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Northumberland Mountaineering Club The NMC are offering mentoring sessions to indoor climbers to introduce them to outdoor climbing. Both bouldering and trad climbing will be available. The NMC cannot offer professional training; however its members are prepared to mentor you and assist where required. There is no cost and you do not have to be a club member to attend. The club asks that you can:
- Safely put on your own harness.
- Safely tie in to the rope.
- Safely belay a lead climber.
On the day, please bring your own harness and climbing shoes. The NMC encourage the wearing of helmets, so bring one along with you if possible and any other climbing equipment you use (chalk bag, belay device, HMS karabiner, nut key, etc.) There will be four meets based at crags across Northumberland; Corby's Crag 2nd April 2014, Bowden Doors 7th May 2014, Kyloe Out 4th June 2014 and  Simonside
2nd July 2014. The sessions are open to non members however non-members will need to print off and bring along this form to climb.



The Winter Bouldering Series continues...  The Crankfest 13/14 continues at Climb North East at Ferryhill, it is over 8 rounds and a Superfinal will be held on friday 21st March 2014. The Axis Winter bouldering Series at ClimbNewcastle is held over five rounds and it  runs until 14th March 2014. The winter boulder ladder at Durham Climbing Centre finishes with a final on Saturday 15th March 2014.  Sunderland Climbing Centre Berghaus Bouldering Series comprises of 25 problems over 5 rounds with a final in March 2014. Details about the Winter Bouldering Series at Eden Rock can be found here. Details of all up and coming events can be found on our events page.  Updated 8th January 2014


Click these images for the latest results.                                                                                                                        Photos © Steve Crowe




New Routes on the North York Moors. There has been a flood of new routes reported over the last few days as the dark nights have finally arrived and the local activists have decided to write up their recent activities. Danby Crag has seen a lot of well publicised attention during the summer months especially after Franco Cookson claimed E10 for his new line up Beacon Buttress. Psykovsky's Sequins was quickly repeated by Dave Birkett who thought E9 was more apropriate but he managed to find some extra protection. After 15 years of deliberation Richard Waterton decided to lead the often top roped line at Kepwick to produce a pot of Gold E8 7a. Tony Marr continues to prospect for unclimbed lines across The Moors and with unbowed enthusiasm at venues such as Ingleby Incline, Peak Scar and at the Wainstones. Some new crags have been also developed, namely Kettle Howe and Hillhouse Nab. Steve Ramsden added Ram-raid E6 6c and Franco Cookson reported Panda to the Masses E6 6c both at Stoupe Brow. However the crags and boulders at Stoupe Brow are on private land and the landowner is concerned about the increasing use especially by large parties. Due to the delicate access situation it is recommend that climbers visit in small groups and try to keep a low profile. Large groups and abseiling is not allowed unfortunately. Access here is not a right,  large and noisy groups have been asked to leave. If in doubt contact the BMC. Parking for access to Tranmire has always been delicate however it has not deterred Martin Witton, Steven Phelps, Mike Adams. Lee Robinson, Sam Marks and Franco Cookson all from making many fine additions to this splendid and quiet crag. (Note: Tranmire is best visited in the spring before the bracken gets too high). For more details about the latest Moors activities check the interesting blogs by Franco Cookson and Dave Warburton. More detailed North York Moor's bouldering news can be found on Lee Robinson's betaguides blog Finally much further north in Northumberland Dan Varian has added a desperate new problem at Bowden Doors, Dan considers that The Rail is roughly Font 8B+.  "'The Rail' is the project I did yesterday, it is hands down the best boulder I've ever climbed" You can keep up to date with Dan's other recent activities on the Beastmaker Blog Reported 11th October 2013

Richard Waterton leading Gold E8 7a at Kepwick.    Photo (C) Joe Banner




New Refugi opening at Abella de la Conca in the spring of 2014. Situated in the village of Abella de la Conca (which hosts over 200 newly developed routes of all grades) this new refugi is well located for access to Terradets, Collegats, Col de Nargo and Tres Ponts. All these areas are covered in Lleida Climbs by Pete O'Donovan and Dani Andrada. For all the latest news on developments on the crags surrounding Abella de la Conca and for progress reports on the new Abella Refugi you can follow their facebook page at www.facebook.com/abellaclimb. Call round in November with some sandpaper or a paint brush and you can earn a free cup of coffee! Reported 9th October 2013

Photo: This is the ad for our place which will go in the next LLEIDA CLIMB Guidebook due early 2014.



