ILKLEY


Ilkley has been a popular destination for generations of climbers. Sitting proudly above the town of the same name, the crag almost seems to have adopted the character of a dour Yorkshire man - the Quarry can be dark cold and oppressive, especially in high winds; the Cow and Calf are sturdy and uncompromising; and the remote edge of Rocky Valley is understated and steeped in history. As with Yorkshire men, be patient and tackle them on your terms and you could well be rewarded. The most famous routes are on the Cow with Milky Way and New Statesmen being great test-pieces of their eras. The Cow's smaller sidekick has some popular bouldering and micro-routes. Probably the least attractive of Ilkley's venues is the Quarry which manages to feel cold and desolate even on summer days. Bits of the Quarry have collapsed over the years and the council's removal of the rock above Wellington Crack has added to the general air of neglect. Despite this, there are some excellent climbs and a day spent here should be rewarded with a healthy set of ticks. Rocky Valley just over the hill adds some more remote feeling climbs to the mix. The accessibility of Ilkley means that it has long been a forcing ground and the first ascent names and dates of some of the climbs make impressive reading. Just remember that hat.

Routes

125 trad routes (M...E8)
25 boulder problems (VB 4a...V11 8A)
Graded List of Routes
List of First Ascents
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Buttress (click for routes) No. of Routes Route Type Sunshine
or shade
Approach walk Other
Doris's Route
To the left of the entrance to the Quarry there are a couple of faces with an interesting selection...
13
Trad
Early morning sun
Uphill

2 mins

Wellington Crack
The left wall of the quarry has one outstanding feature - the searing thin crack that was the...
15
Trad
No sun
Uphill

3 mins

Guillotine
At the back of the quarry is a small buttress featuring the sharp arete of Guillotine and a few...
4
Trad
No sun
Uphill

3 mins

sheltered
Josephine
The right-hand wall of the quarry has a great selection of routes with many of them in the...
21
Trad
Sun and shade
Uphill

3 mins

sheltered
The Cow
A huge and imposing block of gritstone, home to some of the hardest routes anywhere. Amongst the...
18
Trad
Evening sun
Uphill

2 mins

sheltered
The Calf
The huge boulder that lies down the hill from the Cow has been used as a training ground for...
17
Boulder
Sun and shade
Uphill

2 mins

Rocky Valley Buttress One
Buttress One is the first reached on the approach from the Quarry and is easily recognised by the...
5
Trad
No sun
Up and down

10 mins

Rocky Valley Buttress Two
Across the slope from Buttress One are the twin pillars that make up Buttress Two (looks like two...
10
Trad
No sun
Up and down

10 mins

Rocky Valley Buttress 3 & 4
The most attractive and popular buttresses in the valley have a good selection of climbs across the...
20
Trad
Evening sun
Up and down

12 mins

Rocky Valley Buttress Five
A small buttress with collection of routes that will happily fill an hour, if you are up to them....
6
Trad
No sun
Up and down

12 mins

Rocky Valley Buttress Six
The final buttress in Rocky Valley is the most extensive and the least visited bit of rock here....
21
Trad
No sun
Up and down

15 mins

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  • Latest Comments

    For ILKLEY

    Desperate Dan
    "Brilliant route and pretty safe with a couple of mats. Modern highballing at it..." 27/Jun top50

    Oak Tree Slab
    "How can an unprotected 4b slab get S 4b? MVS 4b would be closer, or maybe HS 4a ..." 15/Jun

    Bald Eagle
    "Can't understand the E grade. No worthwhile gear on the hard bit. A fall from th..." 21/May

    Wellington Crack
    "Inspired by the 80s photo of JD I fulfilled the long held ambition of a solo asc..." 18/Jun top50

    Black Chimney
    "Just squeeze inside and squirm upwards - not much gear, but it'd be hard to fall..." 04/Jun

    New Statesman
    "Hard E8 with unprotected crux (7a) above back breaking boulder. Filed down rp 2s..." 12/May

    Tufted Crack
    "Finally got it. 2yrs on and it's still a bitch. I can now say I enjoyed it, I th..." 15/Mar top50

    Shock Horror
    "fell off from top, twice. Its a long way. The fall is a privallage." 14/Sep

    Cherry Valley Rib
    "One of the easiest HVS's in the area - so long as you don't mind the bold [but w..." 28/Aug

    Walker's Hangover
    "Hard for HVS, at the top of the crack and the top of the arete. Definitely felt..." 27/Aug

    Peg Crack
    "Nice, but definitely not worth HVS. VS 4b?" 25/Aug

    Milky Way
    "Absolutely brilliant - couldn't get much better than this! Better than London Wa..." 09/Aug top50

    Snap Decision
    "Now one new peg runner - the upper peg is sadly no longer with us" 21/Jul

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