Climbs 43
Rocktype Welsh igneous
Altitude 300m a.s.l
Faces SE

A gear placing lesson © omerta

Crag features

ACCESS - Peregrines sometimes nest at this crag in Spring. Please keep away if the nests are in place. It isn't likely that any signs will be placed at the crag to warn people.

2017 Access Update: Restrictions apply from  1 March - 31 July. Reason - Nesting Birds

Peregrines nest at Pontesford Rocks and a restriction applies to the right-hand (East) buttress and descent gully from this buttress. This leaves the popular left-hand (west) and the needle buttresses open for climbing. It is possible that the birds could change location in future, however, so please respect any local signage.


Set in the idyllic Shropshire hills and providing a concentration of lower grade climbs.There are both multi-pitch routes of up to 60m and single pitches of 15m.Recommended classics include Oak Tree Wall Direct (VD), Wall End Climb (VD), Finale Groove(VS), Varsity Buttress (VS) and The Superdirect (E1).
Nice little crag with excellent views. Routes are long enough to be interesting and the rock felt secure even in the middle of January. Descent is either a long walk-around or down a steep muddy gully; either way, take a change of footwear unless you like tobogganing down slopes at speed. Couldn't see a 60m route, but will be back for another look. [Andrew Primrose 1/03]

Approach notes

As you enter the village of Pontesford on the A488, look for a tractor Emporium on your left and immediately afterwards a small side road with a sign for the Earls Hill Nature Reserve.
Follow the single track road up to a car park on top of a small crest signed Earls Hill Nature Reserve (previously there was room for about 7 cars but was extended in early 2017, and will now accommodate ~20).
After parking follow the larger path from the car park end (not the steps through the woods).  Walk for 10-15 minutes on that path and through fields and after you go through a third gate take an obvious path that heads off up to the right from the main path towards a steep scree slope and the crag. Immediately after the third gate is a sign/notice board about the area, including signs about the bird ban.

Access Advice

The crag is within Earls Hill Nature Reserve which is managed by Shropshire Wildlife Trust. The Trust have a positive view of climbing here providing that people are sensitive to the ecological interests of the site. In particular the scree slopes should be treated with care. No camping and no fires, please.

The 'Fifty Foot Wall' routes were cleaned up and extensively restored in early 2013, with the intention of giving climbers an alternative area if the birds had nested on the main crag. Feel free to go try these - you might actually like them...

In late 2013, the Wildlife Trust undertook some further vegetation clearance work, mainly of invasive trees on the scree slopes, but also of scrub on the rocks. The intent was to improve the cliff environment from the climbers' point of view, as it will allow more light and air to dry the rocks better.

Seasonal Restrictions

Dates: 1 March to 31 July

Reason: Nesting Birds

Peregrines nest at Pontesford Rocks and a restriction applies to the right hand buttress and descent gully from this buttress. This leaves the popular left hand buttress open for climbing. It is possible that the birds could change location in future however, so please respect any local signage.

Rockfax App

Available in the Rockfax App

The Rockfax App brings together all the Rockfax climbing information with UKC logbooks and presents it into a user-friendly package for use on Apple iOS devices (Android version to follow).


