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





Cringle Crag


OS Landranger Sheet: 94        

Map Reference: NZ538033

Aspect: North

Altitude: 350m

Approach: 30 minutes

Mini Guide: Cringle Crag Mini Guide (PDF)



Cringle Crag                                                             Photo: Franco Cookson


Situation and Character 

The crag lies on the northern flank of Cringle Moor overlooking the small village of Kirby. From a distance the crag is not easy to recognise as the hillside has numerous rocky outcrops, on closer inspection however the crags impressive jutting overhangs make further description unnecessary. The outcrop is unfortunately slow drying and it is not unusual to encounter some seepage on climbs in the central area. The rock is usually of reasonable quality but some climbs have bands of softer sandstone that requires care. Belays can be difficult to arrange and in some cases it is safest to belay using an extra rope from the outcrops above.


Access and Approaches

The best approach is made by turning off the Al72 between Stokesley and Swainby to the village of Carlton. Pass through the village and take the road toward Chop Gate. From the summit of Carlton Bank, continue for a further 300m to park near to the Lord Stones Café. Walk east along the Cleveland Way path but instead of taking the track that leads to the summit of Cringle Moor follow the path that contours around the north side. After about 1.5km the crag can be seen, situated left of centre, on the hills concave northern face, approximately 100m below the summit.


The Climbs

Several of the climbs to the right of Wedge Route are currently [December 2002] very dirty, and will require some cleaning prior to an ascent.        

Note: Any insitu gear probably dates from the first ascent and should be treated with great care.



Situated about 50m above and to the left of the main outcrop.


1. Sloper   13m   VS 4c

Start in the corner under the overhang. Climb the crack to the roof then hand traverse left and up to the top. Strenuous.

Humble brothers 1963.


2. Amigos    7m   HVS 5c

The obvious crack splitting the overhang on the left side of the prominent nose. To finish traverse left at a grassy ledge.

Steve Brown, Dave Paul. Early 1980s.


Immediately to the left of the main crag and separated by a grassy gully is a small steep buttress.


3. El Spiderman   12m   E1 5b

Start at the toe of the buttress below a groove. Climb the groove then swing out left up the wall and shallow corner to finish. Good, bold climbing.

Dave Paul, Steve Brown. Early 1980s.


4. Walk On By   12m   VS 4c

The wide groove and crack on the right of the buttress.






Right of the grassy gully lies the main buttress.


4a. Up from the Skies   17m   E4 6b
The wall and large roof left of El Lawrence. Good wires in fossilised slot midway across roof. Good, strenuous climbing.
Dave Paul, second did not follow 1981. Led after top-rope practice and with a back-rope to avoid swinging down into the wall.

5. El Lawrence   15m   E3 5c

Begin 5m right of the gully at the obvious groove capped by a roof. Climb this [peg runners], turning the roof on the right. Good climbing.

Derrick Van Meerbeeck, A Brewer September 1965. Originally climbed with several pegs for aid [A1 Severe].

First Free Ascent:  Alan Moss, Kelvin Neal 25th August 1981


6. Cosmic Wipeout    20m   HVS 5a

Start immediately right of El Lawrence and climb the wall to the break. Traverse right and finish as for Cosmic Debris.



7. The Voice   18m   E1 5b

Climb the wall just right of the arête, then either left and up El Lawrence, or right and up Cosmic Debris. An interesting problem.



8. Cosmic Debris   17m   VS 5a

Climbs the obvious corner in the middle of the crag. Starts 3m right of The Voice at the left side of the alcove. Climb the corner, continue up a crack to a small overhang, turn this on the left, then straight up to finish.

Paul Ingham, Alan Taylor  22nd September 1979.


9. Terry’s Dilemma   30m   E3 5c  Recent rock fall here!

Climb the initial corner of Cosmic Debris (Severe), step right and follow the crack and hanging groove through the overhang, via good, small Friends. It may be a good Idea to pre-place a lower off as the top gully is sketchy!
Terry Sullivan and party December 1963. The weather was appalling, thick wet mist, and icy cold. Sullivan sauntered up to the easy corner exchanging light-hearted banter with his team. At the roof his first peg was hammered home to a solid ringing tone. The foot loops were quickly attached and Sullivan swung onto the peg……ping!, the peg came out and he plummeted several metres to the ground landing with a sickening THUD. Amongst a tangle of ropes and bodies the misty atmosphere turned blue with expletives as Sullivan emerged muddy but unhurt. A short rest (and more expletives) followed, but once composed he quickly retraced his steps, replaced the peg and carefully tested it, then continued to make a flawless ascent without further incident.       

