Hagg Wood, Swaledale
This crag was previously recorded in North of England Rock Climbs by Stewart Wilson.
OS Landranger Sheet: 92
Approach: 10 minutes
The crag was first
developed in the early 1960s by members of the then fledgling Swaledale Outdoor
Club. The Cleveland MC also had a hand in further development in the 1970s,
with odd routes added in the following decade.
Situation and Character
In relative terms, this is
the major crag in Swaledale. Having stated that fact, the crag is north facing,
somewhat tree shrouded, and suffers from loose finishes on most of the climbs.
It is however fairly accessible from the A1 in the East, and may be worth a
visit in summer if you can stand the cloying smell of wild garlic! Local
climbers occasionally use this crag as an evening climbing venue.
Many of the routes are
overgrown and dirty, and only a selection of the better climbs is included here.
Abseil descents are recommended.
Access and Approaches
Take the A6108 out of
Richmond, and drive up Swaledale for about 2.5 miles. The crag stands above a
steep woody hillside, with a caravan site down on the right of the road.
Update "Due to a serious road accident the laybys by the old access path have been filled in. Park near the Caravan site entrance on the opposite side of the road where there is a quite large grassy "layby". The National Trust have put bright green marks on trees to show the line of a proposed path between the parking place and the West end of the crag which will become more obvious with use. To locate the green marks, head directly up the hillside for approximately 50m ,(from the Reeth end of the layby ), now continue upwards and leftwards and the luminous splashes/arrows should become visible. Continue through some spaced orange marker posts which contour the slope. The crag is some way further up and to the left."
The climbs are described from left to right.
1 Yankee Doodle 5m S
Climb the crack which starts at chest height. The finish is awkward.
2 Letter Box 6m VD
Climb the wider crack in the centre of the wall moving left to finish.
3 Littler Eliminate 6m S
Climb the wall just right of the central crack.
4 Minority 6m VD
Climb twin cracks towards the right-hand side of this first wall.
5 Pocket Hole
Corner 6m S
Climb the aręte to the right of Pocket Hole Corner, on a series of delectable finger pockets. Finish slightly right between two trees.
7 Garlic Groove 9m MVS 4b
Start just around the aręte. Climb the V-groove past a small tree with increasing difficulty.
8 Shield Groove 9m HS
Starts two metres further right below a large flake. Climb the groove to the large flake and continue up steep rocks to the top.
9 Perron 11m S
At the right-hand end of the wall is a chimney. Climb the thin just left of the chimney with difficulty to a ledge and sapling. Step left and climb the front of the buttress to a Yew and finish direct.
10 Swinging 8m D
Climb the chimney.
11 Crystals 11m S
Climb the wall just right of the chimney and move right at a steepening on pockets, to finish up a corner.
12 Cality 11m S
Climb the steep corner-crack to the right past a ledge at seven metres. A good climb.
13 Crastifit 11m VD
Starts three metres right at a chimney behind an Elder. Climb the chimney past chockstones. Step right at mid-height and finish on good holds.
14 Tower Traverse 15m VD
Starts behind a ‘tower’ at the foot of the crag. Climb the back of the tower, step onto the wall and follow a series of ledges leftwards to finish.
15 Dandelion Crack 12m VS
Start on the wall immediately behind the tower. Climb the left of two thin cracks to a small ledge. Continue up the crack past loose blocks to the top.
16 Babel 12m VS 4c
Climb the right-hand crack behind the tower to an awkward mantleshelf below an overhang. Move slightly right and finish up the V-groove of Barkad the rib to the left of this groove is slightly easier.
17 The Blade 14m HVS 5b
Three metres right of the tower is a thin crack. Climb this via a shallow cave and so to the top with difficulty.
18 Barkad 15m VS 4c
Starts at the right side of the wall. Follow pockets for 6 metres. Traverse left past a large thread to a cave. Climb up a steep little wall to a ledge and finish up the V-groove of Babel. A very minor classic.
19 Rack Crack 14m HS 4b *
Climb the prominent, straight off-width crack just to the right.
At the right hand end of this wall is a prominent chimney with a horrifying-looking finish. This is Limbo.
20 Holy Moses 15m VS 4c *
Start at a crack 3 metres left of the chimney and climb it to a small sapling. Move up and delicately left round a bulge and into a slight depression. Climb to a small ledge with difficulty and traverse into a crack, following this to the top.
21 Holy Moses Direct 14m HVS 5a *
Better than the original. Start up the thin crack to the left of the original and join Holy Moses at the slight depression. Move up to the ledge and finish straight up the wall above, moving slightly left at the top.
