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The Wainstones from the Cleveland Way.


OS Landranger Sheet: 93

Map Reference: NZ559036

Aspect: North West and South West Facing

Altitude: 380m                       

Approach: 30 minutes

Mini Guide: Wainstones Mini Guide (PDF)



The name Wainstones [pronounced locally "Wainsteeans"] conveys the impression of a "Wain" or "Wagon" which at one time it may have resembled.  However legend has it that a Danish Chieftain was slain there; if this is so then it is more likely that the name was derived from the Saxon verb Wanian meaning to lament or grieve.  Indeed, one inscription that can still be seen is of great antiquity, others simply record the visits of modern barbarians! The first climber to record his visits to the Wainstones was E.E. Roberts who first climbed here in 1906. Robert's is reported to have written, "odd visits don't count, some idle shepherd boy may have climbed here before me". The brothers C.E. and D. Burrow along with Canon Newton recorded visits in 1912, they were joined about this time by E and G. Creighton the latter being sufficiently keen to cycle the 80 mile round trip from York to enjoy the climbing. In fact, the visits of E. Creighton continued into the period of the First World War when, armed with a revolver, he patrolled the Wainstones in hours of darkness, “Looking for Zeppelins”. From 1928 Arthur Barker and his brother explored the Wainstones along with a select band of Teesside climbers known as “The Bergers".  Barker was instrumental in establishing most of the standard routes including Bench Mark Crack, Ling Buttress, Sheep Walk Slab, The Bulge and the classic Wall and Ledge.  C.S and T.H. Tilly recorded visits in 1931 and 1932. Jack Devenport and Alan Parker came on the scene in 1939 to contribute Groove and Crack, Wall and Ledge Variant and other minor routes. After the war in late 1945 Phillip Horne and Maurice Wilson busied themselves by straightening out many existing routes and added alternative finishes.  A large rock fall swept away three of the older climbs but these were quickly replaced with Solomon’s Porch and Humpty Dumpty.  During a meet by the York M.C. in 1951 Tony Evenett lead the elusive Little Bo Peep. Cliff Fielding’s ascent of the superb Sphinx Nose Traverse in 1954 was followed by B. Mankin's bold ascent of Steeple Face the following year. During 1959 Eric Penman contributed the difficult Bulge Super Direct. Early in 1960 Terry Sullivan added the impressive Sesame and Ali Baba, although a little aid was used on the latter.  At the same time John Cheesmond solved the direct start to West Sphinx via the "Peapod", a trying problem even today. During 1965 Tony Marr caused renewed interest in the crag when he dispensed with the aid on Ali Baba, thus raising standards on the crag to a new high. Also in the same year the superb Concave Wall was climbed by Stan Shout, while fellow Hartlepool lad Stewart Wilson set about girdling Garfit Buttress with Steve Gretton and came up with the delectable Turkish Delight. The crag slumbered again for over a decade, awaiting the next generation eager to test their skills against its dwindling defences.1978 saw the arrival of a new breed of climber; they used climbing walls for training and were able to use well-practised technical skills and strength to great effect. Subsequently, Ian Dunn added the testing Peel Out to Ling Buttress in fine style. 1979 saw The Sphinx violated; first by Paul Ingham, Ken Jackson and Tony Marr who climbed the West Face Direct and a few months later by Paul Ingham accompanied this time by Ian Dunn to give the brutal Terrorist.  The early 1980's were very productive with Dave Paul finding a solution to the Needle West Face, and Dave Wilson climbed "Wilson's Groove", a super, super direct on The Bulge. Kelvin Neal ascended Lemming Slab with a slight detour, only to see Paul Ingham repeat it a few days later, and straighten it into its present form. Paul Ingham's final contribution is still one of the region’s hardest problems, Psycho Syndicate, a truly modern test piece, which sees few repeats even today. Not to miss out on the action, Tony Marr climbed the problematic Direct Start to Virgin Wall. During the spring of 1986 Steve Brown climbed the nose of The Sphinx to add his very bold and difficult contribution Black Knight. A short time later Tony Marr wrung Cissam from Garfit Buttress closing another chapter in the crags development. The next recorded activity was in 1992 when Martin Parker had a Walk on the Wild Side, a bold climb on the east face of the Sphinx. Finally Tony Marr and Mike Tooke added the excellent Summit Crisis in 1997 just to prove that there were still unclimbed lines left. In more recent times, due to the lack of an up to date guidebook and errors in the last edition, there were several claims of "new routes" which unfortunately had all been climbed before. However, the crag is far from worked out and new climbs await those with talent and an eye for a line.


Situation and Character

These rocks, known locally as “The Stones”, are prominent on the skyline at the western end of Hasty Bank overlooking the village of Great Broughton. The rock is sound, weathered sandstone with intrusions of iron. Due to its altitude and exposed position the crag can be unpleasantly cold but climbing can be enjoyed all year round, as one of its many faces is often sheltered and dry when the others are cold and damp.


Access and Approaches

The best approach is from the car park near the summit of Clay Bank, 2 miles south of Great Broughton on the B1257 Stokesley to Helmsley road.  Leave the road at this point and follow the forestry track south, up the flank of Hasty Bank. The track soon turns back north and eventually west as it levels out at the tree line. Pass under the impressive rocks of Raven's Scar and continue for a further 5 minutes to where the pinnacles of the Wainstones will be seen on the skyline. Alternatively follow the paved path (Cleveland Way) from Clay Bank. This route leads over the top of the moor just above the edge of Raven's Scar and arrives at the top of the crag close to the famous Wainstones Needle.


