/ Well protected Severe and Hard Severe routes

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KS132 10 Jul 2019

Hi all, 

I'm interested in picking the brains of the UKC collective. Can you recommend any well protected routes graded Severe or HS in the north? I’m interested in routes in the north: Northumberland, North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales, the Lakes and Peak District. I know this is a broad area! Obviously the guidebooks give some recommendations but I was hoping for others that folk have climbed that they know can be laced with gear and would recommend to someone looking to gain mileage within these grades. 

Many thanks. 

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Levy_danny 10 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Paradise wall and Christmas crack at Stanage

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Blue Straggler 10 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

some Peak ones.

Twenty Foot Crack, Burbage North. 

Green Gut and Terraza Crack at Froggatt (also Diamond Crack but that is high-end HS)

Three Tree Climb, Lawrencefield

Black Hawk Hell Crack, Stanage

 

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Will Hunt 10 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Layby at Attermire is very good. Only gets one star but I don't know how that can be the case. Strong line on excellent rock with great climbing. Take a few big cams and hexes to get it laced.

The Mall at Millstone.

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full stottie 10 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Here's a small selection from Northumberland:

Kyloe Out: Saint's Progress, Flake Crack, Deception Crack

Back Bowden Doors: Wall and Crack

Bowden Doors; Flake Crack, Black and Tan

Peel Crag; Sunset

Great Wanney; Idiot's Delight

Jack Rock; High Board

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PaulJepson 10 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Troutdale Pinnacle and Little Chamonix are both very protectable. Great routes, just round the corner from each other, and absolute classics the both of them. I know LC is Vdif but to me there didn't feel like much difference between the two of them grade-wise. 

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Blue Straggler 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Will Hunt:

> The Mall at Millstone.

Benchmark VS and doesn't it get a tiny bit thin on pro toward the top?

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Pursued by a bear 10 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Amazon Crack (S 4a) and Amazon Crack (HS 4b) are, from memory, both like this. The Stanage one is one well-protected move at the start, the Burbage one more sustained and also eats large bits of gear.

T.

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PaulJepson 10 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Also if you want some light jamming practice - Brown's Crack (HS 4b)

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Hat Dude 10 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Suaviter & Oxford & Cambridge Direct on Grey Crag Buttermere

Revalations on Raven Crag Langdale

Thomas on Wallowbarrow Crag

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Blue Straggler 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

Burbage's Amazon Crack takes large gear but that gear is weirdly hard to place. It's a hard route, I've seen it repulse climbers who were steady at top-end VS. 

I led it when I was steady at mid-level HS and didn't really know how to place cams (this was in my uni mountaineering club days when I was always on a borrowed rack) and I ended up running it out quite dangerously. From the OP's request for S and HS it sounds like they are at similar level. Personally I would not recommend Burbage Amazon Crack to someone who is not solid at VS. The route has been low end VS in certain books. Friend of mine could not get properly established on it on an attempt earlier this year and took quite a whipper (ok the good gear held!) and he climbs harder than HS (albeit he was rusty at the start of the season)

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Blue Straggler 10 Jul 2019
In reply to PaulJepson:

having just warned them off from Amazon Crack (HS), I've now been reminded by your post that I find that all of Bilberry Crack at Bamford feels softer than the start of Brown's Crack, despite Bilberry Crack being graded VS 5a. So in true forum fashion, I recommend a VS 5a to the OP looking for S and HS. 

I don't really. I'm more warning them off from Brown's Crack . Whenever I do Quien Sabe, I am always most relieved to get the HS bit out of the way!

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Pursued by a bear 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Fair comment. I expected a struggle and was rewarded.

T.

