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Climbing on rocks since 1974 - Climbing online since 2004

Climb online for the latest rock climbing, sport climbing, bouldering and mountaineering news.

 

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Please email The Editor here with your news and pictures.

(Recent website updates)

 

 

 

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New Climbs on the North York Moors. Simon Whelan has climbed New Noise 7C at Highcliffe Nab. Meanwhile Steven Phelps has developed a quarry fully of easy(ish) problems at a new venue called Lonsdale Quarry.

Highcliffe Nab Project from Simon Whelan on Vimeo.

 

 
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40@40 for Stu Littlefair. Stu has just climbed 40 sport routes at Malham and Kilnsey in one epic birthday adventure. He arrived at Kilnsey about noon, already weary from the effort of climbing 18 routes at Malham where some unexpected seepage did him no favours. With 22 routes still to do the challenge ahead was looking tough especially as his legendary biceps were already complaining! With successful ascents of Comedy, 50 for 5 and The Ashes behind him and his family and birthday cake in front of him, Stu's spirits began to rise. Pacing himself throughout the afternoon soon the target was into single figures with only 9 more ups to go. Directissima was reserved as the the final route and Paul Bennett had tied a surprise package to the lower off. "Massive thanks to everyone who helped on the day! Special thanks to Karin Magog and Steve Crowe who equipped half of Kilnsey. Rob Sutton and Jules Littlefair and Matt Pascoe for all day belaying skills and to my family for hanging out all day and winding me up. Last but not least: thanks Paul Bennett for the Haribo!" Stu. Reported  3 July 2016  

 
  Malham

Appetite 7a+
Yosemite Wall 7a
Against the Grain 7a+
New Dawn 7c
Raindogs 8a
Chiselling the Dragon 7c
Seventh Dragon 7b+
Seventh Aardvark 7b
Rated PG 7a
Consenting Adults 7a
Thriller 7c+
Free and Even Easier 7a+
Something Stupid 7b
Rose Coronary 7a
Hartley Hare 7a+
Puddlejumper 7a+
Just Another Dead End Job 7a
Sycophants 7a

 

Kilnsey
Hardy Annual 7b
Deja Vu E5
Directissima 6c
Face Value (TR) 7a
Sticky Wicket 7b
The Ashes 7c+
50 for 5 7c
Comedy 7c
Nerve Ending 7b
The Bulgette 6b
Ground Effect 7b
Highway 395 6c+
Open Road 6c
Achilles Heel 6c+
Allakazam 6c
Quiet Flight 7a+
Alternative Optional Extra 7a+
Dominatrix 7c
Wysiwyg 7b+
Last Gasp Finish 7b
Slab Culture 7b+
Smooth Torquer 7a+
 
  Comedy 7c Deja Vu E5 6b The Ashes 7c+

 

 

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Summer Bouldering Ladders. The Summer Boulder Ladder is a fun competition that run throughout the summer season. The ClimbNewcastle SBL 2016 runs fortnightly commencing on 17th June and runs until 26th August 2016. Durham Climbing Centre SBL starts on 1st July and runs with four rounds until 3rd September 2016.The summer ladder at Eden Rock has just started and lasts for three months and they have a new scoring system; 15 points first go, 10 points first day, any go any other time 5 points. Brilliant! Reported 13 June 2016

 

 

ClimbNewcastle SBL 2016 Durham Climbing Centre Eden Rock Summer Ladder

 

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The Stell Access Update.  A new approach to the The Stell has been negotiated with the Farmer, this has the advantages of better parking and a dry walk in. While is slightly longer it avoids an area where Pheasant and Grouse are fed and nest. If you take your dog to the crag please keep it under control. This is important birds nest on this moor and are vulnerable to both disturbance and being eaten. Both can result in dead chicks. The new parking is adjacent to Debdon Pit Cottage, which is visible just west of the Rothbury - Alnwick road (B6341) OS Map Reference NU073041. Leave the road and follow the track up to the cottage. The parking area is on the right just before the cottage’s enclosure. There is parking for several cars. Do not block the entrance to the cottage, and park in a way that others can park as well. From the parking follow the wall West to a gate in the fence. From here a small diamond shaped rock will be seen on the apparent horizon, about 400m distant. Walk to this. Once at the small cairn, drift slightly right over the gentle ridge and drop down to a track in a shallow valley that leads left and down to the crag. Just over one km, about 15min from the parking. Reported 13 June 2016

