jaVu.co.uk  |  Articles  |  Links  | Accommodation |  Guides  |  Route info  |  News

Photo Tour

Bonehill Rocks (SX 732775)

This venue, the most popular on The Moor, contains a high concentration of quality problems. There really is something for everyone here with grades ranging from scrambling to V12. The walk-in could not really be described as that - it's only a matter of yards from the car. The perfect venue for those who want their climbing to be convenient and of high quality. Bell Tor is very close by and well worth a look if Bonehill seems too busy.

Approach: Leave the A38 at Drumbridges Roundabout, signed for Bovey Tracey. Take the Bovey exit then drive for 1 mile ish to another roundabout. Take the 2nd exit (signed Lustleigh) and carry on to another roundabout (1km). Turn left here and take the left fork, signed Widecombe/Haytor. Continue on this road for several miles, passing Haytor and Saddle Tor on the right.

After passing a left turn for Ashburton, take the next right and then take the first left (where the main road goes right). Bonehill is the obvious crag on the left a short distance down this road.

The first car park you arrive at (on the left, just before the bridge) is possibly the best as you can keep an eye on your car. It is also a good place to start a circuit of the crag! This is closed off during the winter.

Sub 30 second walk-in.

Haytor Area Map

Problems: 104 listed but with plenty of scope for making up eliminates

Bonehill Map The Bridge Greg's Dyno Baby Slab Cracked Boulder The Cube The Wave Slopey Traverse The Dark Side Rippled Wall Neil Diamond



1  V0 5b left hand side of slab
2  V1 5c middle
3  V2/3 6a right. A bit eliminate - just use the smaller holds on the right of the slab.

The slab can also be climbed 1 handed or no handed with a bit of a run-up! For a laff one can run across the slab from the top of the boulder on the right.

If facing the BABY SLAB walk up the hill and R to find THE CRACKED BOULDER on your L:


4  V0- 4c The left hand crack
5  V6 6b/c Eliminate to the right of crack on small crystals/ crimps. Undercut start is still to go
6  Snatch V4 6b - the obvious slap (or lock for the strong) from two low holds on right to top, followed by a sometimes tricky mantleshelf

Further up the hill again, on your L is THE CUBE:


7  V0/1 5c wall on face overlooking bottom car park/stream. No jumping off ground!
8  V0- 4c traverse of top break
9  V7 6b/c Left to Right traverse along lowest break (hands in break) to finish up 10
10  Llama Farmer V5 6b The prow/nose with start in low break. Standing start goes at V4.
11  V1/2 5c Overhanging scoop
12  Dunne's Dyno 6? A two handed dyno from the bottom holds to the top.
13  3c The crack.
14  V3 6a The vague arete to the left of the blank wall
15  V5 6b Right to left traverse starting from high jug on right. Keeping your feet out of the thin low break makes for a better and harder problem (the vertically challenged won't be able to reach it anyway).
16  V3 6a/bLow start to 6b traverse - direct to good pocket type hold from crimps below (on right of wall). Either finish above or along the traverse.
17  V4 6b The quality right arete, using both sides
18  V5 6b/c Start on low holds to both side of arete then long reach up to right to crystal (with left hand) followed by fierce pull direct to break. Finish along 15.
19  V2-V8 6a - 6c The wall to right of the arete has a selection of eliminate problems
20  Lowla V7 6b/c An extended start to 15 along low break, then up arete (18) and along into 15. A very good, classic problem. Goes 'There and back'  V9 or 'There and half way back' (to top out as for 17)  V8.
21  The Full Cube Traverse V9 6c A traverse around the whole block taking in quite a few problems en route. Start along Lowla, reverse 14 then carry on left past 13 (don't use crack) and into the scoop of 11. Move round left on the thin break then reverse 9 (or escape up Llama Farmer at a slightly easier grade).

Visible from THE CUBE is a low traverse with 4 very noticeable, well-used slopers:

SLOPEY TRAVERSE BLOCK A classic short traverse. Over chalked and consequently a bit of an eyesore - go steady with the chalk and clean it off afterwards.