22 Limbo 17m VS 4b
Climb the prominent, deep chimney, into and out of a cave. Finish left at a prominent Beech. Much better than it looks.
23 Dust and Tears 17m E3 5b *
Accepts the challenge of the friable, red aręte to the right of Limbo. A serious climb with sparse and suspect protection. Scramble up to the ledge at the base of the aręte. Pull over the overlap on pockets and go left to a good hold (small wire placement) and a semi-rest. Move back right to climb the final, steep groove to a Yew.
24 The Criminals 15m HVS 4c
Start right of the red aręte in the middle of the next wall and follow the shallow groove via a crack until a bulge can be ascended. Move rightwards and up to a small Yew. Move rightwards into a corner and follow this to the top. A serious climb.
25 Cleavage 14m MVS 4b
A good route up the obvious corner. To the right of this corner a large block lies below the crag marking the starts of the next two routes.
26 Dry Grasp 14m HVS 5a
Start to the left of Slow Drifter below a fierce, undercut crack. Climb this and the scoop above to below a groove (thread runner). Climb the groove moving right near the top to finish up Slow Drifter.
27 Slow Drifter 14m VS 4c
Starts at a steep crack above the big block just right of the undercut crack. Climb the steep crack to a large, dangerous flake. Bear left past a small tree to finish.
28 Ginger Crack 14m HVD
Climb the corner crack to the right with care.
29 Acid Head 15m VS 4c
Start below the next corner which has a fine crack with a pronounced bulge. Climb this with some difficulty.
30 Jubilee 14m VS 4c
Start below the left side of the next wall on the right. Climb the wall until a line of pockets leads diagonally right above the bulge. Finish directly up the front of the buttress to the tree.
31 Cats Cradle 15m HS
Climb the initial wall of jubilee to a ledge. Traverse right using holds over the bulge (thread) to reach a tree. Finish directly up the groove above.
32 Catwalk 14m VS 4b
Start at a shallow groove just right of the previous climb. Climb the groove past a bulge. Trend right to small trees and finish up the aręte on the left.
33 Crows Nest 14m VD
To the right of the wall is a slender pinnacle in a corner. Enter the chimney behind the pinnacle from the left wall, passing a small tree. Continue to a vegetated finish.
34 Caw 14m VD
Climb the crack on the right side of the pinnacle.
To the right of the pinnacle is a large Elm below a groove.
35 Rookery 12m S
Climb the rib on the left of the groove to a loose block. Step off the block and traverse leftwards to the top of Crows Nest.
36 Midnight Groove 14m HS
Climb the groove behind the Elm and the continuation crack. Climb the overhang with help from a good handhold and finish above.
The big wall to the right of the Elm host some fine climbs.
37 Twilight Crack 15m E1 5b *
Start below the superb finger crack on the left side of the big wall.
Climb up to the start of the crack and climb it with difficulty to a niche. Move rightwards and climb over a block to finish above.
Direct Finish E2 5b
A much better finish is to climb straight up the Hanging groove above the niche. This produces a superb climb.
To the right of the start of Twilight Crack is an easier line up a series of dangerous flakes. This is not recommended.
38 Twilight Groove 15m HVS 5a *
Starts in the centre of the big wall at a shallow chimney/groove. Climb the groove to a small cave. Climb the steep wall on the left and surmount a bulge on doubtful blocks. Move up and left or right to a sapling to finish.
39 D-Rider 15m E2 5c **
A good sustained route up the groove and wall to the right of Twilight Groove. Make a difficult pull around a small overhang and move left to a ledge. Climb the groove on the right to the second horizontal break. Step right onto a small ledge and before courage runs out, climb the wall above to give an exciting finish.
To the right the very big corner is:
40 Cobs Corner 14m S
Climb the corner to a dirty finish.
41 Claim to Fame 14m S
Climb the fine crack in the right wall of Cobs Corner and finish as for the latter.
42 Cob Piece 14m MS
Start below the aręte to the right of Claim to Fame. Climb the wall using holds on the aręte. Finish as or Cobs Corner.
43 Cobs 15m S
Climb the wide crack to the right of the aręte and finish as for the others.
The wall to the right has some of the longest climbs on the crag. This wall decreases in height until it meets the descent gully: the Rubbish Chute.
44 Tiny Dancer 19m VS 4b
Start just right of the crack of Cobs at a thin crack. Climb the thin crack to the top of a large flake. Move up for three metres and step right to a Yew. Finish up the easier groove above.
45 Razor Face 19m VS 4c *
Starts below a thin crack leading to a point just right of a Yew growing out of the face. Climb the crack with difficulty, struggle through the Yew and saunter up the groove. A good effort.