Photo by Mark Savage

 

 

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BMC North East Area Meeting. Thursday 16 June 2016, starting at 7.30pm at Newcastle Climbing Centre. The BMC area meetings are run by volunteers and are your chance to join in with debate and influence decisions about what happens in your area as well as the rest of the country. Regular discussion topics include access and conservation, clubs, hill walking, walls, and youth. All are welcome; the BMC will provide food, to help keep your energy levels up. Exactly what happens at these meetings? Reported 10 June 2016
 

 

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New Developments on the North York Moors. Catter Beck Quarry is another magnesium limestone venue close to Ravenswick Quarry. Although similar in character, this quarry faces North East and there isn't as much in the way of bouldering. The climbing includes steep smooth walls and pleasant crack lines with many different features and some good quality rock, although there can be loose holds on a some climbs. There are several convenient trees running along the top to set up belays. Due to it's northerly aspect it is best left for a dry spell and avoided during the winter months. Reported 1 June 2016

 

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Franco Cookson recently made the first ascent of this highball/solo at Stoupe Brow. Tom Randall had this to say on Facebook ""Amazing effort from Franco Cookson. One of the best lines I've tried and some very beefy climbing on it.... I spent a few sessions on it and was absolutely sure of it being around E9 7a or you could bracket it in that "highball but really don't fall off at the top!" category. If I'd done this, I would rank it in the top 5 things I'd have ever done on grit/sandstone."  You can read more about Franco's exploits in his own words here http://francocookson.blogspot.co.uk/

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Team Effort - Positive Energy. Dave Stainthorpe has just returned from a two week trip to Terradets where he took on the challenge of attempting his first 7c+. He decided to try Energia Positiva the endurance test piece at Les Bruixes, the one with a big slap for the very last move! Dave describes how he got on "So here I am, tucked in under an orange roof, trying to recover from being an idiot. Back clipped the last draw on the steepest bit, fiddled with it, took it off put it back on - but hey I’m still on. Fairly pumped but still on and feeling strong. Feet, feet, feet, yes left here, right over there on the dish, backside in for the poor sloper, rock up, got the crimps, where does this bloody left foot go? This will have to do, nah here, drop a bit, right hip in and the Gallowgate throw. Shoooot. Fingers brush the air by the jug but all of me is heading down, through the crisp blue Catalan air. No, no, no, I had it, how did I miss, what am I doing here?"  Read the full article here. Reported 15 December 2015

 

 

 

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Gogarth South Out Now! The many secrets hidden amongst the cliffs running south from South Stack all the way to Rhoscolyn are finally revealed. The first copy of the Gogarth South has arrived at Ground Up Publications HQ and this is what Simon thought "It's great to finally get my hands on the guide; the printers have done a excellent job and it looks fantastic!" "However purchasers of the new Gogarth South guide may have noticed the appearance of extra straight lines on some of the crag topos. Typically the start of a pitch line, which usually bends and twists according to the line of the route, has been joined by an extra straight line linking the start and finishing nodes. This has occurred on p47 (route 8), p77 (route 37), p84 (same route line), p95 (route 15), p101 (same route, route 10), p113 (route 13, 19, 22, 25) p127 (route 19), p131 (same route), p159 (route 18) and p219 (route 58). The strange thing is that the printer's ripped proofs were all fine, as were our working files. The printer accepted responsibility for this problem and agreed to produce a re-print of the entire print run. The new books have now arrived in Llanberis and a batch has been sent on to our national distributor, Cordee. If you have purchased a copy of the original guide and wish to swap it for one of the new error-free books then please return your book to the original place of purchase."   You can read what Karin Magog thought about Gogarth South and all our latest book reviews on our Reviews page. Reported 13 December 2015

Gogarth South (2015) Guidebook Cover
Out now!

