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Park Nab

Park Nab showing the 1995 rockfall.


Park Nab Fence update.  A fence has recently appeared, which now surrounds the crag. The fence has been put up to keep the sheep out so that the heather will regenerate after bracken spraying. Climbing may continue as before. Climbers are advised to carefully climb over the stile.


OS Sheet: 94

Map Reference: NZ611086 

Aspect: West Facing

Altitude: 275m

Approach Time: 4 minutes

Mini Guide: Park Nab Mini Guide (PDF)


Situation and Character                                                                                    

A clean, compact sandstone outcrop, close to the village of Kildale.  Although exposed to winds it is quick drying and climbing is possible all year round.  Early in 1995, after exceptional rain and flooding the entire impressive buttress between Cook’s Gully and Twisting Chimney collapsed, with the sad loss of excellent climbs such as Twisting Chimney, Castle Climb, Shere Khan and Styx. New routes have been climbed in the new alcove but none are comparable to what has been lost. 



The Barker Brothers and their friends were the first to record their activities at Park Nab during their visits in the 1930's.  It was then 25 years before J Hickman, NA Thompson, J Fletcher and A E Rout recorded further developments. Records are sparse until the mid sixties, when John Adams added Pessimist and Dynamo and Tony Marr recorded The Bitter End. In 1971 M Binks made the first free ascent of Dangle and Tony Marr added Picture This. Chris Woodall climbed Pinnacle Face in 1972 and then in 1978 Nick Dixon climbed the testing Shere Khan after Ian Dunn had removed all the ancient ironmongery. Dunn then climbed a direct start.  Other routes from Dunn include the bold Twister and Parallel Lines. In 1979 Steve Brown climbed Weetabix and then with Dave Paul added Slap Happy.   Also in 1979 Ian Cummings contributed the difficult direct start to The Bitter End and the evergreen Tony Marr recorded The Very End. Martin Parker produced Martin’s Dilemma in 1992 and Martin Trenholm climbed Insider Dealing on Styx buttress in 1994. Early in 1995 the Styx / Shere Khan buttress collapsed taking with it some of the best routes at Park Nab. Within a few weeks seven new routes were recorded by Graeme Sayer but none were of the quality of those that were lost. Steve Crowe recorded an eliminate up the right edge of Lions Jaw to give Lion King and the last addition to this fine crag.



From the north take the A174 and A172 to Stokesley. Do not enter the town but carry on as for Thirsk until the roundabout at the southern end of the bypass is reached.  From the south the A172 leads directly to it.   Leave the roundabout by the A173 in the direction of Great Ayton and in a few hundred yards take the right fork leading to Easby and Kildale (clearly signed).   Follow the road, and the signs, and soon after passing under a second railway bridge, about ¼ mile west of Kildale, with the crag clearly visible high on the hillside on the right, turn right and follow the narrow Baysdale road (NO THROUGH ROAD) for approximately ¼ mile. Cross a cattle grid, pass through a gate, and park cars shortly afterwards on the right. A path, often boggy in its lower reaches, leads directly to the crag. No dogs please.


The Climbs

The climbs are described from left to right, the first buttress being Kildale End.  A small outcrop a few metres left of Kildale End provides several entertaining boulder problems.


Kildale End


1. Slap Happy   5m   HVS 6a

Ascend the blunt arête direct using old peg holes to a difficult finish.

Steve Brown, Dave Paul 1979


2. Weetabix   5m   HVS 5c

Climb the scoop left of Dangle. A difficult but contrived problem.

Steve Brown 1979


3. Dangle   6m   E2 6a (Font 6b+)   *

The wall and overhang direct at its centre. Committing.

M Binks 1971. It used to be given HVS 5c but the ground below the wall has eroded since the first ascent.


4. Martins Dilemma   5m   E1 6a

An eliminate following the arête right of Dangle without using holds on Lions Jaw.

Martin Parker 23rd August 1992


5. Lions Jaw   6m   5b   *                                                

Climb the short corner then continue up the hanging flake.

E. Derwin  Pre 1959


6. The Lion King   5m  5c

An interesting eliminate that takes the thin prow/arête, immediately right of the Lions Jaw, without bridging across Lions Jaw or reaching into Zero Route.

