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Crag Hill

OS Landranger Sheet: 92

Map Reference: NY995162

Aspect: South

Altitude: 306m

Approach Time: 2 minutes

Crag Hill Mini Guide (Acrobat Reader Required)


High Buttress, Crag Hill



Although there were signs of earlier activity, the first records of climbing on Crag Hill was by Steve Crowe, Karin Magog and Bob Bennett during 1996.  Further consolidation took place with a visit on 30 November 1996 when Andrew & John Earl, Tommy Smith, Michael and Mark Thomas returned with Karin Magog and Steve Crowe. Tom Newman and Ryan Plews added the Hidden Roof. Mark Buxton, Andrew Yeadon and Harry Roberts filled the many remaining gaps. Andrew Emery climbed Snakeshead and Mayday Mayday in 2014. (vimeo.com/97672825)


Situation and Character 

This small and accessible south-facing crag overlooks Deepdale and can be clearly seen just east of the minor road when travelling from Bowes to Cotherstone. Although the routes are short the landings are generally good and the crag is a useful evening venue.  


Access and Approaches

Driving from Bowes towards Cotherstone the boulders will soon be seen on the right.  Park in a lay-by on the right, just north of the red metal gate.


The farmer & his son has agreed to lift the ban on climbing on the following basis;

A 12 month trial period. (from August 2006)
No climbing between January & April inclusive [lambing period].
No groups under instruction.
Do not phone the farmer.
Remove all litter.
Strictly No Dogs.
Access only via bridleway at map reference NY993162 & then through gate with sign on in new fence.


"I have spoken to the farmer & he has agreed to extend access for another year as there have been no incidents.
However he still wishes to review the access agreement every year." Peter Hay BMC access officer 24 September 2007

From the gate the first rocks reached are small and form a tip for agricultural rubbish.  Heading for the next boulders the faint path leads above The Roadside Boulder.


The Climbs

The climbs are described from left to right.


Roadside Boulder

The three arÍtes on this boulder all prove interesting.


1. First Wall Font 3             

The wall left of the first impressive arÍte.


2. Roadside ArÍte  Font 6+  ***                   

Interesting moves follow the left arÍte through out. The sitting start is Font 6a.


3. Font 6a   **          

The line of pockets just right of the arÍte should lead to the short flake and then the top.


To the right is a smooth slab...


4. Impossible Slab Font 6a+  *            

Smear and slap on to the slab about 1m left of the crack. 


5. Easy Slab   Font 3             

The right most edge of the slab, without bridging beyond the crack.


6. Central Crack   Font 2

Climb the corner crack.


7. Central ArÍte   Font 6a+   **            

Start up the central arÍte, then move right at half height to gain a good ledge and then the top.


8. Font 6a  *          

The centre of the wall moving slightly right to finish.


9. Third ArÍte   Font 3+   *                 

The third arÍte provides a series of mantelshelf moves.


10. Font 2+

Layback the corner crack.


11. Font 1

The wall to the right.


About 50m are some  short walls containing some easier bouldering...


Short Walls

12. Square Roof   
Font 4 

Sit start under the roof at the far left of the buttress and lunge for the arÍte. 

Mark Buxton 26/6/07

13. Pointed Roof   
Font 3+

Sit start just to the right of the next scrappy corner. Finish via a crimp on the overlapping arÍte. 

Mark Buxton 26/6/07

14. Heather Band  
Font 3+

Sit start at the wall to the right and follow the line of a blind flake to a dyno past the heather band. 

Mark Buxton 15/6/08

15. Stepped Roof  
Font 4

Over the juggy stepped roof near the broken corner to the right. 

Mark Buxton 26/6/07

16. Midget ArÍte  
Font 3+

Sit start up the next small arÍte. 

Mark Buxton 26/6/07

17. Scoop  
Font 3+

Sit start on small boulder. Mantel into the scoop/corner to the right of the previous arÍte. 

Mark Buxton 15/6/08

18. Layback Corner  
Font 3+

Sit start. The small corner to the right. 

Mark Buxton  26/6/07

19. Curved Flake  
Font 4

Sit start with hands in the large break. Up via the curved, blind flake right of Layback Corner. 

Mark Buxton 15/6/08

20. Heather Corner  
Font 3+

Sit start. Layback the scrappy corner to the right. 

Mark Buxton 26/6/07

21. Short Wall Dyno  
Font 4

Right of Heather Corner are two low breaks. Sit start with hands in the upper break. Dyno for the top. 

Mark Buxton  15/6/08

Just between the short walls and the High Buttress is a buttress with a large ledge at waist height and an obvious undercut top.

22. Graham the Turtle
Font 4+
Climb onto the ledge then through the high point of the buttress the crux being a fingery pull over the top.

Andrew Yeadon 2009

Photo: Andrew Yeadon collection.


High Buttress

This is the highest buttress and the rock is impeccable.


