Peak District Gritstone - Sample Pages

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GRAHAM HOEY

PEAK DISTRICT GRITSTONE OVER 2,000 CLASSIC TRAD ROUTES ON EASTERN, WESTERN AND MOORLAND GRIT



GRAHAM HOEY

PEAK DISTRICT GRITSTONE OVER 2,000 CLASSIC TRAD ROUTES ON EASTERN, WESTERN AND MOORLAND GRIT

Vertebrate Publishing, Sheffield www.v-publishing.co.uk


PEAK DISTRICT GRITSTONE First published in 2021 by Vertebrate Publishing. Vertebrate Publishing Omega Court, 352 Cemetery Road, Sheffield S11 8FT, United Kingdom. www.v-publishing.co.uk Copyright © 2021 Graham Hoey and Vertebrate Publishing Ltd. Graham Hoey has asserted his rights under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as author of this work. A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN 978-1-911342-00-7 All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyright herein may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means – graphic, electronic, or mechanised, including photocopying, recording, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems – without the written permission of the publisher. Front cover: Hazel Findlay soloing The Right Unconquerable (HVS 5a), Stanage Plantation (page 121). Photo: John Coefield. Design and production by Ryder Design – www.ryderdesign.studio Vertebrate Publishing is committed to printing on paper from sustainable sources.

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CONTENTS Introduction � ����������������������������������������������������������������������������� 7

Curbar Edge � ���������������������������������������������������������������������� 247

Acknowledgements ����������������������������������������������������������������� 8

Baslow Edge ���������������������������������������������������������������������� 271

A legal bit � ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 8

Gardom’s Edge ������������������������������������������������������������������ 281

Safety statement � ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 8

Birchen Edge � ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 299

Grading and style ������������������������������������������������������������������� 10

Chatsworth Edge �������������������������������������������������������������� 311

British grades � ������������������������������������������������������������������������� 10

Southern Crags ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 320

French grades ������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12

Cratcliff Tor and Robin Hood’s Stride � ������������������������������� 323

Font grades: highballs, snowballs and patios � ���������������������� 12

Black Rocks (Black Rock) ���������������������������������������������������� 335

Gear ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12 Onsight, schmonsight? ���������������������������������������������������������� 14

STAFFORDSHIRE GRITSTONE ������������������������������������������������ 348

First ascent details ����������������������������������������������������������������� 14

Goyt Valley ��������������������������������������������������������������������������� 352

Photo-diagrams � ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 14

Windgather ����������������������������������������������������������������������� 355

Access and conservation �������������������������������������������������������� 14

Castle Naze � ����������������������������������������������������������������������� 363

Useful information � ���������������������������������������������������������������� 16

The Roaches �������������������������������������������������������������������������� 368

Map key ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 18

Ramshaw Rocks � ���������������������������������������������������������������� 371

What to do in an emergency ������������������������������������������������� 20

Hen Cloud � ������������������������������������������������������������������������� 383 The Roaches � ���������������������������������������������������������������������� 395

EASTERN GRITSTONE �������������������������������������������������������������� 24

The Roaches Lower Tier � ���������������������������������������������������� 397

Sheffield Area ������������������������������������������������������������������������� 28

The Roaches Upper Tier ���������������������������������������������������� 412

Wharncliffe Crags ��������������������������������������������������������������� 31

The Roaches Skyline ���������������������������������������������������������� 425

Rivelin Edge ������������������������������������������������������������������������� 43

The Roaches The Clouds (the Five Clouds

Derwent Edge: Dovestone Tor �������������������������������������������� 57

and the Nth Cloud) ����������������������������������������������������������� 439

Bamford Edge � ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 63 Stanage ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 76

MOORLAND GRITSTONE � ������������������������������������������������������ 446

Stanage Edge � ���������������������������������������������������������������������� 79

Chew Valley �������������������������������������������������������������������������� 450

Stanage Edge: Stanage North �������������������������������������������� 81

Standing Stones (Sail Bark Rocks) � ������������������������������������ 453

Stanage Edge: High Neb ����������������������������������������������������� 91

Ravenstones (Raven Stones, Seal Bark Rocks) ������������������ 459

Stanage Edge: Count’s Buttress Area ������������������������������� 101

Dovestones Edge

Stanage Edge: The Plantation � ������������������������������������������ 109

(Dean Rocks, Ashway Gap Rocks) � ������������������������������������� 467

Stanage Edge: Popular End � ���������������������������������������������� 123 Stanage Edge: Apparent North Buttress

