Whickham Thorns Boulder Park

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The first man made outdoor boulder park in Britain was made by Enterprise for Whickham Thorns Outdoor Activity Centre. Officially opened in October 1998 the boulder park has proved extremely popular with top climbers and novices alike. The boulder enjoys a sunny aspect and its use is free and unrestricted.

Parking and Approach[edit]

Situated off Market Lane, Dunston, Gateshead NE11 9NX. Turn off the A1 Western Bypass opposite Gateshead Metro Centre. Take the Dunston/Whickham exit then turn south to the traffic lights where you need to turn right. Park in the Whickham Thorns Activity Centre car park. The boulder park is easily reached in less the a minute from the car park.


Using a rag to keep your boots clean makes good sense, it can even make the problems feel easier. Nylon brushes often used to brush chalk and pebbles from the holds.


There's a PDF floating around which was created at the same time of the construction of the wall. Currently available (to view) at Steve Crowe's website: https://climbonline.co.uk/2020/11/02/climbing-guide-to-whickham-boulder/

Many variations and other combinations of problems have been created over the years. Feel free to add your own problems and pictures to this page!


Route Grade Description
The First Arete f2+ Up the slabby arête
The First Leg f3 Ascend the boulder leg, tricky moves over

the small overlap.

Problem 03 f4+
The Eastern Cave f5+ Climb out of the cave then follow the short hanging scoop to the top.
Problem 05 f6A
The Second Leg f4
Inside Leg f5+
Problem 08 f6C
Problem 09 f6A+
Problem 10 f3+
The Classic Crack f3+
Problem 12 f2+
The Gap f3
Problem 14 f2
Little Window f2
Federation Flake f2
Problem 17 f3
Problem 18 f3
NW Crack f2+
Problem 20 f3+
Under the Arch f5+ A rising traverse under the lip of the arch. Pinch

with those knees! (Too easy? Try hands on

outside only.)

Problem 22 f5+ -
Problem 23 f4+
South West Prow f6A SS. Follow the prominent feature up the steepest

part of the prow.

Problem 25 f6A
The Snake f6A+ Tackle the curving features and small edges.

Hard for the short.

Font 1+ f2 Delicate climbing up the wall just left of the

prominent scoop.

Southern Scoop f2
Right Cheek f2+
The Lug f3+ Awkward moves to gain the large “flake” then

layback up it to top.

Inside Out f6A+
South East Prow f6A+
South East Prow Direct f6C
Problem 34 f6A -
Problem 35 f5+
The Smile f5+ Start in the centre of the curving feature and

climb straight up.

Hollow Heart f6A Start above the small window. Ascend the wall

using the hollow.

Problem 38 f5+
Problem 39 f5
Pocket Wall f5
Grahams better than brad f7A+ Starting from match in the shot pocket, following the line of crimps moving left until a big move for the sloping flake. Direct top from from the flake. No holds under the lip allowed.
Bubbles f7A Immediately left of the arch, sit start the obvious crimp. Move out right to the sloping rail, following the clear line of dimple pockets to the top.
The Inside Arch f6B+ Trend left until half way along the arch then tackle the wall above direct passing the twin pockets.
Problem 42 f6A+ Start just right of the arch. Climb the wall above direct, without using the “Tufa”.
The Tufa f3 Climb the “Tufa” without bridging onto the bulge to the right.
Problem 44 f4
Problem 45 f4+
The Bulge Eliminate f6C+ Powerful moves on inset holds only.
The Bulge f6B SS. Tackle the bulge direct.
Problem 48 f3+
Through the Window f6A Start on the outside above the little window and climb through to the inside then continue up the back of the cave and across the roof. No bridging.
Descent Chimney f2
Chimney Arete f5+
Problem 52 f4
Spock f7B+ Starting on the large shelf under the bulge. Move up the centre of the bulge, using only small crimps up to the twin concrete circles. Top out using the triangle features with a large reach for the top.
Problem 53 f3+
Pocketed Wall f3 The pocketed wall direct
Problem 55 f3
Problem 56 f4+
Left-Hand Scoop f4+
Problem 58 f4
The Central Scoop f3+
Problem 60 f3
The Final Scoop f2 Saunter up the scoop. Too easy? Try laybacking the crack with feet on smears only!
Problem 62 f2
Low Level North Leg 7a+ A complicated line traversing around the entire North leg half keeping low all the way.
Low Level South Leg 7c
Low Level Combined 7c+
High Level Outside 6b+ Traverse around the outside, stay near the top.
High Level Inside 7a
High Level Combined 7b
Tacos traverse SS f8A SS. Back left corner of the south facing cave using the undercling. Using the S hold follow the direct line of crimps through the roof onto the outside of the column using the flake, move right using a teardrop shaped pocket to the right pillar through the overhang. Reach through to the inside of the boulder for a door knob shaped hold. Use the concrete undercling to move onto the north east facing inside wall. Top out following the line of crimps.