Northumbrian Climbing Guide

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Goatscrag History
Evidence of human use of the crag dates back 4,000 years when the site was used as a burial ground. Excavations by archaeologists have yielded burial pots with cremation remains in the area beneath the Guano Buttress. Primitive carvings of animals, probably either deer or goats are to be found on the smooth wall beneath Guano Groove. Please take extreme care to preserve these by not climbing on this small section of rock. It is tempting to speculate that the true first ascents were by our Bronze Age ancestors.
During the last century the crag was probably explored on and off, many times. However, no records have come to light of ascents previous to a visit by Bob Hutchinson, John Earl, Dennis Lee and Ian Cranston in November 1972, which resulted in thirty-two routes up to HVS standard. Earl and Hutchinson made another visit in January 1973 to climb The Dagger with Earl adding a direct start four years later. During October 1977 Hutchinson returned yet again producing Overdrive, probably the crag classic. A selection of climbs was included in the 1979 guidebook but unfortunately records of remaining climbs were lost. Following publication of the 1979 guide, Bob Smith, Paul Stewart and Earl added more routes. These included Undercarriage, Convoy and Juggernaut. Steve Blake climbed the strenuous Underpass and Smith, found Lost Arete and Hard Shoulder in the quarry. In 1987 Andy Moss climbing with Colin Murley added Imminent Break Crisis and while working on the 1989 guide re-climbed and named many of the obvious unnamed lines. A few lines remained to be climbed, in particular the steep wall left of Hard Shoulder, which had been well cleaned and attempted by several teams. It finally succumbed to the persistent efforts of Karl Telfer late in November 1988. The 1990ís saw the crag's bouldering potential develop but no more significant lines have ensued.

First Ascent List

February 2008TradScraping In, HVS 5bSimon Litchfield