Mountain Journeys

Best Sport Climbing in the Lake District – Runestone is number 1 for the mid-grade climber


Runescape 6a - Sport Climbing in the Lake District


Sport Climbing in the Lake District

It’s now been a few years since my first visit to Runestone quarry. I remember hearing about it from friends and they had praise for the place. It certainly sounded like it was worth a visit, so soon after I did.

I remember it was a cold, clear day and we enjoyed a few routes. I was pretty impressed with the place. Bolting was friendly, the outlook very nice and access nice and easy. We didn’t stay longer on that first visit due to a cold wind blowing through the quarry and chilling us!

I made a couple more visits, including some trips there for working days. All have been pleasant experiences. Yet when my friend Emma mentioned Runestone as a potential venue for todays climbing, I wasn’t initially for it. Thinking, it’s high summer, why go to an old quarry. Well we did go to Runestone and I’m very glad we did. Why?

  • The approach walk is a very pleasant 25 minutes with lovely views over the Southern Lakeland fells. This helps get the muscles ready for some more vertical action on the slate.
  • The bolting is very friendly and most bolts are glue-ins, so easy to clip.
  • Although the climbing is in a quarry, the views are extensive, so it still feels like being in the mountains. There is plenty of shelter available, so unless really unlucky it will be possible to escape from the wind when she blows.
  • The climbing is genuinely very good. So far I have climbed 5’s and 6’s so can’t comment on the harder routes. But every route has felt deserving of at least 1 star, some deserve more. 

Well, you might be reading this and thinking, this isn’t the best sport climbing on offer in the Lakes. Chapel Head Scar probably holds that accolade huh, but to get the most out of that venue it’s necessary to be climbing at least 6c and preferably into the 7’s. The reality is, many climbers aren’t operating at that level. For the mid-grade climber, it’s Runestone all the way.

With the recent increase in popularity of sport climbing here in the Lake District, the FRCC / Wired published ‘Lakes Sport & Slate’ so if wanting more detailed information and colour topos for Runestone and many other sport climbing venues throughout the District, this is the publication to get. There is also a free online topo available courtesy of Eden Mountaineering Club, check it out here.

If you’re reading this and are new to sport climbing and wanting to know / learn more. We can tailor a course to get you out climbing safely on the bolted routes here in the Lakes. Get in touch here:

A few areas we can include are:

  • Tying in
  • Clipping technique
  • Threading the anchor
  • Lowering off
  • Rope management
  • Sport climbing specific equipment and how to use it effectively  

Or you may be more interested to try sport climbing on a ‘Hot Rock’ trip to Southern Spain, check out here what we can offer there


Mountain Journey

Enjoying a sunny afternoon of Sport Climbing in the Lake District


Mountain Journey

Rosa Canina 6a - Sport Climbing in the Lake District



All the gear for.....Sport Climbing in the Lake District



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