Autumn Bouldering Competition at Climb North East in Ferryhill on Friday 18th October - 5:00pm - 10.00pm
This autumn CNE brings you a fantastic one night event, with a revised format. Climbers can attempt 25 qualifying problems graded F3a-F7c. The top 5 male & female competitors will go through to a final of world cup style problems.
The problems will be set by British Champion Dave Barrans. The normal fees will apply on the day with an extra £1 to enter the competition. The scorecards can be picked up from the desk (which will be used for the raffle).
Categories: Adult 16+ / Vets 45+ / Under 16

Qualification 5:00pm - 8:00pm
25 problems graded between F3a-F7c. Following the finish of the qualifications, the scores will be tallied and the category winners will be decided. However, prizes will be allocated after the finals in one big send off.

Final - 8:30pm - 9:30pm
The top 5 male and female competitors go through to the finals ready to test themselves against world cup style problems

Prize Giving and Raffle - 9:30pm - 10:00pm
Overall winners receive prizes.
All competitors who submit a scorecard will be entered into the super raffle.


Details about more up and coming events can be found here.

Stacks Image 574



Summer Boulder Ladder Season come to a close. The final summer boulder ladder has ended at Climb North East in Ferryhill and the scores are in. Congratulations to all the category winners David Spowart, Alison Monks, Reece Paterson and Sidonie Graham. The prizes for the podium winners will be allocated tomorrow. In the meantime, the round 4 raffle winners are as follows: The Fox Cub Meal for two - Ian Gate, Lifestyle Fitness Spennymoor 1 Month Membership - And Emery, Gladiator Nutrition Supplement Superstore Products - James Turner, Hangar 18 Alpaca Socks - Jade Prest. Please collect your prizes from reception at Climb North East. Reported 25th September 2013

1 David Spowart Adult Male 1260
2 Martin Parker Adult Male 1246
3 Will W Welsh Adult Male 1210
1 Alison Monks Adult Female 982
2 Karin Magog Adult Female 951
3 Harriet Ridley Adult Female 899
1 Reece Paterson Under 16 Male 926
2 Kieren Paterson Under 16 Male 902
3 Jake Plant Under 16 Male 782
1 Sidonie Graham Under 16 Female 740
2 Vicky Ward Under 16 Female 398
3 Caitlin Wombwell Under 16 Female 229
1 Steve Crowe Vet Male 833
2 Stu Ferguson Vet Male 519
3 Graham Ward Vet Male 478
1 Ben Patterson Staff 1238
2 Kevin Milburn Staff 999
3 Philip Wombwell Staff 857




La Sportiva Event at Sunderland Climbing Centre.  Saturday 21st of September is definitely a date for the diary with a La Sportiva boot demo, open competition, bouldering masterclasses by Leah Crane, and lots of fun challenges and grand prize draw giving away over £700 worth of prizes on the day! The all day event is supported by La Sportiva, Petzl and Beal. Tickets are £6 per member and stocks are limited. The fun begins at 10am...




Crag Lough has recently enjoyed an autumn clean up. Many thanks to everyone involved in another successful event. "A massive thank you to everyone who attended. Despite the poor forecast the turnout was really good and amazingly the weather held out with essentially no rain on Saturday! Loads of good work was done and another clutch of routes improved and few more brought back from obscurity. The weather was great on Sunday with loads of routes getting ticked, some for what may be the first time in years. Particular thanks go to those who helped out with the barbecue and breakfast, Liam and Rich for helping with some of the preparative work and to Rob and the BMC for supporting the event." Mark Anstiss
Here is a summary of routes that have been cleaned:

Route 2 (all vegetation removed from Chimney, alternative direct start cleaned out),
Pinnacle Crack,
Hadrianís East,
Crescent Climb,
Hadrianís Highway
(almost all vegetation on east side of Hadrianís Buttress removed).
Cleaned by Graeme Armstrong and Pete Forbes

Evasion groove. Cleaned by John Spencer

Tarzanís Mate,
Cleaned by Adrian Wilson.

