Trad Crag: Dewerstone, Western Rocks

Approach Difficulty

Easy

Approach Time

15 Minutes

Grade Range

D - E2

No. of Routes

14

Trad Crag: Dewerstone, Western Rocks

Jake // November 14, 2019

Dewerstone is one of the largest crags on Dartmoor, its situated in the south of the park less than 25 minutes from Plymouth. The Western Rock area is an excellent crag with 14 lengthy single pitch routes ranging from D to E2 and between 10-16m in length. It’s a great location for top roping, abseiling and interesting leads.

Where is it and how do I get there?

The crag is situated in southern Dartmoor just outside of Shaugh Prior and north of the river Plym. Put Dewerstone car park into your satnav, this will take you directly to the carpark which is free. After leaving your car follow the path across the footbridge carrying on until you find a smaller muddy path diverting from the main one (shown in red). Follow this all the way to the crag. It shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.

What makes the crag worth a visit?

Dewerstone, Western Rocks Area is unique due to its location. Most of Dartmoor’s crags are on top of Tors and are therefore completely exposed to the elements be it strong wind or baking sun. This crag is situated in a dense forest which provides a good amount of shelter. The routes are also ideal for inexperienced riggers and large groups alike as the presence of large trees and boulders at the top of every climb allow for simple and efficient belay setups. The routes are weird and wonderful with a selection of slab, overhang and green routes if you are into that kind of thing.

What are your top 3 routes to try?

  • Goblin, 16m VS 5a,  A relatively easy and well protected slab route until you reach the final move over a brutal overhang requiring a lot of grit and determination to overcome. Alternatively be good at climbing. Descend via abseil for a rappel to remember.
  • Agags Slab 16m D, A classic slab route popular with top roping groups, as a result its quite polished. Simple fun climbing with good holds and a variety of gear options.
  • Caesar’s Nose 14m S 4a *, A varied but challenging route with scary moments due a lack of good gear and the prospect of a nasty fall. Feels much harder than a S 4a in my opinion, so consider top roping first if you can’t confidently lead HS+. You won’t enjoy climbing it but you will be glad you did after.

Where can I find additional information of the area and routes available?

I recommend purchasing the Climbers Club Dartmoor guidebook found here https://amzn.to/2xHiqQu Additional information can be found on various climbing websites.

I don’t have enough equipment and/or experience to climb myself. What should I do?

Consider linking up with a climbing group on social media, most won’t mind sharing gear and offering climbing tuition at the cost of a belay! Alternatively as part of Rickards Rambles I offer guiding services, if you would like to make an enquiry about booking an adventure please get in contact.

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