Climbing is my passion by Karin Magog

Climbing is my passion in life and when not working (I work part-time as a pharmacist), my husband Steve and I spend most of our time immersed in the sport.

Karin Magog leading Bleed in Hell E8 Hell’s Wall Borrowdale © Steve Crowe 2010
Karin Magog leading Bleed in Hell E8 Hell’s Wall Borrowdale © Steve Crowe 2010

I love both trad and sport climbing and try and do a mixture of the two.  I’ve on-sighted/ flashed over 100 E5’s on a variety of rock types and situations, from the sea-cliffs of Lundy, Pembroke, Gogarth, the Outer Hebrides and Reiff, to the mountain crags of Wales, Lakes and GlenCoe, and not forgetting the beautiful sandstone crags of Northumberland and my favourite, the Yorkshire limestone. Moving on to harder trad and I’ve on-sighted/flashed  knocking on for 20 E6’s (Yorkshire, Scotland, Lakes, Pembroke and N.Wales), as well as Death Wish E7 6b at Blue Scar and was pleased to get the 4th ascent of Vlad the Impailer E7 6b at Dove Crag (climbed ground-up on-sight). I was very pleased to manage a quick headpoint ascent of Bleed in Hell E8 6c on Hells Wall shortly after Mary’s impressive first female ascent. I’ve head pointed numerous routes including Stairway to Heaven E7 6c at Blue Scar, Inferno E7 6c on Hells Wall and both On the Rocks E7 6c and Charlotte’s Dream Direct E7 6b at Back Bowden Doors. I have yet to discover the delights of gritstone (although I do quite enjoy bouldering on the Yorkshire grit); as a consequence my grit CV is not very impressive, with my hardest routes being Big Greenie and Wall of Horrors at Almscliff. On the bolts I’ve flashed/on-sighted numerous F7c’s and F7c+’s, plus several F8a’s(all abroad) as well as red-pointing some of Yorkshire’s greatest routes including Huecool F8b and Supercool F8a+ in Gordale, and The Groove F8a+ at Malham.  I made the first ascent of Stolen F8b at Kilnsey in 2006 and more recently succeeded on Showtime F8b also at Kilnsey. I’ve climbed numerous F8b’s in Spain and in 2017 red-pointed Mundo Feliz F8b+ at Villanueva del Rosario.

Karin Magog on Cubby’s Lip 7B+ Kyloe in the Woods © Steve Crowe 2007
Karin Magog on Cubby’s Lip 7B+ Kyloe in the Woods © Steve Crowe 2007

I do enjoy bouldering but rarely boulder outside these days, so the hardest I’ve flashed is Font 7A/7A+ and the hardest problems I’ve climbed are Cubby’s Lip and The Nadser both of which weigh in at Font 7B+ and can be found at Kyloe In.

I also dabbled in the competition scene for many years, starting way back in 1992, with several good results; including 2nd place overall in many a BICC series (most recently 2006).  My best year was probably 2002/3 when I finished 4th overall in the BBC’s and won the Sunderland BICC (the only round I entered that year). I still enjoy entering all the local bouldering comps in the winter months and enjoy the summer bouldering league through at ClimbNewcastle.

Some of my favourite climbing areas include the Outer Hebrides, Yorkshire limestone and Catalunya, Spain.

Karin Magog on Showtime 8b, Kilnsey © Steve Crowe 2015
Karin Magog on Showtime 8b, Kilnsey © Steve Crowe 2015

Read an interview by Keith Sharples here:

Click the link below to listen to Karin talking about climbing at Muckross (and much more) with Niall Grimes:

Karin Magog climbing at Muckross, Ireland © Steve Crowe 2010
Karin Magog climbing at Muckross, Ireland © Steve Crowe 2010

The Great Sea Cliffs of Scotland by Guy Robertson

The Great Sea Cliffs of Scotland by Guy Robertson
The Great Sea Cliffs of Scotland by Guy Robertson

