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Sunny Brow Boulders



OS Sheet: 92

Map Reference: 972176 (Easterly Group) to 968174 (Far Crag)


Altitude: 340m

Approach: 30 minutes

Alan Dougherty   September 2002


Access: These descriptions confer no right of access but no difficulties have been experienced during the current development.


Note: Both the approaches and the boulders lie within the Danger Area of the Battle Hill Firing Range. Do not enter when red flags are flying.


Taking the minor road from Cotherstone to Bowes room should be found to park a couple of cars tidily on the north side of North Gill Bridge (GR 996175). Immediately to the south of the bridge a Public Footpath sign points westwards along a well-defined track. This can be followed, passing a gate / style at a sheepfold, for a couple of kilometres to the ruined farmstead at East Loups'. Just beyond East Loups', the tumbled down wall on the left (south) can be passed, descending slightly from the ridge track way, and the Easterly Group should be visible just ahead. This approach is 2.3km and takes about half an hour. It should be noted that the boulders are not visible until one is quite close. It is also possible to approach from Goldsborough (from where the boulders are hidden from view) by aiming for the gate (GR 964175) where the previously mentioned track (now marked on maps as a Public Bridleway) meets the open moor, near a solitary pine tree.


A south facing collection of Gritstone boulders and buttresses, up to 5m high, spread along some 600m of moor side. The Grit is generally of good quality but care needs to be taken with lichen (brushing has been kept to a minimum) and with the odd friable hold along iron rich bands. Many of the landings are good but there are some real ankle crunchers so beware - a bouldering mat is advised. Bracken between the boulders can be irksome but the bases of most problems are clear. Midges can be a nuisance when the wind drops. Generally the bouldering is of good quality and the ambience and outlook excellent, especially as an evening venue. Many of the problems finish with rounded mantelshelves that can feel precarious if the top is lichenous.



The present level of development results from visit by Alan Dougherty, Kevin Flint and Paul Johnson during summer 2002. Dougherty and Flint had previously visited circa 2000, when several problems were recorded and no evidence of previous climbing was noted. Scope remains for further problems and several existing ones have only been top - roped so far.        Steve Crowe visited in September 2002 and added a few problems and freed one top roped line.



British technical grades have been adopted without adjustment. Feedback required please.


General Layout

Via the suggested approach, the Easterly Group of 3m high boulders will be meet first.


The Three -tier Boulder is 90m to the west, with the Cantilever Stone just 5m to its east. Along the same line, 25m to the west is found the Two-tier Boulder and 30m beyond the Pudding Stone.

A further 30m to the west lies the Reference Point Group, which is situated where a stonewall runs up the hillside from by a pond.


Down - slope of this general line is found the pointed Matterhorn Boulder midway between the Two-tier Boulder and the Pudding Stone.


On the lower slopes hereabouts are various smaller boulders that may provide worthwhile problems, especially to aficionados of the sit-down start.


Just 5m west of the Reference Point Group lie the Three Sisters Boulders and 35m further west the obviously cleaved Lightning Crack Group, with three smaller boulders in between.


The Far Crag is 200m further west, and slightly lower down, in a small valley where the Toby Well spring emerges and comprises (from east to west) Toby Spring Buttress, The Cave, The Long Traverse Buttresses and, finally, the Far Undercut Boulder.


A good way to appreciate the general layout is to follow the cart track below the boulders and bracken. This extends to beyond the Reference Point stonewall before eventually fading into a sheep trod.


The Climbs 





Far Undercut Boulder

Nothing is recorded to date on this small boulder.



Long Traverse Buttresses

The following problems are all about 3m high.


Left Buttress


1. The Aręte 4b        

Climb the aręte.


2. The Wall 5b            

Climb the wall.


3. The Wall 5b            

Climb the wall.


4. Bilberry Crack 4c          

Climb the wide crack.


5. The West Wall 5b            

Climb the west facing wall.


Right Buttress


6. The Aręte 5b        

Climb the aręte.


7. Eliminate 5a


8. The Wall 4b            

The wall via little ledge 2m right.


9. The Wall 5a            

The wall 1m further right.


10. The Wall 5a            

The Wall 1m right again (beware loose stone wall at top)


11. The Long Traverse 14m 5b*

Sustained and strenuous. Traverse the obvious break from left to right across both buttresses. Beware of the odd friable pocket on the second section


The Cave


12. The Cave 4c            

Bridge the cave to exit to right.


13. The Wall 5a            

Climb right wall of cave to exit as previous problem.


14. The Wall 5a            

Wall to right, finish via a pocket.


Toby Well Buttress

15. TW Left-hand 4c            

Left-hand flake/crack.


16. TW Right-hand 4b            

Right-hand crack/overlap.



