Howns Gill Quarry

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

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.

Access 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.
Read more... Regional Access notes are available from the BMC.

Guidebooks
North of England Rock Climbs (1992),
Out of print: North East England (2003)

Climbs at this crag

Sort climbs
  Climb nameGrade
1The AreteHVS 5a
 INITIAL CORNER 
3PupVD
4FangMVS 4c
5Doggy BagE2 5c
6ChokerMVS 4c
7Cold Nose CornerVS 5a
8Dog EndE3 5c
9Distemper WallVS 5a
10FoxyHVS 5b
 THE MAIN WALL 
12HardpadMVS 5a
13The SnarlE1 5b
14The GrowlE1 5b
15The EyrieE2 5c
16The WhimperE1 5b
17Mad DogE1 5b
18Plague DogsE4 6b
19The BarkE3 6a
20The BiteE2 5c
21BloodhoundHS 4b
22Watch DogE1
23The HowlE2 5c
24Hound TrialHVS 5a
25The WhineE2 5c
26The BitchE1 5b
27The Bitch DirectE1 5c
28The WolfMVS 5b
29VixenE2 5c
 GRAFFITI BUTTRESS 
31Watercolour CornerHS 4b
32Daubers' DelightVS 4c
33Nom De PlumeVS 4c
34Initial WallHVS 5a
35DoodlerHVS 5a
36Heavy Make-upE2 5c
37Heavy BreathingE3 6a
 THE FIRST PILLAR 
39Obscene Phone CallE3 6a
40CorinthianE1 5b
 THE SECOND PILLAR 
42Lipstick TracesHVS 5c *
 THE EDGE OF DARKNESS AREA 
44Rising DawnE4 6b
45Edge of DarknessE4 6b
46Rib & RoofE3 6a
47WildmanE1 5b
Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Steve Crowe

USER FEEDBACKLogin as Existing User to add your comments
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
Do you have more up to date information?

These details were last updated on 01/Nov/2012
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