Just right of the tiny 'gully' and left of the big crack is...

23  Gully Wall   Font 3+ 

Start on the wall to the left of the big crack. Fight past the heather to a good finishing crack. 

Mark Buxton 15/6/08

24. Chockstone Crack    Font 3             

The crack.


25.     Font  4             

The arÍte without using the crack to the left. The sitting start is a good test at 6a+.


25a. Rosemaries Wall   Font 5+
The wall just right avoiding the arÍte but using the crack on the right. 6b+ from SS.

26.     Font 4  **         

The corner/flake to the ledge, then the small flake to the top. Sitting start is 4+.


27.     Font 6a+             

From a sitting start climb the wall immediately right of the corner on slopers to the ledge.


28.     Pop   Font 7a   *            

From the poor sloper in the centre of the wall and tiny crimp for left hand pop to the ledge. 


29.     Font 6b+                             

Sitting start to sloper with LH continue slightly right to ledge.


30.     Font 4             

The arÍte.  A sitting start on thin flake/edge is 4+.


31.     Font 6a+                             

Low-level traverse on slopers from right to left.


32.     Font 6b+                             

A very low level traverse on slopers from right to left.


33.     V1 5b             

The wall just right of the arÍte via undercut pocket.


34.     VB 4c             

The crack in the wall.


35. Thin Crack   Font 3 

Up the crack from the low niche. 

Mark Buxton 15/6/08

36.     Font 3             

A left to right traverse finish up the right hand wall.


Between High Buttress and Roofers Buttress is a tiered overhang:

37. Pancake Overhang  
Font 4

Direct through the middle of the overhang. 

Mark Buxton 26/6/07

About 15m further east is the distinctive Roofers Buttress.


Hidden Roof

Hidden Roof Font 7A **
There is a hidden roof/cave somewhere below High Buttress but you can't spot it from above. Tom Newman and Ryan Plews have climbed a good problem that crosses the roof.
Tom Newman

Snakeshead Font 7A+/7B **
A right to left traverse the low roof on the hillside below the main area and between there and Hidden Roof. Start on the obvious triangular jug in the centre of the roof, slap out left to the lip and follow this lip around and up to top out at the flat top of the boulder. A great and pumpy traverse with a tricky start and a draining finish! (vimeo.com/97672825)

Andrew Emery May 2014


Roofers Buttress


38.     Font 3+             

Start beneath the bulge/overlap and climb it direct.


39.     Font 2+

The wall just left of the huge capping roof.


40. Left ArÍte Font 5+
From the ledge reach for a rounded hold on the arÍte and continue to the top.

Andrew Yeadon 2009


40a. Mayday Mayday 7A+/7B?
A dyno across the roof. Grab the poor crimp in the roof and jump for the lip of the boulder. Hold that wild swing! Hard to grade.
Andrew Emery May 2014


41.     Font 6a+   *           

Step off the boulder and tackle the hanging scoop. Serious.


42. Hanging ArÍte     Font 6c  **         

The hanging arÍte starting from the next boulder right.


43. Font 5+
From beneath the roof move left to gain and climb the hanging arÍte.

44. Font 2+
Across the central alcove and behind a small tree is a wall.

45. Ridgeway Font 4 **
The sharp arÍte direct. The SS is Font 6a.

46. Under the Eaves Font 4
Climb the corner then traverse left under the roof to finish on the top of Ridgeway.

47. On the Tiles Font 4+
Climb the centre of the roof to the right of the arÍte; pull over on a dubious flake.

48. Linkup Font 5+
SS up Ridgeway traverse the roof right to finish up On the Tiles.

Harry Roberts   September 2007.

A few metres further east is a broken buttress


Broken Buttress


49. Font 4             

The left arÍte in the back of the bay.


Scoop Buttress


50. The Edge Font 5+             

The short arÍte on the next boulder. The sitting start is 6a.


51. The Bulge Font 5+             

The bulge between the arÍte and the scoop, step off the block.


52. The Scoop Font 4+               

The easy looking scoop. The sitting start is 6c.


53. The Blank Slab Font 5+            

The slab immediately right of the scoop, start with undercut.


54. Font 6b+                             

Low-level traverse on crimps below the roof to finish up the left arÍte.

On the East side of Scoop Buttress:

55. Trench Ar
Íte  Font 3+

Sit start. The broken arÍte on the uphill side of the trench entrance. 

Mark Buxton 26/6/07

A few hard problems have been climbed below the main escarpment on some of the down slope boulders by Tom Newman and friends but I have no details to date.

About 100m east is an interesting arÍte (4c), on the right edge of a shattered buttress. Below Crag Hill Farm is an 8m high buttress with four good routes and a small cave at the top.  The farmer has requested that climbers avoid this buttress.



Full details in the

North East England Guide


Crag Hill Mini Guide (Acrobat Reader Required)

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