The Napes

Climbs 67 – 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).

Approach 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 4c *3
3The Tartarus TripE1 5b  
4Demon WallVS 5a *6
5Sacrificial CrackE4 6a ***3
6Tophet WallHS 4a ***522
7BreathlessE9 7a *** 
8XanderE7 6b  
9SupernaturalE5 6a ***11
10IncantationsE6 6b ***1
11Tophet GroovesHVS 5b *1
12The VikingsE3 5c ***20
13Tophet Grooves DirectE1 5b *6
14The Satanic TraversesE5 6a *1
15Golden CalfE4 6b * 
16Tophet BastionVD *22
17Tophet GirdleVS 4c *1
19Hell RaiserE2 5c * 
20Lucifer CrackS 4a *7
21Lucifer RidgeVD *3
22JagaVD 1
23ScrimshankerVS 4c 2
24Buzzard WallD 2
25Zeta ClimbVD 3
26Belfry ButtressHS 4b 2
27Belfry CrackVS 4b *2
28Chantry ButtressS 3c 7
29Chantry Buttress DirectHVS  
30Crumbs From A Rich Man's TableMVS 4b **1
31Needle RidgeVD **703
33The Wasdale CrackHS ***542
34The AreteHS ***128
35Slingsby's VariationHS 4
36The Crowley RouteHS 4b *10
37The Lingmell CrackHS 4b *11
38The Obverse RouteMVS 4b ***11
39Sick Heart RiverE2 ** 
40The Wasdale RoofE3 5c *1
41Thirty-nine StepsE3 ** 
42Sick'ard ShiverE6 6b ** 
43Direct Obverse from the GapHVS 5a 2
45Amos MosesE1 5b **25
46Crinkler's CrackHVS  
47Alligator CrawlHS *3
48Crocodile CrackHVS 5a ***34
49The CaymanE2 5b ***26
50Eagle's CrackVS 4c 3
51Centennial ClimbVS 4c * 
52Eagle's Nest Ridge DirectMVS 4a ***150
53LongbowE1 5b ** 
54Long JohnVS 4c **10
55Eagle's Nest OrdinaryVD **58
56Little JohnS 4a  
57Abbey ButtressS ***66
58The Merry MonkVS 4b  
59The TormentorE4 6a ** 
60Time and PlaceE2 5b  
61Murin BuchstansangurE2 5c 1
62Westmorland RidgeVD 8
63Rainbow RidgeS 4a *5
64Arrowhead Ridge DirectVD ***157
65Scimitar ridgeVD *6
66The Climber's Traverse2 ***114
67The Napes and Westmorland's Crag2 ***69
68Eagles Nest Gully/Arrowhead Ridge2 *14
69Sphinx Ridge2 *32
70Sphinx Ridge (Winter)II *1
71Conversation Killer *HVS 5a 1
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.
Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Matt Smith

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