Wimberry (Wimberry Stones) � ������������������������������������������ 475 Longdendale ������������������������������������������������������������������������� 484

and The Cowper Stone � ����������������������������������������������������� 145

Laddow Rocks �������������������������������������������������������������������� 487

Burbage � �������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 150

Tintwistle Knarr � ���������������������������������������������������������������� 495

Burbage North ������������������������������������������������������������������ 153

Shining Clough (Dowstone Rocks) � ����������������������������������� 499

Burbage South ������������������������������������������������������������������ 171

New Mills � ����������������������������������������������������������������������������� 504

Higgar Tor �������������������������������������������������������������������������� 185

New Mills Torrs � ����������������������������������������������������������������� 507

Millstone Edge (Booth's Edge) ������������������������������������������ 191

Kinder Scout ������������������������������������������������������������������������� 514

Lawrencefield (Bole Hill Quarry) � �������������������������������������� 211

Kinder North (Ashop Edge) ����������������������������������������������� 517

Yarncliffe Quarry ��������������������������������������������������������������� 219

Kinder South ��������������������������������������������������������������������� 529

Eastern Edges � ������������������������������������������������������������������������ 224 Froggatt Edge �������������������������������������������������������������������� 227

Route index �������������������������������������������������������������������������� 536

CONTENTS

5



INTRODUCTION

Introduction I first climbed on gritstone nearly 50 years ago and, like most first-timers, while it wasn’t exactly love at first ‘tight’, there was something about it which kept me coming back for more. So, over my teenage years, from a doss in a five-pence-a-night hay barn in Baslow, I started my apprenticeship on gritstone. I learnt how to back-and-foot, ‘udge’ and jam, to trust my feet on the merest change in angle, discovered the secret of ‘dragging’ slopers, the subtle ways of using crystals and how to use the minimum of force on the poorest of holds. I began to appreciate the importance of body position and how to control fear. Slowly I learned the language of grit and eventually came to love its sheer technicality; a complexity and variety of movements which just wasn’t available on other rock types. I loved the feel and the smell of the rock, the flora and the fauna around me, and the magisterial beauty of the surroundings. Since my first forays on to grit I’ve climbed on numerous rock types in many locations, both in the UK and abroad, and I’ve done a countless number of superb routes. Even so, the gritstone edges will always be my home, the places where I am at my most content, my ‘final testing place’ in days to come.

within this guidebook, I’ve climbed 95 per cent of them and 99 per cent of those up to and including E5. Although this book is the result of nearly 50 years of climbing on gritstone, since I have been working specifically on this book I’ve made over 180 visits to the crags within this guide and climbed over 1,250 routes. It’s been extremely hard work but ultimately very enjoyable, doing many routes for the first time and rediscovering the beauty of others – like the meetings of long-lost friends. When I first started climbing there was no internet, and magazines were rare. I would spend hours reading guidebooks planning my trips to the crags, getting excited … and scared! I hope that this guidebook will inspire you to get out on the grit and to have as much fun as I’ve had over the past 48 years.

Graham Hoey Baslow, September 2020

In deciding which routes to include in this guidebook I began by choosing the finest crags, taking into account their accessibility and the number, grade range and quality of routes available. I then went on to choose the best climbs from personal experience and – in the case of the very hardest routes – from their reputation and the recommendations of others. I also decided that the descriptions should be accurate and up to date, and that I would climb or reclimb as many of the routes as possible. Of the almost 2,200 climbs contained

t THE AUTHOR ON THE SECOND PITCH OF VALKYRIE, FROGGATT EDGE  PHOTO: IAN PARNELL

INTRODUCTION

7


EASTERN GRITSTONE The gritstone edges, quarries and tors described in this section provide as a whole the finest outcrop climbing in the country. This is not because the climbs here are inherently any better than those found elsewhere, but simply due to the sheer number and variety of high quality venues. Included amongst these are Wharncliffe, with its fine-grained hardened sandstone – the birthplace of climbing in the Peak; the majestic Eastern Edges from Bamford and Stanage down through the Burbage Valley, past Froggatt, Curbar and Baslow, then via Gardom’s and Birchen to finally reach Chatsworth Edge, some nine miles in total of perfect gritstone; then there are the unique experiences offered by the quarried gritstone of Yarncliffe, Millstone and Lawrencefield; and finally the jewels in the crown that are Cratcliff and Black Rocks. With such quality comes a price, and on the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer things can get a bit busy. Nevertheless, with such a huge choice of excellent climbs available, it is very easy to find a quiet place, whether it be Long John’s MOON WALK, CURBAR EDGE  PHOTO: ADAM LONG u

