Main Sections
Blog Categories

Rock Climbing in the Isle of Man
Noggin Head


This is the headland opposite the Sugarloaf, through which the Fairy Hole runs. the buttress faces South and is split by the narrow middle entrance to the Fairy Hole. Descent is possible down the Northern arete, with a short section of V Diff descent just on the main face. Large ledges and East traversing at the bottom, above high water mark.

On the black wall facing the Anvil in the bay. Start at the low water mark left of a diagonal fault and climb straight up. The rock is a bit friable.

NOGGINS KNEE ~ 140' ~ Sev ~ (T)
At the right hand end of the buttress below a short black wall. Climb the wall to an obvious quartz intrusion below a crack left of a small roof. Climb the crack and continue to a belay at the top of a broken corner.

GUILLEMOT DELIGHTS ~ 70' ~ E1 5a 5a 5a/b
Start on the grey wall at the back of the small zawn. Climb this wall and a series of overhangs.

INTERLUDE ~ 40' ~ Hard Sev
About 30' right of Saga, just right of the large overhangs is a short steep hanging corner. Climb this direct. Possible to start to the right also.

HANG ON ~ 45' ~ HVS
About 6' right of the left hand edge of the overhangs. Start an the bottom of a very easy crack just above sea level, climb the crack and the series of overhangs directly above.

SAGA ~ 70' ~ Hard V Diff
In the middle of the buttress, climb up to the top of the middle Fairy Hole entrance and the steep crack above to a vegetated gully.

NOGBAD THE BAD ~ 190' ~ Hard V Diff
Start as for Saga and climb in a direct line just left of the large overhangs.
1/30' Climb a short wall and cross an overhang into a corner. Up this and belay just below a narrow tapering rib.
2/60' Climb the awkward overhang at the foot of the rib (crux) and finish direct. The crux is easily avoided.

Starts right of the cave in the centre of the buttress. Immediately on the join gain the overhang, then climb directly up to a ledge below a large overhang. Traverse 15' left to another good overhang, climb this and belay on large ledges.

Starts as for Saga and crosses the top of the middle Fairy Hole entrance before traversing at that height across the South part of the main buttress and then descending to the foot of a slim corner close to the South bounding arete. Finish up the overhanging corner and directly over bulges above.

FAIRYHOLE CRACK ~ 170' ~ E1 5b or HVS 5a A1
On the Southern wall of Noggin Head is a cave which passes right through the headland and although the cave entrance is never seen from the route it is the fulcrum of the climb. Climbing starts just above the base of the right arete from a ledge on the East face. This position can be reached either by abseiling down the Southern edge of the East face or by continuing the traverse of Beyond the Fringe.
1/25' 4c Climb up the right arete to the start of a fine ledge on the Southern wall. Belay on ledge on East wall.
2/35' 5a Along the ledge to the base of the corner on the right of cave.
3/30' Climb up the corner. On the first ascent the overhanging block was passed by using one nut for aid. Stance on top of the block.
4/80' 5b Up the chimney until forced to climb out onto the face and up the steep crack. As the crack eases off an obvious short traverse right leads to easy ground to the top. A direct finish continuing up the crack has been done.

A dramatic alternative first pitch is also possible at E2 5b. Start as for Madonnas Pregnant (see Sugarloaf, next section), but traverse from left to right above the roof of the Fairy Hole cave until the belay of the Fairy Hole Crack is reached.


The Sugarloaf can be reached by swimming or by boat (best hired from Port St Mary), but an experienced and well equipped party will prefer to approach it from the headland opposite. A descent can be made with care down a steep grass gully from the foot of which a descending traverse right (facing outwards) leads onto the large, flat, square topped platform (the Pulpit) which is easily seen in profile from the main Chasms area.

From this platform it is possible to abseil down the gap between the Sugarloaf and the headland and pendulum across to ledges at the base of the stack. The traditional route climbs the chimney between the two summits on the seaward face of the stack, although it has been reported that the landward face has been climbed.

1/100' Start at the bottom of the right edge of the face, then step up and traverse left to an obvious chimney and climb this to a stance in a subsidiary chimney on the right.
2/50' Continue up the corner above to the col between the two summits.
3/10' The larger, Western summit. Each member of the party may have to lead this in turn as room on the top is distinctly limited.

A circumnavigation of the Sugarloaf just above the barnacle line. The South and West faces form the principal difficulties.

Scramble with care, via the Pulpit (see Sugarloaf intro.), down to the South entrance of the Fairy Hole Cave. The climb starts on the left hand edge of this face and through a series of good overhangs. Climb the corner until forced to traverse left at 100'and belay on the obvious platform.

All text © Manx Fell & Rock Club and Mike Caine