22  Slopey Traverse V4/5 6b A right to left traverse on the well-used slopers. Classi. Can be extended up to the left along the edge of the boulder at V5.
23  V4/5 6b Extended start to Slopey Traverse from slightly further right.
24  V5 6b The traverse from left to right, finishing by rock around rightwards onto slab on the right (using the starting holds of Slopey Traverse original. There and back (22 + 24 goes at V6)

On the opposite side of the boulder is a green slabby face:


25  V3 6b Undercut nose on left. Start on slopers to either side of the nose. Sneaky toe/foot jam on left.
26  4a Crack on left of wall.
27  V1 5c Several lines up centre of the wall. Also goes without hands/ one-handed.
28  V0 5b Flake right of centre, direct to finish.
29  V5 6b Right to left traverse. Start from flake of 28, traverse with hands in the lowest break (not higher!) to crack of 26. Move left using a high hold then drop down and finish up 25
30  V3 6a The blunt arete on the right using holds either side of arete (easier version using reasonable hold in wall to left - about 5c). This version just uses holds to the right and the poorish one on the arete. Either finish direct, or move right to finish up the crack.
31  The Moor V9/10 7a The 2 poor holds on the right of the arete to the big slopey hold above. A contender for the hardest single move on The Moor? At this grade NO CHEATING HEEL HOOKS around the arete!! The 2 poor holds on this seem to have got a little better over the years - slightly easier now?
31 b  Arkem V8 6c A bum start to the blunt arete. Keep to the holds on the arete or on the wall to the right. Very fine. Eliminates are possible on the move to gain the big sloper.
32  Project Very hard – link a bum start into The Moor without using holds on the arete …ie. start in the v.poor low crack and no heel hooks around the arete.Will be “proper” hard.

33  Perry's Traverse V3 6a Starting on 2 low flat holds on right, traverse left, finishing across the boulder arch
34  V2 5c The obviously grim top out above traverse 33

The following problem is found on a boulder up above the previous 2 problems

34b  V4 6a A right to left traverse which finishes with a dangerous rockover onto the slab. Start on the right arete, move left via fine grained blob then into the corner beneath roof. Stretch left to edge then rock onto the slab.

Walk down the hill (towards road and Bell Tor) from the previous block and then turn left you should come across a steep, green wall, undercut at it’s base and with an obvious flake on the left:


35  V0 5b The left arete (not using flake to right)
36  V0 5a Obvious flake to the right of arete
37  The Dark Side V8 6c/7a The centre of the wall. Left hand on side-pull pinch and right on poor feldspar crystal, followed by a hard step up and reach for break. A left hand variant will also go. The Moor's hardest slab? The problem starts from a good low foothold (often dirty) just above the ground - starting from mats can reduce the grade a little.
38  V1 5c A right to left traverse. Hardest move is getting started.
39  V2 6a It is possible to finish direct from 38. Quite high and scary
40  Martin's Arete V3 6a The right arete has a dodgy landing and is rarely climbed. Pads and spotters useful.
40b Sith V8?? An extended start can be added - start crouching down and left, pull on then make a tricky move to get the left hand in the obvious undercut followed by more fiddly moves. Conceptualised by Dartmoor Jedi Martin Perry, realised by Dave Henderson (2014)
41  V0 5a To the right again is a short slanting crack

Up and to the left of THE DARK SIDE is a block with obvious scoops on the R and L. This is home to 3 of the best harder problems on the Moor, which are described from right to Left:

THE SCOOPS - la creme da la Moor for hard problems

42  V4 6b The Scoop The hanging scoop up on the right has a precarious step up. Harder for shorties who will have have to make a funny move before they can reach the jug at the top - the tall can reach up more easily.
43  V5 6b The scoop without the small sidepull crystal on the right.
44  V8 6c Left Arete of The Scoop Classic. Start with right hand at base of scoop and left on first sloper on arete. Higher start is slightly easier. .
45  V9 6c Ivory Mountain The left arete of the obvious blank wall requires some ninja moves. Start with 2 hands on finger-jug rail to the left (same start as 46)and move right onto the arete. Either finish direct above initial arete or follow the top of the wall out right until a nice pull over to finish. The latter option is better and a bit pumpier..
46  V6 6b/c Left again is another scoop, undercut and with a finger rail on it’s lip. A long lock gains slopey crystal up left, followed by a scary (back breaking boulder beneath!) move to next break. Long armed climbers can go straight from the lower edge to the break; shorter folk will have to improvise with the crystal.
47  V? Hard Project. To the left of …. A bum start using a slopey undercut/sidepull on the left. Long move to sloper or out right to the side of scoop??
48  V4 6a/b Traverse from right to left along wall, starting lowish on right.

49  V4 6a/b A couple of metres up from The Scoop 42 is a baby gully. Climb the right wall starting up a very shallow groove to gain a sloping ledge.
49b  V5/6 6b Just to the right of 49 is a green slab (this is just behind The Scoop). A good, thin problem. Similar to The Dark Side, but a bit easier.