Stride at Wharncliffe, Stanage End or the northern section of Curbar, there’s always somewhere you’ve never been to, routes you’ve never done or ones you’d love to do again. The majority of the edges here face west and consequently receive little sun till late morning. Conversely, the faces are bathed in evening light and climbing till sunset makes for a perfect end to the day. The natural edges are composed of the finest quality gritstone, but note that certain sections were quarried long ago, and although now well-weathered, holds do occasionally break. On the more recently and more extensively quarried cliffs of Lawrencefield and Millstone the routes described are generally very solid, but care must be taken on some of the finishes – it’s a good idea to wear a helmet here. Most of the crags are year-round venues, particularly Froggatt and Birchen edges, although the tree-covered crags such as Gardom’s and the quarries tend to be out of condition in winter.



EASTERN GRITSTONE


REGENT STREET, MILLSTONE EDGE  PHOTO: ADAM LONG q


SHEFFIELD AREA THE AUTHOR SOLOING CURVING CRACK, BAMFORD EDGE  PHOTO: GORDON KINNEAR u


A616 STOCKSBRIDGE

M1

Wharncliffe Crags

M18 A6102

ROTHERHAM A616

Derwent Edge

Rivelin Edge

STOCKSBRIDGE

Stanage Edge

Bamford Edge A6187

HATHERSAGE

Wharncliffe Crags

DEEPCAR

SHEFFIELD

A57

Higgar Tor

Millstone Edge Lawrencefield Yarncliffe Quarry

Burbage North

A621

Froggatt Edge Curbar Edge Baslow Edge Gardom's Edge Birchen Edge

A61

A6102

3 km

Burbage South

M1 A61

OUGHTIBRIDGE

A625

A623

BASLOW

BAKEWELL

CHESTERFIELD

HILLSBOROUGH

Chatsworth Edge

Derwent Edge A57 A632

A6 A515

Cratcliff Tor

M1 MATLOCK

Stanage Edge Bamford Edge

Rivelin Edge

SHEFFIELD A57

A625 A6013

A5012

Black Rocks

ALFRETON

SHEFFIELD AREA

29



SHEFFIELD AREA – WHARNCLIFFE CRAGS

Wharncliffe Crags ASPECT: WEST  APPROACH: 15-25 MINS ALTITUDE: 240M  GRID REF: SK 295 979 TO SK 302 971 PARKING: 53.477687, -1.560587  OS MAP: OL1

Wharncliffe Crags is situated just east of the village of Deepcar and runs discontinuously for almost two and a half kilometres down the eastern side of the Upper Don Valley.

Wharncliffe Crags is the most northern of the edges on the eastern side of the Peak District. It is revered by climbing historians as the birthplace of rock climbing in the Peak, for it was here, in 1885, that a teenage James Puttrell made the first recorded climbs in the region. Despite its proximity to large conurbations such as Sheffield and Barnsley, and the pleasant semi-rural surroundings, Wharncliffe Crags is never too busy. Indeed, its zenith seems to have been in the early twentieth century due to its ease of access from Sheffield relative to other edges – early accounts in climbing journals describe numerous meets and it’s refreshing to read that the now-accepted customs of sandbagging and barracking were already becoming well established here! Its current lack of popularity is largely the result of improved choice and a reputation for short routes above bad landings. While such routes do exist here, the truth is that there are many fine and safe, quality climbs of decent length (between eight and twelve metres) and it is possible to have many excellent days out here at all grades.

Although the edge faces generally south-west, the further south one goes down the rocks, the more southerly to south-easterly the buttresses face and these receive sunshine from mid-morning onwards, the sun gradually spreading north along the edge during the day, making the northern end a great afternoon or evening venue. The rock is an excellent-quality, coarse-grained sandstone which actually has finer grains than millstone grit. It lends itself to clean-cut cracks and many positive in-cut or flat holds, sharp breaks and pockets – all very cam-friendly! First-time visitors may notice that, in terms of handholds, the rock has slightly lower friction than the coarser gritstone formations further south, but one soon gets used to this. The northern sections are in the open, are clean and dry quickly, whereas Long John’s Stride is amongst trees, is more lichenous and takes longer to come into condition after periods of bad weather.