Broughton Face

The most prominent landmark is the Wainstones Needle as it acts as a fulcrum about which the two escarpments hinge.  Facing North West is Broughton Face and facing South West is Bilsdale Face.


Broughton Buttress

The first climb starts at the extreme northeast end of the buttress.

                                                                                                Photo: Steve Crowe



1. Broughton Ridge   6m   VD

From the left gain a polished sloping foothold on the ridge, which is climbed direct. The ridge can also be started direct, up the smooth arête at 5a. 

Pre 1956


2. Bench Mark Crack   7m   HS 4b    *

Ascend the awkward corner crack easily identified by the bench mark carved at its base.

Arthur Barker circa 1928


3. Bench Mark Wall   7m   E1 6a

Climb the shallow groove immediately right of the corner without recourse to the crack. Unfortunately this wall is often damp and greasy.

Paul Ingham (solo) 1982


A modern test piece lies in the centre of the steep wall just to the right.  This is...


4. Psycho Syndicate   8m   E4 6b   *

Climb the wall via the peg scars. One of the region’s most testing problems.

Paul Ingham (solo) April 1984.  Ingham’s final contribution before leaving the area.


5. Tiny's Arête Direct   8m   HVS 5b  *

Starts from the left side then tackles the arête direct. A splendid eliminate.

Chris Shorter (solo) 1977


6. Tiny's Dilemma   8m   HVS 5a

Climb straight up the face just right of the arête avoiding any temptation to use the corner/crack on the right. Good climbing, unfortunately becoming much harder due to polished holds.

Pre 1956. Originally graded severe before the passage of many feet!


7. Tiny’s Dilemma Variation   8m   VD

This ancient and popular variation has never before been officially recorded. Climb the corner/crack to the ledge; step left to finish up the normal route.

Pre 1960


8. Low level traverse   6m   6a   *

Start at Broughton Ridge and finish at Tiny's Dilemma. Now reverse it. Any advance on twelve continuous circuits? 

Tony Marr 1983


9. Rookery Nook   8m   D

Climb the short chimney to the ledge, move left and finish up the top section of Tiny's Dilemma.

Pre 1956


10. Morning Wall   6m   MS 4a   *

Ascend the centre of the delicate slab between Tiny's Dilemma and Rookery Nook. Finish up the vee crack above.

Pre 1956


10a. Black Sheep   8m   VD
Start 2m right of
Milky Way. Gain the sloping shelf then climb the outside of the curving arête to the large ledge. (Belay possible). Finish up the thin vertical crack or, the right edge of the final wall. Enjoyable climbing.
FA. Mike Tooke, Frank Fitzgerald, Tony Marr. 3rd. August 2008.


11. Milky Way   7m   D

Climb the chimney of Rookery Nook then cross the wall on the right to escape up the slanting cracks.

Pre 1956


12. Evening Wall   8m   VD

Starts just right of the last climb from the sloping shelf. Climb the centre of the wall on small holds to the large ledge.  Finish up the corner crack.



Sheep Walk

This is the broad gully separating Broughton Buttress from the main rocks.  The next climbs start at the top end of the gully.

                                                                                                Photo: Steve Crowe



13. Green Wall   4m   HS

Ascend the steep wall up a thin vertical crack. Variations can be climbed just to the left [5a] and to the right [S].

Bill Dell, Dave Staton 1958


14. Sheep Walk Slab   7m   M   *

A diagonal traverse starting from the left to finish up a short chimney.

Arthur Barker circa 1928


15. Variation Start   5m   D

Climb straight up the line of the final chimney.

Pre 1956

15a. Shepherds Wall 5m S

Just right of the Variation Start to Sheep Walk Slab.

Tony Marr, Mike Tooke 01/09/2011

16. Flake, Wall and Crack   6m   HS 4b

Start from the flake embedded in the path.  Gain the ledge and follow the cracks to finish.

Pre 1956.


17. Solomon’s Porch   6m   S

Around the corner from the last climb is a crack. Climb it and the buttress left of the top crack. A direct start can be made up the bottom arête at the same grade.

Phillip Horne, Maurice Wilson 1945.


18. Lurch   6m   VS 4b

Climbs the arête just right of Solomon’s Porch mainly on its right side with a slightly dynamic move.

Tony Marr 1968.


19. Humpty Dumpty   5m   D

The short slab followed by a bulging crack right of Lurch.

Phillip Horne, Maurice Wilson 1945.


20. Novitiate   5m   Easy

Climb the polished rocks just right of Humpty Dumpty.

Pre 1956.


The Steeple

The cleft tower stands between the main rocks and the Needle.


21. Steeple Groove   8m   D

The obvious corner crack 3m right of Novitiate, finish on the summit of the Steeple.

Pre 1956


22. Steeple Face   9m   HVS 5b   *

Start from the lowest point and climb the centre of the steep tower with increasing difficulty. Bold.

B. Mankin (solo) 1955. The route was considered one of the crag’s most exacting climbs in the 1950s.   


23. Steeple Chimney   8m   VD   *

The obvious cleft splitting the Steeple can be climbed elegantly up its outside edge or by a more traditional thrutch inside. Either way the climb is well worth the effort.

