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Highcliff Nab

 

Highcliff Nab, North Face is a popular evening venue  Photo: Steve Crowe

 

OS Landranger Sheet: 93

Map Reference: NZ610138

Aspect: North Facing           

Altitude: 300m

Approach Time: 20 minutes

Mini Guide: Highcliff Nab Mini Guide (PDF)


History
As with many of the crags in this region Highcliff Nab has been climbed on for over seventy years. Unfortunately details of many first ascents even up to the present day remain remarkably sketchy. Much history and detail has been gleaned from new routes books, personal diaries and journals but there are still large gaps which hopefully will be filled one day.

The crag was first explored in the early 1930s when the Barker Brothers and their colleagues climbed most of the standard VDiffs and Severes. There were no further reports of activity until 1954 when D. Holliday made a bold and outstanding contribution with the superb
Scarecrow Crack. From 1956 until the mid 1960s artificial aid climbing was popular in the region with the leading exponent being Terry Sullivan. Sullivan climbed several aid routes on the crag, always during the winter months and often in wet and freezing conditions; there was never any attempt or intention to climb them free at that time. However, all of these aid routes were climbed free by the end of the 1970s. Les Brown flexed his extra long legs in 1966 when he eliminated the aid on Wombat, thus producing one of the best E1s on the crag. During the early seventies many new routes and free ascents were made, including Flange Crack by Hugh Banner, to be followed in 1977 by the impressive wall climbs, Trampled Underfoot and Rockhopper by Rick Graham and Dave McKinney. In 1978/79 Paul Ingham filled several gaps with some superb routes including Stargazer, Cyclops and Peeler. More recently, a number of significantly harder routes have appeared; notably Cardiac Arrest by Kelvin Neal, Moonflower by Dave Paul, and the hard and bold Magic in the Air by Nick Dixon. The most significant ascents of the 1990s were the bold solo of Original Sin and the free ascent of Quasimodo by Richard Waterton to give the utterly desperate Esmerelda. Franco Cookson left his mark in the summer of 2011 with a solo first ascent of Curious Intrigue.

Situation and Character
This prominent expanse of rock overlooks the market town of Guisborough and is clearly visible from Middlesbrough. The crag is principally north facing with a broken west face of softer sandstone. Whilst the west face has mostly disappointing routes, exceptions being North West Route and North West Direct, the North Face has some of the best routes in the North York Moors with Highcliff Crack, the distinctly challenging Scarecrow Crack and the bold Magic in the Air making this crag a must for every local climber. Although there are some belay stakes, finding suitable belays at the top of some routes on the West and North West Faces can be a problem, and it is worth checking before an ascent.

Following the recent tree felling around the crag the popular routes dry quickly after any rain. Unfortunately the many of routes beyond Wombat have seen very little traffic since they were first climbed in the 1970s and have returned to their original vegetated state. Those willing to expend time and energy recleaning these routes will not be disappointed as some are truly superb.
It is worth bringing along a good brush for these less popular routes especially early in the season.

Below the northwest arête of the Nab is an ideal picnic boulder with extensive views northwards over Teesmouth towards Hartlepool. This area of the crag is very popular with the local population and it is wise not to leave gear or sacks unattended.

Approaches and Access
From the south of the county, approaching from the A19 take the A172 to Stokesley then the A173 through Great Ayton towards Guisborough turning right through Hutton Gate and taking right turns to park at the end of the road in Hutton Village (NGR 603137)

The approach from the north is more complicated because the most obvious turning off the A174 is a limited interchange. From the A19 join the A174, exit at Marton and follow the signposts for Guisborough A172 (A171). A new road links the A171 with the A173 at Pinchinthorpe. Follow the A173 east for a short distance until the right turning into Hutton Gate is signposted. Drive through Hutton Gate to park at the end of the road in Hutton Village as described above. Walk up the forest track for about 300m, take a sharp left turn rising up for about 50m then flattening out. Contour around the hill through the forest ignoring a left fork that goes downhill and a right fork that goes uphill towards the farm. About 250m after the farm turning there are a series right turns in quick succession, take the second, which is a wide gravel track, and walk steeply up hill watching out for a small track on the left that leads to the foot of the west face of the crag! This approach takes 20 minutes.