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PaulJepson 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

*Bamford beta warning*

I have to disagree with that! I lead Browns Crack and Seconded Bilberry Crack back-to-back and found the latter significantly more desperate! The start is nails for VS and gear fiddly until you're about 5m up and can get a decent cam in. Browns Crack on the other hand has a bomber offset placement to protect the first awkward move onto the crack and then is steady-going to the top, with nuts and cams whenever you want to place them. It's quite high in the grade for HS (as sustained 4b the whole way) but the protection is fantastic and the climbing quite secure (until you get to the top of the crack and it gets a little slopey). That's my personal opinion though, I've only climbed on grit three times. YMMV

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Blue Straggler 10 Jul 2019
In reply to PaulJepson:

> I've only climbed on grit three times. 

Blimey I've climbed on Bilberry Crack more times than you've climbed on grit

For sure, YMMV. 

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Simon Caldwell 10 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Odin (VS 4b) (graded VS but it really isn't, the old guide was spot on at S 4b)

Frigg (HS 4b)

then if you're going well

The Night Watch (VS 4b) - originally graded HS 4b but probably worth the upgrade, it's well protected but sustained.

Jordu (S 4a)

Odds On Variant (HS 4b)

Wings (S 4a)

Solitude (S 4a)

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Rog Wilko 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Hat Dude:

> Thomas on Wallowbarrow Crag

I'd dispute this one. Have done the route a few times - 9 logbook entries - but always find the first 20 feet pokey and slightly precarious and the gear is not abundant, easy to spot or easy to place. IMO.

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Rog Wilko 10 Jul 2019
Will Hunt 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Whoops! Yes, you're right. That'll be why I thought it was heavy weather for a HS.

Sticking with the Attermire theme, Layback at the same crag is nice and is about as steep as they come at Severe. You go up a little crack to a rest at a ledge then embark up a short, overhanging layback to finish. Essential stuff.

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Bulls Crack 10 Jul 2019
In reply to PaulJepson:

> Troutdale Pinnacle and Little Chamonix are both very protectable.

As long as you don't let the rope lift all your gear out on TP!

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heleno 10 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Damascus Crack (HS 4b) at the Roaches. 

Post edited at 17:08
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Blue Straggler 10 Jul 2019
In reply to heleno:

Very good call!

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KS132 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> some Peak ones.

> Twenty Foot Crack, Burbage North. 

> Green Gut and Terraza Crack at Froggatt (also Diamond Crack but that is high-end HS)

> Three Tree Climb, Lawrencefield

> Black Hawk Hell Crack, Stanage

Thank you - some good sounding routes here. 

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KS132 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Will Hunt:

> Layby at Attermire is very good. Only gets one star but I don't know how that can be the case. Strong line on excellent rock with great climbing. Take a few big cams and hexes to get it laced.

Thank you - this is exactly what I’m after. And a great Crag too. I’ll definitely take a look at this route. 

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KS132 10 Jul 2019
In reply to full stottie:

A couple of crags listed here that I haven’t visited. Thank you. 

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KS132 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> having just warned them off from Amazon Crack (HS), I've now been reminded by your post that I find that all of Bilberry Crack at Bamford feels softer than the start of Brown's Crack, despite Bilberry Crack being graded VS 5a. So in true forum fashion, I recommend a VS 5a to the OP looking for S and HS. 

> I don't really. I'm more warning them off from Brown's Crack . Whenever I do Quien Sabe, I am always most relieved to get the HS bit out of the way!

Haha thanks! I’ll take a look. 

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KS132 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Ah, some great climbs in North Yorks there. Funnily enough, I seconded Odin and The Night Watch just a couple of weeks ago. I commented that I’d like to try leading Odin. Plus the gear opportunities on The Night Watch were amazing! Thoroughly enjoyed both routes. 

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mrphilipoldham 10 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Bertie's Bugbear (S 4a) and Route I (HS 4b) if you want to properly earn the grades  

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KS132 10 Jul 2019
In reply to heleno:

Thank you. I haven’t been to the Roaches

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Gordon Stainforth 10 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Another obvious one at the Roaches is Jeffcoat's Buttress (HS 5a). The top half is very good and it has the merit of being one of the longest routes on grit.

