Mountain Journeys

Sport Climbing Lake District – Slate can be great


Slate climbing helps us concentrate on footwork

Sport Climbing Lake District

Last year I heard about a newly developed sport climbing venue near Tilberthwaite. At first my thoughts were of spaced bolting and fragile slate in some dark and dank quarry. Then some friends went for a climb there and commented on it being actually rather good.

So after a look at the map to check the exact location we set out in search of some slate climbing. As the weather was chilly and windy, a sheltered quarry was going to be as good as it gets.
An easy walk of about 2km along a bridleway got us to Runestone quarry. As had been described to us, the views over Little Langdale tarn were wonderful and the venue nicely sheltered. So far so good.

After a quick explore in some of the tunnels, we got ourselves ready for climbing. Not having a guidebook or topo for the quarry, we decided to try and pick the easiest route to start on, a fine looking slab with loads of bolts. The climbing was good - in a slate sort of way - with delicate footwork required throughout.

The lower-off was set a long way back and gave us some rope problems, but these would be easily be overcome by belaying from the top and walking down afterwards (we didn't do this as it was very cold and windy at the top).
The second route we climbed started with a slab then a steep wall leading to the upper slab, this was tricky but thankfully also well bolted, phew.

The wind was beginning to find its way into the quarry so we decided maybe time for just one more route. A short and fairly steep slab the on the opposite side of the quarry gave a fun little foray up the slate. Again it was well bolted and with a double bolt lower-off, all very reassuring.

Had it been a warmer day we would have stayed much longer, instead we will return to climb more of the routes here.

This is a good venue for people who have climbed before and can second VS grade trad routes. It is a place we'll be adding to our list of climbing venues for this summer and works especially well if wanting to try a massive abseil at the nearby Cathedral quarry. A grand day out that would be.

We are now open and have lots of availability over the next few weeks. Day trips to the Lakes are now allowed (please do still consider total journey length) and we'd love to take you out for some adventures.

We have also done a post about what to take sport climbing here

Thanks for reading


Exploring old slate workings near Tilberthwaite


Runestone quarry, Tilberthwaite



© Copyright 2024. Website by Freshspace.