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High Houselop


OS Landranger Sheet: 88

Map Reference:  NGR NZ097411
Aspect: South
Altitude: 325m
Approach: 3 minutes

Text and Photos:  Stu Ferguson

The crag was first stumbled upon in Spring 2003 while Stu was out for a run across his local fells, where he literally fell into the quarry. The routes were climbed and recorded by father and son team, Stu and Sam Ferguson.


Situation and Character
A disused sandstone quarry, quick drying situated high up on the North Apennine moors. Even with close proximity to a major road it has a very wild and quiet feel. Although most of the finishes are loose there is much good rock here to climb. It is very accessible from the A68 and may be worth a visit if you are passing by either north or southwards. Local climbers will find this useful as an evening climbing venue or coupled with a visit to another crag within the area.

High Houselop Quarry

Access and Approaches
There are 3 alternative parking spots. Park in the High Houselope picnic site situated on the north side of the A68, The Lay By opposite the Picnic site on the south side of the A68 or at the point where the footpath meets the south side of A68 by a slight bend and by 2 houses, one house in construction. Take the footpath between the 2 houseís follow this for 100m to the Quarry.

The Quarry is in between two Public footpaths, the south one utilizing the old Railway line.

The Climbs
The climbs are described from left to right. There are 3 distinct areas to the quarry. The west wall, central area and east wall. The east wall is 35 meters long and 10 metres high and provides the best climbing at the quarry. The central area and west walls are very loose and dirty. The climbs are described from left to right.

West Wall
Five metres right of the end of the quarry is a prominent prow, good bouldering is found around the prow.

East Wall
The east wall has an arÍte at either end.

1. The Groove   8m   Severe

1m from left end of wall is a groove, trend leftwards to finish at top of arÍte.
Stu and Sam Ferguson Spring 2003

2. Second Groove 10m   Very Severe 5a
3m right of The Groove, is a faint grove line, climb direct with a long reach.
Stu and Sam Ferguson Spring 2003

3. Disappearing Crack   10m   Very Severe 4c
Just right of second groove is a crack line, which disappears.
Stu and Sam Ferguson Spring 2003

The Donkey Shagger   8m   Severe 4c

Climb the flat wall left of Central Arete using small but positive holds.

Sam Ferguson 21 Aug 2011

Central ArÍte   9m   S 4c

Climb the prominent arÍte to the left of the central groove and crack.

Stu Ferguson 21 Aug 2011

4. Central Groove and Crack   8m  Severe 4b
Right of the central arÍte is a groove with a crack in the top wall.

Stu and Sam Ferguson Spring 2003


The Sheepshagger   9m   E1 6a

Climb the blank wall to the right of the corner on small crimps and sidepulls. Finish more easily up and right. 

Sam Ferguson 21 Aug 2011

Stuís ArÍte   8m   S 4b

Climb the arÍte slightly left of the slabbed section. Climb directly over the nose.

Sam Ferguson 21 Aug 2011

5. The Wall Severe   6m   4a
Left end of the bay at the right end of the east wall is a low slab. Start just left of the slab and climb trending slightly right.
Stu and Sam Ferguson Spring 2003

Heather Wall   7m   S 4b

Climb the wall centrally slightly left of the heather patch. 

Sam Ferguson 21 Aug 2011

Slabbed ArÍte   7m   VD

Climb the right most arÍte directly. 

Sam Ferguson 21 Aug 2011

6. Emmaís Traverse   40m   5a/b
Low Level Traverse of the East wall from arÍte to arÍte. Best climbed Left to Right. Entertaining and with many variants. Best climbing in the quarry.
Stu and Sam Ferguson Spring 2003


Sam Ferguson on Emma's Traverse Sam Ferguson bouldering Quarry Overview



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