The area has been a well-known rock climbing venue since the 1890s. A large number of hard lines were put up by some of the best climbers of the 1980s and 1990s. The two best known climbs are featured in the documentary Hard Grit. These are Gaia (climbing grade E8 6b), up the groove in the massive nose that one sees first on the walk to the top, and Meshuga (grade E9 6c), on the main overhanging Promontory. A first ascent was made in 1989 by British climber Johnny Dawes.
The Black Rocks also has easier climbing, but this is not for the faint of heart; larger crags offer a far better selection of similar climbs. There are also short but well-worn 'boulder problems' such as the 'Railway Slab'.