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Kepwick

 

OS Landranger Sheet: 100

OS Map Reference: SE467905

Aspect: North West

Altitude: 230m                      

Approach: 10 minutes

Mini Guide: Kepwick Mini Guide (PDF)

 

Situation and Character

This small crag is situated immediately above Kepwick village.

 

History

Neil Thompson and Ian Prestnall added Warble Fly in 1991. All the other routes were recorded prior to 1980. The longstanding Kepwick test piece of Gold fell to Richard Waterton in 2013, 15 years after he had first climbed the line on top rope.

 

Access and Approaches

From the A19 follow minor roads towards Kepwick village. Take the second white gate after the house “Monument View” and follow the track, through another gate then turn left. Continue to the crest of the hill then turn back right to gain the crag.

 TheWhiteGate-web.jpg (76846 bytes)  Kepwick-from-road-web.jpg (97306 bytes)

The Climbs

The routes are situated on four small buttresses, separated by grass ramps.

 

Kepwick Buttress

 

1. Kepwick Crack   7m   HS 4a

The square corner right of a prominent nose.

Recorded prior to 1980.

 

2. A Thousand Swooping Pigeons 8m E2 5c
A solo on good edges up the wall of crimps to a poor top out.
Franco Cookson, David Warburton 30th June 2010

 

2. Leg Slip   5m   VS 4b

7m right of Kepwick Crack is another nose with a wide crack on its left hand side. Climb the crack moving right at the top.

Recorded prior to 1980.

 

4. Offside   5m   HS 4b

Climb the alcove to the right of the nose.

Recorded prior to 1980.

 

5. Warble Fly   5m   E1 5b

The wall in the bay to the right of Offside. Climb the wall on pockets to a break. Finish up the crack on the right.

Neil Thompson and Ian Prestnall   mid 1991

 

Main Wall

The right hand bay is dominated by a large impressive wall which is climbed by two impressively hard lines. On the right of this are three cracks and a square corner.

 

6. True  E6 6b/c

The left hand side of the main face is bounded by a corner formed by a giant hanging block - start underneath this (good wide crack for gear). Pull round rightwards underneath the block into the corner and bridge/squirm up this to place a good wire (wallnut 8) and small friends (1/2 and 0) at the top of the crack. (I also placed a skyhook in an obvious pocket on the face here for use on 'Gold'). Step right to reach the bottom of the 'groove' and then reach up the groove to a crimpy pocket. Execute a huge rock-over move (crux) to reach an obvious finger ledge a few feet below the top. Finish straight up in a serious position, taking care with loose rock.

Richard Waterton belayed by Jo Banner 6th October 2013 (Maybe E7 for a genuine onsight, but I can't imagine anyone not pre-inspecting the route.)

 

7. Gold  E8 7a

 Climbs the centre of the impressive face trending rightwards up a shallow left-facing hanging corner/ groove. Start a couple of metres right of 'True' directly below the 'groove' where a block protrudes from the wall. Climb up to the block and stand up on it to reach a shallow sandy pocket. Reach up and right with difficulty to a two-finger pocket and then left to the foot of the groove. Continue up the groove via a desperate sequence using poor crimps and sandy slopers to finally reach out right to a better hold a few feet below the top (huge fall potential at this point!). One more big move reaches the top of the crag where good holds enable a relatively straightforward mantleshelf to finish. Protected by a sky hook and some distant side runners.

Richard Waterton belayed by Jo Banner 6th October 2013 "It's protected by a sky hook and some side runners which where placed on the lead when I led True. I first top roped this route about 15 years ago but considered it too serious a lead at the time." Richard Waterton

 

Additional Notes by Richard:
1) Style of ascent of 'Gold': I used the side-runners and sky-hook placed when leading 'True' as a preliminary - these were pre-clipped as it's not possible to reach left to clip them while climbing the line of 'Gold'. Whilst it would be possible to lead the route using just the sky-hook I don't believe this would hold many falls from the crux section as the rock is too soft and sandy to be trustworthy. An ascent in this style would warrant E9 I suppose but I think you'd have to be crazy to try it! I know myself from top-roping it that the rock on the crux is inherently a bit sandy so that sometimes even if you climb it perfectly then your hands can just slip/ roll off the holds!

2) Please be very respectful of the rock when attempting the route. In particular note that the start of 'Gold' has become alot harder as the shallow dish/ pocket that you reach for whilst standing on the protruding block at the base of the wall described earlier has partially broken away and eroded (as it's also a key foothold on the route). This happened a few years ago when a few parties tried top-roping the line and this direct start is only just possible now with cunning!

 

Richard Waterton leading Gold E8 7a  Photo (C) Joe Banner

 

8. Sticky Wicket   12m   E1 5b

The left hand crack.

Recorded prior to 1980.

 

9. Maiden Over   12m   VS 4c

Climb the wall to the right of Sticky Wicket and continue up the wide crack on the right-hand side. A sustained pitch.

Recorded prior to 1980.

 

10. Stumped   12m   VS 4c

Another sustained climb. The square corner to the right of Maiden Over is climbed

Recorded prior to 1980.

 

11. Silly Mid On   12m   VS 4c

Climbs the aręte right of the corner and finishes up the wide crack on the right.

Recorded prior to 1980.

 

12. Silly Mid Off 4m Font 3+
The last bit of rock you can climb on the right, before you hit the fence. Go straight up the aręte, finishing right were the fence at the top ends.

13. Silly Mid On 2m Font 3+
The final bit of rock to the right of
Warble Fly, before the grassy bank and the right hand bay. Work your way up the aręte. The trick is to not touch the grassy bank to the right.....or pull off the friable holds at the top!

 

  

 

Link of the Kepwick Groove from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Note:  the video 'link of the Kepwick groove' actually shows the easier left-hand finish (Franco top ropes the start of  'Gold' and finishes up 'True' prior to Richard's first ascents).
 

 

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