Down towards the road from THE DARK SIDE is an obvious boulder bridging the gap between 2 other boulders:

THE BRIDGE - outlying secteur with a smart traverse and some excellent, steep, jug hauling

50  The Bridge V1 5c A sometimes tricky start from the low break on the left leads to jugs up the steep wall.

Moving under the bridge is a long, low wall:

51  Under the Bridge V6 6b Start as far right as possible and make a long low traverse along the wall (obviously not using the top), under the bridge feature to finish up 50. Seeps a bit in winter but good.

Up the rocky slope to the R of THE DARK SIDE is the next area. The first boulder on the left is home to the notorious “4c crack” (obvious). The large boulder to the right forms the "summit" of Bonehill Rocks and is bounded on the right by a gully. This wall, known as The TWIN CRACK wall, is characterized by a small roof on the right and twin overhanging cracks in the centre. Problems are described from R to L:

SECTEUR TWIN CRACKS - some trad. style cracks and harder in-betweens

52  V1 5b The scary and dangerous right arete is very fine! Crux at the top (equivalent to about E3 - don't fall off!).

52b  V1 5b The wall to the right of the arete is good. Dodgy landing but not too committing.

53  V4 6b Between the right arete of 52 and Twin Cracks is an overhang at about head height. Stretchy moves gain the break above followed by sketchy moves to finish. Mat and spotter useful.
54  V1 5c The twin cracks
55  V2 5c Twin cracks with bum start
56  V5 6b Twin cracks followed with leftward traverse from top of cracks along green, slopey break. May be easier if clean?
57  V6 6b/c Wall between 54 and 58. Low start which is quite hard if you use the "approved" sequence.
58  V3 6a The left arete.
58b  Caed's Problem V5 6b 58 Can also be gained by traverse from down to the right (crouching at base of twin 54) - excellent. Photo

About 20ft left of the TWIN CRACKS is a boulder, home to a very obvious and interesting crack – the aforementioned “4c Crack“:

59  "4c" Crack V0 5a The crack. Un/fortunately it is possible to bottle the finish by stepping onto the adjacent boulder
60 Chudleigh Simon's Problem V7 6b/c The rounded right arete, starting on left side and rocking round onto right. Spotter and mats recommended!

Walking right from The Twin Cracks you will see a white, rippled wall above an obvious granite step:

RIPPLED WALL - A very fine wall of excellent granite (topo above)

61  V4 6b The left arete. Crux to start
62  Rippled Wall V4 6b Wall to the right of arete. A classic. The first move is the crux and the finish can feel a little high. High in the grade.
62b  Rippled Wall Bum Start??? V9???? John Gaskins' low start from holds back in the cave! Doesn't use the obvious footledge/boulder on right at this grade. Unrepeated ??
63  V3 5c An indirect start to 62 can be made by stepping left off edge of the granite step, reducing the grade a little.
64  V3 6a The wall above the granite step to gain a sidepull/tiny groove near the top and finish in the same place as 66. Quite scary above a potentially awkward landing.
65  V2 6a Starting from an obvious white sidepull stretch to the break. Finishing direct is scaryville - wimps escape out left.
66  Rippled Wall Traverse V2 5c A right to left traverse of the obvious break high. Scary to finish but the hardest move is probably leaving the ground using undercuts (sneaky easier version on right). Finish by pulling round at the large flake.
67  V2 5c The right arete, climbed on it’s left-hand side to start then moving right to climb the scary slabby side.
67b  Johnny Ball V6 6b A lie-down/bum start to 67.
68  V6-7 6b A left to right low level traverse can made, starting up 62 and finishing up 66 (or pick another link up!). The grade may vary according to what height you go at, but is given for the obvious level (ie do the first move of Rippled Wall then traverse right at that level). The ultimate circuit of the wall is to start up 62, reverse 66 then down 65 before moving left to finish up 64 

Opposite the rippled wall is an undercut boulder/overhang:

69  V0 5b Using the biggest holds - good footless variations/ variations on slopers exist…
69b  V4 6a A pumpy left to right traverse, finishing by topping out on the far right above a narrow, scary ledge. You can step off safely but don't topple backwards!

Descending down a steep, rocky path in the direction of Widecombe (THE TOWER is on your right) a 25ft vertical wall is visible around to your left (the left-hand side of the wall forms an obvious, sharp arete. This wall is just to the left of a large pleasantly, angled slab). The problems on here could easily be mistaken for routes:

UMPIRE WALL - mini routes; scary and fingery

70  V1 5b (E2) The left arete is good but bold.
71  You Cannot Be Serious V3 6a (E2 to solo) To the right of the arete is an obvious large hold. Start on this, go direct above, then move right at the top to finish steeply on big holds. Finish direct - scary and high. Wimps can finish direct into the groove (which is still scary!) or traverse right to step onto adjacent ledge,
72  The Umpire Strikes Back V2 6a (E4) From the top of the slab in the gully (on right) step left and climb the wall to the top with a hard move up near the start.