Hari Kiri.
Possibility of harder RH variation to Hari Kiri also cleaned.
Cleaned by Bob McAdam, John Wilson and Sarah Hawker.

Sinister Corner.
Two new independent lines either side of Sinister Corner also cleaned and ascended.
Cleaned by Mark Anstiss, Dave Chalmers and Pete Forbes.

Dexterity. Cleaned by Chris Down
Deep Gully (A very useful descent, Mod). Dug out by Liam Dervey
Abseil Wall,
Spuggies Gully.
Cleaned by Richard Alderton

Y Climb. Cleaned By John Doughty.
Possible direct start uncovered by John Vaughan

Gradís Groove. Cleaned by John Vaughan

Neglect. Given a good brushing by John Vaughan

Great Chimney. Cleaned by John Dalrymple

Many Buttresses are now completely clean, with traffic they ought to stay that way, particularly at the western end of the crag


Crag Lough                                                                                                           Photo (C) Steve Crowe



New Routes for Sunderland Wall All the 23m routes are to be reset by Mark "Zippy" Pretty during the last week of August 2013. The 23m section will be closed for stripping on Saturday 24th August and will remain closed until the new routes have been set. Keep up to date with all that's happening at The Original Sunderland Wall on their web site: sunderlandwall.co.uk. Reported 20th August 2013




Franco Cookson has finally climbed the "Mono Wall Project". Danby Crag on the North York Moors has been the scene of many entertaining exploits over the last five years but Franco has finally soloed the blank looking wall by an audacious little finger mono sequence! " I can now die a happy man. 5 years of Moors development finally came to a head today, as I set out on the Mono Wall, with only a pair of shorts, a helmet, chalk and some shoes. Conditions were terrible..." You can read the full account of the ascent of Psykovsky's Sequins  on Franco's blog here. Franco has proposed an outrageous grade of E10 7a which has caused a bit of a stir on UK Climbing! In an interview with Ian Parnell at Climb Magazine Franco had this to say "The wall starts off with three ring finger monos in a row. The feet get progressively worse...   The central crux section is the hardest boulder problem I've ever climbed, so it was a bit sketchy to try... The conditions were really bad, so the top bit was just simply terrifying... "  read the full Climb Magazine interview here  Reported 2nd August 2013

Psykovsky's Sequins E10 7a         Photo Copyright Jake Hampshire.



Berryhill Crag in Northumberland - No Access on Saturday 10th August 2013. This is a one off restriction of climbing at Berryhill crag due to family circumstances. "We were climbing at Berryhill  and were talking with the Farmer. Their daughter is getting married on the 10th of August and there will be a Marquee in one of the fields. As a result there will be no access to Berryhill on that day for climbers." reports Tony McMeekin    Reported 22nd July 2013



Sunderland Climbing Centre will be closed on Monday 22nd July for staff training. Back to business as usual from Tuesday 23rd July 2013. (Monday - Friday 12pm Ė 10pm. Saturday & Sunday 10am Ė 6pm) Reported 21st July 2013



Six Weeks of Unlimited Climbing at ClimbNorthEast. This summer Climb North East are offering a unique 6 week special pass which runs from Monday 22nd July 2013 until Sunday 1st September 2013 and offers unlimited climbing. Ideal for those who have entered the summer ladder! (Terms & Conditions: Prices excludes membership (required to climb as an adult/youth or to supervise a child) this is an annual fee of £3.50. Adult members can sign in and take responsibility for 2 children/novice climbers. All children under 14 must be supervised by an adult member. All adults and youths that wish to climb/supervise, that have no experience, must complete an induction, call for bookings. Youths must have a registration form
completed and signed by an adult. Prices exclude shoe hire. Unlimited climbing excludes coaching academy and kids classes.)