Steve Crowe   1995



7. Zero Route   5m   5a   **                             

The south face of Kildale End overlooking a jumble of unstable boulders. Follow the thin, curving, crack in the bulge.

Terry Sullivan  Pre 1959


The next two routes only just escaped the recent rock fall so a cautious approach is recommended.


8. Cooks Gully - Left Chimney   6m   M      

Climb to the left of the prominent, poised, boulder.


9. Cooks Gully - Table Climb   6m   M         

Climb to the right of the prominent, poised, boulder.


The first of the new routes is...


10. A Step Class   5m   VS 4c  

From the toe of the left wall of the new alcove, ascend the arête directly.

Graeme Sayer   February 1995


11. High Stepper   5m   HVS 5b

Ascend the middle of the left wall of the alcove to a good jug and a pocket.  A layaway and a high step should lead to the break and then the top.  An escape to a ledge on the right reduces the grade to 5a.

Graeme Sayer  February 1995


Just right is an unstable gully.  Immediately right of this is a small corner and a forked finger crack.


12. Forked Crack   5m   S                

The short corner leads to a crack; - then follow small edges to the top.  Always escapable.

Graeme Sayer        February 1995


12a. Achilles Last Stand  7m   E2 5c   *
Climb the wall to the right of Forked Crack on small holds. Reachy and bold. Start just left of the arête of Baloo at an obvious pocket. Pull up using this and a small crimp and gain a small edge on the left of the slab with your left foot. Match the crimp and carefully reach up to a small edge just right of Forked Crack (no straying into forked crack!!). Move your feet up and follow a line of small edges as for Mowgli to the top... to finish over the top block direct.
Franco Cookson Dave Warburton Both Solo 06 January 2008

Franco Cookson on the first ascent of Achilles Last Stand.

Photo: David Warburton.

13. Mowgli   5m   E1 5b

From the jumble of boulders, start up the right arête until it is possible to stand on the thin horizontal crack.  A small edge to the left allows the centre of the wall to be climbed.

Graeme Sayer   February 1995


14. Baloo   5m   HVS 5a

Start as for Mowgli up the right arête.  Continue up the arête or finish through the niche on the right.

Graeme Sayer   February 1995


15. Grumble in the Jungle   5m   S

The obvious forked chimney/crack to the right of the new alcove.  Finish through the right-hand fork.

Graeme Sayer   February 1995


16. Twister   8m   E2 5c

The bold right arête of what was Twisting Chimney.

Ian Dunn 1982


17. Twin Cracks   6m   S   **            

Good climbing is had using both cracks.  Three variations are also possible;


17a. Left Crack Only   5a


17b. Right Crack Only   4b


17c. Neither Crack   5c 

A contrived problem ascending the slim pillar without using either crack.


18. Dynamo   6m   HVS 6a/b (may be nearer E3/4 6c?)

"Charge" the short wall, trending left then right via two horizontal breaks. Using the crack on the left is cheating!

Johnny Adams   1960s


At the back of the alcove is...


Ladies Gully


19. Left Gully    6m    D      

A good descent route for those who prefer not to walk round!


20. Right Crack   6m   S

The awkward crack to the right.


Standing to the right of the shallow alcove is...


The Pinnacle


21. Pinnacle Crack - Left Hand   6m   D                         

The curving crack leads to a strenuous exit rightwards.


The wall to the left is 5a if climbed independently.


22. Pinnacle Crack - Right Hand   6m   VD     

Gain the overhanging crack direct, finish up the edge of the pinnacle.


23. Pinnacle Face   7m   HVS 5c

Climb the centre of the front face, using the right arête if you must!

Chris Woodall   1972


24. Chairman’s Climb   8m   VS 4b

Ascend the wide crack to the ledge; continue up the leaning wall using a pocket hold.  A slightly harder start can be made up the bottom arête left of the crack, missing out the ledge on the right at 5a.


25. Chockstone Chimney   8m   HD

Follow the wide crack that separates the Pinnacle from Jack's Wall.



