Climbs 216
Rocktype Grit (quarried)
Altitude 401m a.s.l
Faces all

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Sam Whittaker on Scoop de Grace, E5 7a/ highball font 7c, Running Hill Pits © Adam Long

Crag features

The Pits is a smallish set of quarries (8 in all) looking out over the Upper Tame Valley. Although individually quite small there are over 200 routes here, covering the grade spectrum. Despite their name and the fact that they're rarely busy, their westerly aspect and quality rock make them worth a visit from afar when conditions are right. There are number of excellent crack climbs here, some fine bold face routes, and some high quality fingery bouldering. Of the quarries, 1 and 2 are the prime venues after a dry spell, and there are some worthwhile routes in 5, 6, and 8. Number 4 (Back Quarry) is worth a visit just to see how neat and tidy the quarrymen can be when they really want to!

The Pits are best avoided if the weather is poor, as the cloud tends to hug the hillside here. Under these conditions the quarries make a dreary venue and the lichen is at its worst. Choose a fine summer's evening and enjoy these holes in the ground when they are filled with glowing golden light and the rock is in prime condition.

Approach notes

From the centre of Uppermill (when travelling north on the A670) take a right turn by the off-licence and follow the road that climbs steadily uphill, passing a crossroads by Saddleworth Church. Continue uphill passing the Cross Keys to arrive at limited parking at a cross-road (two of the roads - the right-hand and straight on branches - are no more than grass tracks). Follow the deeply incised track ahead uphill for 10 minutes to a gate. Number 1 and 2 quarries are here on the right, whilst 8 lies leftwards diagonally down the bank another 3 minutes away. 7, 6 and 5 are reached by the old track that leads past the entrances to number 8 and the other quarries.

Restricted Access

All quarries that form Running Hill Pits are mapped as open access land with the exception of Quarry No 7 and 8. Access land gives a right of access on foot for quiet recreation, specifically including climbing as a permitted activity. The landowner is able to restrict access for up to 28 days at their discretion, but details of this must be notified on site and on the Natural England website (see 'CRoW Information' section below for more details).

Alternatively, a shoot may ask climbers to hold back temporarily whilst they move thorugh the area for safety reasons, after which you are able to access the area again. This approach is is only a slight inconvenience rather than a ban covering the whole day, so do what you can to work with the shoot.  

Climbers have experienced problems with being asked to leave at the crag, presumably by the landowner or one of his agents, but no details were given. If there are no temporary restrictions in place, you have a legal right to access the quarries and surrounding access land for climbing and walking. If asked to leave, please ask for the person's contact details and pass them onto the BMC access team.

I went there today and the 8th and 7th quarry's lie behind a gate signed PRIVATE LAND. I accessed the 8th via Western Grit description i.e. over the fence at the (2nd) style so I'd unknowingly trespassed! Further to this:
jules699 - 07/May/13
hi matthew none of my friends have had any issues either but according to a friend the BMC have said its out of bounds cause of people camping and leaving litter about. They're trying to get an access officer to pursuade the farmer to let climbers continue using the quarrys. If i hear anything else ill post it up on here :).
ClimbingMonkee - 18/Apr/12
@climbingmonkee i've been climbing here for a couple of years ans i've never had any access issues or seen any landowners. has anyone else had any issues here?
Matthew reid - 17/Apr/12
i went up today for a few hours of climbing. I had just finished setting up when along came a farmer and gave me a load of grief for apparently tresspassing. I decided to pack up my gear before it went further just thought id warn you all its NOT worth the trouble!!!
ClimbingMonkee - 13/Apr/12
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