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OS Landranger Sheet: 94       

Map Reference: NZ730068

Aspect: North

Altitude: 220m

Approach: 15 minutes

Mini Guide: Danby Mini Guide (PDF)


John Jackson and Terry Sullivan who climbed Valiant and Vulcan pioneered the cragís development, but it then lay dormant for many years. An extremely strong team of raiders consisting of; Hugh Banner, George Mitcheson, Bob Hutchinson, John Earl, Tim Edmundson, Dennis Lee, Ian Cranston, Dave Ladkin and Mick Foggon, all members of the Northumbrian Mountaineering Club, made a number of visits during 1974 climbing twenty new routes, among them George Mitchesonís, Osiris and Hugh Bannerís Isis. After a gap of 35 years Franco Cookson and Dave Warburton added some of the hardest routes on the crag to date including The Hypocrisy Of Moose, The Otter Wilderness Route, The Polish Diplomat and Die by the Sword.

Situation and Character
The crag generally faces north, north west and the area below the crag is thickly wooded. The western end of the escarpment enjoys the most open aspect. The traverse along the bottom of the crag involves negotiating an area of large fallen blocks, and care should be taken.

Access and Approaches
Proceed about a mile beyond Danby on the road to Lealholm. Follow signs towards Fryup until a sharp bend is reached below Head House. The path leads past Head House and along the top of the crag. The crag occupies the escarpment in the woods above the farm. From this point, the crag runs towards the east for about half a mile; the extreme west corner is joined to the main rocks by a narrow band of broken rock.

After discussions with the land owner the following has been agreed; No climbing between 1st November & 31st May.
Between 1st June & 31st October only climbers who are members of the BMC or affiliated to it may use this crag. (This is the landownerís request for insurance purposes).
All climbers before visiting or arranging a meets programme must contact Peter Snaith tel:01287 660224,  to check that shooting is not taking place.

Up to 3 cars can be parked at the bend on the minor road at GR739068, otherwise park just inside the gate of the track leading up to Head House farm. Approach the crag on the bridleway & cross the wall by the stile above the crag.

The Climbs
The routes are described from right to left.

North West Buttress
The popular west facing buttress at the far end of the escarpment overlooking Danby Village.

1. Castle Chimney 10m D *
Start at the right edge of the buttress. Climb the chimney over wedged blocks.


2. Castle Ridge 10m MVS 4b **
3m left of Castle Chimney is a wall. Climb to a horizontal crack and continue up the ridge above. Poorly protected until after the hard climbing.

Mussel Memory 10m   VS 4c   **
2m left of Castle Ridge, up the left arÍte by laybacks to the horizontal break, straight up front of buttress to a flake hold finish
Simon Hirst and Jim Skelton 08 July 2014

3. Mood Indigo 10m VD **
Start round the corner 7m left of the last climb. Climb the groove, moving left up a shallow chimney, or (better) the short rib on the right of the chimney, directly above the initial groove.

3a. Dreamy Blues VD 4a **
Climb the crack to a ledge. Finish up a short slab immediately to the right of a stunted birch with a large trunk.

4. Broken Chimney 10m D
Start 2m left of Mood Indigo, at the lowest point of the buttress. Climb the left bulge direct to finish up the chimney.

5. Birch Crack 7m VD
Climb the crack with a birch in it 3m, left of the last climb.

A girdle traverse can be made of the North West Buttress at VD. Start as for Castle Ridge and finish up Birch Crack. 40m to the left of Birch Crack is a broken face of rocks. There are several climbs recorded here.

6. Bracken Corner 7m D
Start to the right of a projection. Scrambling leads to a ledge occupied by a large clump of bracken. Climb the slanting crack on the left wall.

7. Genevieve 7m D
Start 2m left of Bracken Corner. Climb to a recess and finish either side of a u-shaped tree.

8. Wraith 7m VD
Start as for Genevieve. Finish up narrow slab.

9. Phantom 7m D
Start 5m left of Genevieve. Enter a cave and squirm up the back until it is possible to emerge onto the face.

10. Twisting Chimney 7m VD
Start 2m left of Phantom. From a large block step right onto the buttress and climb direct to the top.

50m left brings one to a ravine.