For residents of Guisborough the shortest approach takes about 20 minutes up a steep and unrelenting hill. Park in Ilkley Grove or Goathland Grove and take the public footpath that leaves the housing estate between the two Groves. Ahead is a wooded hillside. Find the steepest track and follow it up the ridge crossing another track. The crag is visible directly ahead and is accessed via the steep path leading to the northwest corner of the crag.

Viewed from the boulder is a large V shaped recess between the broken West Face on the right and the impressive North Face on the left. In the righthand side of the recess are two obvious chimney/cracks, each with a large chockstone about half way up. The righthand line is Highcliff Chimney, the lefthand is Heart Throb Crack. The blunt edge to the right of Highcliff Chimney is the N.W. Arete and is the junction between the West Face and The North Face; the names David and Janet are inscribed at its base.
 

 

Franco Cookson climbing the recently cleaned Ping Photo: Dave Warburton


The Climbs
The climbs are described from right to left.

West Face
The west face is extensive but very disappointing, being broken by many large ledges making numerous variations possible. The rock is also very soft and the finishes to some climbs loose and sandy demanding caution. The first route lies at the extreme right side of the lowest rock tier, 2m right of an obvious carved cross.

1. The Scoop 5m VS 5a
Gain the obvious curving scoop 2 metres right of the large cross. Ascend this to the ledge. Walk off right or continue more easily to the top via a choice of routes.
Tony Marr 6th May 1975

2. Ladies First Direct Start 5m VS 4c
Start at the carved cross and ascend the short awkward wall to gain the curving crack of Ladies First which is followed to the large ledge. There is a choice of finishes.
Pre. 1956

Ladies First Direct Start VS 4c Photo: Steve Crowe collection

 

Ladies First Direct (Alternative)   5m   HVS 5b
Climb the awkward wall with the cross, as for Ladies First Direct, but trend right, pulling over an overlap to climb the slim hanging groove and arête.
FA Attributed to D Paul 1980s

3. Ladies First 17m HVD
Three metres left of the cross is a short crack. Climb this then step immediately right around a protrusion to a curving crack which is climbed to the platform above. Cross the ledge then continue up a rightward slanting line to reach poor rock towards the top.
1930s
Variations
Several variation finishes have been climbed all at around the same grade (4c), but the best exit is up the left arête to finish over the final overhanging block.
Charlie Rowlands 1968

4. Gardom 15m VS 4c
Start up the initial crack of Ladies First, cross the grass ledge then climb the corner for a few metres until it is possible to step right and climb a groove just by the arête Exit up the corner crack.
1970s.

5. Somorrah 15m VS 4c
Start as for the last route but climb the small arete just left of the groove of Gardom to the same exit.
1970s.

6. Isolation 17m VD
Start up the initial crack of Ladies First, cross the broad ledge and climb up the corner to a niche, “Isolation Corner”. Traverse left for a couple of metres onto the ‘Balcony’ then climb directly up a short steep slab to escape via the corner on the right.
1930s

The next climb starts 9 metres further left at the right side of a yellow sandy wall below an obvious niche.

7. West Face Route 26m VD
A short right-angled corner is followed by slabby rocks to a wide ledge. Traverse right to the foot of a 3m wall. Climb this to gain the ‘Balcony’, then move leftwards and up to the ‘Gallery’ above. Exit from the left end of the ‘Gallery’. Care is required with loose rock Other variations are possible but all are poor.
1930s

8. No Hiding Place 12m E4 5c
A route on soft rock with very poor protection. Start just to the left of West Face Route. Gain a small mantelshelf, and then follow a line of thin cracks into a niche. Continue directly up the wall on shattered rock. Serious.
FA. 1962. Several pegs for aid.
FFA. 1979 Kelvin Neal, Alan Moss. A very bold ascent.
Variation Start 7m VS 4c
Start 2m left of West Face Route, climb the sandy bulging crack to join North West Route.
FA. Using two pegs for aid 1960s
FFA. 1970. Johnny Adams.


