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Spotlight - equipment views and reviews from the AK team

Where to Climb in the Peak District

By Alpkit
08, Feb, 2019

You can't visit the Peak District without making the most of the wealth of world-class climbing; to make sure you don't miss on this opportunity, we've done an team poll to find a few favourites

The Peak District is known for its idyllic beauty, stark heather-topped moorlands, and its rolling hills merging into dramatic valleys. But there was one thing that kept us coming back year upon year, zig-zagging up the country on one bus then another until we found ourselves in Hathersage. 

Whether you're inching your way up a featureless gritstone arête, jamming your way up a perfect crack line, or crimping your way up a limestone quarry, the Peak District is a gift that keeps on giving when it comes to climbing. We've handed over to our Alpkit Hathersage team to tell us a few of their local favourites (with some input from AKHQ - we just can't help ourselves). 

If you want more information on the areas, head to our bookshelf (online or in-store) to check out our guidebook library or visit UKClimbing.com. Finally, remember to climb within your abilities and seek instruction from a pro if you've never climbed outdoors before. We'll see you on the rocks - don't forget your climbing boots!



To be or not to be, Stanage (probably the Peak District's most iconic and most photographed boulder) | Photo credit: Hati Whiteley


Stanage Edge

Gritstone: trad, bouldering

It's impossible to talk about Peak District climbing without mentioning Stanage. Up to 20 metres high, this gritstone edge stretches across the moors above Hathersage and yields over 2000 routes. You won't find any bolts there (you'll be exiled if you put any in), but you will find grooves, crack lines, roofs, towers, and slabs just begging to be climbed: it is the ultimate playground for trad climbers and boulderers of all abilities.

Staff picks

(There are so many incredible routes that this isn't even the tip of the iceberg, but it's a good start point all the same!)

VD - VS

Heaven Crack, Popular (VD)
Flying Buttress, Popular (HVD)
High Neb Buttress, High Neb (VS 4c)
Inaccessible Crack, High Neb (VS 4c)
Inverted V, Inverted V Area (VS 4b)

HVS - E1

Tower Face, Plantation (HVS 5a)
The Right Unconquerable, Plantation (HVS 5a)
Flying Buttress Direct, Popular (E1 5b)
Where did my Tan go, High Neb (HVS 5a)

E2 - E4

Quietus, High Neb (E2 5c)
Wuthering, Popular (E2 5b)
Black Hawk Bastion, Black Hawk Area (E3 5c)

Bouldering : all problems listed are at Stanage Plantation

Up to 5s

Pebble Arête (f5+, albeit a gutsy one)
Crescent Arête (f5+ highball, precarious)

6s

**The Lone Slab (f6A)
Bull Flakes (f6B)
Not to be taken away (f6C+) (Ashleigh's pick)

7s

Green Traverse (f7A)
Zippy's Traverse (f7B)

**Hero Fran referred to this boulder as 'upsetting', which we took as a good thing…


Horseshoe Quarry

Limestone: sport

Although not the first-choice venue for a lot of climbers, Horseshoe Quarry boasts some excellent routes with some undeniably enjoyable and interesting sequences. Quick-drying and sheltered, the elements seem to arrive to the Horseshoe way after everywhere else, making it ideal for year-round cragging. Most of our favourite climbs are in the 6s and 7s and are sparingly bolted, but, with a short walk-in and some sustained, pumpy routes up to 20 metres high, Horseshoe Quarry is ideal for late summer evenings when you want to get stuff done before the sun goes down.

Staff picks

6s

Megalithic Man (F6b+)
Litany Against Fear (F6b+)
Private Prosecution (F6c)
Rain Dance (F6c+)

7s

Demolition Man (F7a)
Wave of Mutilation (F7a)

 


Four pebble slab, Froggatt | Photo credit: Hati Whiteley


Froggatt

Gritstone: trad/bouldering

When we think of Froggatt, most of us are reminded of padding oh so delicately up delightfully precarious slabs, our gear seeming miles below us… And not without good reason: Froggatt is home to some of the Peak's finest slabs. Don’t worry if you left your pluck at home - the combination of quarried and natural gritstone gives a huge variety of climbs up at Froggatt. Remarkable routes across the grades, coupled with clean, quick-drying, and high quality rock, make this crag well-worth visiting. 

