Fern Crack Top 50

2 Stars
 S 4b

Adjacent Routes
<< Rooster < Chicken Run  |  Demon Wall > Perverted Staircase >>

18m. Excellent. A boulder problem start (hard for the short) gains the crack right of the arete. Follow this (thread) to a ledge on the left and mantel onto a higher ledge. Move left round the arete and climb the easy green groove on sloping holds.


Overhanging jugs are gained from a boulder problem start. Good but not VD and deserves at least 4a.
Steve C - 10/Apr/02

Superb. Difficulty depends partly on how tall you are - bloody hard for the short!
Simon Caldwell - 09/May/02

err didn't know the grade when I led it, and guessed it to be a tricky HS. Definately not a VDiff utter joke. Also no good pro after the first piece until about 15 odd feet, when placing this you will hit the deck if you fall. Get's my vote for the steepest VDiff climbing int he country, seconded by heaven crack. Definately worth HS 4b in my book. - Woker -
Woker - 30/Sep/02

definitely not vdiff. im 5ft 2 and could not get off the ground. very embarrassing
jude - 19/Jan/03

Always a good route for a guess the grade game.Spookily nobody ever gives it VDiff!!!!
Neil W - 06/Feb/03

If this is the climb I think it is, it has the biggest hold I've ever seen on it - a big pocket that just gets deeper and deeper until your hand reappears in the next pocket along! Perhaps this non-obvious thread is the gear you missed?
Matt - 30/Apr/03

checked for thread mentioned by above poster at the weekend and could not see it.
Woker - 15/Mar/04

There are about 3 threads on the part before the huge flat ledge. There is a good sling on the flake before the 1st thread, not hard after the very first move, all the holds are great, a nice climb and never HS
Marrow of wrath - 17/May/04

Yes but the threads would need to be before the crack above the crux (leaving the ground) to have any effect on the grade I'd give the route or comments made.
Woker - 17/May/04

I guess we'll just agree to differ then!
Marrow of wrath - 18/May/04

Just to add to the debate about the protection, I climbed it again last weekend, and immediately after the start there's a really good undercut to grab hold of while you fiddle a nut in, or you can move up another couple of feet and do it even more comfortably. I'd grade it as a Severe, and a pretty easily protectable one at that.
psd - 22/Jul/04

A great little climb! 4a for the tall, 4b for average height and possibly combined tactics required for the short. It can feel a little insecure while placing the pro after the crux but another move provides a good rest and the chance to place bomber gear. After the initial moves this climb provides a pleasant outing at about vdiff.
Andy B - 16/Oct/04

This is a beautiful climb if only the first section went on for the whole route it'd be ideal. Protection easily in reach where needed (Threads and nut behind the flake to begin with). I was more worried about the mantle up onto the big flat ledge as there's little protection without cams on that area. Top of the route is VDiff but worth it for the Severe start.
Andrew McGregor - 07/Sep/05

It's a VDiff or HVD at most, and is undeserving of a S. I first assended it using a head torch, and the second time in less than 5 min. Dispite the miss-grading it's still a fun route
Steve Banham - 18/Oct/05

led this with a couple of slings and some pebbles, nice route just a bit of a pull at the start
Jon Greengrass - 20/Oct/05

Tricky start, but once second runner is in, it is easy to enjoy the rest of the route. Just watch your ropes at the top otherwise bringing up rope and second(s) can be a chore
Tiff John - 01/Aug/06

Never Harder then a severe. It has Massive Jugs, and Threads all the way up to the top, and a thread for a belay. HVD in my opinion
Steve Banham - 13/Nov/06

Good, but surely not a Top 50 route, over in a couple of moves. Great holds, though
Iain Thow - 19/Mar/07

A horrid start for the shorter ones amoung us!! Caving style finalee definatly worth the climb
George Lewis - 13/Oct/08

A route you cant help commenting on:) S4a for the tall, great gear throughout, but well worth taking the stance on the ledge if using single ropes - we got ours jammed doing it as 1 pitch. PS top50 doesnt say much about western grit in general!
Conor - 19/Oct/08

A great route, its a shame the initial moves are over with so soon. S 4a
Big Steve - 09/May/09

I found this route really good fun, and found it easy to place gear i think in the first 15ft i had 3 bomber nuts in, and a thread. the top was just flat but good fun.
Ali* - 18/Jun/09

My first attempt of this did not go well and I struggled to get off the ground. Coming back to it later in the year after I had done some more climbing I found it to be fun and a lot easier than before. Great start although possibly harder for the shorter folk.
Gordon Parton - 04/May/10

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  • Access Issues for Western Grit

  • Route Grade Votings

    Total votes cast 102
    hard HS 0 of 35
    HS 0 of 35
    easy HS 3 of 35
    hard S 2 of 35
    S 20 of 35
    easy S 2 of 35
    hard HVD 8 of 35
    HVD 0 of 35
    easy HVD 0 of 35
    hard 4c 0 of 34
    4c 0 of 34
    easy 4c 0 of 34
    hard 4b 0 of 34
    4b 0 of 34
    easy 4b 0 of 34
    hard 4a 0 of 34
    4a 0 of 34
    easy 4a 0 of 34
    hard 3c 0 of 34
    3c 0 of 34
    easy 3c 0 of 34
    hard 3b 0 of 34
    3b 0 of 34
    easy 3b 0 of 34
    hard 3a 0 of 34
    3a 0 of 34
    easy 3a 0 of 34
    hard 2c 0 of 34
    2c 0 of 34
    easy 2c 0 of 34
    hard 2b 0 of 34
    2b 0 of 34
    easy 2b 0 of 34
    hard 2a 0 of 34
    2a 0 of 34
    easy 2a 0 of 34
    hard ?? 1 of 34
    ?? 21 of 34
    easy ?? 6 of 34
    hard ?? 6 of 34
    ?? 0 of 34
    easy ?? 0 of 34
    3 Stars 7 of 33
    2 Stars 25 of 33
    1 Star 1 of 33
    0 Stars 0 of 33
    Bag of ..... 0 of 33

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