9. North West Direct 10m VS 4c *
Climb a faint crack direct to the exposed corner. Follow the slab and crack in the nose of the arête to the top.
John Smith March 1970. The lower half had been climbed in 1960 by John Carter, but Smith’s direct finish creates an enjoyable and independent route.

10. North West Route 15m VD **
Follow a square groove and slab leading rightwards to a small ledge on the arete, move around the corner [awkward] then climb a flake crack to the top. Enjoyable climbing and justifiably popular.
1930s

An enjoyable low level traverse
Cross-Cut VD (1930s) can be made starting at North West Route and traversing rightwards, rarely more than 1.5m above the ground, to finish at West Face Route. The climb can be extended to the very end of the crag by following a rising line.

North West Arête

11. Scar Face 13m E1 5c
Scramble easily up broken rocks to gain the obvious peg scarred cracks 3m right of Highcliff Chimney. Drop a gear and climb powerfully to the top.
FA.Three pegs for aid.1959. Party unknown.
F.F.A. Tony Marr, Mike Tooke 10th July 1992.

12. Chimney Buttress 19m HD
Start on the NW arête just to the right of the inscription “Janet”, climb the short step to gain a ledge. Work easily leftwards to cross Highcliff Chimney and continue straight up the buttress finishing left of the final jammed boulder in Highcliff Chimney.
1930s

North Face

13. Highcliff Chimney Ordinary Route 7m VD
Start at an obvious groove in the NW arête (just left of “David &Janet”) and follow it to ledges leading to the chimney. Step across to the left wall then gain the chimney, continue up strenuously past the chock stones to exit rightwards.
1930s

14. Highcliff Chimney Direct 14m S
Follow the chimney in its entirety.
1930s

15. Highcliff Chimney - Arête Finish 15m S
Gain the splendid right arête of the chimney and follow it directly to the top.
Tony Marr, Linda Marr, Mike Tooke, James Shawcross 28th July 1992.

16. Heart Throb Crack 18m HS 4b *
The leftward slanting crack immediately left of Highcliff Chimney. Some awkward moves lead into a niche. Continue to a ledge then pass the chockstone on the right, regain the vegetated crack and follow it to the top. Contains some good climbing.
Cleveland MC Pre. 1956.

17. The Web 18m E5 6a **
A dynamic start just right of Flake Crack leads to good holds. Make a precarious mantelshelf manoeuvre onto the ledge then trend rightwards to the top. Multiple mats may prove more useful than a rope!
Alan Moss, Kelvin Neal 1979. The original start traversed in from Flake Crack and a peg was placed to protect the mantelshelf but this was subsequently considered unnecessary and removed.
Paul Ingham added the Direct Start in 1980.

18. Flake Crack 18m VS 4c **
An interesting and sustained experience up the corner in the back of the recess. Some of the blocks do move which adds of the character of the route! Take Care.
Terry Sullivan, Vic Tosh 1961.

Flake Crack VS 4c   Photo(C): John Birtill collection

 


19. Cardiac Arrest 18m E6 6a *
Start 2m to the left of Flake Crack at a shallow scoop. Climb the scoop then continue directly to the top. A long reach is very useful. On the first ascent (and most following it) runners were pre placed in Flake Crack and clipped on the lead thus reducing the grade to E5.
Kelvin Neal, Alan Moss July 1979.

Cardiac Arrest E6 6a Photo: Steve Crowe collection


20. Barnaby’s Routes   5m   HD
The prominent ledge at 5m can be reached by two routes up the ridge. Both climbs need to be reversed as all the upper exits are severe or harder.
1930s

 

20a. Barnaby’s Slab   5m    MVS 4c
Climb the initialled and pocketed slab between Barnaby’s Routes and Rockhopper.
Pre 1970

21. Rockhopper   20m   E2/3 5b
Start 1m to the right of Highcliff Crack. Climb the rib on small holds trending right to a ledge. Move right and climb the arête overlooking Cardiac Arrest to the top. Poorly protected.
Rick Graham, Dave McKinney 3rd April 1977.
A bold ascent of a much eyed line.

