Articles & Features
North East Action
Lost and Found
New Routes
Training Tips
Climbing Walls
About Us




OS Sheet 88     NZ120482

Aspect West

Altitude 160m

Approach time 1 minute

Rock Type Sandstone



During the mid eighties permission to develop the crag was sort for by Bryan Ion, Robert Sharpe, Simon Telfer, Paul "scotty" Scott and Martin Hunter. Brian Teasdale joined the team a little later. All being members of a local Venture Scout unit of which Graham Telfer was the leader. Most of the routes were originally climbed by everyone without many exceptions. During the earlier days and without access to a car, team team would catch the bus from Chopwell to Consett and carrying all their equipment marched on to develop Knitsley.

Stu Ferguson rediscovered and reclimbed most of the lines in June of 1989.



Situation and Character

One of the smallest crags in this guide. "It is almost okay" that was my first words on approaching Knitsley. At 6m high the routes can be soloed but the unstable finishes do not encourage this. The low level traverse in broken by an easy slabby area. That said, an odd hours climbing could be had here. The crag is enveloped under a leafy canopy by the trees late summer and early autumn which blocks out the evening sun and can make the atmosphere less pleasant than the spring. The quarried sandstone is generally solid but with some dubious holds and care is important especially at a high level. The crag is disappointing and it is probably true to say that the extra effort of getting to Howns Gill for the longer low level traverses would be rewarded with a better workout that can be obtained here.


Access and Approaches

The most accessible climbing in the guide, 45 seconds from the main road.


The Climbs

The main wall is like an open book. The left edge is an unattractive dirty corner. In the middle are the central flakes. Just right of the right arÍte is a small undercut wall that lends itself to endless minor variations. The quarry continues beyond this but the rock quality deteriates. The climbs are described from left to right.


1. Bailey's Route 6a

Climb the undercut wall left of the unattractive curving corner.

Simon Telfer, Paul Scott


2. Shallow Corner 4c

The unattractive curving corner.

Stu Ferguson


3. Sting 5a

A eliminate following the right arÍte of the corner, (the left arÍte of the main wall).

Paul Scott, Simon Telfer


The left side of the main wall contains a large corner capped by a horizontal roof at 2m.


4. Adrian's Wall 5b

Climb the centre of the left wall and cross the roof, climb the crack above.

Simon Telfer, Paul Scott


5. Adrian's Wall Direct 6a

From the back of the corner use the dubious flake under the roof to gain the holds 0.5m above the lip. Continue up the wall to the top.

Simon Telfer, Paul Scott


6. For Tristan 5b *

Gain the break 0.5m above the right-hand end of the roof, hand traverse leftwards to finish up Sting or descend the Adrian's Wall.

Simon Telfer, Brian Teasdale


Rob Sharp Can't Climb 6a

Climb the wall two meters right of Adrian's Wall, Climb direct to a letterbox, overcome this to a tricky reach for the top 6a.

Paul Scott, Simon Telfer


Rock Jock Mickenzie  4b

Two meters left of the open book wall.

Simon Telfer, Brian Teasdale


7. Central Flakes 4c

Climb the shallow corner in centre of the main wall, passing a peg high on the right wall.

Stu Ferguson


8. Lady Eleanor Sons  5a

Tackles the wall 2m right of the shallow corner.

Karl, Graham and Simon Telfer


9. Right Wall Two 5a

The wall passing the left edge of the overlaps.

Stu Ferguson


10. Smartie 5b

Climb directly through the centre of the overlaps.

Martin Hunter, Simon Telfer


Return of the Prodigal Son 6b

Just right of Smartie climb the the black wall and surmount the overhangs.

Brian Teasdale, Simon Telfer


11. Riley's ArÍte   4c

The prominent arÍte topping out with care.


12. Very Small Bouldering Wall

Many variations can be worked out here on rock of reasonable quality.


13. Low Level Traverse 5a

There are many variations possible but it is difficult to avoid a hands off rest in the middle.




The Gallery:

Riley's ArÍte, Bob Bennett



Reversing For Tristan, Steve Crowe



Full details in the

North East England Guide



Return to top of page

Return to Home Page