Wildcat Crags (aka Wild Cat)

Climbs 230 – Rocktype Limestone – Altitude 132m a.s.l – Faces W

Crag features

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).

Approach notes

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.


Access notes

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.

Read more... Regional Access notes are available from the BMC.

Peak Limestone (2012), Peak District : Climbing (2008), Peak SE Pokketz (2007), On Peak Rock (2003), Northern Limestone Route Database (2001),
Out of print: Northern Limestone (2004), Peak Limestone - Fax03 (1992), Peak Limestone - South (1987), Rock climbs in the Peak - Derwent valley (1981)

Climbs at this crag

Sort climbs
 Climb nameGrade
2Criminally Insane7a+ 2
3Trick Psychlist7c+ 1
4Strait Psychlist7a+ *5
5Strait Jacket7a *43
6Recoil6b+ *68
7Shock Treatment7a 23
8Lunatic AsylumHVS 5c 15
9The Mentalist7a+ 15
10Borstal BreakoutVS 4b 4
12Pink PantherVS 4c 4
13Original RouteS 17
14Slippery Slabs DirectVS 4c *29
15WhiskerVS 4c *12
16BobcatVS 4b 7
17Brew ElevenVD 9
18ZazaHVS 5a 1
20Puma AreteVS 5
21Puma DirectHVS 5a *15
22Puma CrackVS 6
23Another TimeE2 5b *13
24Tom CatHVS 4c *6
25SpectrumVS 4c 2
27New ExileE1 5b 5
28Cat CallVS 4c *28
29The TraverseE1 5c ***6
30Caterpillar's CrawlHVS 5a *13
31Puss MothHVS 5a 4
32Catacomb DirectHVS 5a *25
33Catastrophe GroovesHVS 5a **201
34White RoomHVS 5a *15
35Lyon RouteE1 5b *60
36Cat CullE2 5c *1
37Coyote ButtressHVS 5a **186
38Derek's DilemmaVS 5a *179
39Broken Toe GrooveVS 4c *294
40Jackdaw GroovesVS 4b **440
41Nine Lives WallHVS 5a *169
42Catharsis WallHVS 5a 38
43Cats EyeS 4a 298
44Budweisser EffectHVS 4c 20
45McPlumb WallHVS 4c *71
46Negative 'G'HVS 5b *4
47Cougar CleftHS 4a 62
48Tiger Route 1VS 4c *79
49Tiger Route 2VS 4c 16
50Wandering TigerVS 5a *3
51RipsnorterVS 4b *21
52Steel PulseHVS 5a 3
53SourpussVS 4c *75
54PupillaVS 4c *161
55Cat WalkHS 4a **273
56Still WatersE1 5c 1
58ManxVS 4b *204
59Grand PrixE1 5b *6
60Golden YardstickVS 5a ***502
61Golden Yardstick DirectE1 5c *3
62LoboVS 4b *165
63Tut's AnomalousE1 5b **93
64The Catcuss Furballs ConnectionE5 6b *3
65Clash of ArmsE4 6b *2
66Mr DogE5 6b * 
67Stolen JewelE5 6b *1
68Great CleftE2 5c **64
69LynxHS 4b ***468
70SphynxVS 5a **181
71ClimactericVS 5a **133
72OctopussHVS 5a 3
73CataclysmHVS 5a ***320
74MetamorphosisHVS 5b *25
75Timing XE1 5b *16
76End GameHVS 5a *5
78Liberty CapE2 5c **8
79Great CrackE2 5c **22
80Sunset CreekE1 5b **33
81Go Go GroovesHVS 5a **21
82Puma PassageVS 4b *18
83Tiger ChimneyVD 5
84CatacombVS 4c 17
85Manky MeanderVS 4b 6
86Felix AreteHS 4a 7
87Bird Lime CornerMS *4
88The FerreterHS 4a *2
89Cracker JackHVD ***14
90Long RouteHS 4a 8
91Wedge ButtressS *5
92MackeringVS 4c *6
93Tiger TimVS 4c 5
94BlurbHVS 5a *3
95Kit-E-KatVS 3
96Coyote CrackVS **7
97Green CracksVS 2
98TerminalE2 5c 1
99Return of the NativeE4 6a 1
100Down, Down to Hell and Say I Sent Thee ThitherE2 5c **1
101Blue Grass SpecialHVS 5a *4
103ShoeS 4b  
104DodgeS 4c  
105AfterVS 5b  
106Sooner or LaterHVS 5b * 
107Top CatVS 4c 8
108Schoolboy ScoopVD *1
109OverhangMVS 4b *5
110Old Joe ClarkD 1
111Ground HogVD 1
112Shelter's EndVS 4b 1
113Roof GrooveVD 2
114ClangVS 4b 1
115Fisherman's WallVS 4b 1
116Puma ChimneyVD 2
117Chatti ChimneyHS 4a 2
118FelineHS 5
119DiagonalS 2
120End ScoopS 1
121Leafy laneE1 5b 1
122Wall End CrackS 1
123Green SlabVD 2
124Broken GrooveS 1
125Split ProwS 1
126Chocker BlockVD 3
127Rib WreckerVS 4c 1
128Curving ChimneyMVS 4a 1
129High Bank CrackVS 5a 1
130Deep ChimneyHS 4b 2
131Split WallMS 3
132Slab RouteD 2
133JumperVD 1
134ZipperS 1
135Slow FeedbackE1 5b *1
136Banjo FlakeE1 5b *2
137Ukelele WallVS 4c 2
138MolybdenumE2 5c 2
139Reality ClauseE2 5b 2
140KoalaE1 5b 1
141Shades of GreyHVS 5a 3
142Cool CatHVS 1
143No PulseHVS 5a 1
144Fragile GlassHVS 5a 1
Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Lukem6

USER FEEDBACKLogin as Existing User to add your comments
Access back to normal now, the barrier across bridge has gone and lots of rock scattewred all along from bridge to path going to crag. Beware of loose block on Broken toe groove. 3 blocks came out today, from just below the bulge on the 2nd pitch, there is another which might drop as well soon. its just above where the others were.
Paul Hy - 07/Sep/15
Lukem6 - 12/Jun/15
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.
Lukem6 - 14/Apr/15
What happened to Upper Tor? Liberty Cap etc?
Bulls Crack - 13/Jul/14
crag log book could do with a bit of moderating
Lukem6 - 30/Sep/13
I'd love to head back with a decent guide book. We did a decent multipitch route I reckon about a VS 4c enjoyed it.
EDB4YLI55 - 19/Aug/13
awesome crag, if you want to know more go to http://gachieve.blogspot.com/ for crag review
Lukem6 - 07/Jul/11
Had a great day here, must be one of the best crags in the country for the VS/HVS climber, loads of quality routes at these grades.
The Ivanator - 03/May/11
I have an original.will photocopy if you wish.07717 472518
jonty7 - 27/Jul/10
Probably the noisiest crag I've ever been to, courtesy of a non-stop procession of bikers on the road below!
Simon Caldwell - 20/Apr/09
I'm trying to locate a copy of the original (paperback)guide to the crag. Any suggestions please?
haydn taylor - 22/Aug/06