Climbs 39
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 200m a.s.l
Faces S

Matthew free soloing a route in a disused quarry. © Joel Stephenson

Crag features

Head End Quarry forms one of a series of small limestone quarries found in the Carboniferous Limestone which forms a ridge around the northern edge of the English Lake District. Suitable for novices and as an alternative to the cafe when it's raining too hard down Borrowdale.

The quarry has a south facing aspect and is about 30 feet high and 140 feet long. It is relatively quick to dry, views from the top are extensive - North across the Solway plain (and Firth) to Scotland, and South to the back a Skiddaw fells (watch for the sunset behind Binsey - it can be truly magnificent).

Erosion is becoming a problem at the top of the quarry so avoid setting top ropes which will cause any more erosion - get the belay krab OVER THE EDGE. Iron stakes give belays at the top of the quarry, avoid using the small bushes as belays. (Bad for the bush, potentially very bad for you.)

The quarry is popular with groups and can be crowded at times.
Nearest facilities are in Ireby (two pubs one containing the village shop and post office), closest phone box is 300 yards down the hill to Sandale and take the first right.

[Andy Johnston 4/02]

Just a short list of the climbs that are there:
1. Novices' Route - Mod - 25'
2. West End Groove - HDif - 25'
3. West End Direct - VDif - 25'
4. Diogenes - S - 25'
5. Headend Chimney - HDif

Approach notes

The quarry is a stones throw from the road. Car parking is available along the road by the quarry in a few lay-bys. Space for around 5 cars. Don't be tempted to drive too far up the track towards the quarry to park, cars will ground on the rocks here.

Access Advice

It should also be noted that the whole area has been designated a "Country Wildlife Site" with numerous flora and fauna species, some of which are quite rare.

Overgraded compared to rest of lakes. Grades in new fell and rock guide are more realistic.Some routes are very polished.
smollett - 03/Mar/13
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
 West End Wall 
2Novices' Route
VD 131
3Catlands Wall
MVS 4c *88
4West End Groove
VD *210
5West End Direct
S *134
6Dodgy Neck
VS 4c 75
S 4b 119
8Controlled Gurning
VS 5a 52
9Headend Chimney
MS 142
 Suicide Wall 
HVS 5a *61
12Pat The DogE1 5b 16
13Nippo Crack
VS 4c *105
14Letter-Box Direct
MVS 4b *125
15Divine Wind
VS 4c *23
MVS 4b **126
17Bird's Nest Direct
D *157
 Summit Face 
VD 101
20BloodhoundE1 5b **73
HVS 5b *142
22Soap Gut
S 82
23Snail Wall
S 4a 97
24Fossil AreteHS 4a *39
25Devil's Kneecap
S 4a *104
26MolluscMVS 4c 14
 Crystal Wall 
S 4b 110
29Crystal CruiseVS 4c *96
30Crystal Wall DirectMS 4a **246
VS 5a *51
VS 5a **66
33The Butcher's Dog
HVS 5a *70
 Terrace Wall 
35Nut Smasher Crack
VD *121
36Terrace StairwayM *121
37TerrazaS 4b 56
38Piggy Malone
HS 80
39BobtailD *77
 Traverses / Girdles 
41Heads or TailsV1 33
42ChilblainsHS 4b *5
44GT ArĂȘteV2 **1
45GT ArĂȘte SSV2 ***1
Volunteer to moderate Headend quarry
We rely on volunteers to moderate their local crags. You would check updates and approve climbs added to the database. It's a very easy job, and all you need is a guidebook and an hour or two each month. [ read more ]