46 Indian Sunset 19m VS 4c *
An attractive climb which follows the groove above a large, reclining tree. Climb the groove past a large thread on the left. A committing move is needed to reach a crack leading to a ledge and tree. Finish up the corner above.
47 Levon 14m VS 4c *
Start just right of the groove of Indian Sunset below a crack. Climb the crack which is followed by some thin climbing up steep rocks to a ledge. Step right to finish.
The Rubbish Chute; a deep, muddy gully blocked by a rock step is some fifteen metres further right. The crag continues in a vegetated state and the next climbs are on the cleaner wall to the left of the Rubbish Chute.
48 Kimney 15m VD
Start six metres left of the Rubbish Chute below a shallow chimney which does not quite reach the ground. Climb the chimney. Care with loose rock.
49 Work Out 14m S *
Start just left of the Rubbish Chute below two shallow corners, both of which fail to reach the ground. Climb the left-hand of the two corners.
To the right of the Rubbish Chute is a fine, isolated buttress which continues rightwards is a line of walls and corners gradually diminishing in stature.
50 The Rose and the Ramson 13m E1 5b
Start just left of the toe of the buttress below the overhanging slim face. Climb the slim face to a cluster of pockets. Move up with difficulty past a tiny pocket to a break (runner). Move up onto the aręte with difficulty. Continue up the aręte overlooking the Rubbish Chute to the top. Care with holds at top.
51 Karumba 15m HVS 4c
Start at the toe of the buttress. Move diagonally rightwards to a small tree. Move diagonally leftwards and climb the front face of the buttress just right of the aręte with a paucity of both footholds and protection to a large tree.
52 Only a Rose 13m VS 4c
Another good climb, but take your pruning knife. Start to the left of the fallen block directly below a fine, thin crack which splits the upper wall. Climb the steep face to the small tree. Continue with difficulty up the thin crack.
Lamumha Finish HVS 5b
A good steep finish. Climb the wall just right of the thin crack past a peg runner. The steep wall to the right has another peg in it this marks the line of Just a Carrot.
53 Just a Carrot 15m E2 6a
A strenuous climb that has become dirty. Climb the wall to the right of Only a Rose trending right slightly to the first horizontal break (peg runner). Make a long reach off a pocket and under cling (or if short, jump!) for the second break. Move left and make a final hard move to the top.
To the right of the isolated buttress is a corner.
54 Stinger 15m S
Climb the corner and after four metres quit this for the aręte on the right to reach the top.
55 Intruder 14m S
A dangerous route on account of loose rock. Start 4m right of Stinger below another corner. Climb the corner via a bulge which has large holds.
56 Criminal Infusion 15m E2 5b
Takes the sustained and poorly protected wall to the left of the block-filled chimney — The Gallows. Climb straight up the centre of the wall following shallow grooves to gain a sloping ledge with difficulty. Move left around a block and go directly up the right-hand break in the overhanging wall.
57 The Gallows 15m S
Hanging death! Climb the block-filled chimney on the right passing a bulge. The exit on the right is easier but very dangerous on account of stacked blocks so exit left. A route to avoid.
58 The Happy Wanderer 17m S
Start below a tall pillar a few metres right of the chimney. Climb the crack to the left of the pillar and from the top move left under the overhang and climb up a corner. Step right and finish up a slab.
60 Girdle Traverse HVS 4c/5a
A poor left to right girdle traverse exists which can be varied at many points. It is spoilt by much wandering and is not recommended. Start at Pocket Hole Corner.
1 Climb Pocket Hole Corner and step right at mid-height. Move right and descend Garlic Groove until a flake can be reached by some upward moves. Continue to the wide chimney of Swinging and move around the corner. Traverse into another corner of Cality and ascend this for a short distance before moving right to a small ledge and peg belay (not in place).
2 Traverse right passing a series of shallow caves to reach the off-width crack-Rack Crack. Move diagonally downwards (Holy Moses reversed) to reach the foot of the big chimney of Limbo.
3 Traverse around the corner and reach and follow the shallow groove of Criminals. Climb this route almost to its top and move right past a small tree into the corner of Cleavage. Continue at this level to the next corner and belay (Ginger Crack).
4 Descend Ginger Crack to a ledge and tree near the bottom. Move around the corner and climb the wall diagonally rightwards to a small tree. Continue to a stance and belay by a large pinnacle in the corner.
5 Traverse right across the wall and swing into a groove with a large tree at the bottom — Midnight Groove. Continue right across the big wall and finish up Twilight Groove.