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OS Landranger Sheet:   94

Map Reference: NZ662020

Aspect: West

Altitude: 310m

Approach: 25 minutes

Mini Guide: Esklets Mini Guide (PDF)



Esklets                                                                                Photo Steve Crowe


Situation and Character 

This compact sandstone outcrop is situated at the head of Westerdale and offers a pleasant day’s climbing in a quiet and attractive valley. Routes have been recorded on a buttress about 200m left of the main crag near the fence but the best climbing is to be found on the main crag. Generally the rock is weathered and solid, but due to its lack of regular traffic there are still some doubtful blocks, which require care. The finishes to some climbs are dirty and it may be wise to check them out before embarking on anything too testing.



Dave Pearson and John Biggins visited the crag prior to 1959. Crag End Wall, Bulging Wall, Holly Tree Wall, Dwarf’s Ear, Giant’s Ear, Green Chimney, and Green Slab, Left Unconquerable, Right Unconquerable, Deception Chimney and the Esklets Eliminate were all by Dave Pearson, and Easy Chimney was climbed by John Biggins. Green Slab’s Crack was also climbed at this time by persons unknown. No further activity was reported until 1976 when Tony Marr, Andrew Webb and Ken Jackson dispensed with the aid peg on Esklets Eliminate. Once again interest in the crag waned, but in 1980 the routes of Eskapade and Eskalation were added but the names of their first ascentionists are again unknown. Ian Dunn and Steve Tate made a visit in 1983 to climb the testing Slip and Fly and finally Steve Crowe recorded the eliminate Eskhew during a short editorial visit in April 1996.


Access and Approaches

From the A19, follow the A174(T) then the A173 to Guisborough. Take the bypass towards Whitby and turn right after Lockwood Beck Reservoir to Castleton. Continue south up Castleton Rigg to Ralph's Cross(NZ676020).Take the unclassified road NW towards Westerdale and park at at a green barrier on the left hand side of the road (NZ666045), approximately 1.5 miles north of Ralph’s Crosses when heading towards Westerdale. There is room to carefully park several cars on the grass verge. Walk down the very well made “shooters’ road” SSW initially, cutting through the attractive Clough Gill and on to the northern end of Esklets Crag after approximately 2km. It is also possible to approach the crag from Waites House Farm along a public right of way in the Esk Valley. The crag lies on prime grouse moor, dogs are not allowed and large groups are to be discouraged. There have been access problems with this crag and it would be useful to report any difficulties to the BMC.


Crag End Buttress

The left end of the crag offers some easy possibilities up broken rock on a northwest-facing slab. The first four routes are suffering somewhat from a lack of traffic. 


1. Crag End Wall   5m   VD

The climb lies on the wall immediately south of a tree. Ascend the steep wall on good holds. (A climb of similar standard can be made on the right hand side of the wall).

Dave Pearson. Prior to 1959.


2. Bulging Wall   5m   VD

Start 3m south east of Crag End Wall at a corner. Climb the wall bearing right at the first ledge.

Dave Pearson. Prior to 1959.


3. Easy Chimney   5m   D

The chimney 3m right of Bulging Wall.

J Biggin’s. Prior to 1959.


4. Holly Tree Wall   5m   D

Start 10m right of Easy Chimney. Climb the slabs to the holly tree and then traverse above the tree.

Dave Pearson. Prior to 1959.


Main Buttress

Esklets                                                                                Photo Steve Crowe


This buttress provides some fine climbs. The next two recorded routes are at the left end of the main west face. They follow two impressive flakes above a ledge at 2m, and are well named.


5. Eary Slab   MS

Climb the wall to the left of Dwarf's Ear. Poor finish.

Franco Cookson 2007


6. Dwarf's Ear   6m   S

Climb the left hand flake.

Dave Pearson. Prior to 1959.


7. Giants Ear   6m   S   *

The second flake is 2m right. Layback the outside of the flake in its entirety, or, more awkwardly but better protected, climb the groove formed by the flake.

Dave Pearson. Prior to 1959.


8. Eskapade   7m   HVS 5b

The groove 2m right of the Giant's Ear.