The obvious large slab to the right with a deep crack up the centre:

BIG SLAB - generally easier stuff that is a tad high

73  V0 5b Wall to the L of deep crack. Crux to start - quite high but easier to finish.
74  3c The deep crack goes at Diff. and is often subject to school group abuse.
75  4a-4c (HS/VS route grade) Various lines up the slab to the right of the deep crack. Also goes one handed, hands free and several attempts have been made to sprint up it.... so far these have resulted in some interesting sprints back down again.
76  V2 6a A low/bum start up a hanging groove to reach right for a big fat sloper at the bottom of the slab. Mantle onto this.

THE EGG - the large blank wall facing Widecombe (problems not numbered on topo)

 V4 6b From the crack on the left stretch up right (left hand sidepulling/undercutting the crack) and make a few moves up crystals to the top.
 Project. The central line has no real holds

 V8 6c The right hand line. A very fingery pull off sharp crsytals gains a mini-flake. The tall can reach the mini-flack from the ground, making the problem a lot easier!

If stood at the bottom of BIG SLAB (facing it) there is a gap between 2 boulders behind you. Drop down this and turn right to:


77  The Innocuous Traverse V0 5b Follows slopers left to right along the edge of the boulder to finish up crack on right.
78  Innocuous Extension V5 6b Start as for 77 then, missing out the crack on the right move around onto the undercut right arete and finish up it. A variant can be made which misses out the large flake/sidepull thing by using the poor slopers/crystals to the left - this is quite hard (about 6c) if you stay low, just using the lower holds.
78b  Innoculation V8 6c/7a In the middle of the innocuous traverse is a slopey bit, just left of the good flake/sidepull thing. Beneath this is an edge quite low-down. A bum start can be made from this to gain poor slopey crystals, then a nice move to top out. Obviously at this grade the sidepull flake or better holds to the left are not touched i.e. bit of an eliminate so keep you blinkers on!

Back again from the INNOCUOUS TRAVERSE is the aforementioned TOWER - the following problem takes the obvious steep groove on the L, to the R of a small overhang/nose (and L of a right angled corner):


79  V3 6a The nose to the left of the groove. Quite scary.
80  V2 5c The groove (formed at the jucntion of two boulders), with awkward moves to get stood on the nose to the left
80b  VP Those interested in perverted squirms will delight in the constricted chimney...don't wear your best clothes and consider getting oiled up if you're large!
81  V6 6c 15 ft right of 80 is a low level roof (on the bottom right edge of the rock). Start on lowest slopers on right. Make a footless move then ungainly thug up and left until you can get our feet on. Traverse off or continue to the top - easiest line about severe.

Just beyond the TOWER is an undercut boulder:

SECTEUR NEIL DIAMOND A tucked away area of Bonehill with a few fine problems.

82  6b On the undercut nose at the end of the boulder. Starting low, traverse right then along until possible to pull round on slopers (sorry about the vague description - not really an established problem but worth a look)

To the left of the nose is a gently overhanging wall which is sort of diamond shaped. On the right of the wall we have:

83  V5 6b Start hanging on low holds on right with feet high on right (i.e. not on granite slab beneath!). Move up and left until a final move gains a fairly good hold on-top.
84  Tom's Traverse V4 6a/b On the left hand end of the boulder is an obvious (I hope!) jug. Start down and right of this, then move up left to jug. Traverse left along the top of boulder then across the gap to the left. Keep on traversing left to a crack - not using the crack move up and left to finish.
85  6c A low level variant to Tom's Traverse, which stays low on the middle section moving across the gap. It will also be possible to traverse the thin break leftwards under gap...

More problems can be found on the other side of this boulder and on the boulders beyond - left for your own discovery!

To the R of the BIG SLAB is an impressive accutely overhanging, undercut wall:

THE WAVE From the boulderers' persective this is certainly one of the most impressive features on The Moor. A wave of development broke late in 2014 with the last obvious proper lines going and also the inevitable plethora of link ups.