The Ravine
About 10m inside the right-hand entrance to the ravine is:

11. Chocolate Moose E4 6b (Font 6c+) **
A very fingery highball arÍte with tenuous laybacking low down and brilliant moves high up. Perhaps possible to highball with enough mats and spotters.
Franco Cookson Solo

12. Palma Ham E2 6b (Font 6c)
Climb the large undercut boulder opposite Chocolate Moose. Make a hard leftwards rockover onto the slab, utilising a flake for hands, then pad to the top.

13. Vulcan 8m VS 4c
Start right of a leaning heap of boulders. Climb the impressive corner crack.
John Jackson and Terry Sullivan

14. Grasshopper 8m D
Climbs a grassy crack just left of Vulcan.

15. Thrutch 8m S
Climb the crack in a corner, 3m left of Vulcan.


15a. The Breaking Wheel E5 6c
The hairline crack right of Nemesis, with surprisingly hard and dynamic moves gaining the shelf.
Franco Cookson, Dave Warburton, Sam Marks, Mathew Ferrier (Ground Up) 21/Jul/2013

16. Nemesis 10m VS 4c
Start at the corner left of Thrutch. Climb the left side of the arÍte until it is possible to gain a small corner on the arÍte up which the climb finishes.

17. Creeper Wall 13m VD **
Start in a hollow at the lowest part of the ravine. (An alternative start climbs up a mossy wall by a flake 2m to the right.) Climb the angled crack to a stance and follow more broken rocks to the top.


17a. Pearl Jam  13m   S 4b   *
Start up Creeper Wall, until standing on jammed flake and then reach across right to enter perfect hand to fist crack. Continue straight up to top out.
Simon Hirst and Jim Skelton 19th July 2014

18. Little Greenhopper 8m VD
Start 5m left of Creeper Wall. Climb the short crack and then the groove passing a holly tree to the top.
Dennis Lee 1974

The left entrance of the ravine is here and the first climb outside it is: -

19. Silo 10m HS 4b
Start 2m left of the last climb. Climb the obvious thin crack running up the wall. Escapable but good climbing, unfortunately overgrown.

20. Tendril 8m VD
Start to the right of a rib 7m left of the ravine. Climb a right facing corner crack.

21. Scrabble 7m VD
Start just left of Tendril. Climb the crack, tree and chimney.

Beacon Buttress
Across the grass rake stands this fine west-facing buttress with a holly tree springing from a ledge on the left. Is immediately below the large stile at the top of the crag.

22. Chimney and Wall 10m HS 4b **
Start from the right flank of Beacon Buttress at a small chimney. Climb the chimney to a wedged flake. Step left, gain a ledge and finish up a crack on the ridge.

22a. Psykovsky's Sequins H8/9 7a (E9/10 7a)
To the right of Valiant rears a blank wall. Climb this on littlefinger monos before a crux reflexing onto the vertical headwall above.
Franco Cookson, Sam Marks, Matt Ferrier, Jake Hampshire , Dave Warburton (Solo) 01/Aug/2013. Repeated by the lakeland master Dave Birkett (August 2013), who lathed an esoteric quasi-slider to fit in one of the holes. Thus offering a safe H8 7a.

22b. Dance The Trance H6 7a
Climb the wall right of Valiant to a shelf. From here contort out left to a ridiculous finish. The grade assumes use of Dave Birkett's special runner.
Franco Cookson (solo) 08/Aug/2013.

23. Valiant 10m VS 5a ***
The groove 3m left of Chimney and Wall. Surmount the bulge and climb the awkward groove above. A good climb.
John Jackson and Terry Sullivan

24. Beacon Groove 10m D
Start left of Valiant at an Ash and follow the groove to the top.

25. Sodom 10m S
Start left of Beacon Groove. Climb a steep crack and narrow chimney line.
John Earl, Bob Hutchinson February 1974

26. Gomorrah 10m S
Climb the fist-width crack just left of Sodom.
Bob Hutchinson, John Earl February 1974

27. Venom 12m S
Start below a holly tree 5m left of Beacon Groove. Climb the crack to the holly, which now looks very prickly! Continue up the crack on the left and ascend the overhang on the right.
John Earl, Bob Hutchinson 1974

28. Beacon Chimney 12m S
2m left of Venom. Climb to a recess, then the wall on the right to the chimney, which is followed to the top.

