Climbs 33
Rocktype Volcanic tuff
Altitude 200m a.s.l
Faces W

Shaw Brown leading A Quick One, Pen (Main Crag) © Sue Underwood

Crag features

There are two contrasting halves to this crag. The southernmost part, S of the stone wall abutting the lowest point of the crag, is a steep quarry-like crag while the northern section is 20 - 30m high slabs at an amenable angle. Rock quality is excellent. Parts of the slab are vegetated but the routes are generally clean.

A much smaller outlier, Pen Slab, is found just up the gully which flanks the southern crag. Upper Pen Crag is found in a beautiful open location on the south side of Pen, just below the summit with views down the Duddon Valley.

Approach notes

The crag lies on the west side of the small summit of Pen above the eastern side of Wallowbarrow Gorge. The crag can be discerned on the 1:25,000 map, as can the stone wall which descends from the crag to the river.

Access to the crag is difficult in the bracken season (June to November) as definite paths are non-existent.

1. From the footbridge at the south end of Wallowbarrow Gorge (224964) follow the path north up the gorge on the west bank of the R Duddon for around 300m. Tower of Flints buttress becomes obvious high on your left and Pen crag is less obvious but just visible on the right. Crossing the Duddon is only straightforward when water is low. Be warned! The best crossing point is before you are level with the crag where a huge pointed boulder stands in the river. From here the crag lies diagonally left up the hillside. About 15 min in favourable conditions.

2. The crag can also be reached by a pleasant (outside the bracken season!) ramble from the high land above Seathwaite Buttress taking a WNW line until the summit of Pen is reached. 30+ min from the road in favourable conditions.


I like this crag, great position and plenty of routes for a severe/VS leader. Well worth the walk in. Some of the routes on the main crag are being reclaimed by nature due to a lack of traffic. Use it or lose it.
Simon2005 - 21/May/14
Borrowed laminated modern routes info from Newfield Inn. No path but bushwacking was fine as no bracken. Real suntrap in afternoon, very peaceful, nice views.
oddtoast - 31/Mar/14
A lot of the routes here seem to be rather overgraded.
Rog Wilko - 05/Sep/13
An idyllic spot with intimate views of the Wallowbarrow Gorge from the crag foot and superb distant views up to Harter Fell and Bowfell from the top. There is a useful abseil sling at the top of Ball Point which can be accessed with care from the conclusion of all routes.
Rog Wilko - 29/Aug/13
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
 Main Slabs 
2Pencil ButtressHS 1
3Pending Leftwards AreteHVS 4c 2
4PensiveVS 4b *3
5A Quick OneE1 5b **9
6The Fat ControllerHVS 5a **12
7RipplesE2 5c **5
8The Thin ManipulatorS 4a *13
9Pen TangleS * 
1020th Century FoxS 1
11Ball Point
HS 4a 1
12Penance DirectS *4
13PenanceHVS 5a *1
14Velvet Underground
HVS 5a *1
15PenultimateVS 4c * 
16Penned In
HVS 5a  
17The Pen is Mightier than the SwordS 4a **6
 Southern Crag 
E1 5b  
E3 5c * 
21Citadel Direct
E4 5c * 
E2 5c *1
MVS 4c  
 Pen Slab 
25NegafookVD 1
26LooseS 2
27MooseS 5
HS 2
 Upper Pen Crag 
30The Thwacking ManVD 3
31ChameleonHS *3
32The Thwacking StoneVS 4c *6
33PalefaceVS 4c 2
34Seduced by the 'Ennerdale Blond'HS 4a *4
 Fellside betwen Pen and Seathwaite Buttress 
36Ground Attack
E2 6a 1
HVS 5b  
E1 5b  

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