Guidebooks

been up to pontesford today on a recon mission as iv never climbed here before, looks a decent little crag, walk in isn't as bad as I had been led to believe. cant wait to get some time in here and get some routes logged....
Supadeano86 - 22/Apr/14
In case you don't already know, the West Midlands Rock website (http://www.westmidlandsrock.co.uk/) has died a death... :(
Alex Thompson - 16/Nov/12
If anyone visits soon, could you please get some photos of the unstable rocks around Wall End Climb?
Alex Thompson - 01/Jul/12
A block equivalent in size to a rather large fitted oven currently nestled in the middle of the tree belay at the top of the second pitch of Wall End Climb. Only wiewed from West Crack and didn't really want to get any closer to it today.
D Berry - 01/Jul/12
The rock is generally solid but an undisturbed football sized boulder tumbled down on 2nd Feb '12, probably due to freeze-thaw action. We didn't investigate whether there's more to come down.
Claudia - 08/Feb/12
Shropshire wildlife trust have now put up signs by Wall End climb requesting people not to climb this route (and one's nearby) in order not to disturb the nest site. They have also (we believe) chalked an arrow and the words 'nesting birds, no climbing here' onto the crag near Wall End. We brushed the arrow and part of the writing off in an attempt to reduce the impact but the whole lot could do with brushing off.
groovy_nut - 22/Apr/10
There is currently a nest site on the right side of the crag (Finale Groove area) (April 2010) so please be aware and avoid climbing in this area for the next couple of months.
groovy_nut - 19/Apr/10
Guidebook and update are available online: http://www.westmidlandsrock.co.uk/pontesford_pdf_1995guide.pdf http://www.westmidlandsrock.co.uk/pontesford_pdf_update.pdf
Alex Thompson - 23/Jul/09
A pleasant venue. Varsity Buttress (the green-looking wall reached en route to the main crag) needs some traffic - there are some good middle grade routes here that have all but disappeared under the soil and vegetation, probably because the lower wall is steep and lacking in pro. It's a good alternative to the main wall, especially when that area is being used as a toproping/adventure rope course/toilet by school parties....
Joe Lenham - 04/Feb/05
Not very good in the wet. The superdirect is the best climb by along way!
Rob - 06/Dec/04
I forgot the link in my previous comment. http://www.westmidlandsrock.co.uk/
loco_ola - 09/Aug/04
There is no guide book that i could find for these rocks since the "West Midland Rock" went out of print. However you can get the information off their website for this crag. Be warned however the guide is mainly descriptive with no decent maps, but worth having anyway. Crags themselves are in a beautiful setting, some of the harder climbs on the "Needle" have no protection which is why they are rated harder than perhaps they should be. The guide gives fairly soft difficulty ratings, but there is still lots of fun to be had at these crags.
loco_ola - 09/Aug/04
This place is becoming a regular with me now because the setting makes up for a lot. It'a a really nice place for a couple of climbs during the day or in the evening. Even met a couple of Worcester climbers who usually went to North Wales, but decided to give this place a go and in their opinion it was a little treasure if you wanted to get some weekend climbing in and a lot nearer than North Wales. The routes on closer inspection, are suprisingly interesting and I've already had to back off a groove with little protection and climb up on the its right side. I would have got away with it too, if the guy belaying next to me hadn't pointed out, as my second struggled up the groove, that that wasn't the way I'd come. About half the routes are multi-pitch but the top half of these climbs can get a bit Covent Garden like. Also a place to bring a tin hat, since the last time I was there since I nearly took a direct hit from a rock dislodged by a guy belaying above me, and one of the gullies was spitting out rocks all day.
Andrew Primrose - 10/Mar/03
Login as Existing User to add your comments

Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  West Buttress
2 West Wall Direct Start VS 4c 40
3 West Wall M * 59
4 West Crack M * 65
5 Moonlight Variation D * 87
6 Eliminate G HVS 5a * 100
7 Surplus Requirements-Not HVS 5a * 20
8 Oak Tree Wall Direct HVD ** 248
9 Lower Traverse S 22
10 Right-Hand Route VD * 139
11 Stoats Chimney M * 94
12 Last Post VD 37
13 Wall End climb VD * 125
14 Kit Hill King VS 4b 12
15 Wall End Slab Direct
-
S 17
16 Wall End Climb The Notch Variation S 4a * 42
17 Finale Groove VS 4b ** 138
18 Awaken VS 5a * 16
  The Needle
20 Indirect Route M 24
21 Hawthorne Crack S 4a * 69
22 Possum E2 5b 28
23 Direct Route S 4a 74
24 The Superdirect E1 5a 35
25 Right Hand Wall M 31
26 Needle Girdle
-
D 6
  East Buttress
28 Girdle Traverse of Fifty Foot Wall
-
HVS 1
29 Fifty Foot Wall Traverse V2  
30 Varsity Buttress VS 4b * 56
31 Vive La Wombat E2 5b  
32 Epiglottis HVS 5a 24
33 East Climb S 19
34 Lonesome Traveller
-
VS 3
35 Varsity Wall E2 5b  
36 Trachea E1 5a 3
37 Crow's Nest Chimney
-
D 3
38 Inominate Crack VD 2
39 Inominate Wall
-
VD 1
40 Inominate Rib
-
D 2
41 Box Climb
-
VD 1
42 hawthorn crack
-
S 4a 21
43 OTE Meal E1 5a 1
44 Girdle Traverse
-
S 2
  Isolated Rocks
46 Hidden Ridge
-
M 5
47 Jackdaw Ridge
-
VD 2

Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Alex Thompson