Altitude 132m a.s.l
Abbing off at Wildcat..... © Dave Williams
Classic traditional routes on highly featured butresses up to 50m high. Lots of cracks, grooves, ribs and aretes of good quality rock for the most part (some vegetated finishes). Most routes are VS and above, with a lot in the HVS to E2 range. Classics include Lynx (HS 4b,4a), Cataclysm (VS 4b,5a), Golden Yardstick (VS 4c,5a). Catastrophe Grooves (HVS 4c,5a), Sunset Creek (E1 5b), Grand Cleft (E2 5b) and The Catcuss Furballs Connection (E5 6b).
From various parking places in Matlock Bath head south past the Pavillion (Mining Museum), through the gardens and across the metal bridge. The main part of the crag is up and to the right.
Take care on descents and avoid entering the grounds of Willersley Castle when descending from Upper Tor.
To reach the Woodbank Tor area, follow a small path heading right from the main crag. It peters out at the point that the crags on the left disappear into the hillside, and you can see the weir directly below. Descend a wide earthy couloir, steep and loose near the bottom, to emerge at the foot of the crag.
Following a rockfall incident in 2014, Derbyshire Dales District Council have had an initial assessment of rock stability for the area carried out. A number of buttresses have been identified which have sections of rock that may be unstable and of concern, with further investigation is needed. As a result, an area which encompasses New Bridge Buttress but not the main section of Wildcat crag has been cordoned off and the Council are asking climbers not to climb on any rock within the cordoned off area for the time being whilst they work out a plan of action. The normal approach path is within the cordoned off area so please do not approach the crag from below.
Wildcat Main Crag and smaller buttresses downstream of New Bridge (specifically not New Bridge buttress) are unaffected by the current works to stabilise rocks BUT normal access routes to the left bank of the river are closed to all.
Stabilisation measures are currently being undertaken and repairs to the river level pathways should be completed within the next week to allow public access. Repairs to the old Victorian walks are not scheduled to be undertaken until next year and they will remain closed to the public.
Please do not scramble down the bank between the A6 and the new bridge to avoid a longer walk. The righthand end of the crags is owned by Wesley (Methodist) Guild Holidays who are concerned about the public wandering around the private grounds near the castle. Please keep disturbance to a minimum - particularly around Upper Tor.