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Tarn Hole


OS Landranger Sheet: 93

Map Ref: SE593976

Aspect WNW Facing
Altitude: 310m
Approach: 25 minutes

Mini Guide: Tarn Hole Mini Guide (PDF)    

Situation and Character
This compact outcrop is situated to the east of High Crag, across the valley above Tarn Hole beck. The crag enjoys the sun late afternoon/early evening and is best visited on a dry day as some of the climbs are lichenous and can be very slippery when wet. This small detraction should improve with traffic. Tarn Hole Crag can be easily combined with a morning visit to High Crag.

Tony Marr recorded his ascent of Bitter Sweet in 1986. He returned in 1987 to climb Easy Alley, then with Geoff Vaughan he collected Soft Top, Trivial Pursuit and with one point of aid, No Return. Geoff led Dog Fight. Nine years later Steve Crowe and Karin Magog added The Alligator routes, and then freed No Return to give A Reach Too Far, in April 1996.

Access and Approaches
Park in the lay-by on the B1257 near The Grange. Walk about 200m south down the road where a track leads towards Hagg House. Just before Hagg House the track forks, take the right fork (the left fork leads to Hagg House). Parking is no longer permitted at the fork. Follow the east bank of Tarn Hole beck, initially through fields then into the mixed woodland; continue until the crag appears on the right skyline. The main crag consists of two buttresses separated by a left slanting chimney, Easy Alley. To the left and above the main crag is an impressive protruding block above a large boulder. The first routes tackle this.


There have been complaints about climbers approaching these crags over private land near Hagg House. Would climbers please approach as follows:

Tarn Hole Crag – Approach on the footpath across the moor from Apple Tree Hurst Farm.

1. The Alligator Snout 3m HVS 5b
Starting on the large boulder, climb the short left aręte of the Snout.
Steve Crowe, Karin Magog both led 9th April 1996

2. The Alligator Shuffle 5m HVS 5b *
A slightly easier but bolder solution. Start at the left aręte, as for The Alligator Snout. Then traverse rightwards around the right aręte before surfacing at good layaways. Good value.
Steve Crowe, Karin Magog 9th April 1996

About 20m right past some insignificant blocks is the impressively overhanging left buttress of the Main Crag.

3. A Reach Too Far 10m E4 6b ***
From the left edge, under the roofs, traverse rightwards to gain jugs. Sling and 1.5 friend. (No Return stood in the sling at E2 6a). A long reach rightwards may gain a small pocket continue boldly, diagonally right, to better holds and 3 friend. From the ledge step off the holly bush, (This can be climbed with out the holly but with great risk of serious puncture injury!), to gain the wall above and continue on improving holds past a 0 Friend to a precarious finish.
FA Tony Marr, Geof Vaughan 1 point of aid 1987
FFA Steve Crowe, Karin Magog both led 13th April 1996

4. Easy Alley 6m HS 4b
The chimney that separates the two buttresses on the main crag.
Tony Marr 1987

5. Dog Fight 8m VS 4c
The corner crack 2m right of Easy Alley.
Geof Vaughan, Tony Marr 1987

The next two routes tackle the front of the right hand buttress and are both based around the narrow shelf at mid height.

6. Soft Top 8m E1 5b
There is a fine flake crack running up the centre of the RH buttress from the left edge of a shelf at mid height. Gain the left edge of the shelf and continue up the crack.
Tony Marr Geof Vaughan 1987

7. Trivial Pursuit 10m HVS 5b *
To the right of the shelf are two "eye holes". Use the holes to gain the shelf above. Step right and finish direct.
Tony Marr Geof Vaughan 1987

8. Bitter Sweet 10m VS 5a
The south face of this buttress forms a steep slab. Step up using pockets, step right then continue direct to the top.
Tony Marr 1986

There are more boulders and buttresses running south that may be worth attention.


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




Karin Magog doing The Alligator Shuffle HVS 5b © Steve Crowe

Karin Magog doing The Alligator Shuffle HVS 5b © Steve Crowe


Full details in the

North East England Guide



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