Rockhopper E2/3 Photo: Steve Crowe collection


22. Highcliff Crack 20m S ***
The prominent corner crack. Climb the superb crack line all the way to the moor.
1930s

Karin Magog climbing Highcliff Crack Severe Photo: Steve Crowe collection


23. Queer Street 22m HVS 4c **
Climb the flake crack immediately left of Highcliff Crack. At the top pull out left on to the wall, pass beneath the overhang and into a shallow groove which is followed to the top. Protection is very scarce, small cams should prove most useful.
Tony Marr, Ken Jackson Alt leads. 2nd July 1972.

Karin Magog climbing Queer Street HVS 4c Photo: Steve Crowe collection


Several of the following routes rank amongst the best and hardest in the region. These routes are comparable in difficulty and quality with some of the best climbs on Yorkshire Gritstone.

Immediately left of
Queer Street is the impressive Moonflower wall, with an entertaining low level traverse Flower Power 6c. (Tony Marr 1979).

24. Moonflower 20m E4 6a ***
Start just left of the faint slanting rib. Using the initials carved in the rock, move up (RP's in the horizontal break) then reach rightwards to follow the rib to finish up the final groove of Queer Street. Absorbing and technical climbing on very small edges.
Dave Paul (solo) May 1981. A very bold ascent before the days of “multiple crash mat protection”.

Moonflower Super Direct 20m E5 6b ***
A much harder and more pure line. Start on the right of the faint rib and follow the line of the rib in its entirety.
Nick Dixon, Graham Buckley July 1981. Dixon chose not to place the RP's on the left on the first ascent and continued up the LH finish.

Moonflower Left-Hand Finish E4 6b
A variation finish to either version of Moonflower. Instead of joining Queer Street to finish, step left onto the large ledge and climb the final scooped wall in its centre.
Nick Dixon, Graham Buckley June 1981.

25. Puffs Parade 20m E2 5c
The arête immediately to the left of Moonflower provides bold climbing where a confident approach and long reach are useful attributes. Finish up Scarecrow Crack or Queer Street. Protection is sparce.
Dave Ladkin, Dennis Lee 1972.

26. Scarecrow Crack 20m E1 5b ***
Climb the obvious off-width bulging corner crack with increasing difficulty to gain the sanctuary of the large ledge. The continuation crack remains awkward to the top. A superb climb and well worth the effort, but bring some large gear.
D. Holliday 1954. Holliday was a serving Pilot Officer based at nearby R.A.F Middleton St. George. During a low fly past of the crag in his Vampire jet he noticed the route, returning soon after to make the first ascent. A single chockstone in the first crack was the only protection!

Karin Magog climbing Scarecrow Crack E1 5b Photo: Steve Crowe collection


27. Stargazer 23m E3 5c ***
A good way up the impressive wall left of Scarecrow Crack at a reasonable grade. Follow Scarecrow Crack for 3m and traverse left to a more comfortable position in the middle of the wall and good protection. A hard move up, slightly leftwards, on small pockets and edges leads to a good ledge below a crack in the arête. Follow this to the top.
Paul Ingham, Alan Taylor 21st April 1979. Another superb route by this very strong team.
Originally graded HVS 5b, they were obviously climbing well that day!

Stargazer E3 5c Photo: Steve Crowe collection


28. Stargazer Direct 20m E5 6b *
An interesting eliminate up the wall just left of the prominent corner. Climb Scarecrow Crack for 3m, traverse left for 1m, then climb the wall on small holds directly to the top.
Paul Ingham, Ian Dunn 1982.

29. Stargazer Super Direct 22m E5 6a *
Follow Stargazer to the pocket hold in the traverse then go straight up across the break to finish up the final wall (without side runners).
Nick Dixon, Graham Buckley 1983. A typical Dixon route, hard and poorly protected.

The next obvious feature is the soaring arête to the left of
Scarecrow Crack, which is Magic in the Air.
 

Five Years On E4 7a
Levitate up the wall right of Desperate Den to gain the jug on Stargazer Direct. Dynamic, thin and wild.
Franco Cookson, Dave Warburton 26th June 2013


30. Desperate Den 23m E6 6c **
Start right of the arête at a cross carved in the wall. Climb directly up the wall on tiny edges to the obvious pocket hold on Stargazer and a choice of finishes or just escape right. Very delicate and sustained. Serious.
Steve Brown, Dave Paul. Summer 1983. A tremendous achievement and climbed without pre-clipped or side runners. The first ascent started up Magic in the Air then moved rightward to gain the line of tiny edges. The start as described, was added by Tony Marr 24th June 2001.