About 250m east and at a slightly higher level is…




The Sheepfold

This group has various bits of stonewall making a sheepfold. The first problems are found on the down slope boulder:


17. Left Edge 5b        

Use the left edge for left hand.


18. West Wall 6b        

The wall direct using the good slot for the right hand but neither aręte.

Steve Crowe                10th September 2002


19. S W Aręte 5b        

Without stepping on the low stonewall.


20. Mantelshelf 5b        

Mantelshelf wall to right of previous problem.


21. Mantelshelf 5b/c                 

Right of east aręte - mantel (no aręte). 5b-c depending on line


22. Mantelshelf 5a        

Mantel 2m right of the previous problem.


Behind this Boulder is… 


The Buttress at the Back


23. The Groove 5b        

Groove to jam/mantle 3m to left of obvious aręte.


24. The Wall 5b            

An eliminate up the wall between previous problem and the aręte.


25. The Bulging Aręte 5b *     

 The impressive Aręte. The sitting starts is 6a.


26. The Wall 5b            

The wall to the right of the aręte. Sitting start is 5c.


27. Traverse the obvious break. 5b (5c -6a variations possible on lower lines)


Just to the left (passed on the easy way down) is a small low-level "cave":


28. The Cave 5c

Sit Start - exit the cave via hand -jam and continue by brutal thrutching in crack, or more elegantly, on the outside.

Two variations keeping left or right of the crack are harder.


A few metres below and slightly east is..


About 30m east is…



Pudding Stone

A 4m high section with good landings


The Pudding Stone with Two and Three Tier Buttresses in the back ground.


29. Prow LH 5a            

Aręte left of prow.


30. Prominent Prow 5c/6a      

Easier via groove to left.


31. The Crack 5c        

The crack to right to awkward finish.


32. Aręte 6a


33. The Slab 6a*      

Thin slab to right of aręte.


34. The Traverse 5b/c                 

The obvious crack line. 14m - strenuous.


Matterhorn Boulder


35. Left Aręte 4b        


36. Superdirect 6a        

 The wall direct to high runnel on the right. Sitting start is not much harder 6a/6b.

Steve Crowe 10th September 2002


37. Right Aręte 5b        

The wall with right hand on right aręte.


38. The East Face 5a           

Climb the slabby east face using a side-pull just to the right of the aręte (no use of aręte).  

About 30m east is…

Two-tier Boulder 

This boulder has good landings.


39. The Wall 5b/c                 

Wall to left of aręte.


40. The Aręte 4b                  

The aręte.


40a. The Wall 5b                 

Wall to the right of aręte.

Karin Magog 23rd September 2002


Another 25m further east is…


Three-tier Boulder


41. Autumnal Aręte 6a             

The hanging aręte on west face.

Steve Crowe                10th September 2002


42. The Crack 5b        

Crack to left of aręte between west and south faces. Climb left of the aręte via pocket. (Easier if you can reach the pocket from the ground!)


43. The Aręte 5b        

Climb the aręte direct using tiny arrow shaped hold under overlap.


44. South Face 5b       

Middle of south face, heel-hooking the obvious break.


45. The Wall 5b            

Wall 1m left of eastern aręte of south face. ???


46. The Aręte 5c       

Ascend the aręte at corner of west and south faces. An easy start via an excellent undercling leads to a fingery finish.


47. The Scoop 5b/c        

The obvious scoop to the right is harder than it looks. Establish on the horizontal break using a good undercling. Difficult moves, with tiny footholds, lead up the scoop.

Steve Crowe 10th September 2002


The Scoop


48. The Bulge 6b        

The slightly bulging wall to the right of the scoop is started without stepping on the adjacent boulder and leads to a thin and strenuous sequence. Top Roped.


Just to the east is…

Cantilever Stone

Considered too dangerous. The team physicist made mutterings about loads and fulcrums and the team geologist pointed to the friable nature and minimal extent of the "supporting" rock. The engineer arrived some time later and after some initial tests decided it should be okay, with care.


49. A Question of Balance 6a  

The centre of the front face is surmounted with some trepidation!

Steve Crowe 10th September 2002


About 85m further east are the final boulders.


Easterly Group

The left hand of two boulders nearest to the top track gives:


50. The Aręte 5b


51. The Scoop 5b


51a. The Bulge 5c

Start off the obvious undercut for right hand. 


52. The Crack 5b  

Finger pocket to blind crack 5b


Down to the right is the final boulder.


Final Boulder


53. The Arete 5a


54. The Roof 6b

Pull over the small roof just right of the arete on slopers.


55. The Slot 6a

Use the slot to gain a desperate mantelshelf finish.


56. The Right Wall 5b




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