Climbs 41
Rocktype Gritstone
Altitude 220m a.s.l
Faces NE

Last move to a desperate top out © GarethGibbons

Crag features

Bouldering guide available at http://unknownstones.com/st-ives/ 

A local viewpoint and point of interest near the St. Ives Estate outside Bingley. Evidence of druidic activity is lacking but other earlier pioneers have left their marks: cleaned holds, ancient chips and, more recently, chalk.

Despite the aspect, the rock dries quickly, doesn't suffer much drainage and, in parts, stays dry in all but the heaviest rain.

The recorded trad routes are on the main face of the tallest rock but other smaller buttresses exist with some good, albeit short lines - the traditionalist is generally advised to bring some clippers and a trowel.

The bouldering has recently seen a renaissence with a lot of new lines cleaned and climbed in Spring/Summer 2014. Three main bouldering areas exist; the eastern flanks and lower tier area, beneath the main Druids' Altar block and around the Sundary Morning boulder. Other isolated climbs are present along the edge.

Accessible from Bingley train station via a long walk or else parking is to be had either at the pub 'The Brown Cow' (full suite of Timothy Taylor on offer), St Ives Estate (at the public car park beside the golf course and near Lady B's Cafe - good coffee and food) or the top, middle or bottom of Altar Lane via some off-roading. Altar Lane is a rough track but the quickest access, St Ives offers a delightful walk of some 10mins to get to the crag and the Brown Cow, the alpinist's option and offering the most rewarding finish.

Some old photos of early pioneers can be found here, here and here:
http://www.valendale.myby.co.uk/moss_carr.html
http://www.francisfrith.com/bingley/photos/the-druids-altar-1894_34759/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/49642305@N02/12837716213/

Approach notes

Once the access road (Altar Lane) opens up into a small woodland either cut down immediately right along the drystone wall to join a path that runs along the base of the crag (for the eastern flanks) or walk north-east towards the Druids' Altar itself (well walked paths) and boulder hop down to the crag/boulders. Additional craglets including the Sunday Morning boulder are present further along the edge. The Sunday Morning Boulder is reached after a 5mins walk along the footpath that continues away from Bingley towards Keighley - once the dry-stone wall kicks back in towards the path the Beech plantation opens up on the right. The Sunday Morning Boulder is 100m diagonally down the slope, just above the farmhouse. The boulders beneath the Druids' Altar are, on first encounters, tricky to navigate but straightforward once familiar with the place. Odd bits of litter scattered in places - fill a bag or two and it'll be clean in a couple of visits. The access situation is unknown - believed to be on council owned land - but respectful conduct, as ever, recommended to maintain good relations.

The 6a climber is well catered for and will find a number of challenges. The 7a climber will get a good workout from the full circuit. The 8a climber is advised to head to the Sunday Morning boulder with a few pads.
rice boy - 05/Sep/14
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  Eastern Flanks
2 The Arete that Trad Forgot f6B * 2
3 Rightwards Rising Traverse f6A+ 2
4 The Wall that Trad Forgot f5 2
5 The Arete that is Best Forgot f4+ 2
6 Cacophonix f5+ 2
7 Centurion f5+ * 2
  Lower Tier
9 Still Life with Woodpecker f5+ * 1
10 Still Life without... f7A+ 1
11 Cleopatra f3 1
12 Slave 1 f3+ * 1
13 Slave 2 f2+ 1
14 Caligula f6B+ 1
15 Huffnpuff f6B 1
  Druids' Altar (Main Block)
17 First Arete f2+ 1
18 First Groove f3 2
19 Druids' Face f3+ * 2
  Caesar Block
21 Caesar f7A * 2
  Cock-on-the-Block
23 Cock-on-the-Block f6B * 1
  Brad Squit Wall
25 Gracchus Armisurplus f6A * 2
26 Magnumopus f5 2
27 Anticlimax f4+ 1
28 Brad Squit f6B ** 3
29 Gracchus Squit f6C * 2
  Triangular Block
31 Geriatrix f4 2
32 Vitalstatistix f6C * 2
33 Bad Ethix f7A 1
34 Dogmatix f4+ * 2
  Rush Block
36 Rush (Stand Start) f5+ * 1
37 Rush (Crouch Start) f7C  
  Brutus Block
39 Brutus f6B ** 2
  Slab Block
41 Slab Block Traverse f3 1
42 Caius Fatuous f5 * 1
  Pyramid Block
44 Getafix f6B * 2
45 Obelix f6C ** 1
  The Edifice
47 Edifis f6B 1
  Sunday Morning Boulder
49 High as I Might f6A * 1
50 Fly as a Kite f5 * 1
  Sweet Jane Boulder
52 Sweet Jane f5 * 2
53 Venus in Furs f4+ 2
54 Candy Says f4+ * 1
55 Beginning to See the Light f6B * 1

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