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Earthwork Rocks


OS Sheet 93

Map Reference NZ577021
Aspect West
Altitude 350m
Approach time 30 minutes

Situation and Character
The rocks are situated just west of the track following the prehistoric earthwork on the west side of Urra Moor, south of the stream leading to Cowkill Well, where the track starts to turn south from west. The rocks are in a fine isolated position with superb views and catch the afternoon and evening sun.

The main buttress of the rocks is well known but there are no known records of climbing there. Frank Fitzgerald visited the rocks early in April 1997, soloed a number of routes and noted the possibilities on the smaller buttresses to the left of the main one. He returned later with Tony Marr and Mike Tooke. Steve Crowe climbed a number of short lines in 2000 then returned with Karin Magog in 2002 to add the impressive Red and White and the hard Under the Arch while checking the crag for inclusion in this guide.

Access and Approaches
The best approach, as parking is easier, is from Clay Bank Top by following the Cleveland Way path to the final gate giving way to the moor top then turning south to follow the earthwork path. The top of the main buttress is visible as a large flat boulder on the edge of the escarpment twenty or thirty yards right of the path. 30 minutes from car to crag. A shorter alternative approach is via the path from Urra and turning north on the earthwork path, however parking is more difficult in Urra.

The Climbs
The main buttress is split by a recess and below it broken rocks lead down to the lower slab, itself a very large boulder embedded in the hillside. To the left is first, Arch Buttress and then, a few yards further left, are the Red Corners. The climbs are described from right to left.

Mini Guide: Earthwork Rocks Mini Guide (PDF)

The Main Buttress

1. Entropy 3m S
Climb the right hand edge of the outside face.
Frank Fitzgerald, solo 2nd April 1997

2. Nice Work 3m VS 5a *
Climb direct the smooth outside face of the buttress right of the very large letterbox.
Tony Marr, solo 20th April 1997

3. Work Work Work 3m HVS 5b
Climb the smooth outside face of the buttress by the aręte left of the very large letterbox.
Steve Crowe solo 8th August 2000

4. Worked Out 2m S
Climb the green wall on the right side of the gap.
Steve Crowe solo 29th June 2002

5. Easy Work 5m VD **
Climb the steep little wall to the large ledge making best use of the ironstone pockets, move right and finish up the deep hanging crack.
Mike Tooke, Frank Fitzgerald 20th April 1997

6. Hard Work 5m VS 4b *
Climb the short crack to the large ledge and finish directly up the overhanging nose.
Tony Marr, Frank Fitzgerald 20th April 1997

7. No Work 2m S
Climb the pocketed wall left of Hard Work.
Steve Crowe solo 29th June 2002

Directly below Main Buttress is…

The Lower Slab
The easy angled slab is particularly smooth.

8. Outside Right 3m VD
Start at the excrescences about a metre in from the right hand edge of the slab but move to the right hand edge and follow it to the top.
Frank Fitzgerald, solo 2nd April 1997

9. Inside Right 3m D
Start from the same point and climb directly upward.
Frank Fitzgerald, solo 2nd April 1997

9a. Lower Slab Direct 5m S 4b
Climb the centre of the slab, starting at a good high right hand hold.
Jamie Moss, solo 18th July 2004

Arch Buttress

10. Archway 3m V2 5b *
Climb the impressive scoop on the right edge of the buttress finishing slightly right.
Steve Crowe solo 8th August 2000

11. The Arch 3m V2 5c *
Start up the impressive scoop then climb delicately left across the slab to gain a powerful finish over the roof.
Steve Crowe solo 29th June 2002

12. Under The Arch 3m V3 6a **
Make thin moves up the slab to gain the powerful finish over the roof direct. Brilliant.
Karin Magog, Steve Crowe both solo 29th June 2002

13. Arch Rivals 3m V0 5a *
Start just right of the block and climb the blunt aręte.
Tony Marr solo May 1997

The final cluster of good problems, with a reasonable landing are to the left.

The Red Corners

14. Red Wall 3m V0 5a
Climb the aręte direct, or more easily, start up the wall slightly to the right.
Steve Crowe solo 8th August 2000

Just left of the short dirty corner is…

15. Slab of Redness 3m V0 5a
The next aręte can be climbed on the slabby side.
Steve Crowe solo 8th August 2000

16. Red and White 4m V3 6a **
The impressive third aręte can be climbed mainly on the right, with a hard move to gain the top.
Steve Crowe, Karin Magog both solo 29th June 2002

17. Red Aręte 4m V0 5a
Follow the left most aręte to the top.
Steve Crowe solo 8th August 2000


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


Jamie Moss soloing

Lower Slab Direct






Hardwork31LQ.jpg (90601 bytes)

Steve Crowe soloing Hard Work VS 4b


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Karin Magog on the first ascent of the thin and fingery Under the Arch 6a


TheArchSteve1LQ.JPG (68827 bytes)

Steve Crowe soloing The Arch 5c


RedandWhitekarin5-forweb.jpg (38362 bytes)

Karin on Red and White 6a


SlabofRedness-forweb.jpg (23526 bytes)

Slab of Redness 


Full details in the

North East England Guide


Cambo Buttress is nearby

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