/ Easy Bouldering near Otterburn in Northumberland

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mattrm - on 24 Apr 2012
I'm staying at a cottage near Otterburn (very near Catcleugh Reservoir) for a family holiday next week, does anyone have any recommendations for easy bouldering nearby in the V0-V2 range? I can see on UKC that there's a small crag above the Reservoir, called Ellis, with stuff at 6a. If that place is awful then anything else nearby that's worth checking out? If it's more than a 10-15 minute drive from the reservoir, then it'll be too far away. Worht pointing out that I normally climb in the South Wales Valleys, so I'm used to grotty sandstone. Thanks in advance.
valentinesbabe - on 24 Apr 2012
In reply to mattrm: I don't think Corby's is far from Otterburn and although it isn't really bouldering there are some nice solos and it's quite a small crag, 6-8 metres I think. Am doing this from memory so don't quote me!!
PeterJuggler - on 24 Apr 2012
In reply to mattrm: Have you tried using the crag finder? Callerhues looks the most promising.
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=825
mattrm - on 24 Apr 2012
In reply to PeterJuggler:

Yes, I have, hence finding Ellis. Had seen Callerhues as well. Great Wanney and Curtis Crag also look like they'll be promising. Any locals able to help me out?
Sherlock - on 24 Apr 2012
In reply to mattrm:
not local but from memory....
Wouldn't have thought GW had much bouldering,great routes tho!
Callerhues is a fantastic venue. Remote,30-40 mins walk,beautiful outlook.
Lovely rock,I would reccomend a decent pad and spotter though, long hobble down if you turn an ankle!
cheers Sherlock
mattrm - on 24 Apr 2012
In reply to Sherlock:

No pads and family don't climb, so wouldn't have anyone around to help. I'll give it a miss I think.
JDal - on 24 Apr 2012
In reply to mattrm:
My mate used to be a shepherd at Catcleugh. Reckoned it was the worst spot in Northumberland for a climber to live!

Ellis is ok, but a heather thrash to get around and it'll need cleaning. There's a topo at http://betaguides.com/index.php?country=england&location=Ellis Crag for 50p. If it's the one that was free a while back it's ok. Personally I'd just nip up there and the stuff you can do would be obvious. Access the place via forest tracks, don't try direct from Catcleugh. On the opposite side of the road Echo Crags is supposed to be a nice spot for a bimble.

The other crags in Redesdale are useless (Great Dour and Huel). A bit further afield, Callerhues is not easy, and neither is Howlerhirst. Shitlington, on the Pennine Way S of Bellingham is pretty good.

Wanneys isn't up to much for bouldering (Gt Wanney, Curtis or East Woodburn)

You could get the family to go for a day out in Rothbury and walk up the hill to Gimmerknowe (about 20 mins). That's got good landings and should be ok matless.

Access is described in the NMC online guide for all of these places except Echo Crag (which I haven't been to)
SteveSBlake - on 24 Apr 2012
In reply to mattrm:

There are two locations very close to you:

Huel Crag GR 829995. The southern end has some boulders very close to the road/track shown on the map. It is just inside the Range boundary, so if the flags are up it's a no go.

Echo Crags further up the road on the eastern side above Catcleugh GR 742045, A stiff hike to get to and a bit soft, but there's some interesting bouldering to be done, and the views are great. It's on Open Access land.

Steve
SteveSBlake - on 24 Apr 2012
In reply to SteveSBlake:

That should be North of the resevoir - not east.
JDal - on 24 Apr 2012
In reply to SteveSBlake:

Re Huel Crag: Do you mean the Wheel Stones? I thought both them and Huel Crag itself were outside the Danger Area. They're outside the area marked by red triangles on the OS 1:25000, and if Harbottle's anything to go by, anywhere outside of those triangles is OK.

I've been to Huel 3 times in the last few years, I wouldn't like to try bouldering there without mats! Maybe I missed something.
SteveSBlake - on 24 Apr 2012
In reply to JDal:

Hi john,

The bouldering is right next to the range road that passes just to the South end of the crag. Several free standing boulders that are about 50 to 150m from the 'jungle' of Huel, justbefore the road enters the treeline. They are visible on GE. Not extensive, but a useful location for someone like the OP.

You're right that the crag is outside the triangles on the 1:25000, however, you are 'inside' the flags and the last time I was there artillery were firing from 1km to our west.......... They would have been about 2km outside the triangles. It seems unliklely they would be doing that outside the danger area. So a moot point methinks, the only way to be sure would be to phone the range office.

Regards,

Steve
SteveSBlake - on 24 Apr 2012
In reply to SteveSBlake:

John,

Further to my last, it is the Wheel Stones, and I've spoken with the Range Office and you're right - Huel is outside the range area.

Cheers,

Steve
JDal - on 24 Apr 2012
In reply to SteveSBlake:

Thanks for clearing that lot up. I'd not thought about bouldering on The Wheelstones, but yes, there's probably some stuff there.
mattrm - on 28 Apr 2012
In reply to mattrm:

Thanks for all the hints. Up at the cottage now, it's very nice up here I have to say. Hoping to get out sometime in the week.
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Madden - on 28 Apr 2012
In reply to mattrm: You're lucky you weren't up last week, the rain was appalling.

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