Jack's Wall


26. Wall Bar Buttress   8m   S   *                     

The steep "juggy" wall to the right of Chockstone Chimney with two variations;


25a. Left Crack Only   4b


25b. Parallel Lines   4c

Right crack only. The crack becomes steeper near top.


27. Picture This   7m   VS 5a           

The short wall to the ledge, followed by the arête.  The mantel on to ledge is hard part.

Tony Marr Mid  1960’s


28. Scoop Chimney   7m   VD   **                                                    

The obvious gully splitting Jack's wall. An interesting start leads to a choice of two exits. A classic chimney route.


29. Pessimist   7m   E2 5c

The right arête of Scoop Chimney throughout.  Bold unprotected solo! 

Johnny Adams   1960’s


30. Pessimist Variation Finish   7m   E2 5b

The not so bold can climb the wall just right of the arête from the horizontal crack.

Paul Ingham   1977


31. Hara-Kiri   8m   HVS 5a   *

Climb the thin crack (a long reach is an advantage) then move slightly right and finish direct.  A direct start can be made at 5b.

John Hickman  Pre. 1959


32. Long Bow   7m   VS 4c ***  

Takes the prominent curving crack, finish up the cleft or the left arête. Awkward getting into exit crack.


33. Bowstring   7m   HVS 5b   *

The thin crack leads to the cleft. (Becoming harder, originally graded Mild Severe!).



34. The Bitter End   6m   HVS 5c   *  

Gain a “letter box” hold a few feet up, use it and finish direct.

Tony Marr  1965


35. A Harder Start    6a

Can be made by climbing straight up to the "letter box" avoiding the normal easier entry from the right.

Ian Cummings   1979


36. The End   6m   VS 4c   *                                              

The final arête direct


37. The Very End   4m   VD

The short crack right of The End.

Tony Marr 1979 (It had to be recorded!).


And finally some interesting problems...


38. The Girdle Traverse                   50m   4c   *

Climb up Grumble in the Jungle until it is possible to move around the arête of Twister step awkwardly around to Twin Cracks and continue to the junction with Pinnacle Cracks, descend slightly to a horizontal crack which leads around to the good ledge on Chairman's Climb.  Move across to the ledge of Scoop Chimney; continue along the horizontal crack (either with hands or feet) to the junction with Long Bow.  The climb can be terminated here OR; a slightly harder finish can be made by continuing across The Bitter End via the "letter box" hold to finish up the arête of The End.

Good climbing with some excellent positions.



39. Low Level Traverse   60m   5c   *

Starting at the extreme left end of the crag, the climb is really a series of boulder problems and the grade is dependant on how low one actually traverses. Usually lower means harder.


The main crux areas are: -

1   Crossing the walls of Dynamo.

2   Circling the base of the Pinnacle.

3   The final wall from Scoop Chimney to The End.

Now try reversing it missing out all the bigger holds!


The small buttress a few metres right provides some interest; try the 3 arêtes.




The new routes left by the rock fall seem to be hugely overgraded in comparison with the rest of the crag. Our views:

A Step Class - VDiff, or maybe Severe for the short
Forked Crack - Diff
Grumble in the Jungle - Diff

...you might be able to justify HVD, HD, and HD, but no more, unless you upgrade the rest of the crag.

Twin Cracks. S 4b or even S 4c for the short.
Twin Cracks right crack only - surely much harder than 4b? None of us could do it, and between us we led most of the VS's there.
Pinnacle Crack Right Hand deserves a star
Parallel Lines more like HS 4b
The Very End - no more than 4m surely, and felt about Diff. And did it really have to be recorded?!

Might be worth mentioning that there's a very large rocking block at the top between Grumble in the Jungle and Twin Cracks. Someone was belaying with gear behind it and was a bit disconcerted when I stepped onto the block from the top of the next route and the gear fell out! Simon Caldwell June 2006

This links Longbow and Hara-Kiri together, easy HVS 5a. 

We also did an even sillier link from Bowstring to Pessimist at about  5b.

Both by Andrew Harvie and team. 2009

More details regarding the bouldering at this venue at betaguides.com





Full details in the

North East England Guide


NOS Boulder is a small boulder easily seen in the distance from Park Nab.

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