86  V4 6b The overhanging side of the left arete normally finishes by rocking onto the slab just above the second break.
Oscillations V8 6b/c The extended finish to 86. Moves right at the top at this grade. FA Mike Adams 2014
86b  Floater V9 6c A start up the left arete (86) leads into the higher thin break traverse. Finish up The Wave (87). An excellent and long problem above a dodgy landing.FA Dave Henderson 2007
Catching the Wave V11 Straight up from the start of Tsunami. The top section was climbed as Something and Nothing at V8 ish by Mike Adams in August 2014; a lower start was then added by James Squire. An even lower start is:

Pe'ahi V11 Start sitting, left hand in the bottom left slot, right hand on a tiny undercut crystal and feet on the shelf. Move up into Catching the Wave. FA Mike Cleverdon 2014
Diamond District V12 Link the start of Catching the Wave into Floater. FA James Squire

Rip Curl V6/7 6c A left hand variant on the Wave using a gnarly little sidepull crimp with the right hand FA Ted Kingsnorth.
87  The Wave V6 6c The centre of the overhanging wall, using a “funny monkey paw” sharp hold to move left to an obvious good hold on the lip then a long lock to a scary finish - if you get scared either reverse and jump, or a sneaky leftward traverse can be used to escape. If the hold on the lip can be gained using tactics other than climbing (e.g. cheating block, being tall) then the grade is V4 6b; has also been climbed footless to the deep break. A classic problem up this superb feature.
88  Left Hander V7 6c Variant. Get sharp “monkey paw” of The Wave (87) with lefthand and make a big slap to the deep green break. Less technical than the Wave so may feel easier than the original if you're strong.
89  Hanging Crack V3 6a A long stretch to a hanging crack on the right. A low start bumps the grade up to V5 6b. Can be linked to the trench traverses (93) around the corner to provide a good pumpy problem.
90  The Wave Traverse V10 6c A very sustained traverse starting with left hand in the slot on the left, just right of the pointy boulder, and right hand either in the fiddly low pocket thing or the crystally edge to the right. Finish up 89. FA Dave Henderson late 1990
The New Wave Traverse V10/11 6c The start of Pe'ahi into The Wave Traverse.(FA DH January 2015)
91  Tsunami V10 Variant. Same start as 90 but finish up The Wave (87). One can also finish up Left Hander, which is marginally harder than finishing up the Wave.FA Dave Henderson late 1990s
92  Tsunami Extension V10/11 6c Another variant type thing. Follow The Wave Traverse(90) to left hand starting hold of 89. Match on this, then traverse back left and finish up The Wave. A bit of a contrived link up..FA Dave Henderson late 1990s

 The Green Room V11/12 6c A long link-up which incorporates parts of all the problems on The Wave. Start up Floater (86b), reverse the wave (87) which leads into The Wave Traverse (90) and a finish up the lock off to hanging crack on right (89). Power endurance with the bonus of a bad landing section near the start FA Dave Henderson 2007

Around to the right is a more gently overhanging wall:

THE TRENCH - errr, quite nice...

93  V1 5b A L-R traverse of the deepest break
94  V3 6a Start as for 93 then traverse the lower break to rejoin 93 with a long lock-off
95  V3 6a/b Variation start to 94 along lower line off crimps left of Bum Crack (sit start on left)
96  V3 6a Direct up the wall R of Bum Crack 97. Eliminates up to 6c exist
97  5a Bum Crack The deep crack. Sit down start. Nice! Can be jammed but this makes it much harder.
98  5b Wall L of the deep crack. Lower start goes at a crimpy 6a.

Look down the hill from the trench and you'll see a a jumble of boulders to the left:


99  V1 5c The triangular shaped hanging slab not using side boulders.
100  5a Right again is a crack
101  V3 6a The wall to the right using right hand edge of the crack

Further right is an obvious good hold with a thin runnel leading up and right:

102  Greg’s Dyno V2 6a A jump from the obvious low hold to top. Mind out for sharp crystal on top. Also goes static using runnel - easier!
103  6a The right arete, moving left to finish
104  Calmer V3 6a Around to the right, on the same boulder is an obvious low hold to the right of a tiny roof. From this gain poor holds directly above. There's an easy way and a hard way! A surprisingly good few moves.

The nearest crags are: Bell Tor | Hound Tor | Top Tor Area

Back to Dartmoor Bouldering Introduction | Dartmoor Bouldering Contents

Haytor Area Map

Photo tour



Thanks to Boreal for supporting the site!

Copyright 2000-2017 © ...javu/Dave Henderson javu info
This file last modified

javu on Facebook
Fancy a cream tea? Fancy a Cream Tea? Top Tor Area Saddle Tor Manaton Rocks Hound Tor Bell Tor