By Alan Dougherty, June 2007
The crag is some 40m long, divided into five blocky buttresses and is, on average, four metres high.
OS Explorer (1:25000) sheet OL 31 North Pennines
OS Map Reference: NY955167 (left-hand end)
Approach Time: 30 minutes
Situation and Character
An edge of mostly good
quality Gritstone, situated 1km from Goldsborough.
The crag is not named on the map but lies between West Hare Crag and East Hare
Crag. It is situated, just north of a wall/fence line, on the slight ridge,
visible due south from Goldsborough Carr. The crag is some 40m long, divided
into five blocky buttresses and is, on average, four metres high. The landings
are mostly excellent but lichen can be a problem, especially on some of the
finishes, for which faith in one’s ability to mantelshelf well is most useful.
The place itself is cracking. Really isolated, lovely views, a sun trap and
sheltered from the wind, a really nice place to hang out on a sunny afternoon,
you can hear a pin drop.
The described problems were climbed by Alan and Carol Dougherty, and Kevin Flint during early April 2007. No evidence of previous climbing was noted but a photographic slide of nail-booted climbers in the Bentley Betham collection, held at Barnard Castle School, looks possibly like the venue.
Access and Approaches
Approach as for Goldsborough Carr, then head south, crossing the Yawd Sike, near a prominent cairn, and continue directly upslope, making use of one of the various ATV tracks. Alternatively, follow the Pennine Way – Bowes Loop to the gate at GR: NY 965171 and then paths by the fence south-westwards. This is a longer approach but the going is easier and it passes the minor bouldering at East Hare Crag.
Middle Hare Crag lies on moorland that is designated Access Land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. Under that Act the land can 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. It appears, however, that no temporary closures have been applied to this land since the inception of the Act. The area is sheep pasture and dogs should be kept under close control. The moor is designated a Special Protection Area and during the ground-nesting birds’ breeding season (mid-April to mid-July) it might be prudent to follow the longer access route, to avoid any disturbance.
The five buttresses that comprise the crag are separated by chimney/gully features. Descents can be made easily at either end of the edge. The problems are described from left to right:
A small face at the left-hand end lies almost at a right angle to the general aspect: The Left End Wall:
1. The Medievalist 4a
Follow a tiny corner feature 1m to right of left-hand end of wall.
2. Beany-less 4b
Centre of the wall – long reach from the horizontal break.
3. Golden Plover VD *
Delightful climbing up the corner between the Left End Wall and the Front Face.
The Front Face
4. Mobbed by Corvids Severe
Climb past the obvious flake.
5. Snipe VD
Centre of the wall, starting at the top left corner of a square-cut feature at the base.
The rest of this buttress is rather broken and is separated from Buttress Two by a slender grass-filled chimney.
6. Redshank 4c
Climb the left-hand corner, on good holds. It steepens to overhang and the finish is slightly precarious.
7. Eat Porridge/Work Less 5c / 6a **
Takes the wall that steepens increasingly, direct, just to the left of the obvious flake feature at half height, to a precarious mantle-shelf finish.
18 Eat Porridge / Work Less (climber: Alan Dougherty / photo Carol Dougherty)
8. MPG 5a/5b
Two metres right of the flake feature. Climb wall directly to exit just left of a small prow.
9. GFI 5c
One metre left of the right-hand edge of the Buttress. Climb the wall directly through a small prow to an off-putting mantelshelf finish.
Identified by the pronounced overhang at the top, this section has much stonier landings. It is bounded on its left by a chimney (possible descent) and on the right by a block choked gully.
10. Stepped Corner VD
Takes the stepped corner at the edge of the left-hand chimney.
11. Prow Left-hand 5b
Reaching up to the apex of the roof is easy – leaving it less so!
11a. Snake Charmer 5c/6a
Takes the prow on the right hand side with a fingery pull over the top.
Paul Miller, Andrew Yeadon
both solo 27/9/08
Paul Miller on Snake Charmer Photo: Andrew Yeadon
The Snake! "Named after the adder that we had to keep a keen eye on that was sunning itself on the ledge!"
12. Devastating Brevity 5c
Just to the right is a sandy scoop and smaller overlap, which are taken direct. Beware lichen and some friable rock.
13. Masterpiece of Brevity Not 5a
One metre further right. Takes the wall and slight overhang on some rather doubtful rock.
14. Moss Fool 5b
Just in from the left-hand is a fingery wall with a tiny overhang. A decent edge to finish but the rock is not above suspicion.
15. Squeezed In 5a
An eliminate between the adjacent problems. Take care with the finishing holds.
16. The Scoop 5b
Two metres right of the block choked gully is a scoop capped by an overhang. Climb it direct taking care with the finishing holds.
17. The Corner 4c
Corner to right of The Scoop. It is quite reachy.
18. Just That Move 5c/6a **
Three metres right of The Corner (just right of where the heather ends) is a clean section of wall with a good handhold. The crux is establishing the feet on this hold and reaching for a rounded break. The finishing holds are good.
19. Stroll Through the Heather 5c/6a
Just to the right of the previous problem. Jams in the horizontal crack at arms’ reach – feet high – rounded holds to top.
20. Excellence of Brevity 6a **
Three metres right of Just That Move. Attain good handholds, amongst lank heather, at 2.5m. Halfway between this and the top, a tiny edge and carefully placed sprang should allow the decent finishing holds to be reached.
21. Delusion of Comedy 5a
One metre in from the right-hand edge of the buttress is a large hold at 2.5m. Climb the initial overhang to reach this hold and so to the top.
Is under-cut at head-height.
22. Fuel Economy 5c/6a *
Gymnastic fun up the left-hand corner to an easier finish.
24 Fuel Economy (climber Carol Dougherty / photo Alan Dougherty)
23. Arriving Calm 6a **
One metre right of Fuel Economy. Heel-hook the horizontal break, then make a powerful move, using the small but positive, diagonally aligned, incut, to reach for good finishing holds.
24. Erstwhile Boy Racer 5b
Three metres right of Arriving Calm and just left of the dead heather. The awkward finish is facilitated by a small side-pull.
25. Strenfest 40m 5c *
A left to right crossing that is open to variation but the following provides good sport: Start with a fingery section across the Left End Wall (5b). Keep low across Buttresses One and Two (straightforward). The overhang of Buttress Three is the obvious line for handholds (continues straightforward). Then, keeping low, cross strenuously, on rounded holds, the more lichenous Buttress Four (5b). Enjoy a rest in the chimney, then hand-traverse Buttress Five via the horizontal crack second from the ground (5c).
EAST HARE CRAG
NGR: NY 95861674
A small selection of problems on decent Gritstone:
A useful reference is the pointed, Up-ended Slab, set at quite a high angle and covered in bullet scars. Its west side gives a layback up blind parallel cracks (5a) and the front face is 5b (unless tall) – easier if edge holds used. Eight metres west is a distinct prow which goes at 5a on the left, 4c on the right and 5c via the central aręte (pad the wall and don’t fall off!). Seven metres east of the Up-ended Slab a small, two tiered block gives a heel-hook problem from a SDS.