Articles & Features
North East Action
Lost and Found
New Routes
Training Tips
Climbing Walls
About Us


Cold Moor


OS Landranger Sheet: 93

Map References: 

Plantation End   NZ554025, Aspect Easterly, Altitude 340m

Cold Moor Buttress NZ553034, Aspect Easterly, Altitude 340m

North End NZ552035, Aspect Northerly, Altitude 380m

Mini Guide: Cold Moor Mini Guide (PDF)



The first reported climbs; Oblique Crack and Beak Ridge were climbed by the indefatigable Arthur Barker in the fifties and are recorded in the 1970 guidebook. The 1985 guide noted only that on Cold Moor were some fine boulder problems and some very short routes. Tony Marr revisited the crags in June 1996 and climbed the routes on Wall Buttress. He returned the following weekend with Mike Tooke and Frank Fitzgerald and over the next three months this team cleaned and climbed the bulk of the routes recorded here. Steve Crowe climbed a number of routes on the North End in July 1997 and later in that year added the testing Insatiable Desire.


Situation and Character

The crag consists of a series of well spaced buttresses spread out along the edge of Cold Moor, the slightly undercut face of the North End being clearly visible from The Wainstones across Garfit Gap. The buttresses are excellent moorland sandstone, comparable in quality with Barkers Crags in Scugdale and enjoy sunshine until early afternoon. Because of the crag’s easterly aspect, unusual in Cleveland, it offers shelter from westerly gales. The North End is sunny in late evening. The routes are generally short, interspersed with interesting boulder problems, and have reasonable landings which are best enjoyed in the spring before the bracken takes over. During the summer any reference to paths should be ignored, even some of the boulders become lost beneath the waist/head height bracken! Many of the climbs at Cold Moor were put up solo and may have never been led with a rope. Good belays are rare at the top of the buttresses so be prepared to solo here!

Access and Approaches

The best approach is to park at the top of Clay Bank (NZ573035) and follow either the Cleveland Way west past the Wainstones, or the Forestry Track below Ravenscar. After crossing Garfit Gap pass through a gate then turn left (south) and follow the faint track along the west side of the stone wall below the buttresses. About 200m beyond the edge of the plantation a stone wall rises up the moor to abut the first buttress; from The Wainstones about 10/15 minutes




The Climbs

The climbs are described from left to right.


Wall Buttress


1. Opening Gambit   5m   VS 4b

Start left of the dry stonewall and climb the wall behind the tree.

Steve Crowe   22nd August 1996

2. Wall and Crack   5m   S

The prominent crack rising from the dry stonewall.

Tony Marr   19th June 1996

3. Crac   5m   VS 4c

The right hand crack proves more testing.

Tony Marr   19th June 1996

4. Desiree   5m   VS 4b

Gain the nose of the buttress from the right and continue up the slab above.

Tony Marr   19th June 1996

The next buttress is about 200m to the north.


Plantation Buttress


5. Endgame   5m   VS 4c

The bulge just right of the central corner with a hard move to gain the curving ledge.

Tony Marr   21st July 1996

6. Fraggle Rock   5m   HVD   *

The bulge right of Endgame.

Tony Marr, Frank Fitzgerald, Mike Tooke    All solo    21st July 1996

Dead Tree Buttress


7. Bravo   4m   HS

The short bulging slab on the left of the buttress has a difficult exit.

Tony Marr   1997

8. Stumpy   5m   HS

Gain the obvious groove in the corner either direct or from the ramp on the left.

Tony Marr, Frank Fitzgerald, Mike Tooke  1997


Dead Tree Wall 5m VS 4c
The centre of the wall between Stumpy and Dead Tree Crack.
Steven Phelps (solo) 16/05/2014


9. Dead Tree Crack   6m   S

Cross the wall rightwards to finish up the vertical crack.

Tony Marr, Frank Fitzgerald, Mike Tooke    1997

10. Dead Tree Groove   5m   VD

The central groove/crack.

Frank Fitzgerald, Mike Tooke   18th August 1996

11. Dead Loss   6m   HS 4b

The shallow flake/groove over the bulge. Tricky.

Tony Marr, Frank Fitzgerald, Mike Tooke   1997

12. Dead End   6m   M

Ledges lead into a slanting groove.

Frank Fitzgerald, Mike Tooke   1997

The next three buttresses contain some of the best climbing on Cold Moor.


Undercut Buttress

The buttress has a slab on its narrow left wall and the right wall is undercut.


13. All In One   7m   VS 4b

A shallow flake/edge leads to the rounded break. Continue on pockets directly to the top.

