Hound Tor SX 743790
Hound Tor is home to superb bouldering that caters for all levels of difficulty. It often takes a few trips to appreciate the number of problems here due to the many being unobvious and the Tors maze like layout. I have decided to include routes in this guide as the distinction between a route and a boulder problem can sometimes be difficult to make!
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 (1/2 mile). Turn left here and take the left fork, signed Widecombe/Haytor. Coninue on this road for several miles, passing Haytor and Saddle Tor on the right. After crossing a cattle grid and passing a left turn for Ashburton, take the next right, signed Hound Tor. Follow this road (passing a small left turn for Bonehill when the main road veers right) for about a mile to Hound Tor and a car park. Hound Tor is the obvious Tor to the right of the road.
Haytor Area Map
The car park is home to the Hound of the Basketmeals Van - fine Aberdeen Angus Burgers!
Greator Rocks are found a 5 minute walk beyond Hound Tor in the vague direction of Haytor...these are worth a look as there are a handful of problems and some excellent short routes. Of particular interest to the boulderer is the right most bit of the right section of rocks - here you will find a fine 6a/b up a slab. Quite obvious!
Essential Selection: 4c Jugs, Sharks Fin, Wish, Skin Graft, Cream Traverse, Aerobic Wall, Toltec Twostep, Suspension Flake
When approaching from the car park the you’ll come across a large block (30ft high) on the right right:
The first route takes the obvious flake on the steep NE facing wall:
1 Suspension Flake VS 4c The superbly positioned flake with crux moves to get onto it from the ledge on the left. Has seen some good falls from those who can't/don't bother hanging on to place gear. Voted in one magazine as THE favourite VS in the country. Although this does not make it the BEST, it is certainly a well smart route.
2 ToltecTwostep E5 6b/c Beneath Suspension Flake is a blank looking wall. Gain the central flake/sidepull via a long stretch from a fairly poor undercut on the L (gear - smallish wire), then move R to climb a groove to finish. The crux is the move to the flake although the top is still a bit tricky and could be dangerous. Has been soloed (onsight!).
2b Toltec Twostep Direct E5 6c A direct on Toltec gains the sidepull flake by a long lock off from a hold on the R. A hard move, especially for the short.
3 Cantilever Crack VS 4c Where Suspension Flake starts a wide crack heads straight up. An interesting route - large Friends render it safe, otherwise there is a chockstone deep in the crack. A bold indirect start can be made up the wall to the left.
4 Last Flinger E2 5b The wall to the left of Cantilever Crack. It is possible to reduce the grade by sneaking off left - but this is obviously cheating!
5 V3 6a Rounded arete to the right of the ascent/descent gully has cleaned up to provide a good, if sometimes scary problem. A bouldering mat is a good idea.
To the left 5 is the aforementioned descent/easy way up gully. Left again is a lowish wall - a traverse starts on the right:
6 V2 5c Right to left traverse of block. Start just left of the gully and finishing around the far end of the slabby wall to the left. A low level start can be climbed at 6a.
7 3c The layback crack above the niche midway along the traverse.
8 4c Easiest line up the wall to the left.
Many eliminates in the 4c/5a region can be climbed up the slabby wall, including such frolics as hands-off climbing!
About 10 yards behind you if facing are a few short walls:
9 4c The crack up the middle wall, moving slightly left above the crack. Superb finishing jug
10 V4? 6b A low start to the left hand wall. Grade depends on how far out left you reach - 6b is hardest version.
11 V4? 6a/b There is also a low level traverse, the grade can vary depending on the level taken but basically it's the lowest feasible line, right to left with the crux at the end.
Back on the main Perched Block. Moving around to the south face the right hand side is broken and just left of a deep crack (right of centre) is an overhang above a granite ledge:
12 4c In the middle of the wall is an overhang - climb flakes around this.
13 4a The groove formed by the right side of the overhang.
On the left side of the face is a narrow wall with a couple of overlaps:
14 Fogou VS 4c The left hand side of the wall has a couple of overlaps. A fine route to lead or solo.
15 5c Bum start to Fogou. either start hanging footless on holds on lip or with feet at the back, beneath the overhang. Can be extended up and right, crossing the lip[ of an overhang higher up at a pumpy V3.
16 Dead Dog Rib E2 5b The left rib/arete can be climbed at E2.
17 Kisvaen Corner E3 6a A rarely climbed route up the slanting right to left groove. A rounded finish is the crux.
17b The Hobbit E5 6b A hard an usually dirty right hand finish to Kistvaen Corner. FA Simon Young
18 Sheep May Safely Graze HS 4a Find a line of this grade left of Kistvaen Corner!
5 yards left, and down a little, of Kistvaen Corner is a slabby green wall:
19 4c Rounded breaks lead to a rounded finish on the large grassy ledge beneath Hobhound.
