Climbs 62
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 300m a.s.l
Faces W

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Franco Cookson Soloing The Nightwatch © Franco Cookson OLD

Crag features

Allegedly formed by a huge landslip early in the 18th century. Great views over the Vale of York. Can be loose on both a small and a large scale. Many routes depend upon pegs that are no longer in place. The crag has a big feel. Recommended routes: The Night Watch (VS 4b, one of the best routes in Yorkshire), Central Crack (HVS), Countdown Direct (HVS), Frigg (HS), Odin (HS).

Approach notes

From the Park visitor centre at the top of Sutton Bank walk N along the scarp edge until the scrubland is left. The crag is now down to the L. For the main area, descend with care a steep grassy gully (abseil rope recommended). You can walk past the crag and drop down to walk back, but this approach is impractical during nettle season!

No Access Issues

Care should be exercised with holds and gear placements due to the friable nature of the rock. The unlikely looking VDiff of Gauche and the stupendous The Night Watch VS 4b make good introductions to the crag on reasonably stable rock.

Seasonal Restrictions

Reason: Nesting Birds

Peregrine have occasionally nested on the cliff - Temporary climbing bans will be indicated by onsite signage and notification on this RAD.

Watch out for ticks.
simoncov - 10/Jul/22
Good free topo here courtesy of
snoop6060 - 02/Nov/11
The best crag i've ever been to in the UK. Unadulterated excitement and fear. Adventurous to put it mildly. The classics make for a pleasant weekend- the nightw*tch to name but one and the left hand side of the crag will give you an experience you'll never forget. (if you survive) there are still some gems to free climb, the traverse being only one- the only 1000ft route in the moors! enjoy!
GIPFEL - 10/Feb/09
Nightwatch & Central Crack are the justifiably popular routes: they are comparatively safe and enjoyable. Once climbed Nightwatch in dense mist - could have been in the Dolomites. Also try Odin & Frigg: nice climbing; plenty of gear. For a Freudian, Back-to-the-womb experience go for Clutcher [VS 4C]: no gear for 30ft. Scary to find that, as you thrutch up the dark cleft, you can see daylight at the opposite end of the 'womb', about 20ft away on your right - you are thrusting outwards on a semi-detached wall which may, one day, detach itself from the main crag. The rounded boulders embedded in the limestone give an extra frissance to the whole Freudian thing! Caress & enjoy.
allmag - 16/Aug/07
Want an amazing Cliff, so many different ways to die. must be the best training for rock climbing in the alps. OK the holds can break and can you can drop the odd rock on your belayer, but some amazing climbs, and you can feel the history as some routes have only had a few repeats since been put up.
IanJackson - 05/Jun/06
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Climbs at this crag

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