Tony Marr, Mike Tooke, P Shawcross    18th August 1996

14. Classic Rock   8m   VS 4c   **

Climb the steep slab rightwards to finish up the arête. Excellent climbing. 

The arête direct is 5a/b.

Tony Marr, Mike Tooke, Frank Fitzgerald   21st July 1996

15. No Limits  9m   HVS 5c   **

Start in the centre of the undercut right wall, standing on the left end of the flake block.  Pull up to gain the horizontal break and follow this leftwards towards the arête.  Keep just right of the arête to finish.

Tony Marr   30th July 1996


15a. No Limits Direct Start  E1 6a/b  (V4/5)
Begin from an obvious boulder, at the left end of the undercut wall. Climb directly up to the break, from small holds, via a thin flake. Finish direct, as for No Limits for the full tick.
Thomas Gilbert, Jamie Moss (both solo) 29th May 2004

 Jamie Moss on the second ascent. Photo: Thomas Gilbert


16. No Limits Direct Finish   7m   E1 6a

Continue straight up from the break. Delicate.
Steve Crowe, Solo  1997


The next two routes tackle the prominent curving ledge.


17. Sickle Direct   6m   VS 5a   *

Pull over the undercut base to reach the curving sickle shaped ledge. Finish direct.

Tony Marr 30th July1996

18. Sickle   6m   S    *

From a sloping ledge, move awkwardly left onto the curving ledge, step left then back right to finish.

Frank Fitzgerald, Mike Tooke    21st July 1996

Easy Slab


19. Gardener’s World   7m   VD

Climb the slabs trending rightwards.

Frank Fitzgerald, Tony Marr  1997

Bilsdale Buttress


20. Façade   4m   S 4b

The centre of the slab. Step right to exit or, slightly more difficult, continue direct.

Tony Marr   21st July 1996

21. Letterbox Wall   5m   HVS 5b   **

Climb the narrow wall making use of the obvious slot. Finish over the final block.  Good moves.

Tony Marr   21st July 1996

22. Party Piece   5m   HVS 5b   *

Gain the curving ledge direct; move up and left to escape. Finish direct.

Tony Marr   21st July 1996

23. Visa Versa   7m   D   *

Start up the corner until it is possible to traverse leftwards across the obvious break. Finish up the arête or climb down it.

Tony Marr, Frank Fitzgerald  21st July 1996

Capstone Buttress


24. Insatiable Desire   4m   E1 6a

The central rib passing the block wedged in the half height break.

Steve Crowe, 13th October 1996

25. Capstone Corner   4m   VD

The short leaning corner.

Tony Marr 1997

Neb Buttress

This is the largest buttress and is identified by its wide chimney and prominent undercut nose.


26. Out of Reach    7m   E1 5c

Start just left of the chimney in the shallow alcove.  Ascend the alcove and escape, slightly left, onto the ledge.  Insecure moves lead to the top.

Tony Marr  30th July 1996

27. Nebula   7m   S   *

The wide chimney provides a good challenge.

Frank Fitzgerald, Mike Tooke, Tony Marr   23rd June 1996

28. Buttress Route   8m   VS 5a   **

Start just right of the chimney and gain the ledge above the nose by a problematic move! Continue directly up the blunt arête.  

Tony Marr, Mike Tooke, Frank Fitzgerald   23rd June 1996

29. Neb Direct   8m   E1 6a   **

Climb the overhanging nose of the buttress by way of a shallow flake/groove and continue direct.

Tony Marr 23rd June 1996

30. Harum Scarum   8m   E1 5c   *

The undercut wall is climbed direct, passing a thin diagonal crack.

Tony Marr 23rd June 1996

31. Tough Enough   7m   HVS 5b   *

The awkward wall direct to the dirty shelf, finish left or right.

Tony Marr 23rd June 1996

Several metres north of Neb Buttress on the path is an excellent boulder problem...


32. Midget Gem   4m   5b   *

A testing challenge up the shallow overhanging groove on the east face of the boulder.

Tony Marr 18th August 1996

Three Tier Buttress


33. Three Tier Climb   7m   HS   *

Ascend the stepped buttress direct to finish up the right arête.

Tony Marr, Mike Tooke, Frank Fitzgerald 21st July 1996

The next buttress lies about 25m further north...


Little Buttress


34. Small Time   4m   VD   *

Climb the arête direct.   The climb can be extended by following a rising ledge rightwards.     

Frank Fitzgerald     18th August 1996

35. Child's Play   4m   VS 4c   *

The undercut flake is climbed direct.