The Indian Face (E9) has been repeated by James "Caff" McHaffie (and Calum Musket... wait and George Ulrich).  With the confidence of his recent ascent of Gribbin Wall Climb (E9 6c) on Clogwyn y Tarw James found himself contemplating an attempt on Indian Face (E9) up on Cloggy (Clogwyn Du'r'Arddu). After his epic failed attempt on Masters Wall in the summer of 2000 where he climbed off route and brushed too close to death, it is incredible that Caff would contemplate climbing on this wall again! "At the base a few friends have come up to the cliff .... Asking the time my gut turns as they say itís 13.20, a mear 40 mins before George arrives I was hoping for 2 hours to decide...  Iíve never been on a climb with so many Ďalmost holdsí for both hands and feet where it Ďs easy to get it wrong and what could be a 5c move could become a 6b move." James from his blog. Read the full account of Caff's ascent in his own words on his blog here: www.jamesmchaffie.com. Update: Calum Muskett has made the 6th ascent of The Indian Face followed swiftly by George Ulrich who has just made the 7th ascent of this classic cloggy challenge and extremely popular Extreme Rock tick. We will stop reporting ascent after the 10th!  Updated 11th July 2013



Its Summer Boulder Ladder Season again. The summer boulder ladders start soon at all the local walls with Durham Climbing Centre being first off the mark with their ladder commencing on Friday 31st May 2013 with a set of  fiendishly technical problems set by James Hunter and Paul Ogden! The first round at  Climb North East at Ferryhill starts the following Friday on the 7th June 2013. The summer boulder ladder at ClimbNewcastle runs from Friday 21st June until Friday 30th August 2013. Full details of all the local ladders can be found on our events page. Sunderland Climbing Centre Summer Bouldering Series round one comprises of 30 problems over three days, from opening time on Friday 12th July until the doors close on Sunday 14th July, which will be set by the in house team. All scorecards, which cost only £1, will be entered into a raffle that will be drawn on Sunday afternoon. See you there?  Updated 10th July 2013


Click these images for more information.                                                                                                                        Photos © Steve Crowe



Sunderland Wall. The bouldering wall has been stripped. It will be completely reset and open again for action by Wednesday evening. Reported 9th July 2013



Scottish Sports Climbs by the SMC. It has certainly taken a long time to mature but Scottish Sport Climbing has finally come of age and the definitive Scottish Sports Climbs by the Scottish Mountaineering Club is out now and selling at £28 from all the usual climbing guidebook outlets as well as direct from cordee. Andy Nisbet coordinated this guide which was edited jointly by Rab Anderson and Brian Davison and written by 18 authors. So now we have all the best sports climbing in Scotland together in one volume covering the Central Belt to Shetland and Arisaig to Aberdeen. 344 pages to cover over 100 crags and more than 1300 bolted routes (grades range from 3 to 9a) on a huge variety of rock types using 50 photo diagrams and many excellent action photographs. Also described (for the first time in print) are Scotland's three dry tooling crags. Dave Macleod has written a very interesting and personal reflection on Sports Climbing in Scotland on his onlineclimbingcoach.blog  "The only negative on offer from Scottish sport climbing is, of course, the midge. Just remember that the wind direction is as important as the rain when you look at the forecast. Choose a crag exposed to a breeze on the day, and youíre sorted." Dave Macleod. Reported 24th May 2013  

Ian Taylor on The Prow (7c), Goat Crag, Gruinard. Photo © Richie Betts



BMC North East Summer Gathering. The June gathering of climbers in the BMC North East Area  will take place on Thursday 6 June 2013, starting at 7.30pm, at the Newcastle Climbing Centre. Following the successful Crag Lough clean up  last year it is proposed to repeat the event again this year with the BMC providing a BBQ and Beer! It is also expected that another similar event may be held up at Ravensheugh this summer if there is enough willing volunteers. As usual this is an open meeting for anyone interested in climbing to attend and have there say. More details regarding this event can be found on the BMC Community website. Reported 18th May 2013

Crag Lough cleanup 2013 

Photo © Steve Crowe




Winners! Congratulations to Paul Ogden and Kate Watson winners of a tense final at the Durham Climbing Centre Spring Bouldering Competition. The 20 qualifiers were great fun with a good mix of technical and powerful problems. The final was contested on six further excellent challenges, three each for the male and female. All the boulder problems were set by Gaz Parry with the help of James Hunter. Over £60 was raised from donations for Climbers Against Cancer which DCC will top up to £100. Full results from Durham Climbing Centre website soon. Reported 11th May 2013

Male Final
1st Paul Ogden
2nd Peter Stephenson
3rd Jonah Vinsome
4th Ben Dawson
5th Jens Signer
6th Will Chamberlain