20 E3 5b Hobhound Above 19 (around the left arete is Toltec Twostep) is a green wall with a shallow crack/runnel slanting right to left. Climb this to where it finishes (poor Friends) then finish up above with much fear and roundedness. A serious finish as the highest gear is not that good (and also some way beneath you!)
20b E5 6c Hobble A funny start to Hobhound. From the start of Toltec Direct (good crescent hold on lip) move up right to arete, do some funky stuff with you feet until a slap can be made out right to the base of the Hobhound runnel. The hard bit is only short... but it is hard! FA Simon Young
If stood at the base of Toltec Twostep/Suspension Flake, just behind you is an often seeping wall in a trench type secteur. This is home to:
21 6b The wall closest to Suspension Flake is gently overhanging and starts in the low break.
About 5 yards to the left (facing wall i.e. towards main Tor!) is another good block after some scrappier dirty rock. The following problems on this wall are described left to right:
22 4c Wall left of arete via obvious layaway.
23 V4 6b The left arete is excellent.
24 V4 6b A bum start to 23 which doesn't change the overal grade.
25 V4 6b The wall to the right is a tad reachy.
26 V0 5a The short right arete with a flake at the top.
27 V5 6a/b Start on the far right and traverse the low break to finish up 23
Walking around up to the right (ie towards Haytor) from here you come to a green wall on your right (on the other side of this block are problems 9-11):
28 5a The central, highest wall has a fine top out!
Several problems can be made on the walls opposite the face of 28. Continuing round the Tor you’ll find a superb triangular shaped wall on your left with an obvious flake on the right side:
29 5a Left hand line via wobbly hold
30 V3 6a eliminate - from obvious starting hold on 29 reach up and right to a sloper. Match on this and go to top (missing out jug for feet).
31 Wish V5 6b-c The centre of the wall sometimes feels desperate, other times just hard. Technical.
31b Wish Low V6 6c A lower start to Wish starting with left hand in central scoop and right on sidepull.
32 Shark’s Fin V1 5c From the obvious flake on right a long stretch gains the top. A superb problem. For some fun also goes as:
33 A double dyno ; 1 handed dyno!
34 V7 6c High level left to right traverse. Starting up 30 to sloper, moving right through the top of Wish, down to the starting flake of Shark's Fin, then finish on right side of boulder. A this grade the top of the boulder is not used (obviously!).
35 V5/6 6b/c Right to left version of 34. Easier than the other way!
35b Mako V11 Head height left to right traverse with a thin section in the middle and an excellent sideways dyno to gain the starting flake on Shark's Fin (32). The holds in the middle section have cleaned up a bit and maybe reduced the grade slightly since the FA?
Facing the Shark's Fin Boulder you will see a rounded arete about 5 yards up to the left:
36 V0 5c Scarier to look at than to actually climb! The arete, with some welcome surpises. Dodgy landing.
Facing the Sharks Fin boulder there is another problem just over the back, hidden behind a smaller boulder:
37 V1 5c The obvious (hopefully) line with a bum start. Several eliminates variations exist.
20 yards behind the Shark’s Fin is a wall with a hanging crack on the right and slanting flake crack to the left, leading to a slopey top out (this is just beneath the Summit Block of the Tor):
38 3c The wall right of hanging crack (just left of a scrambling corner).
39 Barnaby's Crack V3 6a The right-hand hanging crack succumbs to a committed approach.
40 V2 5c Slanting flake crack to excellent, committing, rounded top out - don't fall as it will hurt. Not to be confused with the longer crack immediately to the left:
41 ? The obvious dirty crack.
42 V3 6a 10 yards left is a slab with a tiny vague groove low down. From here a "funny" precarious move gains the top break. Easier for the tall and a mat will take the sting out of the landing - dangerous without mat! A fine problem.
43 Ozzie's Wall 4b The left hand end of the slabby wall. Lovely problem.
20 yards from The Shark’s Finin direction of Haytor is a pinnacle thingy:
44 V0- 4a Steep wall on left pinnacle facing Shark's Fin is climbed via a crack.
45 V0- 4a Wall to the left. The arete between the two is a similar grade.
Around the back of Top Hat are two slabby walls divivded by a crack in the middle:
46 V0 5a The right hand wall. Quite rounded holds and also a bit high.
47 V0- 4b To the left of an easy central dividing crack is a wall. The right hand side climbed via a runnel/groove.
48 V0- 4c The wall to the left.
49 V0 5a The left arete of the left wall.
49b V2 5b A fine right to left traverse of the face from 46, finishing up 49.
