The Wainstones from
the Cleveland Way.
OS Landranger Sheet: 93
Aspect: North West and South West Facing
Approach: 30 minutes
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.
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.
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.
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.
The first climb starts at the extreme
northeast end of the buttress.
Photo: Steve Crowe
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.
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
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
Paul Ingham (solo) 1982
A modern test piece lies in the centre of the
steep wall just to the right. This is...
Psycho Syndicate 8m E4 6b *
Paul Ingham (solo) April 1984. Ingham’s final
contribution before leaving the area.
Tiny's Arête Direct 8m HVS 5b *
Starts from the left side then tackles the
arête direct. A splendid eliminate.
Chris Shorter (solo) 1977
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!
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.
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
Rookery Nook 8m D
Climb the short chimney to the ledge, move
left and finish up the top section of Tiny's Dilemma.
Morning Wall 6m MS 4a *
Ascend the centre of the delicate slab between
Tiny's Dilemma and Rookery Nook. Finish up the vee crack
10a. Black Sheep 8m
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.
Milky Way 7m D
Climb the chimney of Rookery Nook then
cross the wall on the right to escape up the slanting cracks.
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.
This is the broad gully separating Broughton
Buttress from the main rocks. The next climbs start at the top end of the
Photo: Steve Crowe
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
Sheep Walk Slab 7m M *
A diagonal traverse starting from the left to
finish up a short chimney.
Arthur Barker circa 1928
Variation Start 5m D
Climb straight up the line of the final
15a. Shepherds Wall 5m S
Just right of the Variation Start to Sheep Walk
Tony Marr, Mike Tooke
Flake, Wall and Crack 6m HS 4b
Start from the flake embedded in the path.
Gain the ledge and follow the cracks to finish.
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.
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.
Humpty Dumpty 5m D
The short slab followed by a bulging crack
right of Lurch.
Phillip Horne, Maurice Wilson 1945.
Novitiate 5m Easy
Climb the polished rocks just right of
The cleft tower stands between the main rocks
and the Needle.
Steeple Groove 8m D
The obvious corner crack 3m right of
Novitiate, finish on the summit of the Steeple.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tony Marr, Mile Tooke 15/09/2011
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.
The name given to the rocky depression
separating the Steeple from the Needle.
Wainstones Needle West Face
Photo: Steve Crowe
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.
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.
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
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
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!
Photo: Steve Crowe
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
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
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
Cantilever 6m D
Climb the rocks in the gully between the two
buttresses until beneath the large jammed chock stone. Surmount the chock
This buttress lies on the right of the gully.
Photo: Steve Crowe
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
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
Arthur Barker circa 1928.
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.
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
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.
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.
Photo: Steve Crowe
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
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
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.
–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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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; -
Pip 4m D
The corner on the left.
Squeak 4m VD
The crack in the nose of the slab.
Wilfred 4m HD
The vee groove/crack.
Curving Wall 4m VD
Start just right of Wilfred. Climb the
concave wall trending right.
All climbed prior to 1956
Photo: Steve Crowe
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.
Jackdaw Wall 7m E2 6a
Climbs the centre of the short wall left of
Jackdaw Ridge. Thin climbing above an appalling landing.
Jackdaw Gully 10m M *
The vee gully to the right of Jackdaw Ridge,
with an awkward move at the narrowing.
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
Christopher Robin Columb, Maurice Wilson
Christopher Direct 9m VS 4c
Climb directly over the overlap at its centre.
Peter Brayshaw, John Smith 1994. Possibly
climbed before but never recorded.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
The large face right of Dusty Gully.
Photo: Steve Crowe
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.
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
Central Route 9m HVS 5a
Climb the centre of the face via a delicate
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.”
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Photo: Steve Crowe
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
FFA Ken Jackson, Tony Marr, Johnny Adams
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...
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
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
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.
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
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).
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.
Lofty's Ease 6m HD
Start as for Virgin Wall. Climb
the corner on its right side. As the name implies a long reach helps.
Tom Thumb 5m D
Climb the centre of the wall,
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
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:-
96. West Face Font 6b+ *
Climb the centre of the west face of the block on holes and ironstone
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
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
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
102. Abutment Font 2 (HVD)
Abutting the left edge of the Hand’s On Slab is another boulder. Climb the
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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 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
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.
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
144. The End Font ??
The arête to the right is harder than it looks!
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.
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
"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
details in the
North East England Guide
Wainstones Mini Guide
Return to top of page
Return to Home Page