 

 

 

 

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Winter Bouldering Series 2015-16. This years winter boulder competitions run from October 2015 until March 2016. The first event is at ClimbNewcastle on Friday 16th October 2015. Full details of all the local winter bouldering competitions at ClimbNewcastle, Durham Climbing Centre, Eden Rock, and Sunderland Wall can be found on our Events page. Reported 13th October 2015

 

 

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Durham Climbing Centre is Eight! You are invited to join the celebrations. There will be a one day competition on Saturday 10th October 2015. Competition, Buffet and Spot Prizes all for £5.

 

 

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Showtime at Kilnsey! Congratulations to Karin Magog who managed to add another 8b tick to her impressive list of achievements moments before the crucial crux pockets started to seep. Showtime is a 30m long and very crimpy power endurance route with three distinct cruxes. Most of this line had been bolted by Craig Smith but it became an abandoned project. Tony Mitchell and Pete Gomersall took up the challenge and Tony reached Craig's top bolt in July 1989 naming the route The Technician. Shortly afterwards Pete added a wild extension and claimed the right to rename the final route Showtime. "I first looked at Showtime with Steve about 12 years ago but couldn't touch some of the hard moves. In fact I wrote it off as being too reachy for me, so decided just to settle for climbing the first half. This didn't have a lower-off at the time, but is now written up as Half-time (a very tough 7c+ or easy 8a). Since then I've climbed all the routes to its left such as Stolen 8b, Bullet 8a+ and Last Action Hero 8a as well as a couple of variations. However, I was still drawn to Showtime. Last year Steve started to look at it again and I was intrigued. Although my main focus last year was clearing off old baggage I did manage to have a few runs up the route to check it out. Basically the route has three distinct crux sections - a very thin fingery start, a burly middle section involving a big move off an obvious flake and near the top a very big move to the final break off a very small undercut and tiny crimp. I bypassed the start and had a good look at the middle and the top. I managed to unlock a different sequence on the middle crux, which although still a big move at least made it possible. However, I still found the last move at the top ridiculously powerful but by going to the sloper instead of the jug I just managed to do it once or twice, but that was enough to offer a glimmer of hope. This summer I decided to have a proper look at the route. I got some good advice on training from Suzan Dudink, which although I had to drop the campus work early on due to sore elbows and a knackered shoulder, I was able to continue with the core and antagonist work both of which were invaluable. Hazel Findlay gave me some excellent advice on the mental side as I was struggling to commit to the big dynamic moves. The route itself takes a while to dry out so it was mid July before I got stuck into it properly. At first it still seemed miles away but it gradually came together. The move to the top break was a bugger though and I spent 3 days and several red-points dropping this before finally nailing it. Just in the nick of time though as when we went back a couple of days later several crucial holds were wet!". Keith Sharples has interviewed Karin on the Climber Magazine website. Reported 26 August 2015

Karin Magog climbing Showtime 8b at Kilnsey

 

 

 

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Lake District Rock - A Selection of the Very Best Climbs in the Lakes. The Fell and Rock have been publishing rock climbing guides for almost 100 years but this stunning 2015 edition of Lake District Rock by the FRCC is a significantly different beast. It’s 480 full colour A5 pages are crammed with more than 1500 routes spread over 85 crags across the Lake District. You can read about Statement - The Ben Moon Story by Ed Douglas, the latest Eastern Grit by Rockfax and Yorkshire Gritstone Volumne 2 by the Yorkshire Mountaineering Club and all our latest book reviews on our Reviews page. Reported 14 July 2015

Read all our reviews

 

 

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Another North East Climbing Wall Closes. Sunderland Climbing Centre in Southwick has just closed after only three years following this short announcement "Due to the sale of the site, Sunderland Climbing Centre is now closed. We would like to thank all our customers for their support over the last three years and apologies for the short closure notice." This follows the recent closure of Climb North East in Ferryhill. Both walls were modern centres with frequent route setting so the message must be to use your local wall frequently or you may lose it for good.

Sunderland CC in Southwick has just closed after only three years.