31. Magic in the Air 23m E7 6b ***
The magnificent soaring arête. Start up the right side of the arete. Originally climbed with side runners (at E5) but has since been led without, making it a very serious proposition.
Nick Dixon, Paul Ingham Summer 1982. Using pre-clipped side runners in the traverse of
Stargazer for protection and graded E5 6b.
FA. without side runners Francis (Monty) Montague 1991.

Magic in the Air E5 6b Photo: Steve Crowe collection


32. Original Sin 25m E7 6c *
Start by climbing the arête of Magic in the Air on its left side (using the arete for the right hand) until it is possible to reach a line of small flakes trending diagonally leftwards. Follow the flakes across the halfway break then go up to reach the traverse of Trampled Underfoot. Finish by moving back right and up the groove just left of the arête. Very poorly protected.
Richard Waterton (solo after top roped practice) 1995.

33. Esmerelda 18m E7 6c **
Start at the base of the slab left of the arête. Climb the centre of the wall using old bolt holes to a small roof at 13m. Move right and follow the continuing line of bolt holes to the top. Another very serious undertaking with minimal protection.
FA. Johnny Blott, Terry Sullivan, Vic Tosh January 1962. Climbed originally as an aid climb named Quasimodo using large curtain hooks for bolts and put in with a hand held rawltool. "They made a very bold climb of it with curtain rings screwed into fibre plugs with huge spacings. It wasn't until frightened climbers hammered pegs into the fine holes that the wall became scarred enough to free-climb!"

During July 1989 Paul Smith made the first sustained attempt at free climbing the route. After an outstanding effort he had whittled down the aid to 1pt.on the final headwall at a grade of E6 6b. FFA. Richard Waterton (Led after top roped practice) 29th September 1995.

34. Trampled Underfoot 27m E1 5b *
Start at the base of the slab as for Esmerelda. Climb the slab and continue up the corner (Wombat) for a few metres before following the obvious traverse rightwards to gain the arête of Magic in the Air, which is climbed to the top.
FA. Rick Graham, Dave McKinney 7th July 1977. Using 1pt. of aid.
FFA. Ian Dunn, Paul Ingham 1982.

35. Wombat 20m E1 5b **
Start at the base of the slab as for Trampled Underfoot. Climb the slab then continue up the awesome overhanging corner. Superb climbing and well protected.
FA. Terry Sullivan, Vic Tosh February 1961. Climbed as an aid route in winter conditions.
FFA. Les Brown, Ken Jackson May 1966.
Originally graded HVS 5a but now worth E1 5b since the demise of a block at half height.

About 4m left of the corner of Wombat and about 5m higher up the slope easy ledges lead to the obvious undercut chimney of Damocles.

36. The Bells Direct 25m E4 6b
Climb the arête between Wombat and Edge Hog. Start mainly on the left side of the arête until the overhung ledge is reached (side runners in Edge Hog). The upper section is tackled using features to the left of Wombat to gain the edge. An easier variation moves away from the arête to gain the main ledge more easily.
Richard Latus October 1995.

37. Edge Hog 28m HVS 5b
Just right of Damocles is a shallow corner. Climb the corner followed by a hanging groove in the arête to grass ledges. Continue up a short, shattered wall into the final overhanging corner which is followed to the top.
Tony Marr 8thJune 1978. Second did not follow.

38. Damocles 25m VS 4b
Gain and climb the obvious undercut chimney to a bulge, step left onto the protruding rib which leads to a grassy ledge. It is possible to terminate the climb here, or continue up a short wall to a corner, then over a spike to the top.
Pre 1960.

Twin Cracks Area
Beyond Damocles there are some excellent climbs which due to the lack of traffic have returned to their original vegetated state. Some of the routes are well worth cleaning and climbing. Top outs are getting overgrown so a pre placed rope may be a good idea for the worst affected routes.