Tony Marr   18th August 1996

36. Kiddie Time   4m  VS 5b   *

The fingery wall 2m right of Child's Play.

Tony Marr   18th August 1996

About 18m further right is...


Delta Slab


37. Delta Force   5m   VS 4c   *

Climb the centre of the slab to an awkward exit.

Tony Marr, Mike Tooke, Frank Fitzgerald, Pam and Pete Shawcross   18th August 1996

38. Delta Slab   7m   S   *

Start at the right hand corner, step up and follow the diagonal crack leftwards to escape up an awkward thin crack.

Frank Fitzgerald, Mike Tooke   14th August 1996

39. Delta Slab Arête                           5m          HS           *

Start at the right-hand corner and follow the arête throughout.

Tony Marr, Mike Tooke, Frank Fitzgerald   18th August 1996

Fern Buttress


40. Fern Crack   5m   S    

The awkward short crack.

Tony Marr, Frank Fitzgerald 1997

41. Hungover   6m   D   *

Climb the chimney, stepping right then left to escape over the down pointing block.

Frank Fitzgerald, Mike Tooke   14thAugust 1996

42. Fern Groove   6m   HVS 5b   **

This is the fine leaning corner. Start up the wall just right of the corner for a couple of moves until it is possible to pull into the crack and exit.

Tony Marr, Mike Tooke   28th July 1996

43. Fern Gully   6m   D

The stepped gully throughout.

Frank Fitzgerald 1997

Variation Finish   7m   VS 4c

Starts up the gully then escapes’ leftwards using a crack under the capstone.

Tony Marr, Tooke 1997.


A few metres lower and set between the buttresses is a short block with a prominent left arête


Little Shelf Buttress


44. Over The Hill   4c

A short problem up the undercut arête.
Tony Marr 18th August 1996

45. Little Shelf   4b

Gain a standing position on the shelf then step left to finish on the arête.

Tony Marr 18th August 1996

Shelf Buttress


46. White Slab   5m   VD

From the foot of the gully step onto the light coloured front face/arête and follow it direct.

Tony Marr, Mike Tooke 1997

An interesting and as yet unclimbed problem, The Shelf, lies just to the right.


47. Frank's Chimney   5m   VD

The chimney.

Tony Marr 30th July 1996


48. Trivial Pursuit   5m   HVS 5b   **

Climb the front face direct to an awkward exit leftwards.

Tony Marr, Mike Tooke   28th July 1996

49. Leaning Corner   5m   VD

The obvious corner and dirty finish.

Tony Marr 28th July 1996


Shelf Buttress Boulders

These lie directly beneath Shelf Buttress. The first climb starts at the toe of the embedded slab directly below Little Shelf Buttress……


50. Frank's Slab   4m   D   *

The short but enjoyable slab.

Frank Fitzgerald, Mike Tooke, 14th August 1996


The next climb takes the higher/steeper boulder to the right.


51. Lay Z Day   7m   4c

Pull over the overlap; follow the steepening slab just right of the arête to the very top.

Tony Marr, Mike Tooke, Frank Fitzgerald   18th August 1996


Right again are three large boulders forming a continuous rock ridge…


The Ridgeway   9m   Diff / HVS 6a

Several variations are possible.  Start from the lowest block: -


52.     D      Mount the first boulder and walk across to the second.

53.     D      The second boulder is climbed by its left wall, exiting around the capstone. (The arête on the right is slightly harder VD).


54.     D      Climb from the gap to the ridge by the left wall.

55.     VS 4b  The largest and final boulder is climbed by crossing the slab on the lip of the overhang to gain the ridge which is followed to the top.

       All variations Frank Fitzgerald   14th September 1996


The next variation starts beneath the overhanging front face of the final boulder.


56.     HVS 6a  Start under the large roof. Pull directly over the nose of the arête, finish up the slab.

57.     HVS 5c  Start just right of the last climb, in the gully. Step up to gain a shallow corner then pull over the overlap to finish up the arête.


The next climb starts to the right and at a slightly higher level…


58.     VD         Pull onto the slab at the obvious good hold. 

        All variations Tony Marr   February 1998.


Fifteen metres further right and at a slightly higher level lies a convex block with a small sloping shelf at its left corner, this is: -


End Block


59. Uptime   4m   S

Start at the sloping shelf and pull over the bulge using a flake crack.

Tony Marr, February 1998.


Cold Moor Buttress      GR 554033


This is the outcrop directly across the valley (Garfit Gap) from the Wainstones.  The first problem is on the smaller left hand wall.  This is about 350m north [right] of Shelf Buttress.



