Loading Notifications...

Climbs 43
Rocktype Welsh igneous
Altitude 264m a.s.l
Faces SE

View Stats

A gear placing lesson © omerta

Crag features

Set in the idyllic Shropshire hills and providing a concentration of lower grade climbs.There are both multi-pitch routes of up to 60m and single pitches of 15m.

Nice little crag with excellent views. Routes are long enough to be interesting and the rock felt secure even in the middle of January. Descent from routes is either a long walk-around or down a steep muddy gully; either way, take a change of footwear unless you like tobogganing down slopes at speed. 

Approach notes

As you enter the village of Pontesford on the A488, look for a tractor Emporium on your left and immediately afterwards a small side road with a sign for the Earls Hill Nature Reserve.

Follow the single track road up to a car park on top of a small crest signed Earls Hill Nature Reserve (previously there was room for about 7 cars but was extended in early 2017, and will now accommodate ~20).

After parking follow the left-hand path from the car park end (not the steps through the woods or the main path that climbs through the woods). Walk for 10-15 minutes on that path and through woods then fields and after you go through a third gate take an obvious path that heads off up to the right from the main path towards a steep scree slope and the crag. Immediately after the third gate is a sign/notice board about the area, including signs about the bird ban.

Access Advice

The crag is within Earls Hill Nature Reserve which is managed by Shropshire Wildlife Trust. The Trust have a positive view of climbing here providing that people are sensitive to the ecological interests of the site. In particular the scree slopes should be treated with care. No camping and no fires, please.

The 'Fifty Foot Wall' routes were cleaned up and extensively restored in early 2013, with the intention of giving climbers an alternative area if (as often happens) Peregrines choose to nest on the main crag. Feel free to go try these - you might actually like them...

In late 2013, the Wildlife Trust undertook some further vegetation clearance work, mainly of invasive trees on the scree slopes, but also of scrub on the rocks. The intent was to improve the cliff environment from the climbers' point of view, as it will allow more light and air to dry the rocks better.

Seasonal Restrictions

Dates: 1 March to 16 July

Reason: Nesting Birds

Peregrines normally nest at Pontesford Rocks each year, with the nest site changing from year to year.

In 2020, we have attempted to find a way to permit the use of some routes whilst closing others, but a number of incidents have occurred which have meant this is not really workable.

Update mid July 2020 The birds have now (16th July) successfully fledged two chicks, and no longer need to use the 'scrape'/nest site.

All routes at the crag can now be considered open, and the site signage is being removed as soon as it can be.

The Shropshire Wildlife Trust, The Shropshire Peregrine Group and the BMC would like to thank all climbers who have avoided the rocks during the 2020 nesting season.

Rockfax Digital

Available on Rockfax Digital

Rockfax Digital brings together all the Rockfax climbing information with UKC logbooks and presents it into a user-friendly package for use on Android and iOS devices.


Guidebooks

been up to pontesford today on a recon mission as iv never climbed here before, looks a decent little crag, walk in isn't as bad as I had been led to believe. cant wait to get some time in here and get some routes logged....
Supadeano86 - 22/Apr/14
In case you don't already know, the West Midlands Rock website (http://www.westmidlandsrock.co.uk/) has died a death... :(
Alex Thompson - 16/Nov/12
If anyone visits soon, could you please get some photos of the unstable rocks around Wall End Climb?
Alex Thompson - 01/Jul/12
A block equivalent in size to a rather large fitted oven currently nestled in the middle of the tree belay at the top of the second pitch of Wall End Climb. Only wiewed from West Crack and didn't really want to get any closer to it today.
Dale Berry - 01/Jul/12
The rock is generally solid but an undisturbed football sized boulder tumbled down on 2nd Feb '12, probably due to freeze-thaw action. We didn't investigate whether there's more to come down.
Claudia - 08/Feb/12
Shropshire wildlife trust have now put up signs by Wall End climb requesting people not to climb this route (and one's nearby) in order not to disturb the nest site. They have also (we believe) chalked an arrow and the words 'nesting birds, no climbing here' onto the crag near Wall End. We brushed the arrow and part of the writing off in an attempt to reduce the impact but the whole lot could do with brushing off.
groovy_nut - 22/Apr/10
There is currently a nest site on the right side of the crag (Finale Groove area) (April 2010) so please be aware and avoid climbing in this area for the next couple of months.
groovy_nut - 19/Apr/10
Guidebook and update are available online: http://www.westmidlandsrock.co.uk/pontesford_pdf_1995guide.pdf http://www.westmidlandsrock.co.uk/pontesford_pdf_update.pdf
Alex Thompson - 23/Jul/09
A pleasant venue. Varsity Buttress (the green-looking wall reached en route to the main crag) needs some traffic - there are some good middle grade routes here that have all but disappeared under the soil and vegetation, probably because the lower wall is steep and lacking in pro. It's a good alternative to the main wall, especially when that area is being used as a toproping/adventure rope course/toilet by school parties....
Joe Lenham - 04/Feb/05
Not very good in the wet. The superdirect is the best climb by along way!
Rob - 06/Dec/04
I forgot the link in my previous comment. http://www.westmidlandsrock.co.uk/
loco_ola - 09/Aug/04
There is no guide book that i could find for these rocks since the "West Midland Rock" went out of print. However you can get the information off their website for this crag. Be warned however the guide is mainly descriptive with no decent maps, but worth having anyway. Crags themselves are in a beautiful setting, some of the harder climbs on the "Needle" have no protection which is why they are rated harder than perhaps they should be. The guide gives fairly soft difficulty ratings, but there is still lots of fun to be had at these crags.
loco_ola - 09/Aug/04
This place is becoming a regular with me now because the setting makes up for a lot. It'a a really nice place for a couple of climbs during the day or in the evening. Even met a couple of Worcester climbers who usually went to North Wales, but decided to give this place a go and in their opinion it was a little treasure if you wanted to get some weekend climbing in and a lot nearer than North Wales. The routes on closer inspection, are suprisingly interesting and I've already had to back off a groove with little protection and climb up on the its right side. I would have got away with it too, if the guy belaying next to me hadn't pointed out, as my second struggled up the groove, that that wasn't the way I'd come. About half the routes are multi-pitch but the top half of these climbs can get a bit Covent Garden like. Also a place to bring a tin hat, since the last time I was there since I nearly took a direct hit from a rock dislodged by a guy belaying above me, and one of the gullies was spitting out rocks all day.
Andrew Primrose - 10/Mar/03
Login as Existing User to add your comments

Climbs at this crag

Beta
Name Grade Stars Type Logs Partner Ascents
These climbs you have climbed clean.
These climbs you have climbed by seconding or top-roping.
These climbs you have Dogged.
These climbs you Did not Finish.
Climbs are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate. Climbs can't be verified by a crag moderator, and they need more information to confirm it. Climbs are no longer climbable.

Moderators Updates to this page are checked by a UKC volunteer Alex Thompson