39. The Shield 10m VS 4c
The short square cut groove 2m left of Damocles is climbed to gain the upper wall. Ascend the “Shield” and the crack above to finish through a fringe of vegetation.
Rick Graham, Neil Wilkinson June 1972.

40. The Split 7m VD
The strenuous chimney 5m left of Damocles.
Eric Marr, Geoff Fixter, Tony Marr 1960.

41. Equity 7m VD
Situated 3m down the slope and 1m left of The Split is yet another chimney, this one has “NR” inscribed on the left wall. Follow the chimney throughout.
1970.

The majority of the following routes lie above a steep grass slope which adds considerably to the sense of exposure.

42. Twin Cracks 8m HS 4b **
The obvious twin cracks 2m left of Equity. Climb the short lichenous twin cracks to a final grassy scramble. Very enjoyable and well worth doing.
1960s.

43. Ping 8m E1 5c **
Start beneath the overhang 3m left of the Twin Cracks at the obvious peg scarred crack. Gaining and exiting the crack is tricky and it contains with some sustained thin crack climbing. An easier start (5b) as used on the first free ascent, traverses in from the right starting at Twin Cracks. A good route that deserves more traffic.
FA. Johnny Clark, John Carter January 1962.
Climbed as an aid route (5 pegs).
FFA. Dave McKinney 1976. Starting from Twin Cracks.
The free version of the “Direct Start” is attributed to Paul Ingham, Tony McLean 1977.

Franco Cookson climbing the recently cleaned Ping Photo: Dave Warburton

 

44. Smear Fear 8m E3 5c *
Start at the foot of Greasy Chimney. Cross onto the arête then follow it on its right side up the smooth slab to the top. Well named, unprotected and bold!
FA. Paul Ingham,Tony Marr, Alan Taylor 28th August 1978.

45. Greasy Chimney 7m VD
To the left of Ping is a well named chimney.
Pre 1960.

46. Cyclops 12m E3 5c
Left of Greasy Chimney is a large wall with an obvious “eye” in it. Start at the left side of the left arête, turn the corner and trend past the “eye” to finish direct. Bold and poorly protected.
Paul Ingham, Alan Taylor, Simon Walker 27th August 1978.

47. Slime Slab 12m D
Start 7m left of Greasy Chimney. Climb the slab on chipped holds to a ledge. Belay possible. Continue up the chimney above to grass ledges.
Pre 1960.

48. Slime Slab Variant 11m VS 4b
Climb the left arête of the slab direct.
Tony Marr 11th June 1979.

49. Sod Crack 10m HVS 5b
The crooked corner just left of Slime Slab. Twin cracks to start lead to an awkward finish on the right.
Tony Marr, Ray Pinder, Ken Jackson June 1972.

In a shallow alcove 8m left of Slime Slab are two corner cracks, the right crack is the start shared by Skid Row and Knuckle Duster. The left crack is the start of Wee Dot.

50. Skid Row E1 5b
A bold climb up the slab right of Knuckle Duster. Start under the overlap at a corner 8m left of Slime Slab. Climb the right-hand corner crack as for Knuckle Duster until a large foothold on the arête allows a step around onto the slab where some difficult moves lead to ledges. Finish leftwards.
Paul Ingham, Tony McLean, Tony Marr 11th June 1979.

51. Knuckle Duster 12m HVS 5a
Start under the overlap in a corner 8m left of Slime Slab, as for Skid Row. Climb the corner to the overhang, move right and climb the slab to the top.
Tony Marr, Ken Jackson June 1972.

51a. Curious Intrigue 12m E4 5c *
Climb the arête to the right of Knuckle Duster.
Franco Cookson 1st September 2011 solo.

52. Wee Dot 10m E1 5b *
Start in the same alcove just left of Knuckle Duster. Climb the left-hand crack until it is possible to mantelshelf onto a projection. Finish up the overhanging crack above.
FA Terry Sullivan, Vic Tosh 14thJanuary 1962. Climbed as an aid route in blizzard conditions . Sullivan recalls a footnote from his diary…“The leader abseiled from the exit because of dangerously poised blocks and grass sods, and a will to live! The “Dot” in the title refers to Sullivans girl friend at that time Dorothy Sedgewick (she was only 5ft. tall). Its also the name of a modern jazz tune, Sullivan’s other passion.
FFA. Rick Graham, Tony Marr June 1972.

