Northumbrian Climbing Guide

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Selbys Cove What the symbols
& colours mean
Grid Ref: NZ023976   Aspect: SW   Routes: 16   Max Length: 30   Average Length: 12 
Altitude: 320 mtrs   Walk in: 40 mins   Route quality: * 
Click here for StreetMap Right of access under CRoWThis crag is in an area designated as an SSSI
From the Forestry Commission car park (NZ037997) follow marked tracks to a point West of the Simonside summit plateau (NZ 022988). Just before the forest starts there is a path heading South, follow this for 1/2mile until a fence is reached. Turn immediately right, cross a small, deep stream via a wooden rail then follow the fence to a slight rise until the valley containing Selby’s Cove is entered (about forty minutes). Shortcuts over the Simonside plateau are not recommended
Although remote, this outcrop of superb sandstone is well worth a visit. The westerly aspect of the rocks, combined with the shelter of the cove makes it a pleasant suntrap. Though limited in number the available routes are of high quality. The crag was named after a border reiver who used the cove. Which routes are his, however, are lost to antiquity
Fell Sandstone Carboniferous, Dinantian
Other interesting stuff:
Reputed to be the hideout of the renowned Border Reiver , Black Walter. Border Reivers were, effectively, rustlers, smugglers and general neer-do-wells and plagued the area from the middle ages onwards.
Selby’s Cove is a well-known feature in the Simonside Hills. It is not surprising that many good lines were climbed early in Northumberland climbing history but by whom is not recorded. The Corner, Holly Tree Wall, The Arete, Overhanging Chimney and The Traverse were all included in the 1950 guide. The fine Overhanging Groove (with the traverse start) succumbed to Eric Rayson, David Moy and Frank Montgomery during Easter 1964. The crag saw little development until 1976 when John Earl on the day before his 30th birthday and reliving his youth, finished with the Roaring 20’s. The fine Bowline and technical Fosbury’s Crack fell to Bob Hutchinson and John Earl also in the mid seventies. In 1978 Tommy Smith accompanied by brother Bob just beat Paul Stewart to the first free ascent of Holly Tree Corner and in 1984 Peter Kirton, accompanied by Andy Moss (recorded as A. Non. A Moss) took his bouldering to new heights with the ascent of Fosbury’s Crack Direct Finish. There was no further development for 11 years until Tim Catterall added a direct finish to Holly Tree corner in 1995.