The Recess
The next two routes are on the back wall of the recess, bounding the right-hand side of Owl Buttress.

29. Ninevah 10m HS 4b
The corner crack can be extremely wet.
D Ladkin 1974

30. Babylon 10m S
The ramp which slopes left into the wide crack 3m left of Ninevah.
Bob Hutchinson, John Earl 1974

Twin ArÍtes Buttress
Attached to the right side of Owl Buttress, but a little taller. It has two prominent square-cut arÍtes.

31. Die By The Sword E7 6c *
A terrifying and extremely fingery ordeal up the vertical wall right of The Hypocrisy of Moose. A running belayer with gear in the crack at the bottom may protect.
Franco Cookson, Dave Warburton, Nick Warburton (headpoint) 14th September 2011

32. Bastile 8m HS 4b *
The corner crack on the flank of the buttress.

33. The Hypocrisy of Moose 10m E7/8 6c ***
Climb the magnificent blind arÍte to a good rest and adequate gear at half-height (tricams and RPs). Make further blind and harder moves to a good edge out left and then the worrying final moves. Superb.
Franco Cookson (Headpointed... like a Moose) 10/4/2010

34. The Otter Wilderness Route E5 6a/6b *
Follow the unclimbed right arÍte of the twin arÍtes buttress to the tricam at half height via difficult, but good moves. From here traverse left to the second arÍte to an easier but unprotected finish in a great position.
Franco Cookson 02/11/2009 - Soloed after shunting.

35. Howl Psyche E7 6b *
The direct start to the Otter Wilderness Route with a potential twenty metre fall. Climb through the roof using cunning or dynamics before anxiety hits and attain a standing position on a sloping shelf. Follow the sustained but easier Otter Wilderness Route.
Dave Warburton, Franco Cookson (Solo) 29/08/2011

36. The Battle For Tripoli E6 6a *
Another Danby horrorshow climbing the groove to the left of Howl Psyche to an unenviable position bridged out in the top of the groove. From here improvise a way rightwards on terrifying smears and gastons to finish up the top arÍte of Otter Wilderness Route.
Franco Cookson, Dave Warburton 29/08/2011

Owl Buttress
Really just the continuation of Twin ArÍtes Buttress but a little lower in height.

Most of Owl Buttress at Danby Crag has fallen down. All the routes from Pygmy to Owl Chimney have been lost.

37. Tawny Cracks 10m D
Start 3m in from the right-hand end of the buttress at an S-shaped crack. Climb this using the slab to aid progress.

38. Pygmy 10m VD
The crack and corner left of Tawny Cracks.

39. Portcullis 7m VS 5a
Start just left of Pygmy. Climb the wide crack set in a shallow corner.
Hugh Banner 1974

40. Turret Crack 8m VS 4c
The narrow ĎVí groove and jamming crack left of Portcullis.
Bob Hutchinson 1974

41. Battlement 8m S
The crack up the left side of Owl Buttress, alongside a pinnacle.

42. Snowy 8m D
Start at the foot of Owl Chimney. Climb the right wall; move right and then directly to the top.

43. Owl Chimney 7m D
The deeply cut cleft on the left flank of Owl Buttress. Enter the chimney and climb a crack on the right.

44. Southern Comfort 8m HS 4b
The steep corner 8m left of Owl Chimney.
John Earl 1974

45. Poseidon 8m HS 4b
Start 5m left of the last route. Climb a triangular slab and the narrow chimney above.
John Earl January 1974

46. Horus 8m HS 4b
A jamming crack formed by the right edge of a huge flake 2m left of Poseidon.
D Ladkin 1974

47. Set 8m MVS 4b
A crack on the left side of Horusí flake.
Hugh Banner 1974

48. Minute Man 8m HS 4b
Just to the left of Set. Climb a slab to an overhanging recess, which is quitted using a hold on the right arÍte.
Bob Hutchinson September 1974

49. Damp Squib 8m VD
Start 3m left of Minute Man. Climb to the right of an arÍte. Finish up a crack to a tree.
John Earl January 1974

The next route lies in the corner 10m left.