Continuing rightwards from The Shark’s Fin circumnavigating the bulk of the Tor you’ll come to a wall on the left, with a slanting crack running from low right up left:
50 3c A right to left rising traverse of the crack.
51 3c The left arete.
To the right of this is a large overhang with a flake on the lip:
52 V2 5c The flakes around the overhang. Scary top out.
Up to the right of this is a project, starting from an obvious fine grained sloper:
53 Project V? From a smooth and sloping hold move up right to poor crystal holds then somehow gain very rounded top. Obviously feet are not allowed out to the left.
54 V3 6a From same sloper as project reach up left then make a funny move into the offwidth crack up and left. Sneaky kneebar!
Continue beyond this to a 30 ft high wall with an overhang at half height:
55 Aerobic Wall E2 5c Starts up the central crack then moves right to climb the steep flake line top the top. A good strenuous route to lead or solo. A rite of passage for the Dartmoor climber!
56 E2 6a A start directly up the wall beneath the top flake of Aerobic wall then climb the wall to the right of the flake of Aerobic Wall
57 Limbo Dancer E4 6a The widest part of the overhang on the left, via an obvious sloper on the lip. Traditionally this has always been E4 5c, maybe it still should be but the crux is definitely a bit on the hard side for that technical grade. There is no worthwhile gear for the crux, and the top section is easier so this route is usually soloed.
58 E4 6a A left hand start to Limbo Dancer, stepping off the boulder high on the left and moving right along lip of overhang to join, and finish up, Limbo Dancer
59 E3 5b From 58 carry on traversing right (from hold in middle of wall,above overhang on Limbo... slightly downwards into Aerobic Wall) to the end of buttress, or finish up Aerobic Wall.
There is also a fun traverse along the base of the wall at a sometimes awkward 5b (?)
Facing Aerobic Wall there is a low level roof behind you:
SKIN GRAFT BOULDER
60 Skin Graft V2 5c (!) Bum-start from the flake in the roof then rock around onto the sloping top out above. Graded 5c on the Plymouth scale this is actually at least 6a!
61 Cosmetix V5 6b The left to right traverse along the lip of the boulder, using flake under roof and finishing with a stiff lock (from flat hold to right of right arete) to gain the top of the boulder. Mind yer head on the last moves. There is an eliminate that completely misses out the flake under roof and only uses holds to the left of the arete to finish (i.e. not the flat one out right).
Facing Skin Graft there is a large block 15 yards to the left:
62 4c The left side of the left arete.
63 V4 6b A bum start to the left side of the left arete
64 V0 5a The left hand side of the arete to the right.
65 V3 6a Just right is a sticking out prow. This is a bum start to the feature
66 "5c Wall" V1 5b The centre of highest wall. Crux to start then scary top out (about E1 to solo).
67 V4 6b The hardest of several variation starts to 66 is by undercutting the roof (both hands - no jumping off ground) and make long move direct to the big break some way above (no intermediates at this grade).
68 The Horn V2 6a The overhanging prow a 5 yards right of 67 wall. Good and with a fine finishing horn.
Up above Skin Graft/Aerobic Wall is a 20 ft wall split centrally by a thin crack. (This is part of the summit mass of rock):
ANAEROBIC WALL (see topo above)
The following 3 are not really "fall offable" boulder problems (as Plymouth lad Simon Blagdon discovered when he tumbled from the right arete, "bustin' 'is leg up good stylee"!
69 5a The wall left of the crack
70 Anaerobic Wall V1 5c The central crack. Sometimes lead at E1 ish. A scary and dangerous boulder problem.
71 Anaerobic Arete 6a The right arete (on left side). Bit dodgy! Plymouth climber Simon Blagdon smashed his leg falling of this - missed his mat and landed a bit badly! Stretchered back to car park on his mat followed by pins in the the leg!! Nice.
Just right of an easy descent chimney is an overhang with a large jug on the lip:
72 5b Gain the jug on lip and mantel! Fun.
Around to the R of this is a wall with a few problems, including a fine slopey-break traverse:
73 5b Traverse the rounded break from right to left.
To the L of Anaerobic Wall is another easy descent chimney. L again is an obvious overhanging prow (75):
SUMMIT BLOCK (see Shark's Fin Topo)
74 V1 5c The diagonally slanting crack above and R of low start to prow to finish on the prow itself. The finish (common with the next problem) is quite scary but there is a gurt jug out left to pull on.