Pre 1956


24. Centre Fold   8m   HVS 5c

Climb the centre of the black wall just right of the chimney to a ledge on the arête.  Finish up the arête.

Tony Marr (solo) 1979.


25. Chop Yat Ridge   8m   VD

Start lower than the last climb at the base of the ridge on the Bilsdale side of the Steeple. Ascend the ridge to a horizontal break.  Move right then up to the summit block.

Pre 1956.


25a. Chop Yat Ridge - Direct   7m   HVS 5b   *
Straight up the right edge of the ridge (without moving right). Good moves, a long reach helps.

Martin Whitton, Steven Phelps 22/09/2008


26. Steeple Gap   7m   M

Start in the corner to the right of Chop Yat Ridge. Ascend the corner to finish on top of the Steeple.

Maurice Wilson 1957.


Needle Gap

The name given to the rocky depression separating the Steeple from the Needle.


Wainstones Needle

Wainstones Needle West Face                                                   Photo: Steve Crowe


27. Main Route   6m   M   *

Start on the north side of Needle Gap.  Ascend a slab to the base of the top block, step left and climb the well-scratched arête to the top. Beware, the top block wobbles !

FFA  Arthur Barker 1928.


Other variations are possible at a similar standard - with the exception of the following two routes.


28. North Route   7m   HVS 5b

Climb the flake and make a long reach to pass the awkward bulge, continue direct to the summit.

Brian Evans (solo) 1959.


29. West Face Direct   8m   E4 6b   *

Impressive climbing up the shallow groove in the centre of the wall. Not a climb to fall off!

Dave Paul (solo) 1980.  A very bold and technical climb by Paul, done before multiple crash mat protection was available.    


30. West Face Low Level Traverse   6m   5c

A short problem crossing the base of the Needle byway of a horizontal crack. Climb from left to right, finishing up the arête adds interest.  Can also be climbed in reverse.

Paul Ingham 1978


31. The Girdle   10m   VD

Start for Main Route to the top of the block, and then traverse around the block using a crack about two metres from the summit.  Stop after two revolutions and unwind!

Pre 1956


Bilsdale Face


Summit Buttress

                                                                                                Photo: Steve Crowe



32. Bird Lime   7m   E3 5c   *

Start from the embedded block. Pull onto the wall and boldly climb the friable flakes to a good hold.  Continue directly to the top. 

1965. Miles Mosely [solo]. Mosely had recently moved from Teesside to work in Harrogate allowing him easy access to the local gritstone outcrops.  Asked about his impressive ascent, Mosely said that although he’d failed on the route previously, he owed this success to “new found strength and technique from climbing VS at Almscliff”; enough said!       


33. Bird Lime - Variation Start   8m   E3 5c   **

Start in the corner to the left of the normal route. Pull around the bulge with difficulty to gain the fragile layback flakes. Finish as the normal route.
Tony Marr 27th August 2000 (solo).  The normal route starts from a large boulder, which is slowly slipping down the hill. This start may prove useful in years to come!


34. Little Bo-Peep   11m   VS 4b   **

Right of Bird Lime, around the corner is a large block in the gully.  Climb the front of the block to the ledge.  Hand traverse left in a fine position to the arête.  Pull into a shallow groove to finish.  A little climb with a big feel to it.

Tony Evenett 1951.   Climbed during a visit by the York MC.


35. Miss Muffet   8m    VS 4c   *

Follow Little Bo-Peep until the start of the hand traverse, then continue instead up a steep groove direct to the summit. Short but strenuous.

Late 1950’s.  This route masqueraded as severe for many years.


36. On Form   12m   E1 5b

A traverse of Summit Buttress.  Start as for Little Bo-Peep and follow the horizontal fault around the corner to escape up the last few metres of Bird Lime.

Ian Dunn, Nick Dixon 1982


37. Summit Crisis   12m   E2 5c   *

This is a left to right traverse of Summit Buttress.  Start in the corner to the left of Bird Lime.  Climb the corner for two metres until it is possible to move right and finger traverse the thin “seam” to join Bird Lime. Continue rightwards to the arête (On Form in reverse). The climb may be finished here but it’s more interesting to step down and reverse Little Bo-Peep.

Tony Marr, Mike Tooke 15th June 1997


38. Cantilever   6m   D

Climb the rocks in the gully between the two buttresses until beneath the large jammed chock stone.    Surmount the chock stone direct.

Pre 1956.


Ling Buttress

This buttress lies on the right of the gully.

                                                                                                Photo: Steve Crowe


39. Peel Out   8m   E4 6b

Climbs the overhanging right wall of the gully. Follow the line of shallow flakes to the ledge.  Finish up the ridge.

Ian Dunn, Steve Brown.  Spring 1978. Named after several airborne excursions!


39a. Ling Arête   HVS 5a

Climb the right arête of Peel Out on it's left side up a series of small steps. Quite awkward and can only be protected by a small tri-cam and a very small brass nut.

Franco Cookson, Dave Warburton  03 September 2007


40. Ling Buttress   10m   HS 4b   **

Climb the front left edge of the buttress into a triangular niche then gain the arête on the left by an awkward step.  Continue to finish up the ridge. A direct variant without the step left from the niche is slightly harder than the normal route and almost as good. Superb climbing with good protection. 

