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Stoupe Brow


OS Sheet: 94

Map Reference: NZ958023 

Aspect: North Facing


Approach Time: 2 minutes

Mini Guide: Stoupe Brow Mini Guide (PDF)


The view over Robin Hood's Bay from Stoupe Brow Quarry

It would appear as if there has been a lot of abseiling or top roping at the quarry for some time, possibly a training area of Fire or Mountain Rescue. Two lines of bolts on the quarry walls are also present. The first routes were not recorded until 1996, when A.Griffiths and Party ascended two lines up that largest boulder ‘Barry’ and Tom Newman added a hard problem in 2009 on the steep face of 'Barry'. The crag itself has seen further development recently, when the crag was visited by Dave Warburton and Franco Cookson who recorded the first routes on the quarry walls, with the quality Central Crack and Fire Dance, the bold solo of the bolted aręte. Steve Ramsden added Ram-raid in 2013

Situation and Character
Situated on Stoupe Brow overlooking Robin Hoods Bay, this crag occupies a quiet quarry near the picturesque town of Robin Hood's Bay on the North Sea Coast. The Quarry walls are around 10 - 15 metres tall and seem to contain a concentration of good, steep routes with prominent cracklines, scoops and hard bold arętes and walls. The prominent aręte has been bolted by climbers, but without the bolts is a stunning aręte test piece at E5 6a. (F6c with bolts). The top of the crag is littered with belay stakes, mainly on the right hand side.
The stakes are useful of setting up lower offs/sling to grab as the top outs are onto steep grass, which would be dangerous if at all damp. The Quarry floor contains two of the largest boulders in the North Yorkshire Moors, which contain some varied climbing and bouldering, details of which can be found online (betaguides). These crags are on private land and the landowner is concerned about the increasing use especially by large parties. Due to the delicate access situation it is recommend that climbers visit in small groups and try to keep a low profile. Large groups and abseiling is not allowed unfortunately. Access here is not a right, large and noisy groups have been asked to leave. If in doubt contact the BMC.


The spectacular routes along the nearby Smugglers Terrace are also worth investigating!

Access and Approaches
Follow Signs to Ravenscar (not the Hasty Bank one!) off the A171 eight miles south of Whitby. Follow the signs to Ravenscar, turning left at every opportunity. Turn left at a windmill towards the obvious mast and down the hill for approximately a mile until a lay-by on the right and the quarry on the left is apparent, The quarry is a two minute walk from the lay-by, via a path up shale mounds around the side of the jungle of Gorse. If the Lay-by is full (it won’t be) another layby is situated a little distance down the track that branches off left 20 metres further down.

The Climbs

Walrus Buttress
The huge buttress which is easily recognisable by the bow-shaped aręte on it's right side. This buttress contains the best of the climbing at Stoupe Brow and the routes rank with some of the finest on the Moors, home to the excellent 'Central Crack', 'The White Scoop' and 'Fire Dance'. There are many crack lines and blank walls waiting to be opened up!

1. Damascus 10m E5 6b **
The leftmost route on the crag. The tempting wall 4m left of Drilled Sacrilege contains two large pockets and is split by a thin crack. A pleasant boulder problem start leads to the pockets (gear) and then a hard crux to reach the break and more gear. Finish speedily up the steepest part of the wall on good holds.
Dave Warburton (Headpoint) 21/9/2013 An excellent safe addition to the Moors (if I do say so myself !).

2. Drilled Sacrilege   7m   6b+
The line of glue-in bolts on the left of the crag. Climb the left hand edge of Walrus Buttress with moves through overlaps. Grade and quality unknown but it's there to be climbed without!

3. The White Scoop   13m   E7 6b   ***
Ascend Central Crack until a rest at an obvious block in the crack, placing your runners here. Traverse left following an obvious line into the steepening scoop, with a scary finish miles above your runners.
Dave Waburton, Franco Cookson, Nick Warburton 18th September 2011
"When I climbed this, I ascended up the crack to the traverse left placing runners here (on route). The climb would be safer by placing higher runners but would require the climbed to basically climb Central Cracks before reversing. It could be enjoyed in whatever style though, the positions are excellent but the grade is for an ascent climbed by going up 'central crack' no further than you need to before traversing left."

Dave Waburton on The White Scoop   Photo: Franco Cookson


4. Central Crack   13m   E2 5c   **
The obvious central crack to the right of an orange roof is climbed, leading to difficult bridging moves up the scoop. Finish direct and fast to a steep exercise in grass pulling.
Franco Cookson, Dave Warburton 2nd July 2009

Ram-raid   E6 6c   15m   *

The wall right of Central Crack. A tricky start leads to a position close to Central Crack - gear and a rest. Traverse right from here past some fragile flakes to committing moves up and then back left to a slightly easier finish up the shallow groove.
Steve Ramsden 8th Sept 2013

5. Fire Dance   12m   E6 6a   **  or a friendly F6b+ ***
The impressive bow-shaped aręte has been bolted unfortunately, but allows a sustained and brilliant climb to be made via gripping moves. Soloed at E6 6a the climb can be enjoyed at F6b+with the bolts.
Franco Cookson, Dave Warburton 2nd July 2009

