A big thank you to Nick for kick starting this new feature with his in-depth guide to the tor.
Where is Hound Tor?
Approximately 40 minutes / 20 miles south west of Exeter, near Lustleigh / Bovey Tracey, is a sprawling mass of granite blocks and boulders known as Hound Tor.
Comprehensive directions can be found on Javu.
When you arrive at the local car park, you’ll find ‘The Hound of the Basketmeals’ mobile cafe, where you can purchase a wide variety of refreshments to top up your energy levels.
The tor is 3-5 minutes from the car park, and is split into 2 distinct parts. The bulk of the problems are on the right hand side of the tor, with a few in the area between the two sets of rocks.
The rocks on the left are home to some of the hardest problems on the moor, which are also tricky to find and sometimes a bit green after bad weather.
Due to its popularity, most of the problems and routes are clean and relatively free from loose crystals. With a good spread of grades and styles of climbing there is something for everyone.
The 31 numbered problems are mostly the best quality and easiest to find lines. Several other lines may be marked on the photo topos with just a grade next to them – this does not denote poor quality, but simply that they are less popular.
Below are just a selection of routes and problems at the tor; all boulder problems are marked with green lines, and all routes with red. Enjoy!
Suspension Flake Area:
1. The right arete through the obvious flake jugs. V0
2. The middle of the wall. Hard. V4/5
3. The excellent left arete direct. Conditions dependant. V3/4 from sitting
4. A right to left traverse of the low break finishing up 3. V5
5. The rounded arete climbed direct. Slopey and excellent. V3
6. Long right to left traverse of the block. Sit start. V3
Note: Lots of lines exist around the V0-V1 range along the traverse line.
1. FOGOU * VS 4C 1
A great little route with a low crux. Climb through the overlaps on hard to see holds then follow the giant flake up to a block belay.
2.DEAD DOG RIB E1 5B 10M
The arête left of Fogou. Start on the left side of the arête. Boulder up to the first break (cams) and make a couple of tricky moves to get stood on the lip above. From here a couple of hard pulls on good holds lead to a slabby finish.
3. KISTVAEN CORNER E3 5C 14M
A rarely climbed route. Climb the obvious right to left groove for 8m.(can be dirty) Arrange some good gear and head straight up a faint groove to an obvious flake/pinch to top out (crux).
Possibly harder for the short.
4. THE HOBBIT E5 6B 14M
A very dirty and rarely climbed right hand finish to kistvaen corner. From the good gear on KC move back right and up through poor sloping breaks to a very rounded and scary finish.Good fall potential.
5.SHEEP MAY SAFELY GRAZE S 4A 14M
Follow the right to left platform easily for 6 metres until you get to a flake. Make a couple of awkward moves to get stood up on this (crux) then move left round the bulge and finish up the front face on obvious holds.
6.PERCHED BLOCK CHIMNEY VD 10M
Scramble onto the grassy ledge then ascend the mossy chimney with awkwardness.
7.LICHENTHROPE E5 6B 8M
A short tough route that could be considered to be badly protected. Climb the first few moves of Hob Hound (good cams) before moving right onto slopey holds. Several hard pulls through the poor breaks (possible hard to place micro cam or wire) lead to a better hold and a finish with much roundedness (scary).There is good potential for a ground fall from half height or above.
8.HOB HOUND * E3 5B 10M
Although not too difficult for the grade falling off the top out (crux) of this route could result in a ground fall. Start on the grassy ledge left of PBC below a curving runnel/groove. Follow this up left (cams) to a shallowcontinuation groove (poor cams) where a good hold lets you contemplate the awkward moves involved in topping out. Move up and left to finish.
9. HOBBLE E5 6C 12M
From the good hold on TTD make hard moves rightwards to the arete. Somehow slap round this to gain the good groove of Hob Hound. Finish up this.
10. TOLTEC TWOSTEP DIRECT E6 6C 10M
A harder version of the original. Gain the central flake/side pull from holds out right.
11. TOLTEC TWOSTEP *** E5 6C 10M
Boulder up to and into the wide break.Make a hard move (crux) off the poor sidepull/undercut to the flake/sidepull up and right.A long move from here out right to the obvious groove (tricky) leads to easier climbing to join and finish up suspension flake.
12. SUSPENSION FLAKE *** VS 4C 10M
A classic 3 star route that should be on everyone’s tick list. Start on the block on the left, traverse right to the flake and make an exciting swing out onto positive holds. Follow the flake until you reach a groove and exit direct. Careful footwork and cams are useful.
13. CANTILEVER DIRECT * HS 4B 8M
An awkward route that will feel hard for the grade if you have limited experience of traditional crack/off-width climbing. Start as for Suspension Flake then follow the yawning crack upwards. Place big cams or use the chock stone deep in the crack then make for the large nose where the climbing becomes interestingly 3 dimensional.
14. CANTILEVER CRACK VS 4C 9M
Follow a diagonal L/R traverse leading up to the finish of Cantilever Direct. Finish as for this route.
15.LAST FLINGER E1 5C 7M
The nasty landing makes this a serious route. Climb the centre of the wall on poorish breaks (small cams). Grope around for a slightly less rounded bit over the top and exit with much haste.