Arthur Barker circa 1928.


41. Groove and Crack   10m   HVD   *

Start in a corner to the right of the last climb. Climb the corner to a ledge on the right then follow the ramp to finish up a short vertical crack with an awkward exit.

Jack Devenport, Alan Parker 1939.


42. Ling Corner   10m   S

Climb Groove and Crack to the foot of the ramp. At this point climb the slab on the right to finish up the right edge of the wall. A harder finish can be climbed up the wall to the left through a notch (4b).

Pre 1956


43. Falcon Rib   11m   D

Start at the foot of a prominent rib at the entrance to a cave 3 metres right of Ling Corner. Climb the rib to a ledge, scramble up and left to finish up the short chimney in the edge of Ling Buttress. A slightly harder start can be made up the wall on the left side of the rib.

Pre 1956


37a. Cave Route 8m HVD
Start in the cave right of Falcon Rib.
Climb the boulders in the back of the cave until it is possible to gain a shelf on the edge of the Sphinx Rock. Finish up the summit arete. Entertaining. Probably climbed before but not recorded.
FA. Tony Marr, Mike Tooke 27/08/09.


Sphinx Rock

                                                                                                Photo: Steve Crowe


44. West Sphinx Climb   11m   E2 5b   *

Start beneath the nose at the lowest point. A staircase leads left around the overhang to where a difficult step up brings a thin horizontal crack within reach. Follow the crack delicately leftwards to finish more easily up the summit arête.

Harry Hall, J. Biggins, Bill Dell 1959. An incredibly bold ascent for its time with the climbing being totally unprotected until the introduction of small wire chocks in the 1970s


45. West Sphinx Direct   10m   E3 5b   **

Follow West Sphinx Climb until the horizontal crack is reached. Step up right to gain “The Eye” then move right onto a slab and follow it to the top. Sustained climbing with superb positions.

Paul Ingham, Ken Jackson, Tony Marr 6th May1979.


46. Direct Start   10m   E2 5c   *

The wall to the left of the normal start contains an obvious "Pea Pod".  Gain the pod then pull over the bulge to join the two previous climbs at the horizontal crack. The choice of finishes is yours. A testing problem, especially for the short!

John Cheesmond (solo)1960. 

Direct Start –Variation   E3 6a

Harder and more sustained than the normal route. Begin below and right of the normal start, at the foot of the arête. Climb the edge of the arête on its overhanging side until it is possible to finger traverse left to gain the “Pea Pod”; finish as for the Direct.

Paul Ingham (solo)1983.


47. Black Knight   10m   E5 6c

Climb straight up to and over the Sphinx Nose via the old peg scarred crack. Serious and technical climbing. (The peg used for protection under the nose is no longer in-situ).

1960s Climbed as an artificial route called Sphinx Nose Direct.

FFA Steve Brown 1986. Second did not follow.


48. Terrorist   10m   E4 5c   *

Gain the short hanging corner immediately right of the nose, step right and climb the wall direct on small holds to the summit. A serious undertaking.

1960’s. Climbed as an artificial route called Sphinx Nose.

FFA  Paul Ingham, Ian Dunn September 1979.  The team placed a peg for protection in the corner but this was subsequently considered unnecessary and removed.


49. Walk on the Wild Side   10m   E3 5c

Immediately right of Terrorist is a short groove capped by a roof. Climb over the roof on small holds to a flake crack, which leads to the break of Sphinx Nose Traverse, then direct to the top. Serious.

Martin Parker [solo, after one top roped practice] 23rd February 1992.


50. East Sphinx Direct   7m   VS 5a

In the wall to the right of Terrorist is a short hanging crack. Follow the crack direct and finish up the wider crack above.   Note: - The climb has become badly scarred and harder due to badly placed protection! Please place and remove your runners carefully.

Harry Hall, J. Biggins, Bill Dell 1959. The climb was originally graded severe and used a convenient large boulder at the start, which allowed the pocket holds to be reached easily. Unfortunately severe ground erosion over the years has made the climb over a metre higher and subsequently much harder.   


51. Left Hand Variation   9m   E2 5c

Start as for East Sphinx Direct. From the top of the thin hanging crack move left and climb a thin curving crack to a junction with Walk on the Wild Side. Finish up the final wall to the summit. Serious.

Dave Purvis (solo) 1961. Apparently climbed unintentionally! Purvis had climbed up to “take a look” but passed the point of no return and had to carry on.   


52. East Sphinx Climb   7m   HVD   *

Start in the gully. Follow the obvious ledges leftwards to a prominent crack, which is climbed to a good spike and ledge.

Climbed prior to 1954.


53. Sphinx Nose Traverse   13m   S   ***

This route is merely an extension of East Sphinx Climb but what a superb pitch it produces! Start as for East Sphinx Climb but leave the vertical crack for a delicate and exposed traverse via the ‘Sphinx Eye’ to the arête. Pull onto the nose to finish on flutings; a classic.

Cliff Fielding and party 1954.


54. Traverse of the God's   14m   E2 5b

A sustained climb which crosses the two faces of Sphinx Rock. Start in the cave to the right of Falcon Rib. Bridge up the walls of the cave to pull onto the flank of the Sphinx. Reverse the traverse of West Sphinx Climb along the horizontal crack, and then continue around the nose under a small overlap to join the crack of Sphinx Nose Traverse. Using this for the hands, continue to the final crack of East Sphinx Climb and the top. A bold climb requiring careful rope work.