Right of Walrus Buttress, the crag is set back slightly. The first feature is a smooth rib, containing a large, low pocket and this is Waves of Inspiration. The twin cracks just left of this is:

6. Panda To The Masses E6 6c **
A classy bit of rock following the fierce twin cracks 2m left of the Waves of Inspiration. Hard climbing which can be protected with wires leads to a heart breaker of a last move.
Franco Cookson, Dave Warburton, Matt Ferrier (Ground Up After Cleaning) 03/Aug/2013

7. Waves Of Inspiration   8m   E7 6c  ***
The beautiful smooth rib right of Fire Dance offers sensationally sustained climbing up the waves, with low gear in the big pocket. A running belayer may help you on the crux, but not the thin and distinctly awkward top section.
Franco Cookson, Dave Warburton, Nick Warburton 18th September 2011 
"Franco graded this H7, suggesting it would be harder than E7 to ground up. It's bold, hard and blind etc etc, so certainly an impressive flash if managed!"

Franco Cookson on Waves of Inspiration  Photo: Dave Warburton


8. Christiania   E2 6a   *
The thin crack 10m right of Waves of Inspiration.
Sam Marks, Matthew Ferrier, Dave Warburton, Franco Cookson, Malcolm Scott 14/Aug/2013

30m right of Christiania  is an obvious crackline set in a corner starting at jammed blocks

9. Best of Both  11m   E1 5a*
Ascend the obvious wide crack starting at wedged blocks. The crack can be tackled 'traditionally' or more delicately. Poorly protected.
Nick Warburton, Dave Warburton, Franco Cookson 18th September 2011 
"Nick thrutched the line in the most bizarre style and was unable to accurately grade the ascent. I followed using holds either side of the crack and felt E1 5a was a good representation. Shame it's poorly protected but some good climbing in either style"

10. Eidolon E2 5c
Ascend the impressive clean arete found between Best of Both and Gulls of Navarone. Starting at an unclimbed corner line, tackle the aręte on its right side.
Dave Warburton, Sam Marks, Franco Cookson 23rd July 2012


Further right, past a large rounded aręte, is a broken buttress with an obvious vertical hand crack.

11. Gulls Of Navarone   10m   HVS 5a
Climb the vertical handcrack 20 metres to the left of 'Snake Charmer', via some good jams and moves. The upper section is likely to be turf-filled.
Dave Warburton, Franco Cookson 2nd April 2010

12. Snake Charmer   12m   E2 5c*
The roof jamming test on the right flank, starting up the sandy corner crack, has a bold move left early on and a poor band of rock below the roof that requires care. The upper crack is awkward, well protected and well worth the effort.
Dave Warburton, Franco Cookson 29th March 2010
"On the FA of this I pulled on a block that departed company with the wall and I narrowly missed the floor. Fortunately this lowered the hold and made the move easier and is on solid rock. Still care is required but the gear I had kept me off the deck and the upper crack is excellent"

13. Seaside Slab   8m   Severe
The wrinkled Slab on the right flank. Suspect rock.
Franco Cookson 21st January 2010


The Boulders:
A pair of boulders are situated in the quarry below the main crag.


Bervert the Boulder
The smaller of the huge boulders found in the quarry bottom.

14. Piton Crack Font 7a+*
The piton scarred crack on the wall facing Robin Hoods Bay gets progressively more difficult. Excellent climbing.

Barry the Boulder
This colossal boulder is a sight to behold and contains a selection of bouldering and routes.

15. Barry not very Bold E1 6a
Tackle the seaward face of the boulder just left of the undercut wall.
Andrew Griffiths solo 7th July 1996

16. Precision Font 7b
Standing start, just right of Dark Angel.
Tom Newman 2009

17. Dark Angel Font 7b+
Standing start. Tackles the obvious ramp line on the back.
Tom Newman 2009

18. Barry the Boulder E4 6a *
Steep and powerful moves up the undercut aręte on the landward face.
Andrew Griffiths, Mick Taylor 7th July 1996

19. Unknown Climb
Climb the hanging groove left of undercut aręte

20. Requiem Font 7c+
SS, on a big undercut jug. Climb up the left aręte on the biggest boulder on the steepest side.
Tom Newman 2009


Franco Cookson has made the first ascent of this highball/solo at Stoupe Brow. Tom Randall had this to say on Facebook ""Amazing effort from Franco Cookson. One of the best lines I've tried and some very beefy climbing on it.... I spent a few sessions on it and was absolutely sure of it being around E9 7a or you could bracket it in that "highball but really don't fall off at the top!" category. If I'd done this, I would rank it in the top 5 things I'd have ever done on grit/sandstone." Read more about Franco's exploits here http://francocookson.blogspot.co.uk/






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


Robin Hoods bay

Photo: Franco Cookson Collection

The large Boulder Boulder Griff leading Barry the Boulder




The Smaller Boulder Two


Steve and Mark Parkin bouldering on the smaller boulder at Ravensdale Quarry

Mark Parkin   Photo; Steve Parkin

Mark Parkin   Photo; Steve Parkin

Mark Parkin   Photo; Steve Parkin

Steve Parkin   Photo; Mark Parkin












Die By The Sword (H7 6c**), The White Scoop (E7 6b***) and Waves Of Inspiration (H7 7a***) from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.







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