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
2 Tophet Girdle
-
VS 4c * 1
3 Back of the Napes
-
MS  
4 Tophet Ridge VS 4c * 3
5 The Tartarus Trip
-
E2 5c  
6 Sacrificial Crack E4 6a *** 3
7 Demon Wall VS 5a * 7
8 Tophet Wall HS 4a *** 904
9 Breathless E9 7a *** 1
10 The Satanic Traverses
-
E5 6a * 1
11 Supernatural E5 6a *** 12
12 Xander E7 6b  
13 Golgotha
-
E6 6c  
14 Incantations E6 6b *** 1
15 Tophet Grooves HVS 5b * 3
16 The Vikings E3 5c *** 28
17 Tophet Grooves Direct E1 5b * 6
18 Golden Calf
-
E4 6b *  
19 Brimstone Buttress
-
MVS 4b  
20 Tormentil
-
MVS 4a 1
21 Tophet Bastion VD * 33
22 Hell Raiser
-
E2 5c *  
23 Lucifer Crack S 4a * 9
24 Lucifer Ridge VD * 4
25 Jaga
-
VD 1
  The Napes Ridges - East
27 Belfry Buttress
-
HS 4b 2
28 Belfry Crack
-
VS 4b * 2
29 Skorkian Crack
-
VS 5a  
30 Hamshanker
-
MVS 4c  
31 Scrimshanker
-
VS 4c 2
32 Crumbs From A Rich Man's Table MVS 4b ** 1
33 Buzzard Wall
-
D 2
34 Zeta Climb
-
VD 3
35 Chantry Buttress S 3c 7
36 Chantry Buttress Direct
-
HVS  
37 A Laudable Ox
-
VS 4b  
38 Salome
-
VD  
39 Salome Variation Start
-
VS 4c  
40 Needle Ridge VD *** 968
  The Needle
42 The Wasdale Roof
-
E3 5c * 1
43 The Wasdale Crack HS *** 823
44 The Arete HS *** 194
45 Slingsby's Variation HS 8
46 The Crowley Route HS 4b * 15
47 The Lingmell Crack
-
HS 4b * 12
48 The Obverse Route MVS 4b *** 23
49 Sick Heart River
-
E2 **  
50 Thirty-nine Steps
-
E3 **  
51 Sick'ard Shiver E6 6b **  
52 Direct Obverse from the Gap
-
HVS 5a 2
53 The Higher Needle Girdle
-
MVS 4b  
54 The Needle Perimeter
-
MVS 4b  
  Napes Central Area
56 Eagle's Corner
-
MVS 4a  
57 Crinkler's Crack HVS  
58 Amos Moses E1 5b ** 28
59 Cannon Stone E1 5b  
60 Tricouni Rib
-
MVS 4b  
61 Alligator Crawl HS * 3
62 Crocodile Crack HVS 5a *** 41
63 The Cayman E2 5b *** 30
64 Gharial
-
E1 5b *  
65 Eagle's Crack
-
VS 4c 3
66 Centennial Climb VS 4c *  
67 Aquiline Slab
-
E2 6a  
68 Conversation Killer HVS 5a 1
69 Eagle's Nest Ridge Direct MVS 4a *** 230
70 Ling Chimney
-
VD  
71 Longbow E1 5b **  
72 Long John VS 4c ** 11
73 Eagle's Nest Ordinary VD ** 79
74 Little John
-
S 4a  
75 Eagle's Chain
-
VS 4b  
76 Abbey Buttress S *** 104
  The Napes Ridges - West
78 The Merry Monk
-
VS 4b  
79 Turdus torquatus
-
E2 5b **  
80 The Pod
-
VS 4c  
81 Costello
-
E3 5c  
82 Abbot
-
E3 5c *  
83 Sabre Ridge
-
VD  
84 Cutlass Ridge
-
VD  
85 Murin Buchstansangur
-
E2 5b 1
86 The Tormentor E4 6a **  
87 Time and Place
-
E2 5b  
88 Arrowhead Ridge Easy Way
-
D 2
89 Red Arrow
-
VS 4c  
90 Arrowhead Ridge Direct VD *** 221
91 Arrowhead Ridge South-East Variation VD  
92 Lost Arrow Spire
-
VS 4c *  
93 Scimitar ridge
-
VD * 6
94 Square-Cut Gully
-
S  
95 Crowley's Chimney Route
-
VD  
96 Rainbow Ridge
-
S 4a * 5
97 Gremlin's Crack
-
HVS 5a  
98 Burning Sphinxter
-
VS 5a  
99 Sphinx Crack
-
VD  
100 The Sphinx or Cat Rock
-
f? 1
101 Sphinx Ridge
-
VD 1
102 Isis Crack
-
S  
  Scrambles
104 The Climber's Traverse 2 *** 155
105 The Napes and Westmorland's Crag
-
2 *** 100
106 Eagles Nest Gully/Arrowhead Ridge 2 * 16
107 Sphinx Ridge 2 * 69
108 Sphinx Ridge (Winter)
-
II * 1

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