The Napes

Climbs 65 – Rocktype Rhyolite – Altitude 650m a.s.l – Faces SW

Crag features
The Birthplace of British Rock Climbing. This excellent crag, altough rather broken, provides climbing of all grades in superb surroundings with its spendid ridges and steep walls over looking the upper Wasdale Valley and the Scafell Range.

The Napes is quite unique with its classic ridge climbs and the famous pinnacle of Napes Needle. Its relatively easy access and fine climbs has resulted in this being a popular stomping ground for the lower grade climber and beginner, but also provides some high quality testpieces. The majority of the crag is fast drying and holds the sun late into the day.

Although most of the climbs are on sound rock, care should be taken when on the ridges as any stonefall will rake the gullies and their walls, eventually crossing the busy path at the bottom.

Up to about 100m high on quick drying sunny rock. Many easier classics but the best routes are Eagles Nest (D), Arrowhead Ridge (VD), Needle Ridge (VD), Abbey Buttress (VD), Tophet Wall (HS), Eagles Nest Direct (MVS), Viking (E3), Tormentor (E4), Supernatural (E5), Incantations (E6).

Access notes
Starting from either Wasdale Head, Seathwaite or Borrowdale take the path to Sty Head Pass, and from its highest point follow the Climbers Traverse, a gently rising track that crosses the south-west flank of Great Gable. This path is rather vague at first, but soon becomes better defined and passes under Kern Knotts before continuing to the Napes.

The first large wall to be reached, across a wide scree chute called Great Hell Gate, is Tophet Wall, an impressively steep rockface. The next prominent feature is the characteristic shape of Napes Needle, which stands directly below the classic ridge climb of Needle Ridge. Beyond Needle Gully stands the imposing Eagles Nest Ridge and Abbey Buttress, which is immediately followed by Eagle Nests Gully and the final major ridge, Arrowhead Ridge. The track below the crag then continues to Sphinx Rock, a shapely detached block at the extreme left-hand end of the crag.

About one hour from Wasdale or under one and a half hours from Borrowdale.

Lake District Rock (2003), Gable & Pillar (1991)

Climbs at this crag

Sort climbs
 Climb nameGrade
2Tophet RidgeVS 4b 3
3The Tartarus TripE1 5b  
4Demon WallVS 5a *6
5Sacrificial CrackE4 6a *3
6Tophet WallHS 4a ***506
7XanderE7 6b  
8SupernaturalE5 6a ***10
9IncantationsE6 6b ***1
10Tophet GroovesHVS 5b *6
11The Satanic TraversesE5 6a *1
12The VikingsE3 5c **20
13Golden calfE4 6b * 
14Tophet BastionVD *21
15Tophet GirdleVS 4c *1
17Hell RaiserE2 5c * 
18Lucifer CrackS 4a *7
19Lucifer RidgeVD 3
20JagaVD 1
21ScrimshankerVS 4c 2
22Buzzard WallD 2
23Zeta ClimbVD 3
24Belfry ButtressHS 4b 2
25Belfry CrackVS 4b *2
26Chantry ButtressS 3c 7
27Chantry Buttress DirectHVS  
28Crumbs From A Rich Man's TableMVS 4b **1
29Needle RidgeVD **688
31The Wasdale CrackHS 4b *527
32The AreteHS 4b *124
33Slingsby's VariationHS 3
34The Crowley RouteHS 4b *10
35The Lingmell CrackHS 4b *11
36The Obverse RouteHS 4b *11
37Sick Heart RiverE2 ** 
38The Wasdale RoofE3 5c * 
39Thirty-nine StepsE3 ** 
40Sick'ard ShiverE6 6b ** 
41Direct Obverse from the GapHVS 5a 2
43Amos MosesE1 5b *25
44Crinkler's CrackHVS  
45Alligator CrawlHS 4b 3
46Crocodile CrackHVS 5a *34
47The CaymanE2 5b **25
48Eagle's CrackVS 4c 3
49Centennial ClimbVS 4c * 
50Eagle's Nest Ridge DirectMVS 4b **148
51LongbowE1 5b ** 
52Long JohnHVS 5a *10
53Eagle's Nest OrdinaryD **57
54Little JohnS 4a  
55Abbey ButtressVD **64
56The Merry MonkVS 4b  
57The TormentorE4 6a ** 
58Time and PlaceE2 5b  
59Murin BuchstansangurE2 5c 1
60Westmorland RidgeVD 8
61Rainbow RidgeS 4a *5
62Arrowhead Ridge DirectVD **147
63Scimitar ridgeVD *6
64The Climber's Traverse2 ***106
65The Napes and Westmorland's Crag2 ***66
66Eagles Nest Gully/Arrowhead Ridge2 *13
67Sphinx Ridge2 *29
68Sphinx Ridge (Winter)II *1
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