Northumbrian Climbing Guide

Intro Access Accommodation New Routes Map Archaeology Winter NMC homepage

Ellis What the symbols
& colours mean
Grid Ref: NT747010   Aspect: SE   Routes: 1 
Altitude: 497 mtrs   Walk in: 40 mins 
Click here for StreetMap Right of access under CRoW  
Access is not easy and all really need the 1:25000 OS map of the area. The least troublesome way is to take the footpath across the River Rede at Byrness, heading south for just over 1km and then west for 2km along tracks to a fence which leads uphill to the crag. A shorter approach is to cross the Catcleugh Reservoir dam and navigate up and along the fire breaks to the clearing on the hilltop. This is a deeply unpleasant experience and carries with it the risk of entombment in the forest. A second alternative is to go along the Keilder Forest Drive to the White Crag picnic area and fight your way through the firebreak onto White Crag (there's a bit of rock there) and then up the hill to the fence. This can then be followed with difficulty for about 2 km to the foot of the crag. Bike: Approaching via forestry roads may be a possibility.
The crag is on top of a hill, in a clearing in Redesdale Forest. The views are dominated by endless, tedious forest, from Redesdale, continuing into Keilder and onward to Wark. Who knows how many crags have been subsumed by these forests. In recent times this was an area of wild open moorland and mosses, a large remnant of which can be experienced if you approach the crag from the Keilder Forest Drive. The main feature of the crag is a large overhang on the left hand side, which has been aided, but no free ascent has been recorded. The rock is decidedly dodgy.
Fell Sandstone Carboniferous, Dinantian
Poor, biscuity
There are about a dozen routes up to 7 metres and at the west end the impressive overhang awaits a free ascent.
No recorded problems.
Other interesting stuff:
There is a macabre story about a recent event in this area, involving the aforementioned Gordon Thompson. Click here to read it. (when I get it loaded!)
The crag has been visited on many occasions, but nothing seems to have been recorded. Gordon Thompson was the resident shepherd at Chattlehope Farm for several years and pottered around the place. He claims to have climbed the overhang, but sustained grilling revealed that this was with the help of stepladders to reach the lip. The roof has certainly been aided by more sporting means via two routes by University students Peter Pearson and Martin Beecham in the winter of 1978/68