Ian Dunn, Steve Brown 1982.


To the right of Sphinx Rock and a little higher are three vertical cracks about 1m apart.  These are; -


55. Pip   4m   D  

The corner on the left.


56. Squeak   4m   VD  

The crack in the nose of the slab.


57. Wilfred   4m   HD 

The vee groove/crack.


58. Curving Wall   4m   VD  

Start just right of Wilfred. Climb the concave wall trending right.

All climbed prior to 1956


Bilsdale Buttress

                                                                                                Photo: Steve Crowe


59.     Jackdaw Ridge   10m   VD   *

Start at the left side of the buttress. Climb the ridge direct until near the crest where polished footholds lead left across the face to finish.

Pre 1956


60. Jackdaw Wall   7m   E2 6a

Climbs the centre of the short wall left of Jackdaw Ridge. Thin climbing above an appalling landing.

Late 1950s


61. Jackdaw Gully   10m   M   *

The vee gully to the right of Jackdaw Ridge, with an awkward move at the narrowing.

Pre 1956


62. Christopher   9m   VS 4b   **

Climb Jackdaw Gully for about two metres then cross the right wall and pull around onto the slab on the right by some delicate moves.  Finish up the slab. Another "classic" originally graded Severe.

Christopher Robin Columb, Maurice Wilson 1956.     


63. Christopher Direct   9m   VS 4c

Climb directly over the overlap at its centre.

Peter Brayshaw, John Smith  1994. Possibly climbed before but never recorded.


64. The Bulge (Super Direct)   8m   E1 5b

Starts at the foot of a shallow groove just right of Jackdaw Gully.  Gain the groove then climb the wall on its right directly to the top. Serious climbing, and high in its grade.

Eric (Spider) Penman (solo) 1959. This route is growing both in height and seriousness due to severe ground erosion.


65. Wilson's Groove   8m   E3 6a

This climb is essentially a hard variation on The Bulge Super Direct. Climb directly up the groove and the delicate slab above. Serious.

Dave Wilson (solo) 1982


66. The Bulge   9m   VS 4c   *

Start from the foot of Dusty Gully. Climb up to gain a horizontal finger crack then follow it left around the bulge until an awkward step up leads into the final corner.

Arthur Barker  circa 1928. The loss of a crucial handhold has made this fine route significantly harder. Originally graded Severe. 


67. The Bulge Direct   8m   VS 4b

Start as for The Bulge but from the beginning of the traverse climb directly over the small overhang then trend left up the slab to finish.



68. The Bulge Low Level Traverse   4m   5c   ó

An interesting problem starting at the foot of Dusty Gully. Start from a flat foothold on the right arête, step down left and cross the wall to finish in Jackdaw Gully. Now reverse it.

Tony Marr  1977.


69. Christopher/Bulge Combo   11m   VS 4c

An interesting combination for climbers who have “done them all”. Start as for Christopher at the foot of Jackdaw Gully.  Climb this for two metres until it is possible to hand traverse the thin crack around the arête, move down and traverse rightwards to the corner and finish up The Bulge Direct.

Tony Marr, Mike Tooke  15th June 1997.


Dusty Gully

This is the cleft that separates Bilsdale Buttress from Main Wall. The walls of the gully have all been climbed [D/VD] but do not warrant detailed descriptions.


Main Wall

The large face right of Dusty Gully.

                                                                                                Photo: Steve Crowe


70. The Slab Climb Variation   9m   S   *

Climb directly up the extreme left edge of the slab with a hard move at the start. An enjoyable and slightly easier variation (VD) can be made by starting up the next route then meandering between the two using a combination of the best holds on each.     

Both variations late 1950s.


71. The Slab Climb    9m   S   **

The normal route.  Start about two metres in from the left edge.  Ascend the polished holds direct to finish up a short crack.

Pre 1956.


72. Central Route   9m   HVS 5a

Climb the centre of the face via a delicate mantelshelf manoeuvre.

1959 (solo). A climber from Halifax made the first ascent, unfortunately his name was not recorded. Vic Tosh watched the climb and later made the comment  he just flew up it, like going up stairs.”  


73. Wall and Ledge   10m   D   ***

Start near the centre of the slab. Move up right to gain a diagonal crack, which is followed until a step left brings the final corner within reach. Delightful climbing.

Arthur Barker circa 1928.


74. Ridge Route   12m   HVD

Start from the lowest point of the wall below the right arête. Make a strenuous pull up the rib onto a ledge on the right, step left around the corner and climb the arête to the top of the flake. Finish for Wall and Ledge route.        

Jack Devenport, Alan Parker 1939.


75. Ridge Route Right Hand   12m   HVS 5a

Start as for Ridge Route but follow the arête on its right side to the top of the flake. Finish as for the normal route.

Tony Marr (solo) 1972


76. Wall and Ledge Variant   12m   HVD   *

Start at the lowest point of the rocks, just right of the rib. Two interesting mantelshelves are followed by a move around the corner and then a step up to join the normal route to finish.

Jack Devenport, Alan Parker  1939.


