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Kelton Hill Crag

Alan Dougherty
March 2009

OS Explorer (1:25000) sheet OL 31 North Pennines
Map Reference: NY926197
Aspect: south
Altitude: 390m
Approach: 30 minutes

Mini Guide: Original Kelton Hill Crag Mini Guide. by Alan Dougherty


Situation and Character
Kelton Hill lies in Baldersdale just over 3km, as the crow flies, to the north-west of Goldsborough Carr, from where it is visible. The problems described are on good quality Gritstone and the landings are mostly excellent, which is helpful as some of the top-outs are quite highball. It is a compact venue offering fine bouldering and an excellent outlook.

History
An initial visit was made by Alan and Carol Dougherty on 20.9.08. Next day the team was strengthened with the inclusion of Ron and Michael Kenyon, the latter of whom climbed with ease the harder problems that the older folk could not manage. Andy Emery added the sit start to Pain of Time in the April 2015. (All the Font grades are by Andy Emery.)

Access and Approaches
Kelton Hill Crag lies on moorland that is designated Access Land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. Under the Act the land can also be subject to temporary closures of up to twenty-eight days a year. Notification of closures should be posted at Access Points locally and, prior to a visit, can be checked on www.countrysideaccess.gov.uk  or via the Access Helpline on 0845 100 3298.

Aim for the road running along the north side of Baldersdale: approach directly from Romaldkirk, via Hunderthwaite or from Cotherstone, crossing under the dam of Hury Reservoir. Locate the Public Footpath that leaves the road at 915190, just north of East Carlingill farm. It is possible to park a couple of cars on the verge near this point – alternatively there is a small car-park at the road-head 600m further on. Follow the path past the landing strip – one might want to muse upon the juxtaposition of this feature and land previously restricted of access for bird conservation reasons – pass through a gate and head north-east to the corner of the large field. At the corner ignore the stile carrying the footpath onwards. Instead cross the north-south aligned wall with care to avoid damage and head east crossing two further walls. Some scruffy outcrops, which may provide some problems, are passed en-route. Please note that there is no right of access directly from the Pennine Way.

General Layout
The problems described all lie to the east of the last to be crossed stone wall. The Subsidiary Block is closest to the wall and situated just uphill of the two main blocks: Left-hand Block and Right-hand Block, separated by a chimney feature. The problems are described left to right, facing the outcrop.

The Subsidiary Block
The first two problems both climb a pleasant rippled slab.
 

1. Slotting in Time  Diff

Slab left side.
 

2. Just in Time   VD

Centre of slab.
 

3. Time and Again  Severe

Right aręte with awkward start.
 

4. Out of Time   5b    (Font 5)

Scoop in south wall
 

5. Time out of Mind   4c  (Font 4)

The blunt corner.

Photo (C) Steven Phelps

Left-hand Block


6. Stairway   Moderate

The back corner of west face.


7. Tick Tock   5c  
(Font 5+)

Middle of wall using obvious slot.
 

8. Groovy Time   5b   (Font 5)

Groove on right of west wall.
 

9. Climb in Time Saves Nine   5b (Font 5)

Aręte between west and south walls.

10. Hard Times   5c  
(Font 5+)

Just to right of aręte using under-clings.
 

11. Chocks Away!   (Font 5)

Start on ledge – direct on slaps – serious with ledge below.
 

12. Bird-strike   5b  (Font 5)

From right-hand end of ledge through alcove to further ledge above. Easier if tall.
 

13. Crack-on   6a   (Font 6A)

Directly via tiny finger holds (? bullet-scars) – high-ball - easier for tall – drifting left misses the fun and difficulty.
 

14. Time Torn Man   6a   (Font 5+)   **

Side-pull and long reach to break – further reachy moves to top – high-ball.
 

15. Pain of Time   6b  (Font 6B)  (SS Font 7A)   **

Leaning wall on impressively small holds. The sit start is about Font 7A.

16.Time on Our Side   5c 
(Font 5+)  (SS Font 6B)   **

Use faith and friction to ascend corner to left of chimney.
 

17. Dyno Time   6a  (Font 5+)

STS – left side-pull – dyno for top.

Right-hand Block

18. Stolen Time   5c 
(Font 5+)

1m right of chimney – undercut to reach break – awkwardly up head-wall. Green, gritty and scary.
 

19. September o’clock   5b  (Font 5)

Follows the slight scoop in the centre of the block; started by a dynamic reach to a sinker jam in break.
 

20. Just in Time   5c  (Font 5+)

Use rib on right-hand end of block to reach awkward moves on head-wall.
 

21. Time and Motion   6a  (Font 6A)

Start as for previous problem but follow overhanging aręte. Nasty landing – pad block below.
 

22. Shaking Time   6b  |(Font 6B)   **

Just left of right-hand corner of roof – tiny pockets – to a “bit of a dyno to the top” (MK)
 

23. Time Waits for No Man   6a/b (Font 6A+)

Starts low to follows prow directly on tiny holds.
 

24. Whale of a Time   5a   (Font 4+)

Trending slightly rightwards to an often inelegant finish.

 

 

Feedback:

Went up to Kelton Hill the other day, a lovely venue the other side of Baldersdale to Goldsborough Carr. Managed to climb almost every problem there as well as adding some sit-starts to those which deserved it. Underneath a superficial layer of scrittle, the rock is very good quality and once brushed, the problems are very nice. It's a great circuit for the lower-grade climber and a lovely place to be of a sunny evening.

I added a sit-start to Pain Of Time at around 7A and a sitter to the arete of Time On Our Side at around 6B. I think these are new, although I wouldn't be surprised if some quiet moorsperson had put them up and not told anyone. A lot of the other problems there are pretty nice too, in particular Time Torn Man and Shaking Time.

There's no right of way from the Pennine Way unfortunately as this is the direct route up to the crag, following the Pennine Way to the base of the ridge on which the crag lies, breaking off left for 150 metres to reach a wall and CRoW access land beyond. This isn't the route I took, instead following the longer guidebook description. Didn't get any hassle off the shepherd whilst I was up there, he drove past in his offroad golf buggy thing and didn't bat an eyelid. He did bellow and call one of his sheep a cunt though which I thought was hilarious.

Here's a video of some of the evening's exploits:

 

Evening sessions volume one: Kelton Hill from Andy Emery on Vimeo.

A pleasant evening at Kelton Hill, across the valley from Goldsborough. The rock has a superficial scrittle layer from a lack of traffic, but is very good quality rock underneath.
The problems:
9. Climb in time saves nine 5+ (scrittly!)
23. Time waits for no man 6A+
22. Shaking time 6B
17. Dyno time 5+
15. Pain of Time (sit start) 7A (first ascent?)