Danby crag has sprong from nowt to stake its claim as Moors crag du premiere. It is, quite literally, well good. A large crag it be too, with out-crop-esque to the west and big, fat agressive buttri to the east. Draw de Top aretes, scoops, walls and little finger, long figure masterpieces. It's a crag that loves you, if you don't approach it with a sack full of cliches about what a dump it is. Quite simply:
The best lines you've ever seen everywhere you look!
The crag should be given a day to dry out after heavy rain, but often the exposed buttresses (particularly the aretes) can be dry within hours. Some light brushing may be needed if venturing off the beaten track.
Many of the VDiffs to the west of the crag are quite stiff, but well worthwhile. Chimney and Wall (Severe**), Danby Crack (VS 4c**), Valiant (HVS 5a***) and Osiris (HVS 5a**) are the classic mid-grade routes of the crag and great outings. There is then a bit of a jump in grades, with 'Palma Ham' (E2 6b), 'Stalin' (E3 5b**)'The Jungle drum' (E3 5c**), 'The Polish Diplomat' (E5 6b*), 'the Otter wilderness route' (E6 6b**), 'The Breaking Wheel (E5 6c)' and the Chocolate Moose (E4 6b**) offering a great day out in the mid extremes.
The Hypocrisy of Moose (H8 6c***) was the only harder route at the crag to have been led, but has now been joined by 'Howl Psyche' (E7 6b**), Die By The Sword (H7 6c*) and 'The Battle For Tripoli'(E6 6a*) (all on the same buttress).
In 2013, Psykovsky's Sequins (H8/9 7a) was added, which bends the mind almost as much as it bends the fingers. 2014 saw the birth of Fly Agaric (H8 7a) and Elysian Fields (E7 6a**). Later on, Powerslave (E6 6a), Ebola Tombola (H8 6b), Infinity in a Grain of Sand (H8 6c) and Anubis (E6 6b).
Perhaps with time a great surge of routes upto and beyond H9 will come, certainly many of the current projects are of a superb quality. The Mono Wall offers an exceptional crux in a dangerous position, whilst the Wangledoodle Wall is relatively safe, but sustained with many hard moves. At the other end of the scale is the blunt arete, which is just one utterly desperate slabby move above a bad fall. Beyond that are the realms of the truly futuristic lines- things like the impossible arete direct, that is incomprehensible at the moment. In any case there are projects in every style really and a lot will be 2 or even 3 stars.
A small amount of good quality bouldering is also available, with more to be developed. A couple of boulder problems of particular note are 'The Chocolqte Moose' and 'The Effervescent Pheasant', which are some of the best problems in the North York Moors.
Up to three cars can be parked at the bend on the minor road at GR739068,
otherwise park just inside the gate of the track leading up to Head
* Climbing is banned between 1st November and 31st May. *
Approach the crag on the bridleway & cross the wall by the stile
above the crag.
See climbonline for details on crag bans.