Climbs 41
Rocktype Sandstone (hard)
Altitude 277m a.s.l
Faces W

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Sandy Crack © andybirtwistle

Crag features

The best routes are VS upwards. There are a couple of dangerous routes here with 10m deckout potential from 6b cruxes.

Approach notes

There are some changes on the BMC RAD regarding Sandy Crag and Key Heugh. These relate to raptor bans and the permissive Midgy House approach described in the latest definitive guide, and more recently Northern Rock.

The Estate is in the process of ‘rewilding’ its historic grouse moors. This is great,  it’s a slow process but they are having some success. Merlins and Ring Ouzels have returned, and Ravens are nesting successfully. To support this a voluntary raptor ban is in place that includes both Sandy Crag and Key Heugh. Please do not visit either venue 1st March to 31 July. This will be reviewed annually.

Regarding the Midgy House approach….. Recently an individual/team have repeatedly driven up the track and parked at Midgy House.  I cannot state strongly enough that this is not allowed. Even if the residents at Midgy House ‘agree to it’.  They are not in a position to authorise casual use of the track or parking. Do not do it. This has put a long established access route in jeopardy , and anyone who has thrashed their way up to the crag using the public footpath would appreciate how much better the Midgy House approach is.

I have asked the estate to reconsider their closure of the route , and have said such behaviour is selfish and not representative of the climbing community. Please, under no circumstances drive/park up the track. I will provide an update on the outcome in due course.

Access Advice

The Hepple Whitfield Estate is in the proccess of rewilding the former grouse moors. Whilst the shooting has stopped some restrictions are in place and there may be closures for up to 28 days under the CRoW act.

Seasonal Restrictions

Dates: 1 March to 31 July

Reason: Nesting Birds

The restriction applies to Key Heugh and Sandy Crag to prevent disturbance to nesting raptors. 
Easiest approach is over the top of the crag, descending on the far right hand side (looking in). If approaching from below it's easy to get lost in/amongst the deep heather + head high bracken.
Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing - 28/Jun/17
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