77. Concave Wall   11m   HVS 5b   ***

Start as for the last route. After the initial mantelshelves, move right into the centre of the slab then make a difficult step up onto the obvious foothold in the crack, continue to the top of the flake. Finish directly up the narrow wall. Superb and delicate climbing.   A variation start can be made just to the right of the mantelshelves from a recess, the climbing is more direct and slightly harder but not as enjoyable.

Stan Shout  Spring 1965 (1 protection peg).  The crux of the climb was actually climbed during the previous winter, wearing mountain boots! A snowdrift some four metres deep had formed, covering the foot of the slab, this provided a convenient starting point and soft landing area. On the first true ascent the following spring, a peg was placed to protect the crux but this was subsequently considered unnecessary and removed.    


78. Mousehole Gully   10m   M/VD

The obvious cleft right of Concave Wall can be climbed inside (M) or outside (VD).  Finish up the crack in the top wall of Garfit Buttress.

Pre 1956


Garfit Buttress


                                                                                                Photo: Steve Crowe


79. Garfit Eliminate   18m   E1 5b   *

Contrived but with some excellent and sustained climbing. Start by climbing Concave Wall route until just after its crux, then stride across Mousehole Gully onto the front face of Garfit Buttress. Continue by making a rising traverse right to escape up the final c rack of Virgin Wall.

FFA  Ken Jackson, Tony Marr, Johnny Adams  1967.


80. Lemming Slab   10m   E4 5c

Start in the centre of the front face of the buttress.  Climb directly over two obvious ledges with a tricky move to reach a horizontal crack.  Step slightly left [not as far as the corner] and climb direct to the second break and a projection, continue in the same line by further hard moves to the top corner.  Sustained with some bold moves.

Kelvin Neal, Chris Oswald  1980. The first ascent was made in very controversial style using long slings from two pre-placed pegs to protect the first wall, the climbers then moved to the left edge and climbed the arête so avoiding the main difficulties. "I was one of the two who first led the climb which was later perfected. I was the first to climb it, but on a top rope, but was pumped out and Kelvin made the first ascent leading." Chris Oswald. 

A few days after the first ascent Paul Ingham and Alan Taylor repeated the climb, without the pegs also taking a more direct line to finish, which is now the normal route.


The next three routes all share a common start at a shallow groove in the edge of the buttress...


81. Ali Baba   10m   E2 5c   **

Climb the groove to the overhang.  Pull left around the overhang to finish up the centre of the top block. 

FA   Terry Sullivan, February 1960. Climbed with 3 pegs for aid. The climb had taken several hours in icy cold conditions. Sullivan’s second was now rigid with cold and unable to follow, it was also almost dark. Obviously a memorable day out!   

FFA  Tony Marr 1965. Second did not follow. Climbed without aid and finished up the right edge. A bold and difficult ascent for its time with the only protection a suspect chock stone at the overhang (now missing!) and a thin line sling draped over an ironstone nodule. Despite several top roped ascents the route was not re-led for another twelve years until Paul Ingham repeated the climb adding a more direct finish, which is now the described route.


82. Sesame   10m   E1 5b   *

Climb the groove of Ali Baba to the overhang. Bypass the overhang on its right following a wide crack to finish up the vertical crack of Virgin Wall. The climb is high in its grade and requires a cool and confident approach. 

Terry Sullivan. January 1960.  Second unable to follow because of blizzard conditions!


                                                                                                Photo: Steve Crowe



83. Cissam   10m   E3 5c

Climb the groove of Ali Baba for about three metres until it is possible to swing right, around the corner to gain a slanting ledge. Move up across the break to finish on the blunt left arête. A contrived line but with some good moves.

Tony Marr July 1986. Second did not follow.


84. Virgin Wall   7m   VS 5a     

Start from the gully at the extreme right edge of the buttress.  From the arête lean across for the obvious flat hold then make a bold swing to gain good footholds, move up, and finish via the wide vertical crack. The wall can also be crossed at a higher level; it may be slightly easier but it’s not so entertaining.

Johnny Clark.  February 1956 (solo). The route’s original name was considered “bad taste” at that time and renamed by Maurice Wilson as Garfit Face before inclusion in his 1956 climbing guide. In these more liberal times it seems appropriate to redress this previous action.      


85. Virgin Wall Direct Start   E1 5c

Start from the convenient boulder directly beneath the final crack of the previous route.  Lean across the gap and pull onto a slanting ledge by a hard move. Finish up the crack. Difficult climbing requiring the combination of a long reach and neck!

Tony Marr 1980 (solo).


86. Turkish Delight   15m   E1 5b

A traverse of Garfit Buttress.  Start as for Virgin Wall and follow the crack down, around onto the front face, to finish up the left arête above Mousehole Gully. Finishing up Lemming Slab raises the standard to E3 5c. The route can also be climbed in reverse. Beware rope drag.

Stewart Wilson, Steve Gretton 1965.


87. Lofty's Ease   6m   S 4a

Start as for Virgin Wall. Climb the corner on its right side.  As the name implies a long reach helps.

Pre 1956

Variation: Lofty’s Ease – Left Side   6m   VS 5a
Start from the boulders in the gully as for Virgin Wall. Climb straight up the corner keeping on the left side throughout. The original route states “a long reach helps”….. On this route an even longer reach will prove useful!
Tony Marr, Mike Tooke. 26/08/2013


88. Tom Thumb   5m   D

Climb the centre of the wall, right of Lofty's Ease.

