Climbs 97
Rocktype Culm

climber Nick Arding. Route Twilight Zone, middle Fin, Lower Sharpnose, N Devon © nick arding

Crag features

A major venue with incredible long thin fins sticking out into the sea facing both N and S (and some W). Tidal and abseil approach required. Bizarre construction but solid, and with a terrific concentration of hard face and crack climbs up to 150ft, with some tough 30ft testpieces for those lacking stamina. Many three-star routes, such as The Smile (E1 5b), Pacemaker (E5 6a) and Coronary Country (E6 6b). For the fit the grades will seem easy as the routes are mainly technically straightforward. The less travelled routes can be a bit dusty.

Approach notes


Near MOD land; best to park near the heavy metal gate a few hundred m N past the government buildings. Walk across the old airfield to join the coast path near the perimeter fence. Three narrow fins head out to the sea: that is them. Best to use the mixed slopes on the N and S of the fins.

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West Country Climbs

West Country Climbs is a major Rockfax guide to one of the UK’s most celebrated, sunny and diverse climbing regions. The book is fashioned in Rockfax’s award-winning layout and design, and copiously illustrated with action photographs of the climbs and cliffs that reflect the quality and variety of climbing experiences to be had on offer in the UK’s most popular holiday destination - the West Country. This is a selected route and buttress guidebook which covers the best 900 routes from the crags listed below.
More info
Superb venue. Lots of cams required. When checking tide times, use Bude not Bideford. We used the wrong one and came very close to being stranded because if it! Also well worth bringing an ab rope. The rockfax guide implies there is a nice shiny bolted ab point on North Fin - there isn't. It has 2 pegs (1 very recent and solid) plus numerous good nut placements, so needs a properly set up and equalised ab, not just twin ropes and pull through. I'm sure this all seems very obvious to sea cliff afficionardoes, but we haven't done much sea cliff climbing so weren't expecting this.
hms - 11/Aug/13
If anyone is confused about the walk-in, it helps to know to walk between the COW HERD and RADAR DISHES, following the fence around before heading on the small path down to the fins. If it would be useful perhaps interested climbers could ask UKC to put a photo up illustrating this characterful approach.
Fiend - 11/Jan/08
Mascon, E1 5a, on the North face of the North fin is well worth doing. Worthy of E1, possibly touching on 5b and definitely worth 3 stars.
dennis may - 27/Sep/05
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
 Baby Fin 
2Lurcher JakE3 5c * 
3Cold SnapE4 6b  
4Grypt-Up PhynneE4 6a  
5Early MingE4 6a *1
6American ExcessE3 5c ** 
7Ning NongE3 5c 2
8Buoy ClimberMVS 4b 2
9Shadow PlayE2 5b * 
 North Fin - North Face 
11Wafer Phynne
E3 5b 2
E5 6b/c * 
13Culm Dancing
E5 6a ** 
14Blackthorn Winter
E5 6a *1
15The DevonianE5 6a **8
16Poker Face
E3 6a *2
E5 6b  
18A Handful of Rust
E6 6b  
19MasconE1 5a **167
20Village Idiot
E2 5c 5
21Athabasca Falls
E4 6a * 
22Bolder Boulder
E4 6a *1
23Weekend Millionaires
E3 6a *1
 North Fin - South Face 
HVS 4c 49
26Slice of LifeE4 6a 3
27Misery GoatE2 5b **116
28Last Laugh Direct StartE2 6a 6
29Last LaughE2 5c **133
30The Smirk
E1 5a 45
31When the Goat Comes In
E4 5c *3
32Carbon CopyE3 5c **1
33Diamond SmilesE3 5c ***240
34WraithE4 6a **98
35Feeding the RatE4 6a 1
36Dijon Extra-Strong (Mustard Direct)E5 6a 2
37Two Passports and a Cunning PlanE5 6b 1
38Crooked MileE3 5c **107
E4 6a 1
40The SmileE1 5a ***480
41Out of the BlueE2 5b ***503
42Sea GreenE4 5c **88
43BrishanVS 4b 3
44Ace of DiamondsE2 5c 1
45Help Save the Rhino
E3 6a  
46Kung Fu Kecks
E4 6a *1
47Fat Man's EliminateVS 2
 Middle Fin - North Face 
49The Flying FinnE4 6a *1
50Spoils of WarE4 5c *12
51Lunakhod into Spoils of WarE1 5b 2
52LunakhodHVS 5a ***442
53ClawtrackHVS 4c *125
54Culm to MotherE5 6b **3
55Twilight Zone
E4 5c *32
E4 5c  
57Small Plate McGinty
E5 6b 1
58A Tonic for the Troops
E2 5b *20
59Mother's Ruin
E2 5b 2
60Alpine Groyne
 Middle Fin - South Face 
E5 6b *2
63Tokyo Fish MafiaE6 6b **4
64Break On ThroughE4 5c ***231
E5 6a *2
E5 6a *4
67Magic Carpet Finish
E5 6a  
68PacemakerE5 6a ***174
69Fanny Calder
E5 6a * 
70FayE4 5c ***241
71Hellhound on my Trail
E4 5c **13
72Heart By-pass
E4 5c **26
73Coronary Country (via Fay spike)E6 6b ***3
74Coronary Country (original start)E7 6b ***15
75The Monk's Satanic VersesE8 6c ***1
E5 5c *** 
E4 5c **8
78Hearts and Minds
E6 6a *2
79Rising Moisture
HVS 5a  
80The Stunted Razor Snout
E4 6b  
 South Fin - North Face 
82Cool, Culm, and Collected
E3 6a/5c  
83LeprosyE3 5c 3
84The Lemming
E3 5b 1
85Blunt End
HVS 5a 1
86UphillE3 5c *1
87Angle Grinder
E3 5c * 
E3 5c *5
89ZazuumE4 6a/b  
HVS 4c 1
91Heffalump Trap
VS 4b 6
92DulcimaHVS 5a *98
93Old Dog, New TricksE2 5c *1
94XanthoriaHVS 5a *18
95Pooh Corner
S 4a 5
96Cool Moon
HVS 5b 2
97South Pier
D *9
 South Fin - South Face 
99Poodle Power
S 4a 4
VS 4c 8
101Stone ManVS 4c 11
VS 4c 8
103Pit Bull
E4 6a 1
 Upper Crag (now fallen down!) 
105Never too SlateE4 6a 1

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