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Botton Head


OS Landranger Sheet:  93

Map Reference: NZ592019

Aspect:  North

Altitude:  430m

Approach Time: 45 minutes



The first recorded activity was by the Headmaster and pupils of Ayton Friendsí School who were responsible for the easier climbs on this crag.  

A warning from an enthusiastic local climber:  "I walked up there one evening (about 1996) and came to the conclusion that the cliff had fallen down. I found nothing on that hillside that was remotely worth climbing. I hope I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure I didn't miss the proper crag. I noted in my diary that if I was ever at a cliff and short of toilet paper, that the pages describing Botton Head could safely be sacrificed!" If you know better let me know otherwise.


Situation and Character 

These rocks lie on the northern edge of Urra Moor overlooking Greenhow Botton. The crag is situated a few minutes to the north west of the triangulation point, which marks the summit of the moor and at 454m is the highest point in Cleveland.


Access and Approaches

The rocks can be reached in a variety of ways, but the most pleasant and least arduous starts from the Bilsdale side of the top of Clay Bank. Pass through Hagg Gate at the end of the stonewall, and follow a paved track which runs first rises to the east and then veers to the south-east as it level out along Carr Ridge. In 3km the rocks of Botton Head can be seen in front and slightly to the left. A further plod through the heather, where the track becomes less distinct, leads to the top of the rocks, which comprise three bands. Band Three is the nearest to Clay Bank and Band One nearest to Ingleby Incline.


The Climbs

The climbs on each band are described from left to right.


Band One

The bay of rock nearest to Ingleby Incline.


1. Swathmore Crack   8m   M

Start 8m from the left of the rocks. Ascend a corner and crack and then broken rocks to the top.


2. Screwy   8m   VD

Start just right of the last route underneath a projection. Climb diagonally right to a platform. Follow the chimney above.


3. Firbank Chimney   8m   M

Start 3m right of Screwy. Follow the chimney throughout.


4. Band One Eliminate   5m   S

Start 7m to the right of Firbank Chimney. Climb the undercut crack with awkward moves to start.


5. Late Out   7m   VD

Start 10m right of Band I Eliminate beneath an ash. Mount a buttress on good holds, which leads to a short but strenuous crack. Finish on the right.


6. Long Stop   8m   VD

Start 10m right of Late Out, at the right edge of a grassy rake. Slabs lead diagonally right. Leave these as soon as possible and climb direct to the top.


7. Maiden Over   10m   D

Start as for Long Stop. Follow the slabs diagonally right to a ledge. Descend below a small overhang and finish up a crack to the right.


8. Splits   5m   S

Start 5m right of Long Stop. Climb the groove and short crack above.


Band Two

This is the middle bay.


9. Band Two Eliminate   7m   VS 4c

Start 8m right of the first rocks. Climb the undercut crack to a small tree where an exit to the right is made.


10. The Cleft   7m   HVD

Start 3m right of the last climb. Climb the cleft to a grass recess. Finish up the right wall.


11. Parallel Cracks   8m   VS 4c

Start 4m right of The Cleft. Climb the steep cracks to a grassy scramble.


12. Dido   5m   VD

Start 5m to the right of the last climb and at a higher level, just right of a cave. Easy rocks lead to the foot of a short but steep cleft on the left, which is climbed.


13. Aeneas   8m   D

Start 2m to the right of Dido but rather lower down. Climb an awkward rib for 3m, and then climb either the right or left face of the buttress above.


14. Boss Chimney   12m   HVD

Start 10m to the right of Aeneas, round a small buttress. Climb a corner to a terrace. Gain and climb the chimney above.


On route to Band Three which lies 750m right of Band Two one passes some isolated rocks. One climb has been made here:


15. Nogo   5m   VS 4c

Start in a corner immediately right of the first corner. Climb the crack with difficulty to an awkward finish.


Band Three

A prominent feature of this band is a large slab embedded in the hollow at the foot of the crag.


16. Quakers Oats   5m   HD        *

Start 20ft. to the left of the slab. Climb the steep crack on good holds. Pleasant.


17. Quakers Way   12m   HS 4b        **

Start just right of the last climb. Traverse right for 3m just above the ground to a crack. Climb the crack step right and climb a second crack to a stance. Continue straight up to the top.


18. Skipjack   12m   D

Start from the foot of the slab. Climb the right edge of the slab to a corner of jumbled blocks. Move up on the left and out onto a small, exposed ledge. A large ledge above leads to the moor.


19. Ruddigore   7m    M

Start to the right of the slab but much further up the slope in a corner. Climb the crack and chimney above.


20.  Geordies Delight   12m   HD

Start 7m right of the slab at the foot of the wall. Climb the middle of the wall to the foot of a groove. Follow the groove to the top.


21. Angels Tread   12m   S

Start to the right of the last climb, but left of the nose of the buttress. Step on the wall and climb direct to a ledge. The climbing above the ledge is harder and exposed.


22. Band Three Eliminate   8m   HVS 5a   *

Start below a smooth groove 7m right of Angels Tread and right of the nose. Climb the groove with difficulty to finish over some doubtful blocks. Traverse left and finish up the corner. Interesting.




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