Pre 1956


89. Girdle Traverse   165m   MVS/E2

The whole crag has been traversed at various levels on many occasions, and no attempt will be made to describe any particular route. Many of the climbs already described encompass the best pitches of any traverse and it is therefore left to you to re-discover this delightful outing!      





A jumbled mass of boulders lies just under the main outcrop. These well-scratched rocks provide excellent training for beginners and a few problems to beguile the most expert. A selection of the best and most popular boulder problems have been included, many more variations have been climbed over the years and these are left to your imagination. The boulders are split into three distinctive groups; The Needle Boulders, A & B Boulders and The South Eastern Boulders. Many of the problems described here have been rediscovered by many generations so their true first ascents will probably never be known. Where possible the first ascentionist’s name has been used but many of the names are mine and are used rather than just numbers for ease and conversation in the pub after a good day at “The Stones”.


The Needle Boulders
The first boulder is found by following the path (The Cleveland Way) about 6m west of The Needle.

90. For Liechenstein Font 7a
Climbs the pathside arête of this small boulder from an awkward sitting start from a pinch and sidepull. A long move to the top of the boulder is the crux.

91. The Path Font 6a
Step off the slim block at the south west (right) end of the boulder and hand traverse leftwards to touch the block adjacent to the east face and reverse! Superb pumpy challenge!.

The Smooth Slab
This smooth, triangular face is found just right of the last route.

92. Left Arête Font 5+
High step to start then hand traverse up the inclined arête.

93. Rock On Font 6a *
Start just right of a curving overlap. “Rock on” to a small edge and reach for the arête.
Following the same line but without using any of the chipped hand or footholds is Font 6b.

94. Smooth Centre Font 5+ **
Climb the centre of the slab on chipped holds. (Font 6a+ without the chipped holds).

95. Right Arête Font 4+ *
Climb the arête on its left side with a step left to finish Font 4. The same arête is also climbed on its right side at Font 4+.

The next boulder is 5m to the southeast with a bivi-cave under it and a prominent wide crack running through it. This is:-

Bivouac Block

96. West Face Font 6b+ *
Climb the centre of the west face of the block on holes and ironstone intrusions. Tricky!

97. Layback Crack Font 4 *
The obvious wide crack splitting the overhanging south face. Face left and make a “high kick” to start, followed by easier climbing. Using blocks to start is cheating!
Variation One Font 6a+
The crack can also be lay-backed facing right.
Variation Two Font 6b
For the ultimate thrutch and maximum loss of skin, climb the crack purely by devious jamming techniques starting at the back of the cave. It is insecure and very strenuous!

98. Old Wall Font 3+
Climb the wall 1m right of the crack.
SS is an entertaining Font ??

No Hand’s Slab
Located about 4m below and to the right [south east] of Bivouac Block. As the name suggests all the climbs here can be ascended hands free.

99. Right Edge Font 1 (M)
Scratched holds lead to a final step onto the higher boulder.

100. Left Edge Font 1+ (D)
Smaller edges lead to a final step onto the higher boulder.

About 10m to the left of No Hand’s Slab is a sheltered depression below an undercut wall known as The Hollow. A few metres to the right lies a steep slab with a block in front of it and a cave under its left end. This is definitely a Hand’s On slab!

Hand’s On Slab

101. Hand’s On Font 3
Step off the boulder and continuing straight up avoiding the temptation to escape right!

102. Abutment Font 2 (HVD)
Abutting the left edge of the Hand’s On Slab is another boulder. Climb the slabby arête.

3m to the left and slightly lower in a hollow is :-

103. The Hollow Font 5+
Start in the leaning corner. Pull up, then hand traverse left under the capstone to finish. The SS is a good Font 6c+.

104. The Finger Font 7c+
Start adjacent to The Hollow at the obvious old bolt hole in the wall.

Three metres to the right across the boulder-choked gully is a square block with an interesting south (right] face and the small inscription DOK on its short gully wall.

105. DOK Font 6a+
Stepping off the block below the small gully wall bearing the faint inscription “DOK”, hand traverse rightwards across ledges on the south wall with an awkward move up to holds on the top and continue into the corner. Easier in the reverse direction.

106. South Wall Font 4
Start about 2m right of DOK. Begin by hanging from the small layaway flake below the good ledge. If started by holding the ledge the grade reduces to Font 3+.

Further north, adjacent to the path again, is another large boulder with the large inscription “DO” on top. This is also 5m west of The Path. It has a couple of easy eliminates on the south face, and an interesting hand traverse across the north face.

107. DO Font 5 *
Climbs the west face on layaways. The sit start is worthwhile but no harder!

108. Full Circle Font 4+
The complete traverse is awkward in places.

South West of Do is another jumble of boulders, the most prominent and well scratched from the passage of many climbers’ feet is the next route.

109. The Wayside Font 2 (VD)
The east face on good holds.

110. Good Samaritan Font 2+
Climb the south wall direct.

Situated about 40m southwest, below the Sphinx Rock are the A & B boulders. The smaller freestanding block is A Boulder.


‘A’ Boulder
The smaller boulder of two.

111. Normal Route Font 4
Climb the diagonal ledge to finish up the slab.

112. ‘A’ Route’ Font 5
Just left of the last climb. Climb straight up to a small rounded spike. Finish on the flutings.

