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
1 The Arete HVS 5a 1
  Initial Corner
3 Pup
-
VD 1
4 Fang MVS 4c 3
5 Doggy Bag
-
E2 5c 1
6 Choker MVS 4c  
7 Cold Nose Corner
-
VS 5a 1
8 Dog End
-
E3 5c 1
9 Distemper Wall VS 5a 2
10 Foxy HVS 5b 3
  The Main Wall
12 Hardpad MVS 5a 4
13 The Snarl
-
E1 5b 1
14 The Growl
-
E1 5b 1
15 The Eyrie
-
E2 5c 1
16 The Whimper
-
E1 5b 1
17 Mad Dog
-
E1 5b 2
18 Plague Dogs
-
E4 6b 1
19 The Bark
-
E3 6a 1
20 The Bite
-
E2 5c 1
21 Bloodhound HS 4b 4
22 Watch Dog
-
E1 1
23 The Howl
-
E2 5c 1
24 Hound Trial HVS 5a 2
25 The Whine E2 5c 2
26 The Bitch
-
E1 5b 1
27 The Bitch Direct E1 5c 1
28 The Wolf MVS 5b 3
29 Vixen
-
E2 5c 3
  Graffiti Buttress
31 Watercolour Corner
-
HS 4b 1
32 Daubers' Delight
-
VS 4c 1
33 Nom De Plume
-
VS 4c 1
34 Initial Wall
-
HVS 5a 1
35 Doodler
-
HVS 5a 1
36 Heavy Make-up
-
E2 5c 1
37 Heavy Breathing
-
E3 6a 1
  The First Pillar
39 Obscene Phone Call
-
E3 6a 1
40 Corinthian
-
E1 5b 2
  The Second Pillar
42 Lipstick Traces HVS 5c * 3
  The Edge of Darkness Area
44 Rising Dawn
-
E4 6b 1
45 Edge of Darkness
-
E4 6b 1
46 Rib & Roof
-
E3 6a 1
47 Wildman
-
E1 5b 1
48 Dachshund V2  

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