Climbs 72
Rocktype Sandstone (soft)
Altitude 200m a.s.l
Faces W

baboon head © ericoides

Crag features

A large sandstone quarry 25 metres in places. The rock is soft and the top section consists of layers of shale and poor sandstone. Very dodgy indeed. Top roping and peg protection are commonplace. There is bouldering in some excavated caves.

The owner is concerned about liability and placed NO ENTRY signs in Nov 2003 to discourage climbing.

Malcolm Lowerson was responsible for recording the routes at Howns Gill although some of the routes may have been climbed before Malcolm started his records during the 1980ís. Malcolm has led all the routes but only after careful. Leading at Howns Gill is not recommended due to the unstable nature of the shale band that runs across the upper section of the crag.

Approach notes

take the A692 from Consett towards Castleside, after 1ile, opposite the Stanefordham Arms pub, follow a track through allotments to a parking place. A right of way leads across fieds to the Howns Gill Viaduct. Go under this, follow the LH path when it divides, into woodland until the quarry is visible on the left.

The "no entry" sign and fence at the top is long gone since the new bridge works (not that it stopped anyone, as there are plenty of ways in and out of this quarry). Access is easy from the top or bottom of the viaduct.
martinph78 - 15/Aug/13
Had look at thrising wall section today. After clearing some brambles it's not that overgrown, but certainly think that the holds aren't what they used to be. Example Aniseed Trail HS 4b seems to have some very rounded or flakey bits where holds once were! Sorry, but there are two less now than yesterday. Enjoying working the venue but I do think that the easier grades on the initial corner and rising wall are now harder than they once were for many of the climbs. Looking at run-off/weathering etc many ledges are smooth and rounded where I imagine they were once more angular (and useable) and there are some very flaky bits that may once have been holds?
martinph78 - 01/Nov/12
Worth a look if you are local, but definiately not a place to lead climb. Loose at the top mean "topping out" isn't really an option. Holds break of easily so make sure your belayer wears a helmet!
martinph78 - 23/Oct/12
I met the guy who owns the land when I worked in a local pub and he said he really didn't want people climbing there due to access and insurance reasons.
melmyo - 15/Apr/09
Pictures and guide at http://www.climbonline.co.uk/howns_gill.htm
mad matt - 16/Apr/05
Login as Existing User to add your comments

Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
1The AreteHVS 5a 1
 Initial Corner 
3Pup
-
VD 1
4FangMVS 4c 3
5Doggy Bag
-
E2 5c 1
6ChokerMVS 4c  
7Cold Nose Corner
-
VS 5a 1
8Dog End
-
E3 5c 1
9Distemper WallVS 5a 2
10FoxyHVS 5b 3
 The Main Wall 
12HardpadMVS 5a 4
13The Snarl
-
E1 5b 1
14The Growl
-
E1 5b 1
15The Eyrie
-
E2 5c 1
16The Whimper
-
E1 5b 1
17Mad Dog
-
E1 5b 2
18Plague Dogs
-
E4 6b 1
19The Bark
-
E3 6a 1
20The Bite
-
E2 5c 1
21BloodhoundHS 4b 4
22Watch Dog
-
E1 1
23The Howl
-
E2 5c 1
24Hound TrialHVS 5a 2
25The WhineE2 5c 2
26The Bitch
-
E1 5b 1
27The Bitch DirectE1 5c 1
28The WolfMVS 5b 3
29Vixen
-
E2 5c 3
 Graffiti Buttress 
31Watercolour Corner
-
HS 4b 1
32Daubers' Delight
-
VS 4c 1
33Nom De Plume
-
VS 4c 1
34Initial Wall
-
HVS 5a 1
35Doodler
-
HVS 5a 1
36Heavy Make-up
-
E2 5c 1
37Heavy Breathing
-
E3 6a 1
 The First Pillar 
39Obscene Phone Call
-
E3 6a 1
40Corinthian
-
E1 5b 2
 The Second Pillar 
42Lipstick TracesHVS 5c *3
 The Edge of Darkness Area 
44Rising Dawn
-
E4 6b 1
45Edge of Darkness
-
E4 6b 1
46Rib & Roof
-
E3 6a 1
47Wildman
-
E1 5b 1
48DachshundV2  

Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Steve Crowe