113. Pebble Problem Font 6b ***
Climb the steep slabby arête by shallow flutings. Superb.

114. The Crack Font 5 *
Climb the prominent hanging crack in the north face of the block. The SS is a good Font 6b.

115. Steel Fingers Font 5
Just right of The Crack. Step up using just the slanting crack. The SS is a good Font 6b.

116. Temper Arête Font 4
Climb the arête on its right side.
The SS is much harder Font 5+.

117. Tapered Slab Font 1 (M)
The centre of the slab trending leftwards. Try it with no hands!

118. Mother Slab Font 2 (VD)
Start in a shallow corner on the right edge of the slab. Step up onto the slab.

It is also possible to traverse left around the block at a low level. Start at Arête A and finish at Normal Route. Font 6c.


“B” Boulder
The large boulder just 3m east.

119. Stock Slab Font 2 (VD)
Climb the gentle slab. Tricky start.

120. Redhead’s "Bloody" Roof! Font 6c **
Start beneath the large roof. Climb the slab and pull directly over the roof at the widest point using a good crimp (but with which hand?). Bold. Easier but less satisfying variations escape off to the left from where it is possible to check out the finishing holds. Frustrating!

121. On the Edge Font 4 *
Climb the right edge of the slab then pull over the bulge and finish up the arête. Good climbing.

122. Cross the Line Font 2 (HD) *
Cross the slab beneath the roof in either direction.

123. The Shelf Font 5+ **
The leaning wall to the right is climbed directly up its centre using the prominent curving ledge.
A variation finishing at the top left edge is slightly easier at Font 4+. The SS is a good Font 6b+.

South Eastern Boulders
Up the hill slightly is a pair of popular boulders with a good flat landing.

124. Southern Slab Font 1+ (D)
Tackle the centre of the steep slab on the west face. Harder and entertaining variations possible on the left and right edge of the slab.

125. Southern Nose Font 3
Climb the bulging southern nose.
The SS is a very good Font 4.

126. SE Face Font 3
Make powerful moves on good holds.
The SS is another good Font 4.

127. Siamese Twin Font 3+ *
Climb the blunt arête of the adjacent boulder just to the right.

128. Conjoined Font 4+
Climb the steep wall to the right can be climbed anywhere. Two good variations are possible!

The Lip

The long low block up the hillside and immediately left of The Loaf.

Jason Wood on Fade to Grey Font 7a Jason Wood Collection

129. Fade to Grey Font 7a
A right to left traverse of the lip.

The Loaf
The larger block just right is The Loaf.

130. Bread Line Font 4+ *
Start under a small bulge at the left end of the boulder. Cross the undercut to join the main slab. Finish direct.

131. The Loaf Direct Font 4+
Climb straight over the bulge of Bread Line.

132. Beneath the Bread Line Font 6a+
Use good crimps to rock on to the slab.
SS on poor slopers. Font 6c+

133. Central Route Font 5+
From a standing start, pull over the bulge with difficulty and climb the slab direct.
SS on poor slopers. Font ??

134. Daily Bread Font 6a+
Hard pull on good crimps then continue up slab. SS. RH in ironstone pocket and LH in mono. Font 6c+

135. Loaf Traverse Font 4 *
Start from its right corner. Foot traverse across the slab along a thin horizontal crack to finish at the top left corner.

136. Cruel Intensions Font 7c **
Traverse from 132 to 135 on the slopers.

Lee's Block
The larger block

137. Lee's Problem Font ??
Climb the lip of the stacked boulders. Brilliant!

The Arête and The Gash
These problems lie about 25m to the right of Garfit Buttress and just below the moor edge.

138. Slanting Crack Font 3+
Climb the obvious thin crack 2m left of the arête.

139. Arête Left Side Font 4+
Left side of the arête.

140. Arête Right Side Font 3+
No bridging allowed.

5m further right is a fine boulder with a diagonal cleft at half height.

141. The North Wall Font ??
SS in the pit climb. No bridging on the side wall.

142. The Gash Font 2+
Starting from the left. Gain the slab under the roof and follow it rightwards to finish up the nose.

143. The Gash Direct Font 5+
Climb a flake just right of the normal start to finish straight over the bulge.

144. The End Font ??
The arête to the right is harder than it looks!

Broughton Boulders

Amongst the jumble of boulders beneath the 'Broughton Face' of the Wainstones is an obvious prow of rock. There are many other problems here.

145. The Prow Font 7a
SS. Climb from a sitting start the left arête of the prow, with an awkward sequence to start and a high, powerful finish. The Prow Extension Font 7a+ continues a little further right to pull over via the flake.

Garfitt Quarry
A number of short climbs up to 7m high have been put up in the nearby west facing Garfitt Quarry. The central Garfit Crack (E2 5c) is especially worth seeking out.






Wainstones Warning:

"The growing instability of the descent gully immediately right of The Sphinx is getting worse!  We climbed Sphinx Nose Traverse but I was very careful not to stand on the jammed block at the foot of the gully as its only held by a small corner, and this in turn is supporting two even larger blocks which slid last year [estimate 5 tons]. I think its only a matter of time before nature or some unfortunate person tips the balance." 

Tony Marr February 2003  

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



Full details in the

North East England Guide



Wainstones Mini Guide (PDF)

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