75 Top Prow V2 6a The obvious prow. Start on low, good jug, stretch up and R to break, then up again to slanting crack of 74. Move L then pull over onto summit (as for 74). Fine but dangerous near the top. Also goes with a bum start at the same grade.
76 William Crossing V5 6b To the L of 75 is a break. From here reach up to some sloper then make death defying moves up right to the finish of 75! Poor landing! (spotters, mat and Air Ambulance standing-by advised)
77 V2 6a An obvious break runs horizontally. Traverse it, left to right. Either step off at the end or do 75 to finish.
Walking beyond Aerobic Wall is a 30 ft wall. The bottom L side is very steep and roughly in the centre is a vague arete. This arete is about 3 feet to the right of a crack:
LITTLE PROW AREA (see Aerobic Wall Topo)
78 Prowler HVS 5a Just left of the vague central arete is a crack. Climb this to a semi-rest, then move left and climb twin cracks to finish.
79 Little Prow V2 5c The vague central arete, starting from a low jug. If you finish at the first break it's a boulder problem; if you carry on to top out it goes at E1 (with a rope - it has a rounded finish!).
80 Prowed V5/6 6b/c The eliminate wall right of Little Prow, (not using holds on the left in Little Prow) - a long stretch from bottom break to poorish holds then finish at the deep break. There are a couple of ways of doing it, Prowed Original V6 goes with the left hand to the obvious sloper then onto the deep break.
81 V6/7 The dyno version of above. Height and leg muscle dependent.
82 V0 5b The right arete, finish at the break or traverse left until you fancy jumping off!
83 Little Prow Traverse V5 6b/c - a right to left traverse along the low break, staying low around the arete and finishing on the far left. Probably easier if you can reach from the large jug at the start of Little Prow all the way to the crack, otherwise it's got a really awkward move!
84 V5/6 6c 83 also goes L-R (a bit harder)... and "there and back" V6
In the gully just left of Prowler is a steep wall (Little Prow Traverse 83 finishes across this). This is home to several problems with some hard eliminates. One problem goes to the top:
85 Raw Onion Boyz E2 6a Make a direct start up the steep wall the climb the overhang and nose above (just left of Prowler and right of the chimney). FA Dave Henderson
Around to the R of Little Prow is an undercut prow with a prominent broken flake:
86 Scorn 6a (E4/5). A few steep moves to the flake then the extremely slopey top out above. E5 as a solo (E4 to lead) with an appalling landing. FA Paul Twomey or Grant Wright?
87 V0 5b The arete/nose on block 15 yards right (facing) of Scorn. This is shown on the main Houndtor topo.
If one continues around the bulk of the rocks you will come across an "Avenue" between the two "halves" of the tor. This will lead back towards the burger van and car park. The following descriptions are written as if approached from the end closest the car park:
On the left is a high bit of rock. This is home to a handful of lines, which go up to about severe/hard severe and are often mixed up. These can be soloed or also serve as good introductory (either complete beginners or for early leads) climbs. Routes start down to the left at a short steep groove leading to a sloping ledge beneath a roof:
88 Hydraulic Arete HVS 5b The lower groove leads with trickiness to the sloping ledge. Move right then finish direct.
89 The Vice V.Diff 20 ft right of Hydraulic Arete is a vice type feature near the top of the wall. Pick a line leading up to this!!
There are a number of possible lines on the rock right of The Vice. The easiest is about VDiff (Pulpit) although various lines up to Hard Severe have been recorded:
90 Pulpit V.Diff Pick a line on the right ish of the wall to finish up a steeper crack!
To the right (facing rock) of the highest bit of rock is an overhang at 10 feet (long live the Imperial Measuring System ... but don't tell Europe or I'll be in trouble!!):
91 5a Climb direct to and through the overhang. A bit high to fall from!
Just right again is a 25ft wall, facing roughly the direction of the car park/ Perched Block. This is split by a crooked vertical crack and several horizontal breaks:
LIARS DICE WALL
92 Liar’s Dice Severe 4a The crack is quite stiff for the grade but thankfully short and well protected (if you don't get too pumped placing the gear).
93 VS 4b The wall right of Liars Dice climbed direct. Good gear (especially with Friends) but can be tricky to place.
94 HS 4b To the right again is a steep flake-line. At this grade move left to the steep finish of 96. Moving right reduces the grade to Severe.
Just right again is a low level 45 degree roof:
95 6a Bum start from holds in roof. Reach up and left to flat hold then climb the nose above. The finish is 5a/b and good in it's own right.
96 6b Extra-low start from sidepulls.
