Northumbrian Climbing Guide

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Cullernose What the symbols
& colours mean
Grid Ref: NU261188   Aspect: S   Routes: 21   Max Length: 63   Average Length: 19 
Altitude: 0 mtrs   Walk in: 5 mins   Bouldering quality: poor 
Click here for StreetMap  This crag is an SSSI
The crag lies on the coast 1.5 km south of Craster near the hamlet of Howick. Cars should be parked in the lay-by, from where a path leads down to the foreshore and thence to the base of the crag in 5 minutes. The routes on the eastern end of the crag are inaccessible at high tide, and the whole crag is out of bounds during April to August because of the nesting Kittiwakes.
This is one of only two sea cliffs in Northumberland with recorded climbing. Both have a tendency to drop routes into the sea, and neither are very satisfactory venues. Cullernose has had a well earned reputation for being a serious crag, with steep routes on rock of doubtful quality. Lack of traffic and severe winter storms have not improved the situation and the crag is, in part, in a dangerous condition. The crag is now a home for a large Kittiwake colony and considerably more birds nest here than in previous years and is really only in condition after winter storms have cleaned off the bird muck and before the nesting starts up again. The south facing aspect of the crag means that if the wind is off the land, conditions in early spring can be quite pleasant. There has been much rockfall at the eastern (seaward) end of the crag, so the routes here may no longer exist.
Whinstone Quartz Dolerite, Permo-Carboniferous
Unstable in parts, and bird shitty
Access issues:
Bird ban from May to August
Many of the routes are on unstable rock, but there are a couple of excellent lines
No recorded problems.
The earliest known development of the crag is attributed to Peter Biven while he was stationed at RAF Boulmer in 1954.1955. During this period he and his climbing partner Bob Ower put up a dozen routes, a number of which were climbed wearing tricounis. Unfortunately the route descriptions were never recorded. It was in the late sixties, with the increasing popularity of climbing in the county, that Cullernose began to receive more attention. Dave Roberts, Eric Rayson, Frank Montgomery and Malcolm Rowe were mainly responsible for climbing, grading and naming the routes that were included in the NMC 1971 guide. Alan Austin also visited the crag and was credited with Ochre Wall. Frank Montgomery gave his name to Franks Rib while Maclolm Rowe's new route Zero G. showed the crag's potential for harder lines. It was not until 1976 that this was borne out when Bob Hutchinson and John Earl climbed The Deep and later in 1978 Nerve Wrack Point and Jonathan Livingston Seagull in time for the 1979 NMC guide. Again there was a lapse of several years before the next significant development. In February 1985 the team of Bob Smith, John Earl, Andy Moss and Ian Kyle produced a number of hard routes, the most notable being Puffin and Pantin, Siren Atlantis and Edna.