Slipstone Crags, or simply the Slipstones, is a gritstone crag on the southern edge of Agra Moor overlooking Colsterdale and its side valley of Birk Gill.
Colsterdale, in the north-east corner of the Nidderdale AONB, is still something of a well kept secret among walkers. It is becoming increasingly well-known to climbers mainly thanks to the rising popularity of Slipstone Crags.
Up until fairly recently the crag was still a well kept secret. Not so anymore and Slipstone Crags are now described on the UK Climbing website as, “one of the best gritstone bouldering crags in the UK, offering some of the most sought after challenges around.” All in all there are over 280 possible climbing routes on the crag. Unfortunately Colsterdale does not have the car parking capacity to handle lots of visitors and the minor road above Gollinglith Foot can become congested with parked cars.
Of course while Slipstone Crags is quite easily accessible from the road, for those of us who prefer a more extended ramble, Colsterdale does provide a number of options. These can include Agra Moor with Slipstone Crags at the beginning or end. For the adventurous heather bashing types there is a cracking walk that also includes Lobley Crags and the Hanging Stones further up the side valley of Birk Gill.
Slipstone Crags was the site of one of a number of tragic air accidents during World War II. On 23rd November 1943 a Halifax JB926 took off from their base at Riccall near Selby, Yorkshire for a night cross-country training exercise. Encountering severe weather the plane crashed into the moor immediately below the crag killing all eight on board. A small memorial was erected on the site of the crash in the mid-1980’s. For those interested in finding out more about this and other air crashes in the Yorkshire Dales please visit the Aircraft Accidents in Yorkshire website.