Here is a guide to the climbing at Kemple End.

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Kemple End              O.S. Ref. SD 688 405

Situation and Character

Kemple End is a small gritstone quarry at the eastern end of Longridge Fell, ten kilometres from Longridge and six kilometres from Clitheroe. It lies just below the Old Clitheroe Road, but though it is only a few metres from the road, it is virtually hidden in a pleasant heather/bilberry bowl, with good views of the Ribble Valley from the top. The main buttress faces east while other buttresses and boulders face south. The crag is very sheltered and is often dry and out of the wind when other crags are not. It is ideal for a morning visit in the sun, or for grabbing a couple of pitches on a winter’s day.

The rock is up to nine metres high and horizontal faulting lends itself to camming devices. There are belay stakes in the heather bank at the top of the Main Wall and it is worthwhile extending these with tape or rope [sometimes old ones in situ] a few feet to the top of the rock to act as a final runner or lower off.

Approach and Access

From Longridge follow the signposted road up Jeffrey Hill past the caravan site and Craig Y Longridge. Continue south of the golf course, straight ahead at the Newdrop Inn crossroads ignoring turn-offs to the right to a rough parking area on the right at the far end of the fell as the road starts to descend more steeply.

From Clitheroe follow the Edisford Bridge road (B6243), then turn right after the bridge and pub. Continue to Higher Hodder Bridge and turn left up the steep Birdy Brow to a rough parking spot at the top, on the left by a wall.

The quarry is directly under the parking area. Go right around the quarry rim to a stone wall which is followed until a steep descent between an ash and an oak tree leads to the base of the main wall.

The area is registered common land, but please respect the privacy of the properties to the south.

The Climbs

The routes are described from LEFT to RIGHT.

Main Face.

Most of the climbing is on the Main Face, which lies directly below the stone wall.

 The first seven boulder problems are close to the descent and lead to a walk-off ledges at three and five metres.

1      Fall Back VD 4m The short wall and mantelshelves at the left side of the   wall.

2      Spring Forward 4c 6m From a lower level, climb flakes in a groove.

3       Evening   5c *  6m Just right is a flaky hold at head-height at the base of a crack. Use this to gain the break.

4      Morning 5b * 6m Make a long reach to a break in the small buttress and the wall above.

5      Mourning 4c 6m Climb the groove with a flake on the right into a recess.

6      Creaking 4b 6m The twin edged flake and the wall above.

7      Alone with Tone 4c 6m Just before a step-down, climb the wall direct.

8      Birdy Brow S 4a   9m From the same place, traverse flakes to a sloping ramp and the short wall above. Concern has been raised as to the stability of the large flake, I can see why.  Caution needed.

As of now 5th May2022 the flake is no more. Worried about the safety of fellow climbers I decided to take action and remove the hanging flake. It was not easy until I employed my carjack. There is a lot of rock down below. Routes in the vicinity will have changed.

9      Bird on the Wing VS 4c 7m From the lower level, climb direct, crossing the previous line.

10    Brow Beater HVS 5b  8m From the left side of the lowest level climb direct to an undercut wall with awkward moves to gain the left end of the ramp, finish up the centre of the wall now that the flake has gone.

11    Ribless VS 4c 8m One metre right climb the short wall and pull through the overlap direct keeping left of the rib.

12    Ribbled HVD * 8m Short wall to the base of a recess, step left to rib as soon as possible, climb to the top.

13    What the Dickens S 9m Climb into the recess and up to the roof, traverse right below the overhang to pull round the nose on good holds.

14    Hard Times HVS 5a * 8m Start just right and climb past a right-pointing flake onto a steep wall left of cracks. Then finish direct without using the nose of the previous route.

15    Oliver Twist E1 5b ** 8m Climb past a left pointing flake to the base of twin cracks and follow these awkwardly to the top.

16    Great Expectations HS 4b * 8m Start two metres right and climb into a V-shaped notch then up to the obvious shallow ledge in the middle of the wall, short top wall.

17    Bleak Friday VS 4c 7m Start just before the ground level rises and climb past pockets to the break, then finish left of the crack.

18    Bleak House VS 4c 7m From a higher level, climb a right-facing groove to the base of a crack which is followed to the top.

19    Boz was Here VS 4c 7m Start a metre farther right and climb to the overhang, then follow the steep crack to better holds.

20    Face Route VD 5m Climb the groove in the right arête to a blocky finish.

Past the dirty corner, there are more easy boulder problems.


The horizontal breaks on the Main Face provide several traverses. These are described from left to right, but they can be climbed in either direction The first four are bouldering traverses. The lowest of these is:

21    Lowest Earth 5b+ * 10m From Browbeater, an ultra low traverse rightwards using holds below the obvious break.

22    Lower Earth 4c 10m From Browbeater traverse the lowest obvious break to the banking.

23    Learning to Wave  5a 10m Just below the two mid-level breaks of Middle Earth is a wavy hand-traverse ledge. This is awkward to start and difficult to finish at the pockets on Bleak Friday.

24    Middle Earth  4a  20m A circuit of the two mid-level breaks. Becomes a little highball. Starting at Spring Forward traverse right in the obvious break, at the end drop down to a lower break and traverse back left eventually below the overhangs.


25    The Ribble Link HS 4b * 30m A three quarters height girdle. Starting from the level of the first route traverse rightwards past Birdy Brow into the overhung niche ( possible belay ). Continue at the same height along the exposed horizontal break to finish at blocks on Face Route, by a small fir tree.

Hodder Buttress.

This is the steep, clean, isolated buttress that lies about 40 metres right of the Main Face.

26    Birdy Prow E2 5c ** 7m From the front base of the overhanging arête at the left of the buttress climb up to a break (sling over the ledge above), then make a difficult move to stand on this ledge and finish up the left side of arête.

27   Wacker Watkins – High ball 6B –  Climb the left arete on its right throughout. [Matt Troillett 2016]

28    Ribblesdale High E3 6a ** 7m Starting right of the arête climb pockets to a break, moves off a sloping crease lead to the top.

29   Gin Rib  E3 6b ** 7m  1m right at a blunt arete up to the break, small ledges lead to a sloping rib, flat hold and the top.  Also done as a highball  The Big Fish 6B+   [Matt Troillett 2016]

30    Slickenside Crack HVS 5a * 7m The corner crack gives steep climbing after a damp start.

31    Recessed Slab HS 4b 7m Climb onto a large ledge at two metres continue up groove and slab to a small tree.

Two traverses –

32    Pointless  4b  6m Climb onto the ledge of Recessed Slab and traverse the break leftwards across the buttress to finish on a ledge around the corner.

33   Tipping Point  4b  6m  Start on a low ledge just left of the start of Birdy Prow arete, traverse right with hands head height into the corner, bridge across to a larger foot ledge and keep hand traversing to the end.

Further right are more boulders hidden in the undergrowth.


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