m right of Blades where an open corner is blocked at its base by a 3m pillar of rock. Climb either side of the pillar (right is best) past a possible thread, climb the blocky groove above passing a broken bough.
Eight metres further right and beyond a clean corner crack is a large, detached flake, to the right of an Ivy mass.
30 Brownsey 11m VS 4b
Start in an orange recess below the off-width crack to the left of the large flake. Pull up steeply to gain a recess below the crack. Climb the crack and finish up the wall above.
Moving-right, around the nose of the detached flake, one comes to a recess with a right-slanting chimney.
31 Clogger 12m VD
Start from a ledge at 2m below the recess. Climb into this and follow the line of the slanting break taking care with dangerous blocks.
The next feature of the crag is a massive square-cut block perched on a ledge two metres above the base of the cliff. A fine corner lies behind it.
32 Beldon Peat 9m S
Climb the corner direct.
33 Wegber Crack 9m HVS 5a
Start below a prominent crack in the wall behind the big block. Climb the crack to a ledge on the right arÍte and follow this to the top. Stepping off the block reduces the standard.
34 Conny Tammy 7m S
Start below and right of the huge block at a corner with a double-edged wide crack. Climb the corner.
35 The Fleak 7m VS 4b
Start around the next arÍte right in a steep corner above a sizeable Briar Rose. Climb the corner.
36 Swang Gully 7m M
Start up the slope 8m right of the Briar Rose. Climb the corner and gully above, passing a tree and taking care with loose rock.