Sunderland Climbing Centre in Southwick has closed. Photos © Steve Crowe

 

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Mountaineers help mountain people of Nepal. Over £15,000 bid so far in #BMC4Nepal charity auction. “Keep digging deep and bidding high” British mountaineering legends, top rock climbers and celebrities are raising money for the mountain people of Nepal in a high profile auction on eBay, ending on Sunday 12 July. The #BMC4Nepal auction is being led by the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) with support from the Alpine Club, in partnership with eBay. The fundraising target is £29,029 – the height of Everest in feet. Over £7,500 was raised in the first batch of auction lots which ended on Sunday 5 July. Winning bidders bagged top lots, including two pieces of Everest summit rock (specimen from the highest exposed outcrop in the world at approx. 8840m), collected in 2009 for scientific purposes, which sold for £910. There are 39 auction lots still up for grabs ranging from highly collectable Everest memorabilia, artwork and books to unforgettable day out with big names. Fancy afternoon tea with Michael Palin CBE or a Lakeland fell walk with mountaineers Sir Chris Bonington and Doug Scott CBE? How about a walk/dinner or Land Rover expedience with record breaking British mountaineer Kenton Cool? Bid now for a training session with top rock climbers Shauna Coxsey and Steve McClure or an afternoon rock climbing with former Alpine Club president Mick Fowler. LIVE ON EBAY: Check out the 39 items on eBay! Legendary Everest mountaineers Chris Bonington and Doug Scott, said “We're calling for everyone to get behind this auction. It’s your chance to win some very unique items – including us!”  Proceeds from the auction will go to Community Action Nepal (CAN), providing long-term support to the mountain people of Nepal. CAN is a UK based charity whose aim is to help the mountain people of Nepal through operating medical posts, schools and mountain porter rescue shelters. The charity was founded by Doug Scott CBE, who in 1975 made the first British ascent of Everest. Many of the mountain communities in which CAN’s 40+ projects are based have been devastated or displaced by the earthquake. Read about CAN's response to the earthquake. Reported 8 July 2015

 

 

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Climbing Chalk and Secret Stuff from Friction Labs is Now Available in the UK.  It's a crowded market place so to be known as the best climbers chalk is not going to be easy but Friction Labs believe quality is king and have backed their claim to be the best with some detailed science (and you can read the reports here). Now I have been climbing rocks for over 40 years and I believe that I train hard but my hands sweat on all but the coldest days and I often feel like they are sliding off slopers. So I began my quest to find the best climbing chalk available and that was when I came across the Friction Labs products... Read our Friction Labs review here. Friction labs stockists: Absolute Snow, BananaFingers, The Climbers Shop, The Climbing Works, The Climbing Depot, Climb Newcastle, Cold Mountain Kit, Highball Climbing Centre, Needle Sports, Rock On (Mile End), Rock + Run. Reported 30 June 2015

Friction Labs chalk in action!

Friction Labs chalk in action!

 

 

 

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Dan Varian takes Two Rest days! The news in Northumberland is that Dan Varian smoothly dispatched his latest project, Star Power (Font 8B/+), up on High Crag in Northumberland. During his rest days Dan took the time to listen to an interesting podcast by  Ben Moon. After his successful ascent Dan had this to say about the difficulty of the problem "Star Power represents a nice break away from the traditional crimpyness and power climbing that much of our 8B and 8B+s in England adhere to, whilst it is still reasonably fingery it is more of a compression and long power test piece being thirteen hard hand and tricky foot moves."  While Star Power ranks with some of his hardest climbs Dan went on to comment "To me it seems harder than Malcolm's Monk Life which is roughly a 7C into a 7C+ move (but sharp so go limiting) but easier than The Rail which felt like it had an 8A+ move on my sequence."  The quality of the climbing is obvious and of course time will tell on the grade. Still full of energy following his smooth ascent Dan also added Second Fiddle (which he graded with more certainty at Font 8A+) which climbs the less steep wall to the left. You can read the full story on the Beastmaker Blog. High Crag is currently on the secret list while development is finalised however a guide to the crag is being produced by Bob Smith and Steve Blake and will be published online by the Northumberland Mountaineering Club soon. Meanwhile during a family trip to Scotland last weekend Dan nipped into Glen Nevis to make a quick ascent of Dave MacLeod's Bear Trap Prow 8A+ on the Pine Alps Boulders and a few things on the Cameron stone. Reported 25 April 2015

Dan Varian on the first ascent of Star Power (Font 8b/+). Photo © Mark Savage

 