Staff picks

VD - VS

Trapeze (VD)
Sunset Slab (VS 4b

HVS - E1

Tody's Wall (HVS 5a) (you will love it or hate it)
Valkyrie (HVS 5a)
Chequers Buttress (HVS 5a)
Three Pebble Slab (E1 5a)

E2 - E4

Brown's Eliminate (E2 5b)
Four Pebble Slab (E3 5c)
Downhill Racer (E4 6a)

You'll also some excellent bouldering dotted around Froggatt

Up to 5s

Joe's Slab, Downhill racer (f5+)
The Northerner, Pinnacle Boulders (f5+)
Groovy, Pinnacle Boulders (f5+)

6s

Joe's Arête, Downhill Racer (f6B)
The Teddy Bear's Picnic, Pinnacle Boulders (f6B)

7s

Joe's Slab Traverse, Downhill Racer (f7A)
Dreamboat, Sunset Boulders (f7A)


Ron Greenwood climbing Hannibal (7C) - Photo credit: UKC

Rob Greenwood climbing Hannibal (7C) at Tom's roof | Photo credit: UKC


 

Curbar

Gritstone: trad/bouldering

If Froggatt is known for precarious slabs, Curbar is known for being downright strenuous and a lot of the climbs are quite high in the grade. That said, there are some mid-to-lower grade routes that are well worth the trip, as well as some classic bouldering (including the roadside Trackside). 

Staff picks

VD - VS

Pillar Slab (VD)
P.M.C. (HS 4a)

HVS - E1

The Peapod (HVS 5b)
Avalanche Wall (HVS 5a)
L'Horla (E1 5b)

E2 - E4

Elder Crack (E2 5b)
Right Eliminate (E3 5c)
Moon walk (E4 6a)

Bouldering, below the crag with some boulders accessible along the tops

Up to 5s

Crescent Slab Arête, Crescent Slab (f4+)
Three Pocket Wall, Trackside (f5+)

6s

Side Slot Wall, Trackside (f6A+)
Strawberries, Trackside (f6B)
Art of Japan, Big Rocker Buttress (f6C)

7s

Gorilla Warfare, Gorilla Warfare (f7A)
Trackside, Trackside (f7A)


Burbage South Valley

Gritstone: bouldering

Expect slopers, slabs, and rounded arêtes. A combination of flat, soft landings and not-too-high boulders are great for new recruits to outdoor climbing, and some higher-grade test-pieces mean that there's something to go at for everyone. There are also plenty of spots to hunker down for a picnic and belter views across the Peak District, making this an ideal venue for a day out at the crag with mixed ability and family groups. Take a jacket as the cold wind through the valley is sometimes hard to escape!

Staff Picks

Up to 5s

Exposure (f4+)
Pock-man (f5)
Pock (f5+)
The Cobra (f5+)
Chieftain (f5+)

6s

Puck (f6A) Panzer (f6B+) (expect to lose some skin)
Alaska Right Sit Start (f6B)

7s

The Sheep (f7A)


Millstone Edge

Gritstone: trad 

Not far from our Hathersage store, this is certainly one of our favourite haunts. Sheer walls, belter crack lines and smooth corners are the characteristics of this crag, as well as a venerable climbing history. The finishes are a little eroded in places, so it's always worth making sure you've got some bombproof gear in before you make the top out.

Staff Picks

VD - VS

The Mall (VS 4c)

HVS - E1

Bond Street (HVS 5a)
Great Portland Street (HVS 5b)
Great North Road (HVS 5a)
Embankment 3 (E1 5b)

E2 - E4

Regent Street (E2 5c)
Erb (E2 5c)
Time for Tea (E3 5c)

 


Remember: all outdoor activities involve risk, you must have a clear understanding of these risks before pursuing any activity.

We have tried to make all information as accurate as possible, however trails are not marked on bridleways and use of any of information is entirely at your own risk, please always take a map out with you.

You are responsible for your personal safety and must exercise your own independent judgment as to whether the activity is suitable for you in the context of your fitness, training, skills and experience.

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