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BnB 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> some Peak ones.

> Twenty Foot Crack, Burbage North. 

> Green Gut and Terraza Crack at Froggatt (also Diamond Crack but that is high-end HS)

> Three Tree Climb, Lawrencefield

> Black Hawk Hell Crack, Stanage

I would go so far as to say that the intimidatingly named Black Hawk Hell Crack is the best Severe in the Peak and one of the finest routes of any grade at Stanage. It’s a terrific series of juggy, steepish moves, each protected by as much gear as you can throw in. If a new leader wants to learn how to place gear on grit, while climbing a glorious line, this is the route to hit.

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keith hal 10 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

 Northumberland. Sunset S4a at Peel Crag. Flake Crack S 4b and Deception Crack. HS 4b at Kyloe

Post edited at 20:28
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mbh 10 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Being in Cornwall, I  feel left out, so taking North as meaning north of the Scillies, I raise you Vertical Crack at Sennen and the final move of Bosigran Ridge. 

Sorry.

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KS132 10 Jul 2019
In reply to mbh:

Ha, thanks for starting my list of to-do routes in Cornwall! Sure I’ll make it there at some point! 

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CathS 10 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

'D' Route on Gimmer Crag.   So much gear that if you're not careful you'll use up your whole rack by the time you get to the top! Small cams useful for the initial traverse.

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Gordon Stainforth 10 Jul 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Green Gut and Terraza Crack at Froggatt (also Diamond Crack but that is high-end HS)

I've just spotted this oddity ... which is very odd. Since when was Terrazza Crack at Froggatt? The truth is that it's a very tough HVS at Stanage:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KuKFBtL4-k

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Edit: I've just realised that you must mean Terrace Crack, that two-star thing at Froggatt. Sorry. 

Post edited at 22:54
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Northern Star 11 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Would agree with Black Hawk Hell crack at Stanage, lovely climbing and you could use your whole rack on this route. 

Did The Nithin (S) at Castle Naze last week.  Surprisingly good for a one star route and it just keeps on taking gear.  Good cams in the lower layback crack, some of the most bomber nuts you'll ever see, a hex and finally a thread trough sling near the top.

Post edited at 07:25
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Simon Caldwell 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Another obvious one at the Roaches is Jeffcoat's Buttress (HS 5a)

I thought the start of that was pretty bold, I was only seconding but didn't have to take any gear out! The start can be avoided on the left though.

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Tom V 11 Jul 2019
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

....then have a walk round the edges and do Answer Crack, superb climbing given the unusual grade of HVD 4a in OTM. I reckon if it is worth a 4a grade it could be considered a Severe.

Post edited at 10:17
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Blue Straggler 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Hi Gordon, it is me that should apologise for writing Terraza instead of Terrace. Thank you for pointing out my error. It's not the first time I've done it! It must be a Freudian slip to do with aspirations of one day managaging a very tough HVS at Stanage

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Blue Straggler 11 Jul 2019

good to see the mutual love for Black Hawk Hell Crack at Stanage Popular. I did it on Sunday for what I think is the first time, which seems odd as I've been to Stanage Popular a LOT. Was a nice surprise to find a Severe there that was not polished to hell and which actually had gear. I'd back up the comments that it could be a nice first (or early) lead for someone. I did have to pause for thought at what was the crux for me. 

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jungle 11 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Thinking of some well protected HS's I've done at Stanage, particularly in the Popular area:   Stanage Popular

Bynes Route Byne's Route (HS 4b)

April Crack April Crack (HS 4b)

Robin Hood's RH buttress direct - feels steep, but it's easy climbing for the grade and easy to protect by shuffling up some big cams Robin Hood's Right-hand Buttress Direct (HS 4a)

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Gordon Stainforth 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I see from my logbooks that I did BHHC on my first ever trip to Stanage in November 1968. I suppose because it was one of the first obvious things one comes to on the walk up to the 'popular end'.