53. Up the Creek Without a Paddle 10m E3 6a
The obvious arête immediately left of the previous route. Technical and bold.
Nick Dixon (solo) 1982. Used for training before his ascent of Magic in the Air. The title says it all !
 (Up a creek without a Paddle is now clean up to the big break and can be enjoyed as a pleasant highball to the break. Franco and friends summer 2013)


The Alcove
The next route starts in the large alcove.

54. Sarcophagus 10m HVS 4c
Climb the aptly named cleft in the right-hand corner of the large alcove.
Ken Jackson, Tony Marr, Andrew Webb June 1972.

55. Sunset Crack 10m HVS 5a
The left-hand corner of the alcove should lead without any difficulty to a ledge at half height, however the wide overhanging crack above presents an obstacle.
Hugh Banner, Dave Ladkin March 1973.

Just left of a grassy bay 7m left of the alcove is a corner crack. This is Queen Street and the start of...

Undercut Buttress
This is the final distinctive buttress, which is undercut all the way along the bottom.

56. Queen Street 8m HVD
Climb the crack passing a ledge, from where the continuation crack becomes a corner/groove.
Ian Dunn August 1981.

The buttress continues leftwards and becomes undercut all the way along. At the right-hand end of the buttress is...

57. Flange Crack 10m E2 5c *
This fine route starts at a overhanging cleft containing a jammed flake 7m left of Queen Street.
FA. John Carter, Johnny Clark, Winter 1961. Originally climbed as an aid route called “Plop.”
FFA. Hugh Banner, Dave Ladkin March 1973.

58. Green Crack 7m VD
Start in a corner 3m left of Flange Crack. Climb the corner throughout.
Tony Marr June 1972.

Between Green Crack and Nice and Easy is the inscription ‘CDEA.’.

59. Nice and Easy 8m HS 4b
Takes the crack and slab 2m left of Green Crack and just right of the obvious peg scarred crack of Peeler.
Tony Marr, Ken Jackson 26th August 1978.

60. Peeler 10m E2 5c ***
Start beneath the overhang 4m left of Green Crack and just right of the final arête of this buttress. Climb the peg scarred crack and the slab above. Superb climbing, well protected and usually clean.
FA. Terry Sullivan, Vic Tosh February 1961.
Climbed as an aid route.
FFA Paul Ingham, Tony Marr 26th August 1978

61. Gluon 10m E2 6a **
If you can start it! Climb the impressive arête at the left end of Undercut Buttress, joining Peeler to finish. Highly technical and unprotected.
Alan Taylor, Paul Ingham, Tony Marr 26th August 1978.

(We did this without the siderunner, as Tony Marr suggested it hadn't been done thus. It seemed about right at this grade. Franco Cookson summer 2013)

The wall to the left of the arête of Gluon contains two horizontal cracks.

62. Cling On 10m E2 5c *
Finger traverse the lower peg scarred crack to the arête, where it joins Peeler to finish.
Alan Taylor, Paul Ingham September 1979.

63. Wanton 8m HVS 5a *
Climb the corner to gain and traverse the upper horizontal crack towards the arête of Gluon until another higher horizontal crack can be gained and followed more easily to the top.
Paul Ingham, Alan Taylor, Simon Walker September 1979.

Final Outcrops
This last outcrop is well worth a visit being generally cleaner than other parts of the northen edge. These rocks can be approached from two directions; from Undercut Buttress the rocks lie about 30m further to the left and at a slightly higher level, but the best and easiest approach is along the footpath at the top of the crag. From the top of the Nab walk eastwards for approximately 100m to where the top of the buttresses are visible just below the path. The routes are described from right to left. The first climb lies on a steep undercut buttress near the right end of the outcrop.

64. Paul’s Problem 5m E1 5c
Start just left of the nose of the buttress at an overlap. Climb the difficult wall past a hole to reach a slot, further hard moves lead to good flutings and the top. Enjoyable and technical climbing.
Paul Ingham (solo) February 1982. An typical Ingham test piece.

