Wildcat purrs again!

Posted by Claire Maxted on 25/04/2024

This April, local climbers have cleared overgrowing vegetation on the main crag at Wildcat, a popular collection of buttresses near Matlock Bath with a good selection of classic long, mid-grade routes.

Wildcat is the favourite crag of Greg Jennings, Development Coordinator of Derwent Mountaineering Club, who was instrumental in the clean up. He says, “On Sunday 14 April a group of 13 local climbers, drawn mostly from the Derwent and Oread Mountaineering Clubs, tackled the encroaching vegetation on Wildcat main crag. 

“This is one of the best limestone inland trad crags in the UK; it has a unique setting, but also what a great name for a natural crag. Whilst inevitably there is more to be done, it has now been given a spring clean and is climbable so add it to your 2024 climbing diary!   

“It is important to respect the access agreement with Manor Adventures, the landowner, which requires abseiling from the top of the climbs. To support this and help climbers find the right area of the crag, we have refreshed and increased the number of fixed abseil points at the top and also marked them with discrete wooded signs. See the list of fixed abseil points and routes cleaned below, and notes about where there is more to be done.

“There are of course many other climbs which have remained climbable, such as Golden Yardstick and Jackdaw Grooves, so this is not an exhaustive list of climbable routes. There are others too which require a lot of work before they can be climbed enjoyably, in particular the Tiger buttress area.

“The crag would benefit from more traffic and a little TLC. Respect the access agreement and get out there and enjoy it! A big thankyou to both the BMC and Manor Adventures who have supported this clean up as well of course to the local climbers who got down and got dirty!”

 

BMC Access & Conservation Officer Jon Fullwood says, “This is a real good news story after the fraught history of access at Wildcat in the last few years. Access to the crag was lost entirely in 2022 and then again in early 2023. It’s fair to say that relations between the new owner and climbers got off to a very rocky start, so it’s a positive sign that all sides have been able to work together to complete this excellent work. Greg and everyone involved have done a really good job. I hope lots of climbers take advantage and enjoy the quality climbing at Wildcat this summer.”

Please keep updated with the latest access information for Wildcat and all other crags in England and Wales using the Regional Access Database (RAD) here.

Fixed abseil points (all 'renewed' and with discrete wooden name-signs attached)

Catacomb 

Broken Toe 

Coyote Buttress

Sourpuss         

Cat Walk          

Lynx                    

Octopuss

 

Climbs cleaned

Catacomb (VS)   - climbable but could do with more cleaning on 2nd pitch

Catacomb Direct (HVS)

Violent Night (VS)

Climacteric (HVS) - climbable but top pitch could do with more work

Pussycat (HVS)

Octopuss (HVS)

White Room (HVS)

Catastrophe Grooves (HVS)

Broken Toe Groove (VS)

Metamorphosis (HVS) - climbable but more to be done

DunB4

Fragile Glass (HVS)

Sourpuss (VS)

Super Pauline (E1)

Pupilla (VS)

Cat Walk (HS)

Cats Eye (S)

Catharsis Wall (HVS) - climbable but more to be done

Jackdaw Grooves (VS)


DOWNLOAD: the BMC RAD app

Get all the info on crags with the RAD (Regional Access Database) app from the BMC! Available now for Android and iOS, it's free and comes with a host of new features like navigation and parking, weather and tidal updates, and of course information on restrictions or notes on access advice. Get it here now!

DOWNLOAD: The RAD app for Android

DOWNLOAD: The RAD app for iOS

RAD is community led and your comments help keep it up to date so don’t be afraid to add any relevant information after a crag visit which might be useful for other visitors – anything from conditions on the crag, favourite routes or reports of rockfall/other recent changes to the crag are all useful for other climbers visiting.


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