“It was a gorgeous blue-sky day, but chilly on the belay. Above me, Steve was making slow but steady progress prospecting a new line, aiming to follow the righthand pink vein of tram-line pegmatite streaks running parallel up the smooth face of the wall. Below me. the stiff-winged fulmars swooped and tumbled, the steep hillside crowded with birds nesting precariously on the edge of the roaring Atlantic. I knocked out a few shoulder rolls in a vain bid to warm myself up. A sudden call from Steve sharpened my focus “I’m coming down for a rest” A small knot began to form in my stomach – that mixture of fear and excitement many climbers will recognise. Sure enough Steve reached the belay, tied himself off, then uttered the immortal words, “Fancy a look?” …”

You can read Karin’s account of climbing KnS Special E6 on the impressively steep Creag Dearg on Mingulay in The Great Sea Cliffs of Scotland by Guy Robertson.

Adventures and Achievements by Karin Magog


·          Start climbing and leading regularly

·          Progress through the grades until leading E4’s, with ascents of routes such as Resurrection, N.Wales E4 6a; The Tube, Northumberland E4 5c and Edge of Eriador, Scafell E4 5c.

·          Red-point Obsession, Malham F7b+ (1st red-point); New Dawn, Malham F7c and Man with a Gun, Kilnsey F7c+

·          On-sight my first few F7b’s


·          Progress to regularly leading E5, including Right Wall, N.Wales E5 6a; The Cumbrian, Esk Buttress E5 6a; Deja Vu, Kilnsey E5 6b; Endless Flight, Northumberland E5 6a and The Risk Business, Tunnel Wall E5 6a.

·          Lead my first E6 – Bite It and Believe It, Gordale E6 6b

·          A few years later lead my first E7- Death Wish, Blue Scar E7 6b

·          On-sight several F7b+’s both in Britain and abroad

·          Make quick red-point ascents of several of Yorkshire’s classic F7c’s and F7c+’s

·          Red-point Supercool, Gordale F8a+


·          Start to get a few more E6’s under my belt including The Cad, Gogarth E6 6a and The Long Run E6 6b both on the same day; The Great White, Blue Scar E6 6b; Bucket City E6 6b and Pail Face E6 6b, both at Dove Crag

·          Narrowly miss flashing the 2nd ascent of Vlad the Impailer, Dove Crag E7 6b due to dirty holds. Return the following weekend to grab the 4th ascent without incident

·          Headpoint several E7’s including Stairway to Heaven, Blue Scar E7 6c and On The Rocks, Northumberland E7 6c

·          Red-point several routes of F8a and above in Yorkshire, including The Groove, Malham F8a+; Huecool, Gordale F8b and the long awaited 2nd female ascent of Raindogs, Malham F8a

·          Flash F7c


·         Despite injuring left shoulder twice still manage a pretty good year

·         Regularly on-sighting F7b+, but also flash a few F7c’s including several in Kalymnos and Lost Safari in Oudtshoorn, South Africa

·         Red-point the Cold Steal extension to get the first ascent of Stolen F8b, Kilnsey

·         Good trad spell in June with on-sights of several E5’s plus the first ascent with Steve of K ‘n’ S Special E6 6a, Mingulay and a flash of the bold Burning Daylight E6 6a, Gordale

·         Bouldering moves up a notch with quick ascents of some V6’s and V7’s, such as Transformer Direct and The Mantleshelf, at Bowden and The Anchor at Brimham.  Also manage to flash Dog Eat Dog (V6) at Bowden


·         Great start to the year ticking Cubby’s Lip Font 7b+ at Kyloe In.  Also get the reachy Pair in a Cubicle at Brimham 2nd go (V6).

·         Couple of great trips to Spain, on-sighting a handful of F7c’s and red-pointing two F8a+’s (1st and 3rd red-pt)

·         Bit of a wet summer in the UK, Yorkshire limestone seeping almost continuously so amuse myself with a few trad trips on-sighting plenty of E5’s throughout the UK (such as Scotland, Ireland, Pembroke, Lundy and the SW)

·         Frustrating trip to the awesome Red River Gorge, Kentucky as record temperatures and high humidity make the climbing hard work!


·         A couple of very successful trips to Spain with flashes of several F7c’s and an on-sight of my first F7c+ (Alt Urgell, at Tres Ponts).  Also made quick red-points of 5 8a’s.