A616 BARNSLEY

MANCHESTER

A629

DEEPCAR WHARNCLIFFE CRAGS

S AN TR

LONG JOHN’S STRIDE

IL RA ET IN NN PE

A6102

1 km LD FFIE SHE

t DAVE PARRY ON HELL GATE CRACK  PHOTO: JOHN COEFIELD

SHEFFIELD AREA – WHARNCLIFFE CRAGS

31


SHEFFIELD AREA – WHARNCLIFFE CRAGS Access

The Routes

The crags are on land owned by the Forestry Commission which includes the Wharncliffe Heath Nature Reserve. All the land, with the exception of the reserve, is defined as open access under the CRoW Act. Access is also permitted to the reserve and there have been no access issues to date. The geology of Wharncliffe Crags led to the area also being designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1988 – so no chipping!

Approach The most common approach leads to the northern (Deepcar) end of the rocks. From the parking on Station Road (SK 293 980 – about 150 metres beyond the Lowood Club), follow the track (signed Wharncliffe Crags and Trans Pennine Trail) under two bridges and past a pond to a T-junction with a large track (Plank Gate). Head right along this and just before the first pylon is reached, turn left through a gate on to a small rocky path. Follow this path, the rocks clearly visible up and right, directly to the top of the rocks and head right. After 30 metres the top of a free-standing pinnacle (Prow Rock) is visible close to the edge. Twenty-five metres further on, an easy descent leads down the gap between Hamlet’s Wall and Scarlett’s Wall (twelve minutes). Long John’s Stride (the most southerly buttress described here) takes about 25 minutes from the parking if the crag-top path is used.

Described from left to right starting at the first buttress reached on the approach.

HAMLET’S WALL The small buttress left of the descent (facing in). 1

ylon Crack  HDiff  7m  Ù P The short crack left of a pillar is steep enough and stiff enough for the grade. James Puttrell/William Watson 1885–1910

2

Quern Crack  S 4a  7m  Ù The crack right of the pillar has an easy start but a devilishly difficult finish past its closure. James Puttrell/William Watson 1885–1910

3

amlet’s Arête  VS 4c  7m  Ù H The arête right of Quern Crack climbed on its left-hand side to the final roof, from where a move right allows a stretchy finish (crux) up the right-hand side of the arête. traditional

4

amlet’s Climb  VDiff  12m  Ù H An enjoyable climb up the crack on the left front of the buttress, with an awkward move on to the ledge followed by a traverse left with a nice move to gain Pylon Crack which provides the finish. James Puttrell/William Watson 1885–1910

5

amlet’s Traverse  VS 4b  17m  Ù H An airy outing crossing steep ground on good holds. Follow Hamlet’s Climb to the ledge and traverse right past the undercut slanting flake, crossing The Crack of Doom to finish up the cleft beyond. Dick Brown 1949–1950

HAMLET’S WALL

GREAT BUTTRESS

250m

PUTTRELL’S PROGRESS

HELL GATE

LONG JOHN’S STRIDE

32

PEAK DISTRICT GRITSTONE


5 4

1 2 3

4 7 6

6

equiem of Hamlet’s Ghost  E1 5b  9m  Ù R A worthwhile, but spooky eliminate. Climb the centre of the buttress with a bold reachy crux passing the first roof (E2 5c for the short). The remainder is a more pleasant VS 4b which makes a nice alternative finish to Hamlet’s Climb. Terry Hirst 1976

7

he Crack of Doom  VS 4a  9m  Ù T Easier if you’re thin enough to get inside, the outside option has an unprotected, udgy start. Above, things are safer if no easier. James Puttrell/William Watson 1885–1910

SCARLETT’S WALL The nice pillar just under 20 metres to the right. All three routes have an unprotected start and a well-protected finish.

10 8

9

8

carlett’s Wall Arête  VS 4c  9m  Ù S Layback the fine arête with crux moves at the top. Reg Addey 1965

9

carlett’s Climb  HS 4a  8m  Ù S The centre of the wall is sustained at the grade with a reachy finish. Harry Scarlett 1931

10 S carlett’s Edge  HS 4a  8m  Ù The right arête on its left-hand side. traditional

SHEFFIELD AREA – WHARNCLIFFE CRAGS

33



THE ROACHES – SKYLINE

The Roaches Skyline

Access & Approach

ASPECT: SOUTH-WEST  APPROACH: 15-20 MINS ALTITUDE: 460M  GRID REF: SK 001 635 TO SK 005 625 PARKING: 53.156276, -1.995376  OS MAP: OL24

See page 395. Follow the main path left of the Upper Tier to the top of the edge. About 30 metres along this, a path leads leftwards through the wall and contours round to Condor Buttress, just 50 metres ahead. All the buttresses can be reached in 15 to 25 minutes from the parking.