Female Final
1st Kate Watson
2nd Alison Monks
3rd Karin Magog / Joanne Quinan
5th Mairi Teasdale


Winners Kate Watson and Paul Ogden.                              Photos © Steve Crowe



Jordan Buys climbs 9a at Malham. Last week Jordan Buys made the third ascent of Steve McClures ten year old route Rainshaddow which had its 9a grade confirmed by Adam Ondra two years ago. Jordan first tried the route in 2011 and was getting close to redpointing it in 2012 but the terrible weather thwarted his ambitions. As the weather improved an injury hampered any further attempts. Jordan created the crux moves on his board so he could train specifically for the route even when the crag wasn't in best condition. Keith Sharples wrote this report on UK Climbing "Jordan's ascent of Rainshadow, the third after Adam Ondra's second ascent in 2011, is the first repeat of a Steve McClure F9a by a Brit - a worthy prize and one which a number of top sport-climbing Brits have been vying for some time now." Jordan had this to says about his ascent during an interview with Alex Messenger of the BMC "It is smack bang in the middle of Malham Cove in Yorkshire. It's about 20-odd metres long and extends Raindogs, a classic 8a. It is some of the best rock I have ever climbed on; if any small section of it was a route or boulder problem on it's own then it would be well sought after! As it is, you get one big classy beast." You can read the full interview with Jordan on The BMC website. On his 8a.nu score card Jordan simply commented "The best climbing day of my life so far!"  Reported 10th May 2013

Enjoying the moment. Jordan Buys just before his belay asked "What are you jumping on next?"



New Hard Trad Route at Kilnsey by Nik Jennings - Exodus E8 6c Climb Warlord Direct to the thread then instead of moving right into the groove/corner of Warlord continue direct up the bulging face to finish as for Smarter Martyr/Massala Martyr.
first ascent by Nik Jennings 10th May 2013. Nik had this to say on UKB "I've kind of lost perspective on how hard the first boulder problem is because I've done it so many times, but a friend did it while I was trying the route and thought it was Font 7b. If it is Font 7b then the second boulder problem would be comfortably Font 7c/+ territory, it's much harder than the start. Anyway I don't know if those numbers and details add up to E8" The full story can be found here on UK Bouldering.
Reported 10th May 2013



More Sad News - Bowden Doors. Dan Varian has put up a few new problems at Bowden Doors recently but has commented on his Beastmaker Blog that Bowden Doors is becoming a victim of its own popularity. Dan reflects "Its no crime covering a boulder in chalk, but leaving it there after you go expecting people to appreciate finding problems in this state is thoughtless at best." He goes on to say "...sometimes if its quite glassy sandstone a thin layer of chalk can help but on the grainy rock at Bowden Doors its a case of the less chalk the better as it means the rocks pores can bite the skin and even absorb a bit of sweat."  Then on a more positive note Dan continues "the rest of the county is unaffected pretty much and there are dozens and dozens of crags on much better rock to pick from, many of which need traffic to keep them clean, or do it to give Bowden a bit of breathing space." Read his full article on his Beastmaker Blog. Reported 9th May 2013

Brushing the chalk off Working Class.

Photo © Dan Varian collection



The Infamous Ornithology Tree has Finally Fallen Down. Peak Scar is a superb and accessible summer evening venue, especially early in the summer before the trees come into leaf. "Way back one summer evening in the early 1970's I borrowed the Green North York Moors guide from the local library and Peak Scar was one of the first crags I visited. I found the crag easily enough but found it trickier to suss out the climbs! I sat down on a convenient block below the first clean wall of steep and imposing limestone looking for the obvious jutting feature of Pianississimo. After quite some time I began to realise that I was sat on it!  Well a similar feat has befallen the aged tree on Ornithology"  reports Steve Crowe. Ornithology, which was graded Severe when the tree was still there, crossed the huge roof by scrambling up the old tree. Well the tree has now joined the battleship on the ground at the bottom of the crag. "The infamous tree on ornithology has fallen down. I found it rotting on the floor when I went down for a look to see if the crag was dry recently, what a shame." Sam Marks Reported 8th May 2013

Matthew Ferrier up the tree on Ornithology, before its final demise!  Photo (c) Sam Marks  The Tree on the ground and Ornithology, without the tree.  Photos (c) Simon Caldwell 





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