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KS132 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

This is one I have actually led and loved it. If the other suggestions are half as good as this, then I’ll be very happy! 

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mrphilipoldham 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Yes! Layback Crack (HS 4b) is excellent too, and given its current filthy state it’s definitely worth its HS grade. VS if it’s not bone dry..

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Hat Dude 11 Jul 2019
In reply to keith hal:

>  Northumberland. Sunset S4a at Peel Crag.

Then wander along to Hadrian's Buttress on Craig Lough

Hadrian's Buttress (HS 4b)

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keith hal 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Hat Dude:

Cheers mate!.. have never done that one so will add to my bucket list!!

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Rog Wilko 11 Jul 2019
In reply to keith hal:

Sandbag.

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Tom V 11 Jul 2019
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

....go over the top, cross the road and walk up to do Atherton Bros and Via Principia.

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Hat Dude 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Rog Wilko:

There's a pattern forming here ;-)

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Rog Wilko 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Hat Dude:

That's what I was thinking! I've always struggled in Northumberland.

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SGD 11 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Sunset Crack and Heather Wall both at Froggatt. 1 is at the upper end of your range the other is at the lower end. Both Excellent and Both Well protected.

ps Heather Wall is possibly my favourite route of the grade I've ever done in the UK but I haven't climbed much in the Lakes.

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KS132 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Rog Wilko:

Me too! I’ll be taking some of these S and HS gratings with a pinch of salt!! 

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KS132 11 Jul 2019
In reply to SGD:

> Sunset Crack and Heather Wall both at Froggatt. 1 is at the upper end of your range the other is at the lower end. Both Excellent and Both Well protected.

Excellent!

> ps Heather Wall is possibly my favourite route of the grade I've ever done in the UK but I haven't climbed much in the Lakes.

Me neither but I’m very keen to. 

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DubyaJamesDubya 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Another obvious one at the Roaches is Jeffcoat's Buttress (HS 5a). The top half is very good and it has the merit of being one of the longest routes on grit.

Friend of mine managed to shatter and dislocate his ankle jumping off the start of this one. I've done it a couple of times since and found the start hard and bold (all the more so given my memories of it)

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mrphilipoldham 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Not forgetting Long Climb (S 4a) and Pillar Ridge (HS 4b) on the way! 

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Tom V 11 Jul 2019
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

That would be a good day out.  Would probably start to feel my age walking back down to the Clarence, though.

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Rog Wilko 11 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Here's a good one in Langdale. 

The Original Route (S 4a)

There are 4 pitches but pitch 2 is neither easy nor well protected. But you can start at pitch 3 and thereby do all the best climbing. Scramble up the bottom of the gully on the left side of the crag and continue rightwards to pass behind the pinnacle to reach the belay at start of pitch 3.

Post edited at 15:29
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Rog Wilko 11 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

And this one gets HS now: Bowfell Buttress (VD). One of the best days out at the grade in the UK. All the hard bits are well protected.

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Gordon Stainforth 11 Jul 2019
In reply to Rog Wilko:

That's so odd to hear you say that. My memory of Bowfell Buttress is of a very overrated, scruffy route in a very grand position. Apart from one little slabby wall, much harder than anything else on the route, but above a big friendly grassy terrace, so it's no big deal, the climbing is very poor by any standards. Particularly given the general excellence of the climbing in Langdale.

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Ann S 11 Jul 2019
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Was going to suggest Route 1 as a top notch offering at the grade requested.

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Rog Wilko 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I think you must be wearing your reverse rose-tinted specs, Gordon. You're in a tiny minority on UKC as well - about 100 out of 105 voters gave it 3*.

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Rog Wilko 12 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

This is another good one

Via Media (S)

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Tom V 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Rog Wilko:

People in crampons seem to like it, anyway.

