/ Sports Climbing 16 miles from Newcastle

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RD 24 Oct 2019

Hownsgill Quarry

There are now just over 20 sports routes in Hownsgill Quarry. Most of the older lines that had the odd bolt are now full sport routes. Two routes on the main face are now also bolted plus I've a handful of new lines.

The quarry is ideally suited to sports climbing with new belays added below the crappy shale bands.

Topo is available if you contact me. Looking forward to feedback on the quality of the routes.

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In reply to RD:

awesome stuff. 
 

Your certainly a contender for North East’s most new routes in 2019 award. 
 

looking forward to checking them out. 

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MJAngry 24 Oct 2019
In reply to RD:

Pleased you have found something to turn your hands to whilst Stanhope is of the table. 

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UKB Shark 24 Oct 2019
In reply to RD:

You’re giving Sport Climbing a bad name

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LewisHobson 25 Oct 2019
In reply to RD:

Great news, thanks for all the effort.

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Emilio Bachini 25 Oct 2019
In reply to sam.sam.sam.ferguson:

I think it would surpass county lines, probably in all of the U.K. 

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Will Hunt 25 Oct 2019
In reply to UKB Shark:

Care to elaborate?

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ianstevens 25 Oct 2019
In reply to Will Hunt:

I suspect his point is that sport climbing doesn't have to be about dirty quarries

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UKB Shark 25 Oct 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

Nope

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Will Hunt 25 Oct 2019
In reply to UKB Shark:

Go on then, Simon.

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Fergal 25 Oct 2019
In reply to Will Hunt:

For a start it seems the landowner hasn't given permission, not to mention it's sandstone.

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UKB Shark 25 Oct 2019
In reply to Will Hunt:

<sigh>

The Peak isn’t the ‘Peaks’ and Sport Climbing isn’t ‘Sports’ Climbing

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DannyC 25 Oct 2019
In reply to UKB Shark:

> You’re giving Sport Climbing a bad name

Sounds like a Bon Jovi B-Side.

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RD 25 Oct 2019
In reply to UKB Shark:

You are very welcome to bring your trad gear up and lead any of the trad routes.

No offer from me to belay you as I don't want to report a dead body to the police.

Let me know when you are coming as I'll avoid the place.

However the newly bolted routes are very good and safe!

In the 35 years I've lived in the NE it's only recently that I've considered this as a suitable

climbing venue and I feel its for people that have climbed here to judge. 

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tripehound 26 Oct 2019
In reply to RD:

Malcolm Lowerson & I originally cleaned and bolted all the routes on Houndsgill in the eighties. Malcolm lead all the routes and I lead a couple as well. We subsequently mostly used it as a top roping venue. Its great advantage is that because it overhangs it always stays dry and can be climbed on at any time of year. There is a good low level traverse and good bouldering in the caves. We did an interesting high level traverse at about E3 6a. Malcolm took a super peeler midway across the second pitch and we did the final. Third pitch in the dark. Exciting times.

We did a lot more than twenty routes there but I cannot recall exactly how many.

Post edited at 20:28
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RD 27 Oct 2019
In reply to tripehound:

Hi,

How do you feel regarding turning the crag into a true sport climb? According to the info I have you climbed close to 70 routes.

I've counted around 10 8mm bolts across the routes. Did you add the glued in (belay) bolts as well? I've been unable to remove any of the old bolts which don't look in the best condition but still seem strong and secure.

Does Malcolm still climb? i'd be interested in his views as well.

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MJAngry 27 Oct 2019
In reply to RD:

I'm sure you have seen the climb online guide during your endeavours. 

http://www.climbonline.co.uk/howns_gill.htm

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tripehound 27 Oct 2019
In reply to RD:

Bolts were only placed by Malcolm at the base of the shale bands to protect the dodgy finishes through the shale bands. Nuts and the occasional peg were used to protect the routes below the shale bands.

I think the crag would benefit greatly from being developed into a proper sport venue. More traffic would help keep the routes clean. It is close to Newcastle and a good place to train in winter, and generally stays dry even in rain.

Malcolm gave up climbing about 10yrs ago. He was always a very cool and stylish climber, he excelled on loose rock.            "(a la  Mick Fowler)".    

Post edited at 14:04
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RD 28 Oct 2019
In reply to MJAngry:

Yes, this is the starting point for any new developments.

A new topo can be downloaded for free at www.rock-topos.com

if you don't hit the site 1st go try refreshing - internet redirection!

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MJAngry 29 Oct 2019
In reply to RD:

Whilst this all great news developing the crag (as I live 30 mins away), given what has happened at Stanhope access wise (and I don't know all the ins and outs) and given the history of access not been given to climbers at this crag, can be assured of climbing in the future?

I'm only asking as getting hooked at Stanhope (both sides) on some really great routes, now not being allowed in hurts.

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andyb211 29 Oct 2019
In reply to MJAngry:

we went today and its looking good ;)  go before they ban access and remember your clipstick!

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The Mole 13 Nov 2019

Please note the landowner has made it known that they do not permit climbing at the venue.

The RAD and UKC crag page have been updated accordingly

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Pekkie 14 Nov 2019
In reply to The Mole:

> Please note the landowner has made it known that they do not permit climbing at the venue.

> The RAD and UKC crag page have been updated accordingly

So just ignore that and climb there until you get asked to leave. Plead ignorance. Simple, really.

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ianstevens 14 Nov 2019
In reply to Pekkie:

> So just ignore that and climb there until you get asked to leave. Plead ignorance. Simple, really.

Great way to never get access sorted that.

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Pekkie 14 Nov 2019
In reply to ianstevens:

> Great way to never get access sorted that.

Actually, probably the only way, based on past experience.

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Franco Cookson 17 Nov 2019
In reply to Pekkie:

We should have more info in a couple of weeks and hopefully a resolution. The landowner has never permitted climbing, so the situation is the same as it's always been in that sense. 

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Pekkie 17 Nov 2019
In reply to Franco Cookson:

What I was getting at by suggesting that climbing supposedly being banned at a crag should be ignored until actually being told to clear off is that if you keep a low profile and follow the country code (no noise, dogs, litter etc) you will often not be troubled, particularly where, say, a quarry lies in a remote location and is disused. What an owner doesn't notice they won't worry about. Where problems have often arisen is where eg loud, noisy groups block access points and allow dogs to worry animals.

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tripehound 15:41 Fri
In reply to RD:

The real issue at Houndsgill is the kids that hang out there for under age drinking sessions and the odd bit of glue. Its not climbers that cause the problems.

We went there for several decades from about 1980 on. We were never moved on, or had problems with youths.

Post edited at 15:42
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