On the opposite side of the Avenue (the shady, greener side) and down a bit towards Perched Block is a high "tower" with overhang at the top:
97 Downward Bound E2 5c Climb up to gain a left-to-right rising break. Traverse this right for a metre or so then move up with difficulty to another break. Move left to a steep finish and slopey top-out. FA Simon Cook
20 yards left (facing Downward Bound) is a short wall with 3ft long handjam crack:
98 Rob's Crack 5a/b Climb the crack and finish direct.
99 Rob's Bum Crack 5c A sit down start. Traverse the top rightwards until better holds enable you to pull around.
The next obvious major feature is an overhanging juggy wall on the "shady" side of the Avenue:
100 V0- 4c Jugs Overhanging jugs. A superb, enjoyable and bold problem. One of The Moor's classics of the grade! Quite high above a poor landing - not one to fall off! Can be done footless.... A low start also goes up the prow thing below - an excellent V6.
101 4c ... or with a traverse in from the right.
On the opposite side of the Avenue are a couple of gullies (several problems) and beyond this and to the left is a fine rounded arete, with a low roof beneath:
SECTEUR FULL MOON:
102 V1 5b/c Lowish start to nose from shelf. Good.
103 V2 6a Bum start to 101, starting just beneath shelf on crimps.
104 4c Wall to the right on rounded breaks.
Just down and towards the shadowy side of the Tor, and towards the broken remants of a Hound's Head, is a 25ft green wall to the left:
105 Teenage Mutant Ninja Slippers HVS 5a The narrow end face to finish up a flake.
106 Full Moon E4 5c Graded to take into account the usual green-ness, this is a superb route and E3 if clean! Gear in the half height break protects the crux but the top reamins tricky and scary. FA Ken Palmer
Facing Full Moon there is a rounded boulder over to the left:
107 The Barrel Rockover V5 6b Right hand line. Rounded finish on crystals and powerful low start. Sit start V7.
108 Tuppy V9 6c Left hand line - sit start from undercuts.
109 Stray Dog (Gone Defective) V10 6c The left to right traverse along sloping crystals to finish up 107. Requires good conditions and starts with left hand on side pull, right hand on crystal to right.
Descend the boulder-strewn gully and turn left. About 10 yards on you'll see a dank chasm on your left:
110 Skuzz Bucket E4 6a Drainage streak up right wall - quite good in the summer! The crux, on the lower wall, is awkward to protect (but well protected if you get it right!). FA Dave Henderson
Turning right at the bottom of the gully and about 10 yards on, you'll see a boulder balanced atop a wall. This has a small flake on the end:
111 Hung Like a Baboon E5 6c JUMP from boulders to catch the flake. Sensible people will use a broomstick or similar to pre-place a sling, which should be tied down!! After the jump the crux moves lead powerfully up! The jump is easier for the tall/stupid and the actual rock climbing is easier for the strong!! FA Ken Palmer Never Trust a Monkey E5/6 6c gains the flake without the jump!
To the left of Hung Like a Baboon is a 20 ft high boulder with a cave on the left. The first problem starts in the cave:
112 V3 6a Traverse the break rightwards out of the cave with some awkwardness! Often damp and mangy. Scamper/crawl off right to finish.
113 V5 6b Alan Smith Stand Up. Sloper problem on right edge of boulder to join 112 and scamper off right! Starting with right hand on hold under buldge and left on sloper down left. Good.
114 Alan Smith V9 7a The bum start to 113. Start right hand on edge on steep bit and left on crimp/pinch to left. First move is hardest - a good slap with left to sloper. The best version finishes direct off 2 slopers next to each other without using intermediate to gain top...
114b Jayne V7 6c A left hand verson of Alan Smith. Low startand slap your way up slopers (good but gets dirty over the winter).
115 Panyan E4 6b Gain the ledge above Alan Smith and then finish direct over the rounded finish. Escapable to the right but a fine, scary rounded finish
115b Project. A line to the left of Panyan. Hard.
THE DARK HALF
When one approaches Hound Tor lots of boulders are visible on the left of the tor. This area is less well developed and still a tad dirty - the most significant bits are shown on the topo or mentioned above or below ... the rest is left for your own exploration.
Of particular note, however, is The Cream Traverse which has become one of The Moor's sought after harder problems:
116 The Cream Traverse V7 6b One of the classic harder problems of The Moor. Rather slopey, the exact difficulty depends on the conditions - V7 when in good nick. Has cleaned up nicely hence the grade reduction from it's original V8. Usually done left to right, finishing on far right with mantel. Also goes right to left at same grade. Has been done footless (left to right) and "there and back" (Left right left) at V9 (and there and back and there again!)
The nearest crags are: Bonehill | Manaton | Easdon Rocks
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