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Carlton Bank

OS Sheet: 93     

Map Reference:  NZ517025

Aspect: North West

Altitude: 357m

Approach: 25 minutes

Author: Frank Fitzgerald

Mini Guide: Carlton Bank Mini Guide (PDF)



Photo(C) Steven Phelps



There is no known record of climbing here prior to 1998. In June of that year Frank Fitzgerald visited the crags, noted the possibilities, and returned with Tony Marr the following month.


Situation and Character

The sandstone buttresses forming the crags lie west of and below the Cleveland Way path over Carlton Bank on about the 350-metre contour. The rocks command superb views, catch the afternoon sun and because of their isolation and the steepness of the ground below, the climbs feel quite exposed. It is a lovely place late on a summerís day.


Access and Approaches

The rocks are best approached from Lord Stones cafe where there is both refreshment and car parking. Some 200 yards after the trig. point on top of the Bank drop down to the right through old quarry workings (Carton Bank Upper Tier), and the flat top of number one buttress soon comes into view.


The Climbs

The climbs, which are six to seven metres high, are on three buttresses. Rowan Buttress is the farthest left and has a lower tier below a wide terrace from which the Rowan tree grows. Holly buttress is the least steep and most broken and Number One buttress is the furthest right and the first to be reached in the approach described.


Rowan Buttress


1. Updraft   VS 4b

Start on the terrace at the left corner and moving slightly right climb the steep slab to the top.

Tony Marr, Frank Fitzgerald. 10 July 1998.


2. Lincoln Crack   VD

Climb the green crack to the right using good holds

Tony Marr, Frank Fitzgerald. 10th July 1998


3. Cakewalk   M

Climb by easy ledges to the right of the projecting slab; step onto it and round the nose then up easy rock to the finish.

Frank Fitzgerald solo 3rd July 1998.


4. Shortcake   D

Climb to the right side of the slab as before then ascend direct the crack above.

Frank Fitzgerald, Tony Marr 3rd July 1998.


Lower Tier


5. Longfellow   HVS 5b

Ascend the centre of the leaning buttress by a shallow groove.

Tony Marr, with Mike Tooke and Pam and Pete Shawcross, September 1998.


6. Right Edge   HS 4b

Climb the blunt right edge of the buttress.

Tony Marr , with Mike Tooke and Pam and Pete Shawcross. September 1998.


Holly Buttress


7. The Spine   D

Follow the rib easily on its right side after an awkward start.

Frank Fitzgerald, solo 10th July 1998.


8. Holly Wall   D

Climb the wall left of the next climb on easily spaced holds.

Frank Fitzgerald  with Pam Shawcross, September 1998.


9. Tiggywinkle   VD

Starts right of the last climb, very close to the holly bush and ascends the wall via a strenuous pull.

Frank Fitzgerald , Tony Marr September 1998



Number One Buttress


10. Windrush   S

Start right of the corner.  Climb steeply up and left to an exposed finish on the corner.

Tony Marr, Frank Fitzgerald  3rd July 1998.


11. Primitive   VS 4c

Climb direct up the wall on the left hand side of the right hand arÍte.

 Tony Marr, Frank Fitzgerald , with Mike Tooke and Pam and Pete Shawcross, September 1998.



Carton Bank Upper Tier

OS Sheet 93     

Map Reference   NZ518025

Aspect                North West

Altitude               378m

Approach Time   22 minutes


Access and Approaches

Follow the Cleveland way South West from Lord Stones cafe. Go about 200 metres past the trig point and they are just below the path.


The Climbs

Old quarry workings. A handful of short routes up to 5 metres high. The climbs are described from left to right.


Left Buttress


1. Left End Hop   M

Far left of the left hand buttress.
Matt Jones 10/08/07


2. Short Flake   D

The short flake to the right of the previous climb, and continue to the top.
Matt Jones 10/08/07


3. First Slab   VD

Go up the slab to the right of the last route
Matt Jones 10/08/07


4. Crack One   S

The rightward trending crack line, to the right of the last route
Matt Jones 10/08/07


5. Wide Crack   D

The wide rightward trending fault to the right of the last route.
Andrea Hill 10/08/07


6. Route Six   VD

The rightward trending crack line, to the right of the last route
Andrea Hill 10/08/07


7. Route Seven   S

The slab between the last route and the arÍte.
Andrea Hill 10/08/07


8. Route Eight   D   *

Follow the arete on the right and the curving crack above
Andrea Hill 10/08/07


9. Just Another Dyno

Straight up the slab of Just A Few More Inches without use of the arÍte.
Ste Phelps 13/Jul/2010


10. Just a few More Inches   Font 5

To the right of the previous route, on the slightly overhanging piece of rock. Straight up, via a hold(s) on the right arÍte.


11. Route Nine   VD

The overhanging crack to the left of the last wall of rock on this buttress
Matt Jones 10/08/07


12. Route Ten   D

Straight up the wall just to the right of the last route
Matt Jones 10/08/07


Right Buttress

Air Hanging Around climbs the crack.


13. Air Hanging Around   Font 5+

Right hand buttress, this tackles the irony overhanging front face with a central crack, highball. Start up the crack until a slopey break, traverse right to another slopey hold & hopefully something for feet then finish direct using the obvious fault, easier for the tall.
Ste Phelps 13/Jul/2010


14. Whiskey ArÍte   Font 5

This tackles the high arÍte. Make your way up the arÍte until you can sneak round right & use a heathery shelf to then move left again to finish on the arÍte. Meant to go direct but seems very highball with a nasty landing!
Ste Phelps 15/Aug/2010


15. Short Flake   D

On the right hand buttress, to the right of the high arÍte, there is a short slab. Follow a crack line to a flake.
Matt Jones 10/08/07




Lower Fox Crag is near here.



Full details in the

North East England Guide