FFA Franco Cookson, Dave Warburton 28/09/2008


The next route free climbs the largest horizontal roof [4m+] in Cleveland, using a combination of jams, undercuts and layaways. The climbing is superb and unique in the region.


10. Wedge Route   18m    E4 6a *  Recent rock fall here!

Start at the right hand corner of the alcove. Climb the easy corner to the roof. Gain the roof crack [the start is usually damp] then follow this rightwards to the lip. Finish via the obvious crack system. Strenuous climbing with mind boggling positions.

Derrick Van Meerbeeck and party 1963. Originally climbed as an aid route using home made wood wedges [A2 Severe]

First Free Ascent:  Paul Ingham, Tony Marr 29th.September 1979. The old wedges had been removed from the route a few weeks earlier but the team had to postpone their attempt until the roof crack had dried. The weather was superb that September, even so the crack at the start of the roof was still greasy and proved to be the crux. The route was graded in typical Ingham fashion,  “its only 5c, and I suppose it just deserves extreme.” The boys were obviously climbing well that day!   


11. Direct Route    18m   A3

Start 4m to the right of the last route. Climb the wall to the overhang then follow the thin crack across the roof (3 pegs). Escape up the final wall (2 bolts).

Chris Woodall and party New Years Day 1964. Ascended in snowy conditions (ideal for clearing a hangover).

Franco Cookson bouldering out the start to Direct Route.  Photo: Dave Warburton


12. Last of a Dying Breed   18m   E2 5c

Start just right of the huge roof of Direct Route below a sandy corner. Make a difficult move to start, and then climb to a rest place below the roof. Climb over the roof and up the groove and crack above. Good climbing.

Dave Paul, Steve Brown early 1980’s.


13. Every Step of the Way   18m   E3 5c

Start 5m right of Last of a Dying Breed, below an obvious groove. Climb up the groove for 10m. to an obvious sandy ledge [loose flake]. Traverse right beneath the overhangs to a scoop. Swing right on to the arête and up a short groove to the top. Bold.

Dave Paul, Steve Brown early 1980’s.


14. Crowmagnon   40m   E3 5c

The girdle traverse of the crag with some good situations and bold climbing. Start at a shallow corner 3m to the left of El Lawrence.

1. 28m. 5c.  Climb the shallow corner and sloping groove above [peg runner] to gain a ledge on the right, [peg runner]. Hand traverse the lip of the roof to gain El Lawrence [peg runner]. Move right to bolts, continue right again over grass to Terry’s Dilemma, traverse the wall descending slightly, swing around the arête into Wedge Route. Belay.

2. 12m. 5c.  Climb down rightwards across the green slab to gain ledges. From the right end of the ledges, step down, continue the traverse, feet on top ledge, to gain a shallow groove. Climb the groove to a bolt belay (in situ).

Kelvin Neal, Alan Moss, Nick Dixon, early 1980’s.



The right outcrop is 35m higher on the right of the main outcrop.

Note: The ground beneath the following climbs tends to be normally wet / boggy!


15. Humble Crack   8m   E3 5c

Climbs the obvious curving crack with an undercut base. A rest can be taken on the ledge on the right side of the arête.

Humble brothers 1963.  Originally climbed with several points of aid [A1, V.S].

First Free Ascent, Paul Ingham September 1979.


16. Hank’s Route   8m   HVS 5a

The obvious corner groove 3m right of Humble Crack.

Paul Ingham, Alan Taylor September 1979.


Across the gully to the right of Hank’s Route is a slabby wall.


17. Darlo Special   7m   HS 4b

Climbs the slabby wall via a crack. Pleasant climbing, but no belay.



On the opposite side of the gully to Humble crack lies a steep wall with an obvious pocket....


18. Tell Chris Craggs Nowt   HVS 5b   *
Climb the wall via the pocket. Technical moves soon lead to an exposed, but easier finish.
Franco Cookson and Dave Warburton, both onsight Solo. 28/09/2008

Franco Cookson on the first ascent of Tell Chris Craggs Nowt. © Dave Warburton



Full details in the

North East England Guide



Return to top of page

Return to Home Page