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cathsullivan 12 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

My suggestions for mostly well-protected severe or hard severe routes (and mild severe) in the Lakes:

Evening Wall, Centipede, Original Route, Revelation at Raven Crag Langdale.  It was suggested above that one section of Original Route is hard and bold ... I think I know which bit and would argue that it's fine if you have small cams.

Thomas at Wallowbarrow - the bottom is a bit bold as others have suggested but it's got good gear after the first few meters.

Slabs Route 1 at White Ghyll.

Troutdale Pinnacle, Black Crag.

A Route and D Route on Gimmer.

Lilith at Castle Rock South (it has an easy middle bit that isn't very well protected but the crux has bomber gear and the start has adequate gear).  I think Via Media, which has been recommended above has a tricky bit that is also bold.  I think the bit I find hardest is not the bit that's normally regarded as the crux .. it's a bit higher and I find it fairly hard for severe and without much gear.  It might be because I'm short or have just been doing it wrongly.  Anyway, the rest of it has really good gear, especially by Castle Rock standards, including what is normally seen as the crux.

Kennel Wall at Gouther (it's a while since I last did this but I don't recall finding it bold ... which could be my faulty memory).

Gillercombe Buttress is, I think, generally OK for gear.

Arete, Chimney and Crack or Murray's Route on Dow (I felt at the time that Murray's Route was the best severe I'd done in the Lakes).  I don't recall either of these being bold but could be misremembering.

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KS132 12 Jul 2019
In reply to cathsullivan: and everyone...

There are some great suggestions of routes in a wide range of locations! Thank you and keep them coming! 

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Rog Wilko 12 Jul 2019
In reply to cathsullivan:

I was wondering about Kennel Wall, but I seem to remember that the first 20 feet wasn't overly protected, though admittedly the climbing isn't above mild V Diff.

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Tom V 12 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

Even though I haven't logged it I remember walking up and doing Red Pencil on Pen Y Ghent. The fact that I can't recall any scary details must mean that its protection is ok but equally, you'd expect more memories from what must be the most mountainous 3***  Severe route on grit.

Post edited at 19:15
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Lankyman 12 Jul 2019
In reply to KS132:

If you're going to Attermire then you mustn't miss Moonshine (HS 4b)!

Post edited at 19:59
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KS132 12 Jul 2019
In reply to Lankyman:

Will definitely take a look at this! 

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Mark Eddy 12 Jul 2019
In reply to cathsullivan:

Some great suggestions here. All are well worth seeking out.

The gear mentioned for Original Route, Raven can also be a small nut (Walnut 1 I think), if you don't have a small enough cam.

Gillercombe has loads of good gear all the way. With some medium cams helping at various stages.

ACC and Murray's on Dow are both fantastic and on such a brilliant crag. Mornings are best as it looses the sun later in the day and becomes chilly / freezing!! The 1st pitch of Murray's is testing at the grade, defo top end. Rest of the route is easier. Positions on ACC are at times magnificent. The climbing is straightforward, although it's overall less well protected than Murray's (in my opinion).

Bowfell Buttress = brilliant mountain route and mostly about VD, with just a few trickier moves, hence the grade creep. The harder sections are well protected. Walk-in via climbers traverse, stop for fresh water at 'the great spout' have fun on BB, top out on Bowfell summit with views over to the Scafells etc, walk down to finish with a beer in the ODG. Top day out

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Dave Garnett 13 Jul 2019
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> Friend of mine managed to shatter and dislocate his ankle jumping off the start of this one.

It’s certainly an awkward one.  I think it makes a real difference if it isn’t completely dry and clean.  Sometimes, if you trust your feet and  get it right, the reach for the crucial good finger hold feels straightforward.  Other times it feels a bit greasy, you don’t work your feet up properly and over-stretch for the hold...

There’s a reasonable wire but your belayer needs to really pay attention.

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