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Pallet Crag



OS Sheet 92         NGR    NZ 027226

Aspect                 North East Facing

Altitude                305m

Approach time    10 minutes

Pallet Crag Mini Guide (Acrobat Reader Required).


Situation and Character 

This small gritstone outcrop is well worth a visit, when in the area, if only for the climbs on the main buttress. Being North East facing this is definitely a summer crag and be warned, late in the summer the crag suffers badly from midges on still days!



The crag has been climbed on for many years and the ancient bolt on Kermit is evidence of early-unrecorded visits. The first recorded ascent was the ascent of Kermitt by AJK Gooding and WE Pattison in 1963.  Roy Small climbed the more direct Miss Piggy in 1982. Paul Carling, Nigs Reader and Nigel Jones climbed many of the other routes including Talisman, The Swan, The Hollow Hills, Shady Lady, Little Mary, and Cracked ArÍte.  Steve Crowe discovered the crag in July 1991 and opened up the Artists Face with Brush Strokes then returned in March 1992 with Karin Magog to add Pastel Shades and Just a Dab of White for Another Masterpiece.  Finally Bob Bennett and John Cook climbed Link by following the left arÍte of the main buttress.


Access and Approaches

From Bishop Auckland take the A688 to Staindrop, then the B6279 towards Eggleston/Middleton In Teesdale.  As you drive through Kinninvie the crag will be visible across to your right (note the electricity pole above the crag). As you take a short series of bends the crag will disappear behind the hills.  Drive through the small woodland and park next to the last gate into the forest on the left.  Opposite, on your right, is another gate, which is usually padlocked.  Climb carefully over this and follow the track down into the shallow quarry.  Then follow the dry stonewall on the left North Eastwards up over some rough ground to reach the top of the crag just to the right of the electricity pole.  Climbers have occasionally been asked to leave this crag, please don't make a fuss.


The Climbs

Although not all the climbs described here are particularly suitable for bouldering, they have all been soloed in the past. The routes over ten metres long have been given adjectival grades for those who may prefer to lead them. The descriptions start on the left of the crag at an obvious v-groove. The climbs are described from left to right.


1. Day Of Action   7m   D

Climb the obvious large v-shaped groove, with a small tree at its finish.



2. Talisman    7m   5a

Takes the wall just to the right of the obvious groove of Day of Action to the platform.

Paul Carling, Nigs Reader and Nigel Jones         1980s


3.  The Swan   7m   4b

Climb the obvious curving crack right of Talisman.

Paul Carling, Nigs Reader and Nigel Jones 1980s


An ascent of the obvious, easy looking, crack to the right has not been claimed, I wonder why?


4. Birdlime Wall   7m   5a

Takes the wall between the crack filled with birdlime and the arÍte, avoiding the big ledges on the arÍte.



About 10m to the right is a large slabby vegetated wall. Immediately to the right again is the...


Main Buttress


South Face


5. The Hollow Hills   13m   HVS 5a

Start to the left of the arÍte, climb the groove and ascend the prominent hanging flake until a difficult move can be made to gain a large ledge on the left.   Move rightwards to finish.  Nice climbing, shame about the ledge at half height.

Paul Carling, Nigs Reader and Nigel Jones 1980s


The front (east face) of the main buttress is...


Muppets Face


6. Link   15m   E2 5c  *

Starts up the front face of the biggest buttress.  From the toe of the buttress climb the twin cracks until stopped by an overhang.  Step left to a ledge. Follow the crack until it peters out then go straight up the wall just left of the arÍte.

Bob Bennett, John Cook 23rd August 1992


7. Miss Piggy   15m   E1 5b

Start up the twin cracks as for Link.  Climb the crack to a ledge for a breather then back right to enter the shallow groove, step right, back onto the front face, and continue up the left arÍte to the top.

Roy Small               1982


8. Kermit   15m   E1 5b   ***

The original route of this buttress. Climb the twin cracks to the overhang as for Miss Piggy, traverse right beneath the overlap and step briefly around the right arÍte. Make one move up this sidewall, friend 1/2, then step back left above the overhang onto the slabby wall above. Continue up this keeping to the right hand side. A start is also possible directly up the right arÍte at the same grade.

AJK Gooding and WE Pattison 6th June 1963


The right hand side of the main buttress is...


The Artists' Face



9. (Just a Dab of White for) Another Masterpiece   13m   E3 6a   **

Climb the shallow groove just to the right of left arÍte, and just right of the direct start of Kermit. Climb to underneath the large overhang.  Good Friend 3 in a pocket on the right and the same Friend Ĺ as for Kermit to the left. From the large undercut make a long reach over the roof to a good hold, mantelshelf on to this with the aid of two good crimps out to the right.  Continue up the wall above keeping to the right of the arÍte.

Steve Crowe, Karin Magog March 1992



10. Brush Strokes   15m   E1 5b   *

Start on the right of the Artistsí Face just left of an obvious dirty crack. Climb, avoiding the dirty crack, to skirt past to the right of two overlaps and up the wall to a roof. Traverse leftwards until you are able to pass the roof and keeping to the right of the arÍte.

Steve Crowe, Karin Magog.    July 1991


11. Pastel Shades   14m   HVS 5b

A worthwhile alternative finish to Brush Strokes. Climb the wall below the roof then make a long reach right to a good hold over the lip.  Pull over to a ledge and either, climb up over the next roof and continue to the top, or move up trending left to pass the roof and then straight to the top.

Steve Crowe, Karin Magog.    March 1992


To the right is a distinctive over-hanging groove.


12. Shady Lady   10m   4b

This poor climb takes the slab on the left of the distinctive groove to a ledge.  Finish up the broken crack taking care with loose rock.

Paul Carling, Nigs Reader and Nigel Jones 1980s


13. Little Mary   10m   4c   *

Jam and bridge up the distinctive overhanging groove to a ledge.  Step right and climb the overhanging crack using brilliant finger locks.

Paul Carling, Nigs Reader and Nigel Jones 1980s


14. Cracked ArÍte   10m   4b

Follows the cracked arÍte right of the distinctive groove of Little Mary.  From the ledge continue more easily up the arÍte to the top.

Paul Carling, Nigs Reader and Nigel Jones 1980s


The next two climbs may be of great interest to botanists.  Dunromin (D) climbs the overgrown slab, to the right of Cracked ArÍte and Happy Hernia (D) climbs the slab somewhere right of Dunromin!


Pallet Crag Mini Guide (Acrobat Reader Required).



Full details in the

North East England Guide