50. Roosevelt 8m VS 4c **
The obvious curving crack line and concave slab. Layback up the wide crack to good gear. Follow the slanting crack up the slab then make a tricky, but well protected step right to finish. A fine route, worth seeking out.
Hugh Banner 1974

Dave Warburton climbing Roosevelt

51. Winston 7m S
Climb the crack in the next prominent corner.
George Mitcheson January 1974

52. Stalin E3 5b **
Do battle with the steep offwidth crack behind the pinnacle, utilising holds on the left wall.
Dave Warburton, Nick Warburton, Franco Cookson 14th September 2011 "Huge cams will make this climb safe (and lower the grade!)"

53. Slime Crack 7m S
Start left of Winston and immediately right of a spring, which drips over the rocks. Climb the crack. Unpleasant.
Hugh Banner February 1974

Radar Buttress
Left of the watercourse, this buttress enjoys some of the longest routes at Danby.

54. Osiris 12m HVS 5a **
The crooked jamming crack up the front of the buttress is climbed. A sustained route.
George Mitcheson January 1974

55. Isis 12m HVS 5b *
Start 2m left of Osiris. A difficult finger crack running up the left, past a small tree, to the top of the buttress.
Hugh Banner January 1974

56. Gee 22m VS 4c
Start 3m in from the right of the buttress and about 10m from the spring. Climb a greasy corner for 8m to a grassy ledge. Continue up an open gully for 5m and enter the final groove, which leads to the top

57. Dewline 22m VS 4c
Start to the left of Gee. Climb the cleaned buttress by a thin crack in its nose to a grassy ledge. Climb the thin crack into the corner finishing to the right into Gee.

58. 7K 22m VS 4c
Start 3m left of Gee below a rowan tree. Climb straight up past the rowan to a grass ledge. Easy climbing leads to a ledge and a crack at its left end; climb this and the groove above to the top.

Polish Jungle
The Polish Jungle is a small bay reaching a height of around 8m. An easy descent can be made down a trail just to the east of the recorded routes, from which the arÍte of The Jungle Drum can be seen.

59. The Polish Diplomat 8m E5 6b
Start 2m right of the Jungle Drum and ascending the wall on positive edges. Arrange adequate gear in thin breaks before climbing via layaways and edges to the top, with a particularly hard final pull on a finger shredding edge.
Dave Warburton, Sam Marks, Franco Cookson 03/7/2011

60. The Jungle Drum 8m E4 6a **
The fine arÍte with gear at half height. A bouldery start is followed by a superb layback finish on natural flutings. Stake in place above.
Franco Cookson, Dave Warburton, Andrew Harvey 2/7/2011

Dave Warburton on The Jungle Drum

60a. King of the Swingers 8m HVS 5a *
Start at a small buttress of rock 8m left of Jungle Drum. Climb directly via two ledges to a protruding tree. Lasso this to protect the top.
Matthew Ferrier, Sam Marks, both led 27.05.12

Lost Buttresses
About 7m to the left of Radar Buttress is a gully/chimney containing a large protruding flake:

61. Aerial Gully 20m S
Climb steep and unprotected leaf mould and ferns for 10m to the foot of the gully proper, where the route starts. Climb for 5m to the protruding flake. Move up left until a step back right onto the flake can be made. Finish up a broken wall on the left. The route is almost good enough to cancel out the sheer horror of the approach... but not quite! 10m of good climbing but with a 10m thrash to get to the start.

62. Prickly Chimney 13m D
3m left of Aerial Gully, but at a higher level. Climb through the Holly to a chimney then up this. Unpleasant.

100m further left from
Prickly Chimney is a large, two-tier buttress with an overhanging chimney.

63. Outrigger 13m S
Climb the chimney.
Bob Hutchinson January 1974

Left of Outrigger lays a section of the crag attaining about 7m. Many lines are possible on here.

About 200m left of the last buttress is a buttress containing a wedge below a roof, above which grows a twisted oak. The following climbs start there.

64. Gardenerís World 10m VS 4c
Climb the corner beneath the roof. Exit left and climb up to the top.

65. Green Corner 10m S
Start just left of Gardenerís World. Climb the corner throughout.

66. Elder Groove 8m D
Start 7m left of Green Corner behind an Elderberry bush. Climb the groove.




Die By The Sword (H7 6c**), The White Scoop (E7 6b***) and Waves Of Inspiration (H7 7a***) from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.




Full details in the

North East England Guide


Danby Mini Guide (PDF)

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