The Skyline is the natural continuation of the Upper Tier but differs considerably from its more illustrious neighbour with generally shorter routes spread out amongst a number of less extensive, isolated buttresses. Things are literally a little more laid-back, with slab climbing predominating, although the odd roof problem and gnarly crack still rear their ugly heads now and again! Despite the more diminutive stature of the buttresses there is certainly no reduction in quality, with many of the finest routes at The Roaches hidden away here. At the very far end, the edge becomes significantly more broken and is home to a number of excellent routes that are on some of the finest rock in the country. The Skyline is exposed, being the highest point on the Roaches, and can consequently be a bit ‘raw’ at times, but it is south-west-facing and dries quickly after rain. It offers the most amazing vistas on a clear day. Additionally,if it’s peace and quiet you are after on good quality rock, there is no finer place in Staffordshire.

HARD VERY FAR SKYLINE BUTTRESS VERY FAR SKYLINE BUTTRESS

ART NOUVEAU

FAR SKYLINE BUTTRESS

SKYLINE

Many of the routes are uncredited, but those done in the 1940s and 1950s are probably the work of members of the Karabiner MC, including Bowden Black, Barrie Knox and Graham Martin.

100m ALPHA BUTTRESS

DOXEY’S POOL

SKYLINE BUTTRESS

CAVE BUTTRESS

TOWER BUTTRESS AREA TRIO BUTTRESS

CONDOR BUTTRESS

IER ER T UPP

S UD LO EC FIV

t MAX DUTSON ON ENTROPY’S JAW  PHOTO: MIKE HUTTON

THE ROACHES – SKYLINE

425


THE ROACHES – SKYLINE

2

3

1

4

7

6

5

The Routes

As the buttresses are followed leftwards along the Skyline, the routes here described from right to left.

Past the blunt rib on the left is: 4

ondor Chimney  VDiff  8m  ÙÙ  C The large chimney has an easy start and, despite the impression of desperate udging to come, the wider upper section gives fine bridging. anon. 1957–1968

5

racked Arête  HVD 4a  15m  ÙÙ  C A little worn, but with a satisfying mini-mountaineering feel about it. Start lower down and climb a polished arête, with difficult starting moves, to the ledge left of the chimney. Continue pleasantly up the slab and juggy crack above. anon. 1951–1957

6

.M. Anaesthetic  VS 4c  12m  Ù  A To the left is a slab bounded on its right by a wide crack. Climb the slab and crack to the ledge. Continue up the flaky rib (micro-cam in the seam to the left) with a thin sequence to gain a break. Move right and up to finish left of the arête. Spicy and HVS without the micro-cam. Gary Gibson 1978

7

ondor Slab  VS 4b  12m  ÙÙ  C A bold-feeling route, the best hereabouts. Start up the groove and from the ledge climb directly to a hole. Balance up from this with faith in friction to reach the break. Step right to finish as for the previous route. anon. 1957–1968

CONDOR BUTTRESS The first significant collection of buttresses on the Skyline, only a five-minute walk from the Upper Tier. 1

runo Flake  VS 4b  7m Ù  B An intimidating little number but well protected by cams. The corner leads to a short but powerful sequence to turn the roof. anon. 1957–1968

2

heeze  HVS 4c  8m  Ù  W After a steep start, the remainder is delicate and only marginally protected. Climb the arête, rocking left to a break, then traverse left to good cam placements in the next route. Move back right and from a poor break stretch up to the right to finish just left of the arête. E1 5a for the short. Jonny Woodward 1976

3

426

obacco Road  VS 4c  8m  Ù  T Start just right of a crack and ‘bounce’ up to a ledge and good cam placements. A quick pull leads to huge ‘crozzly’ holds and an easing. anon. 1957–1968

PEAK DISTRICT GRITSTONE


8 13

12 11

TRIO BUTTRESS The first buttress of the trio contains two worthwhile routes which have little protection but are blessed with excellent holds and rests; good routes for beginners to follow. 8