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ClimbNewcastle ASBO 2015 The ever popular ASBO 15 will take place at Climbnewcastle on 8th May 2015. Following format of the recent winter bouldering series during the day then topped off with a spectacular final in the evening. It cost nothing to enter just the usual entry fee and £500 is at stake for the male and female ASBO champions. Additional prizes are provided by the main sponser Scarpa. The first 300 entrants will also get a free ASBO 15 tee shirt so it's worth getting there early! For more information on how to take part or spectate at this fantastic event more details here. Don't miss it!  Reported 7 April 2015

   ASBO 15

 

  

 

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Spring Cleaning Time. It's time to tidy up your bookshelves to made space for three brand new climbing guidebooks that have been published already in 2015. Gary Latter has updated Scottish Rock Volume 2 and many useful amendments and additions can be seen. It is worth a close look as it contains enough superb routes for a life time of Highland adventures. North York Moors and East Coast Bouldering by Lee Robinson. Betaguide have published the first dedicated bouldering guide to the whole of the North York Moors and its east coast. Over 2000 problems are clearly described within its 380 glossy pages. Finally Mark Glaister has worked extremely hard at updating Northern Limestone for Rockfax. This latest edition details all the popular limestone sport and trad climbing across Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire. You can read all our latest guidebook reviews on our Reviews page.   Reported 04 January 2015

 

 

You can read all our latest guidebook reviews on our Reviews page

 

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Improved Access to Esklets. Although Esklets is situated on Open Access Land, negotiations have taken place with the land managers to minimise conflicts of usage which have caused issues in the past. The historical approach from Ralph’s Crosses (NZ676020) is very hard going through thick heather and across prime grouse moor. An easier alternative approach has been suggested by the head keeper and is recommended by the BMC. This commences at a green barrier on the left hand side of the road (NZ666045), approximately 1.5 miles from Ralph’s Crosses when heading (NW) towards Westerdale on the unclassified road. There is room to carefully park several cars on the grass verge. Take the very well made “shooters’ road” SSW initially, cutting through the attractive Clough Gill and on to the northern end of Esklets Crag after approximately 2km. The alternative approach from Waites House Farm and along the public right of way, remains available. Reported 27th January 2015

 New improved approach to Esklets                                                             Photo Steve Crowe

 

 

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New Crag on The North York Moors. Throughout 2014 an entirely new crag has been developed overlooking the east coast. The Sumuggler's Terrace comprises of a series of buttresses crowning a large plateau below the Ravenscar Hotel. There are seven buttresses, with the quality of lines vary massively, from poor chossy lines to bullet-hard classics however there are lots of good routes at every grade, with more still to be done. The crag faces east and receives the morning sun only, making it an ideal escape from the heat. It is also protected from westerly winds and can often enjoy a sheltered ‘micro-climate’ when biting westerly’s howl. The crag however dries quickly and the rock is clean despite its ‘lichenous’ appearance. Crack lines and grooves are most susceptible to ‘fern-ing up’. The best time of year to climb appears to be October to May when the bracken is low; however the crag is a true year-round venue. The early development of Sumuggler's Terrace was well publicised and as a result there is a huge list of first ascentionists which includes Chris Woodall who has been climbing first ascents across the North York Moors for over 50 years.  Reported 26th January 2015

Dave Warburton with all the wrong gear run out on the crux of A Plaice Lost in Time E3 5c ***

 
 

 

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North York Moors Bouldering Guide: a weekend with Lee Robinson (aka Betaguides). Guy Van Greuning describes a recent hectic weekend spent bouldering on the North York Moors with Lee Robinson. "During summer this year I planned to spend a weekend with Lee, otherwise known as Betaguides. I've known Lee for as long as I've been climbing and his attitude to climbing made a big impression on me, as I'm sure it has on many others. Lee is just about to finish his long term project of producing a bouldering guide to the North York Moors. I went to speak to Lee about the guide and also to get a taste of a normal weekend for him." Update: the North York Moors and East Coast Bouldering Guide has now been printed and was due to be delivered on a pallet on Wednesday 17th of December. More information regarding the new guide can be found on the Betaguides blog. You can read Steve Crowe's review of this guide here.   Reported 22 December 2014

NYM Bouldering Guide: watch the short preview on vimeo http://vimeo.com/111147021

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

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