Climbs 102
Rocktype Rhyolite
Altitude 650m a.s.l
Faces SW

great night on napes needle © tjmillen

Crag features

The Birthplace of British Rock Climbing. This excellent crag, although 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.

Guidebooks

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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
 Tophet Wall 
2Tophet Girdle
-
VS 4c *1
3Back of the Napes
-
MS  
4Tophet RidgeVS 4c *3
5The Tartarus Trip
-
E2 5c  
6Sacrificial CrackE4 6a ***3
7Demon WallVS 5a *7
8Tophet WallHS 4a ***839
9BreathlessE9 7a ***1
10The Satanic Traverses
-
E5 6a *1
11SupernaturalE5 6a ***17
12XanderE7 6b  
13Golgotha
-
E6 6c  
14IncantationsE6 6b ***1
15Tophet GroovesHVS 5b *2
16The VikingsE3 5c ***25
17Tophet Grooves DirectE1 5b *6
18Golden Calf
-
E4 6b * 
19Brimstone Buttress
-
MVS 4b  
20Tormentil
-
MVS 4a 1
21Tophet BastionVD *35
22Hell Raiser
-
E2 5c * 
23Lucifer CrackS 4a *8
24Lucifer RidgeVD *4
25Jaga
-
VD 1
 The Napes Ridges - East 
27Belfry Buttress
-
HS 4b 2
28Belfry Crack
-
VS 4b *2
29Skorkian Crack
-
VS 5a  
30Hamshanker
-
MVS 4c  
31Scrimshanker
-
VS 4c 2
32Crumbs From A Rich Man's TableMVS 4b **1
33Buzzard Wall
-
D 2
34Zeta Climb
-
VD 3
35Chantry ButtressS 3c 7
36Chantry Buttress Direct
-
HVS  
37A Laudable Ox
-
VS 4b  
38Salome
-
VD  
39Salome Variation Start
-
VS 4c  
40Needle RidgeVD ***912
 The Needle 
42The Wasdale Roof
-
E3 5c *1
43The Wasdale CrackHS ***779
44The AreteHS ***180
45Slingsby's VariationHS 6
46The Crowley RouteHS 4b *15
47The Lingmell Crack
-
HS 4b *12
48The Obverse RouteMVS 4b ***24
49Sick Heart River
-
E2 ** 
50Thirty-nine Steps
-
E3 ** 
51Sick'ard ShiverE6 6b ** 
52Direct Obverse from the Gap
-
HVS 5a 2
53The Higher Needle Girdle
-
MVS 4b  
54The Needle Perimeter
-
MVS 4b  
 Napes Central Area 
56Eagle's Corner
-
MVS 4a  
57Crinkler's CrackHVS  
58Amos MosesE1 5b **26
59Cannon StoneE1 5b  
60Tricouni Rib
-
MVS 4b  
61Alligator CrawlHS *3
62Crocodile CrackHVS 5a ***42
63The CaymanE2 5b ***33
64Gharial
-
E1 5b * 
65Eagle's Crack
-
VS 4c 3
66Centennial ClimbVS 4c * 
67Aquiline Slab
-
E2 6a  
68Conversation KillerHVS 5a 1
69Eagle's Nest Ridge DirectMVS 4a ***218
70Ling Chimney
-
VD  
71LongbowE1 5b ** 
72Long JohnVS 4c **11
73Eagle's Nest OrdinaryVD **77
74Little John
-
S 4a  
75Eagle's Chain
-
VS 4b  
76Abbey ButtressS ***92
 The Napes Ridges - West 
78The Merry Monk
-
VS 4b  
79Turdus torquatus
-
E2 5b ** 
80The Pod
-
VS 4c  
81Costello
-
E3 5c  
82Abbot
-
E3 5c * 
83Sabre Ridge
-
VD  
84Cutlass Ridge
-
VD  
85Murin Buchstansangur
-
E2 5b 1
86The TormentorE4 6a ** 
87Time and Place
-
E2 5b  
88Arrowhead Ridge Easy Way
-
D  
89Red Arrow
-
VS 4c  
90Arrowhead Ridge DirectVD ***208
91Arrowhead Ridge South-East VariationVD  
92Lost Arrow Spire
-
VS 4c * 
93Scimitar ridge
-
VD *6
94Square-Cut Gully
-
S  
95Crowley's Chimney Route
-
VD  
96Rainbow Ridge
-
S 4a *5
97Gremlin's Crack
-
HVS 5a  
98Burning Sphinxter
-
VS 5a  
99Sphinx Crack
-
VD  
100The Sphinx or Cat Rock
-
f? 1
101Sphinx Ridge
-
VD 1
102Isis Crack
-
S  
 Scrambles 
104The Climber's Traverse2 ***136
105The Napes and Westmorland's Crag
-
2 ***76
106Eagles Nest Gully/Arrowhead Ridge2 *16
107Sphinx Ridge2 *53
108Sphinx Ridge (Winter)
-
II *1

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