Climbs 98
Rocktype Culm
Altitude Tidal

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

Tidal.

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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Guidebooks

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
2 Lurcher Jak E3 5c *  
3 Cold Snap E4 6b  
4 Grypt-Up Phynne E4 6a  
5 Early Ming E4 6a * 1
6 American Excess E3 5c **  
7 Ning Nong E3 5c 2
8 Buoy Climber MVS 4b 2
9 Shadow Play E2 5b *  
  North Fin - North Face
11 Wafer Phynne
-
E3 5b 1
12 Dogsbody
-
E5 6b/c *  
13 Culm Dancing
-
E5 6a **  
14 Blackthorn Winter
-
E5 6a * 1
15 The Devonian E5 6a ** 8
16 Poker Face
-
E3 6a * 2
17 Helsinki
-
E5 6b  
18 A Handful of Rust
-
E6 6b  
19 Mascon E1 5a ** 173
20 Village Idiot
-
E2 5c 5
21 Athabasca Falls
-
E4 6a *  
22 Bolder Boulder
-
E4 6a * 1
23 Weekend Millionaires
-
E3 6a * 1
  North Fin - South Face
25 Hatchet
-
HVS 4c 46
26 Slice of Life E4 6a 3
27 Misery Goat E2 5b ** 111
28 Last Laugh Direct Start E2 6a 6
29 Last Laugh E2 5c ** 138
30 The Smirk
-
E1 5a 49
31 When the Goat Comes In
-
E4 5c * 3
32 Carbon Copy E3 5c ** 1
33 Diamond Smiles E3 5c *** 247
34 Wraith E4 6a ** 95
35 Feeding the Rat E4 6a 1
36 Dijon Extra-Strong (Mustard Direct) E5 6a 2
37 Two Passports and a Cunning Plan E5 6b 1
38 Crooked Mile E3 5c ** 111
39 Mustard
-
E4 6a 1
40 The Smile E1 5a *** 502
41 Out of the Blue E2 5b *** 529
42 Sea Green E4 5c ** 93
43 Brishan VS 4b 3
44 Ace of Diamonds E2 5c 1
45 Help Save the Rhino
-
E3 6a  
46 Kung Fu Kecks
-
E4 6a * 1
47 Fat Man's Eliminate VS 2
  Middle Fin - North Face
49 The Flying Finn E4 6a * 1
50 Spoils of War E4 5c * 11
51 Lunakhod into Spoils of War E1 5b 2
52 Lunakhod HVS 5a *** 472
53 Clawtrack HVS 4c * 126
54 Culm to Mother E5 6b ** 3
55 Twilight Zone
-
E4 5c * 17
56 Challenger
-
E4 5c  
57 Small Plate McGinty
-
E5 6b 1
58 A Tonic for the Troops
-
E2 5b * 19
59 Mother's Ruin
-
E2 5b 2
60 Alpine Groyne
-
A2  
  Middle Fin - South Face
62 Finesse
-
E5 6b * 2
63 Tokyo Fish Mafia E6 6b ** 4
64 Break On Through E4 5c *** 241
65 Sunscape
-
E5 6a * 2
66 Diastole
-
E5 6a * 4
67 Magic Carpet Finish
-
E5 6a  
68 Pacemaker E5 6a *** 184
69 Fanny Calder
-
E5 6a *  
70 Fay E4 5c *** 251
71 Hellhound on my Trail
-
E4 5c ** 8
72 Heart By-pass
-
E4 5c ** 27
73 Coronary Country (via Fay spike) E6 6b *** 4
74 Coronary Country (original start) E7 6b *** 17
75 The Monk's Satanic Verses E8 6c *** 1
76 Malefactor
-
E5 5c ***  
77 Angina E4 5c 1
78 Azrael
-
E4 5c ** 7
79 Hearts and Minds
-
E6 6a * 2
80 Rising Moisture
-
HVS 5a  
81 The Stunted Razor Snout
-
E4 6b  
  South Fin - North Face
83 Cool, Culm, and Collected
-
E3 6a/5c  
84 Leprosy E3 5c 3
85 The Lemming
-
E3 5b 1
86 Blunt End
-
HVS 5a 1
87 Uphill E3 5c * 1
88 Angle Grinder
-
E3 5c *  
89 Eeyore
-
E3 5c * 5
90 Zazuum E4 6a/b  
91 Tigger
-
HVS 4c 1
92 Heffalump Trap
-
VS 4b 6
93 Dulcima HVS 5a * 100
94 Old Dog, New Tricks E2 5c * 1
95 Xanthoria HVS 5a * 17
96 Pooh Corner
-
S 4a 5
97 Cool Moon
-
HVS 5b 2
98 South Pier
-
D * 9
  South Fin - South Face
100 Poodle Power
-
S 4a 4
101 Illiteracy
-
VS 4c 8
102 Stone Man VS 4c 11
103 Bonk
-
VS 4c 8
104 Pit Bull
-
E4 6a 1
  Upper Crag (now fallen down!)
106 Never too Slate E4 6a 1

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