60. Twinkle toes   4m   VD 4a   *

The stepped slab is climbed direct.

Frank Fitzgerald, Mike Tooke, Tony Marr   23rd June 1996


61. Cold Cut    4m   S 4b   *

Climb the shallow groove/crack.

Frank Fitzgerald, Mike Tooke, Tony Marr   23rd June 1996


62. Cold Fusion   5m   VS 5a   *

Start up the right side of the bulge until it is possible to traverse left and join Cold Cut.

Tony Marr   23rd June 1996


63. True Fusion   4m   VS 5b   *

Start as for Cold Fusion but continue up the blunt arête direct.

Tony Marr   23rd June 1996




The next climb is on the main buttress.


64. Oblique Crack   8m   D

The obvious hand crack cleaving the wall is followed until a step right allows an exit.

A. Barker 1950s


65. Cold Sweat   7m   E1 6a   **

Start from directly beneath the hanging block. Using the flake crack for the initial step only, pull onto the wall and climb the groove to the block.  Finish direct.

Tony Marr   23rd June 1996


66. Chilled Out   7m   E2 6a

An eliminate climbing the wall between Cold Sweat and the arête, finish direct.  The holds can easily be sussed out from the next climb.

Steve Crowe   1996



67. Beak Ridge   7m   HS 4b   **

Pull on to the ridge from the right and follow it to the top.  Excellent climbing.

A. Barker 1950s



68. Cool Dude   6m    VS 5b

The centre of the wall direct.

Steve Crowe   1996


69. Cold Shoulder   4m   VD

The corner crack.

Frank Fitzgerald     23rd June 1996

70. Cool Juggler   4m  HVS 5b

The leaning wall.

Steve Crowe  1996


About 400m further north are the last two buttresses...


North Buttress   GR 551035

This is the prominent buttress seen in profile from the Wainstones.


71. Friday 13th   9m   E1 5c

A rising traverse of North Buttress starting just left of the hanging scoop of Cold Turkey. Step onto the wall and cross the scoop; follow the break around the bulge and across the overhanging wall into Spine Chill. Pull out right then up to gain the overhung ledge and easier climbing.  Strenuous.

Tony Marr, Geoff Vaughan     13th June 1997


72. Cold Turkey   6m   E2 6a   *

It is difficult to get established in the hanging scoop.

Steve Crowe, solo   1996



73. Overhanging Wall   7m   E2 6b  

Start just left of Spine Chill. Pull up to a thin vertical crack and dyno up and right for good holds. Pull up then move slightly left to escape the bulge.

Tony Marr, Geoff Vaughan 13th June 1997 one point of aid.
Steve Crowe  4th June 2002  The aid can be avoided by using one side pull in Spine Chill.

Franco Cookson, Dave Warburton, Lee Robinson 9th August 2012 


74. Spine Chill   8m   HVS 5b   ***

The prominent central challenge of the north buttress, finish slightly right.

Steve Crowe, solo   15th August 1996


74a. Footless Crowe   E3 6b   **
The scoop to the right of Spine Chill yields to a jump.
Franco Cookson, Dave Warburton, Lee Robinson 9th August 2012


Further right is a classic jamming crack.


75. Stone Cold Crack   4m   HVD

What are you better at, jamming or lay backing?

Steve Crowe, solo   15th August 1996


76. Pickpocket   6m   VS 5a

Start to the right of Stone Cold Crack.  Easy ledges lead to the pocketed wall right of the jamming crack.  Using the pockets climb direct.

Tony Marr, Geoff Vaughan  13thJune 1997


77. Green Streak   6m   VS 5b

Start right of Pickpocket.  Climb the easy slab to finish up the centre of the top wall via a green stain.

Tony Marr, Geoff Vaughan     13th June 1997


78. Coolant   6m   VD

The centre of the two-tier slab/wall.

Steve Crowe, solo   15th August 1996


About 100m west is a short west-facing wall.


West Wall


79. North West Ridge   6m   D

Follow the blunt rib.

Steve Crowe, solo   15th August 1996

80. Coolabah   5m   5b

Start just right of the rib and climb the wall keeping right of the rib.

Steve Crowe, solo   15th August 1996


81. Cooling Down   4m   4c

The blunt arête/rib just right of the shallow scoop.

Steve Crowe, solo   15th August 1996



82. Absolute Zero   3m   4b

The final short scoop, without bridging onto the boulder behind.

Steve Crowe, solo   15th August 1996




More details regarding the bouldering at this venue at betaguides.co.uk


Full details in the

North East England Guide


Return to top of page

Return to Home Page