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Wain Wath Force Scar

Details of this crag was previously recorded in North of England Rock Climbs by Stewart Wilson.



OS  Landranger Sheet: 92

Map Reference:    883016

Aspect: South

Altitude: 300m

Approach: 2 minutes



The crag was first climbed upon by members of the Swaledale Outdoor Club, in particular, Peter Dyson and Peter Ball aided and abetted by Nimmo Clarke. Paul Carling too left his mark here with ascents of The Day the Earth Moved and Desiree whilst Stew Wilson top-roped The Day for Moving Earth.


Situation and Character 

Wain Wath Force Scar is situated in Upper Swaledale about one mile upstream of Keld. The crag is on the North side of the river and faces due south enjoying full sunshine all day as well as the beautiful outlook over Wain Wath Force, a very popular picnic venue in summer. The escarpment is a long wall of limestone with a fair amount of loose rock which after cleaning provides good climbing. Trees along the top provide good anchors. A footpath, followed by the Coast to Coast Walk runs hard along the top edge of the crag. The left-hand end of the crag has a prominent cave which is the starting point for climbing. The average height of the crag is about fifteen metres and so individual heights are not given.


Access and Approaches

From Kirkby Stephen via Nateby follow the B6270 for about twelve miles passing the crag and Wain Wath Force on the left. Turn immediately left over Park Bridge and park.

The same place can be reached via upper Swaledale. From Park Bridge either follow the footpath Westwards along the top of the crag and continue above the cave until a descent can be effected by means of a grassy rake or alternatively from the road, cross the stepping stones in the river to reach the crag.


The Climbs

The climbs are described from left to right.


1 Duke VS 4b

Start 18m left of the cave below an obvious corner. Climb this to the top of the crag.


2 Eridor HVS 5a

Start 3m right of Duke below an obvious open groove. Climb the groove to the top of the crag.


3 Bruceís Route HVS

Climb the crack in the immediate left wall of the cave throughout. The remaining climbs are to the right of the cave.


4 The Day the Earth Moved VS 4c

Start at a large pedestal on the right wall of the cave near the back. From the pedestal, climb the shallow chimney and finish up the wall above moving right to a tree at the top.


5 The Day for Moving Earth NL 5a

Start on the right-hand side of the right wall of the cave, below a short jamming crack. Climb the crack and move right, passing a loose block to gain a wider crack above. Follow this and the face above to finish at a big Yew tree.


6 Samwise S

Climb the obvious corner to the right passing an Ash tree. Forty metres further right is an obvious vegetated chimney which could possibly be used for a descent:


7 Willís Chimney D

Climb the chimney.


8 Bilbo HS 4a

Start at a corner below an overhang, just right of a large tree growing out of the base of the crag 25m right of Willís Chimney. Climb the corner to the overhang and avoid this by stepping left onto the slabby wall by a small Rowan tree. Finish above.


9 Gondor HVS 5a

Start 10m right of Bilbo below a large, open corner, climb the corner to the first overhang then make a difficult and delicate traverse right to finish up a corner to the right.


10 Dragon VS 4b

Start 25m further right at an obvious corner split by a thin crack. Climb the corner.


Approximately fifty metres further right is another deep gully and seven metres right again is an obvious V-chimney with a crack in the back of it.


11 Brown Chimney S

Climb the V-chimney.


12 Shelob S

Start 20m further right, just right of a large, fallen Elder below a V-chimney. Climb the short wall to a tree then climb the V≠ chimney.


At the right end of the crag is a ruined stone building. Above and slightly right is a large, block overhang halfway up the crag. Here is found:


13. Desiree HVS 5a

Climb the wall slightly right of the overhang. Make a hard move right onto a ledge then step up and traverse the wall on the left above the overhang to a ledge. Move left along a break until it is possible to exit at a tree.



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