·         Enjoy a good bouldering spell at Kyloe In, ticking classics such as Jocks SS (Font 7A+), Hitchhiker’s (Font 7A+) and The Nadser (Font 7B+)

·         Another dismally wet summer so abandon all thoughts of the Yorkshire limestone and enjoy a bit of trad – highlights being The Bonxsie and Perfectly Normal Paranoia, Barra Isles both E6 6b, Trilogy, Raven Crag E5 6a and several excellent E5’s on Lundy

·         August was a bad month as Steve badly dislocates his shoulder  and I damage a finger pulley, leading to a few months of pottering about


·         Definitely a red-pointing year as the Yorkshire limestone stayed fairly dry so was keen to dispatch my old projects.  Ticked Space Invaders (7c+), Zoolook (8a) and Climb of the Century (8b) at Malham, Dead Calm (8a) and Bullet (8a+) at Kilnsey and the hybrid route Cement Garden (E6 6c/7c) in Gordale


Good start to the year over in the Lakes where I made quick head-point ascents of both Inferno E7 6c and Bleed in Hell E8 6c (my first E8) up on Bowder Crag, Borrowdale.

Got a bit more trad on-sighting done this year with numerous E5’s in Yorkshire (including the amazing Overlap E5 6b at Kilnsey) and the classic Darkinbad down at Pentire. Enjoyed a fantastic two weeks touring Ireland and got loads of classics done, including Wall of Prey E5 6b at Fairhead and numerous E5’s at The Burren.

Not much red-pointing action in Yorkshire although I did manage two very contrasting F8a’s, Complete Control which I did 1st red-pt and The Thumb which was a bit more of an epic. Couple of trips out to Spain and fast red-pts of three F8a’s (including the amazing Coliseum at Rodellar) and an on-sight of La Indomable F7c+.

·         Across in Spain also mainly red-pointed ticking 2 8a’s, a 50m 8a+ (ATP) and Golpe de Gas (8b) at Bruixes.  Also on-sighted couple of F7c’s

·         Quiet trad year but did flash handful of E5’s, Precious Days E5/6 6a and Geomancer E6 6b out on the Barra Isles

·         Also quiet on the bouldering front due to some poor weather although did enjoy an excellent day at Brimham where I flashed a handful of V5 and V6’s and ticked Pinkie V7


Disappointing first few months of the year as I was plagued with numerous injuries.

A damp year on the Yorkshire limestone so didn’t get stuck into any projects, did manage to tick Dr Jekyll and Mr Nice (both F7c+) 1st red-pt though.

Did some sports climbing elsewhere though and got quick red-pt ascents of Statement of Youth F8a, down at LPT and The Prow and Crucifixion at Ravenstor. Also did Body Machine F7c+ 1st red-pt.

Not much trad action this year, although did on-sight a few E5’s down in N.Wales, including the classic King Wad. Highlight of the year though was on-sighting Lord of the Flies E6 6a, one of the best routes I’ve done.

Couple of trips away to Spain, disappointing trip in the Spring due to injury (red-pointed one F8a, and flashed Orient F7c/7c+), however Autumn trip went much better (made fast red-pts of four 8a’s and one 8a+)


Well what can one say about the wettest year on record here in the UK? It was a real challenge staying motivated.

Only trad I did was a long weekend up at Gairloch in April which was very successful, on-sighting an E4, two E5’s and an E6 Twilo Thunder at Goat Crag.

The Yorkshire limestone was rarely dry but I did manage to get GBH F8a+ and Last Action Hero F8a red-pointed.

Escaped abroad a few times to Turkey, France and Mallorca with on-sights of F7c and F7c+ and quick red-pts of a couple of F8a’s and one F8a+

However highlight of the year was an Autumn trip to Spain. Here I managed to on-sight my first two F8a’s – Alt Urgell at Tres Ponts and El Remanso de las Mulas at Chulilla, as well as numerous F7c’s and F7c+. Also made quick red-pts ascents of Aonvolsna F8b and three F8a+’s. A great end to a frustrating year.