9. Eskalation   7m   E2 6a   *

Ascend the overhanging groove 2m of Eskapade.



10. Eskhew   7m   E1 5c   *     

The undercut left arête of Green Chimney can be climbed direct.

Steve Crowe. 16th April 1996.


11. Green Chimney   7m   VD

The chimney with dwarf oak at the top.

Dave Pearson. Prior to 1959


12. Green Slab   7m   HS   *

The wall 3m right of the chimney, climb just left of the crack with long reaches between surprisingly good holds to gain a good ledge 2m below the top. Finish up Green Chimney or Green Slab's Crack.

Dave Pearson. Prior to 1959.


13. Green Slab's Crack   7m   S

The crack immediately right of Green Slab.

Prior to 1959.


To the right is a pair of cracks offering two fine routes.


13a. Esk-Club 7   8m   HVS 5b
The wall left of Left Unconquerable starting at a flake to a mantelshelf.
Sam Marks solo 13/Jul/2012


14. Left Unconquerable   7m   HS 4b   *

Climb the crack passing a ledge.

Dave Pearson. Prior to 1959.


15. Esk Off   HVS 5a

Climb the wall to the right of 'Left Unconquerable'. An escape right at the final wall avoids a bad top. A flexible leg is useful.

Franco Cookson 2007   solo


16. Right Unconquerable   7m   VS 4c   **

The more strenuous right-hand crack.

Dave Pearson. Prior to 1959.


17. Communication Breakdown  VS 4c

Climb the wall to the right of 'Right Unconquerable'. Finish up the crack when the roof is uncounted. 
Franco Cookson 2007   solo


18. Deception Chimney   7m   D

The chimney 3m right of Right Unconquerable.

Dave Pearson. Prior to 1959.


19. The Wall Of Dooge   HVS 5a

Climb the wall right of Deception Chimney. Often Green.

Franco Cookson 2007   solo


20. Eskape 7m VD
Start up Waiting for an Alibi then traverse to the left when you reach the ledge. Continue up Deception Chimney.
Matthew Jones 3rd May 2009


The tops of the following new routes are "dodgy" due to heather etc.


21. Waiting for an Alibi   7m   HS 4b   *

Climb the twin cracks to finish direct. Caution as heather is dense at the top.

David Warburton & Franco Cookson 5/7/07

22. No More Heroes  
7m   VS 4c   **

Climb the corner crack to finish up the awkward groove.

Franco Cookson & David Warburton 5/7/07

23. Eskrement   E3 6a  *

A worthwhile eliminate. Climb the scoop via a slanted ledge, reach to the break and finish direct. Good Protection.
David Warburton & Nick Warburton 22/09/07

24. Slip and Fly   7m   E4 6b    *    

The wall 2m left of the impressive undercut arête at the right end of the main face, climb past an ancient peg of dubious worth. Interesting climbing especially for those of a shorter disposition!

Ian Dunn, Steve Tate.  Summer 1982


25. Esklets Eliminate   7m   HVS 5b   *

Start right of the impressive arête. Gain the nose then move left, continue up to the top.

FA Dave Pearson. Prior to 1959.  Peg for aid.

FFA    Tony Marr, Andrew Webb, Ken Jackson  7th June 1976

Esklets Eliminate   Photo (C) David Warburton


26. Dwarf's Ear to Esklets Eliminate Traverse   HVS 5b  **

The traverse contains some good climbing, with the undercut arêtes being the crux's. The Traverse can be cut short at the Arete at VS 4c**

Franco Cookson & David Warburton 5/7/07 probably done before but worthwhile.



Found across the gully to the right of the main buttress (looking towards the crag).

27. Eskrow   HVS 5c

Climb the left arete of Eskision. A good eliminate.

28. Eskision   HVS 5c

The clean wall just left of a tree (at the top of the crag) is climbed direct. Pleasant climbing but a hard landing.

29. Eskalator   HVS 5b

The enjoyable, short groove system.

30. Vinaig Arete   E2 5b   *

The sweet arete, is climbed with delicate tones leading to a herbal finish. A balsamic outing. Photo attached.




Vinaig Arête    Photo (C) David Warburton


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