65. Easy Crack 4m D
The short crack and chimney just left of the last climb.
Tony Marr 3rd June 2001

Across the gully is an obvious shallow groove just right of an overhang.

66. Frank’s Folly 6m VS 4c
Gain the groove and follow it direct. Good moves and a long reach helps.
Tony Marr, Frank Fitzgerald 3rd June 2001

67. Green Wall Direct 6m VS 4c
Start under the roof and move up and slightly right to pull over the roof on good holds to good protection. A difficult move leads to the top.
Karin Magog, Steve Crowe 29th August 2001

The next climb starts 3m further left…

68. Green Crack 6m S 4a
The thin bulging crack line is followed with interest.
Tony Marr, Ken Jackson June 1972.

69. Green Wall 7m VS 4c
Start up Green Crack then traverse right along an obvious line, before moving up to finish.
Paul Ingham, Tony Marr 2nd June 1979.

70. Shades of Green 7m HVS 4c
Climb the shallow groove and slab between Green Wall and the next route. No protection.
Tony Marr, Ken Jackson June 1972.

71. Lost Crack 7m VS 4c *
The prominent corner crack is climbed throughout. More awkward than hard!
Tony Marr, Eric Marr, Ken Jackson 27th June 1969.

The following route starts just to the left of Lost Crack.

72. Unnamed 7m E2 5c
Climbs the blunt rib and wall about 2m to the right of of the prominent prow of the buttress. Bold and poorly protected.
Paul Ingham, Ian Dunn February 1982. A precarious ascent made in freezing conditions.

73. Holden’s Right-Hand 8m HVS 5b **
Start as for the last route. Climb the wall to the obvious holds leading left to the arête and junction with Holden’s Wall (thread runner). Finish up the arête. Sustained climbing with some strenuous moves. Note: The climb is not protected until the thread is reached.
Tony Marr, Ken Jackson June 1972.

74. Holden’s Wall 8m HVS 5a **
Start on the left side of the overhung prow. Climb the scoop in the wall to gain the arête on the right (thread runner), finish up the prow direct. Superb climbing right to the end. Poorly protected start.
Pete Holden, Chris Woodall 1970.

75. Bullshitters Wall 7m HVS 5b
Climbs the wall just left of Holden’s Wall starting just right of a block. Gain the obvious pocket... and finish direct.
Paul Ingham, Tony Marr 2nd June 1979.
 

75a. Heather Corner 4m D
The short chimney-corner with a chock-stone to the left of Bullshitters Wall.
1970s but now unearthed.

76. Lost Cause 5m HS
Climb the slabby corner 4m to the left of Bullshitters Wall.
Tony Marr 2nd June 1979

The next three routes lie on the prominent buttress with a stepped roof, several metres to the left of Holden’s Wall.

77. Twister 5m S
Start below the prominent nose. Climb the chimney making use of the right wall as required.
Ken Jackson, Eric Marr, Tony Marr 27th June 1969

78. Squeezed Dry 6m E2 5b
Make a few moves up Twister until it is possible to traverse left along the lowest break to gain the front face. Continue up using the shallow groove.
Steve Crowe, Karin Magog 29th August 2001

The next climbs start around the corner…

79. Early Days 7m VS 4c *
Climb the obvious shallow corner past a small overhang. Good powerful climbing.
Tony Marr, Ken Jackson 1977.

80. Be-Bop-Bap 7m HVS 5a
Start up Early Days then trend right immediately to finish on the top righthand corner.
Ken Jackson, Tony Marr 1977.

81. Girdle Traverse 60m E1 5b
Only a brief description is included as the route follows an obvious line at a constant height. Starts at the Split. Climb up to the obvious fault line and follow this rightwards around the crag to finish up Highcliff Chimney
Terry Sullivan, Vic Tosh 1962 The ascent involved some difficult free and artificial climbing.



 

 

Highcliffe Nab - Floating Power and The Web from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.


 

 

 

 

Full details in the

North East England Guide

 

Highcliff Nab Mini Guide

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