9

alph’s Mantelshelves Direct  HVD 4a  8m  Ù  R Start at the right-hand end of the buttress and take a direct line, starting with the crux mantelshelf. Easier climbing leads to a ‘straddle’ finish through ‘the horns’. A start through the bulge and groove to the left is VS 4c Ù. anon. 1951–1957 L ighthouse  HVD  10m  Ù  A nice romp. Gain and follow a series of grooves in the centre of the buttress. anon. 1951–1957

The next buttress contains a flake high on its right-hand side. 10 S hortcomings  E1 5c  10m  ÙÙÙ  Climb straight up to a break (wide cams) below the flake. The move to gain this forms the crux and, unless you can simply outreach it, is particularly perplexing and ultimately very satisfying. Once achieved, stay focused on the tricky final moves. The grade assumes you either have the height or ingenuity to fashion an overhead runner in the flake, otherwise award yourself an extra E grade or two then go and find out how to extend wires! Pushing 6a for the short. anon. (1pt) 1957–1963, Gary Gibson 1978

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11 S afety Net  E1 5b  10m  ÙÙÙ  The best E1 on the Skyline giving continuously interesting climbing. Surmount the undercut to the left by one of a few possible sequences (only one of which is 5b!) to a break and good gear placements. Continue neatly up the right-hand side of the rib to the cracked overlap which completes an excellent series of moves. John Allen 1975 The next route is on the largest buttress of the three. 12 T opaz  E2 5b  10m  ÙÙ  A mediocre start leads to a good upper section requiring a calm approach. The ‘crusty’ rib leads steadily to a ledge below the roof. Move up a crack to gain a leftwards leaning ramp which is followed carefully to the top. An easy-to-place cam runner in the crack to the right (once above the roof) lowers the tension and the grade to E1. Gary Gibson 1979 Around to the left, the buttress lays back. At its left-hand side is: 13 B ad Sneakers  E3 5c  8m  Ù  A bit eliminate but with some nice moves, the grade depending how far left you trend – direct is E3. Pad up the smooth slab. Those drawn to the left arête may lose an E point but find a gear placement before getting back on line. Dave Jones 1977

THE ROACHES – SKYLINE

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CHEW VALLEY – DOVESTONES EDGE (DEAN ROCKS, ASHWAY GAP ROCKS)

Dovestones Edge (Dean Rocks, Ashway Gap Rocks) ASPECT: NORTH-WEST  APPROACH: 35 MINS ALTITUDE: 460M  GRID REF: SE 027 039 PARKING: 53.527587, -1.981104  OS MAP: OL1

indiscriminately – but this is a rare event. The routes are normally acceptably clean (sometimes surprisingly so) and with the exception of a few hard slabs are normally clean enough to climb on sight without prior brushing.

Dovestones Edge is a collection of buttresses on the moor edge with a magnificent outlook over Dove Stone and Yeoman Hey reservoirs. The moor-edge path is on a popular walking route and as a whole Dovestones Edge feels the least remote of the Chew Valley crags. It is also the friendliest with many more low- and mid-grade routes. A day here feels a lot less intimidating than one spent at Ravenstones or Wimberry and offers more to the vast majority of climbers than those venues.

Its north-west aspect means that it is ideal on hot days, although individual faces do get the morning and evening sun. As with all the rocks in the region, the faces dry pretty quickly but the cracks may take a few days after heavy rain.

Access On open access land with no access issues.

HOLMFIRTH

The rock is moorland gritstone, generally solid, although (perhaps more so than at its neighbours) weathering has left a huge number of juggy flakes and not all of them are well attached. Holds and the edges of holds may crumble away if used

YEOMAN HEY RESERVOIR

RAVENSTONES

BINN GREEN

35 A6 GREENFIELD / OLDHAM DOVESTONES EDGE

BANK LA NE DOVE STONE RESERVOIR

SAILING CLUB

500m

WIMBERRY

t MATT NUTTALL ON THE GIBBET  PHOTO: MIKE HUTTON

CHEW VALLEY – DOVESTONES EDGE (DEAN ROCKS, ASHWAY GAP ROCKS)

467


CHEW VALLEY – DOVESTONES EDGE (DEAN ROCKS, ASHWAY GAP ROCKS)

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Approach There are two possible approaches: A F rom the Dove Stone Reservoir pay and display car park, follow the road past the sailing clubhouse and over the bridge spanning Chew Brook. Turn left and go over a smaller, wooden bridge and about 50 metres beyond this a path leads off to the right up the moor opposite a corner in a fence. As the moor edge is reached, the path contours around to the left then forks. Follow the right-hand fork to arrive at the moor edge immediately left of Fox Stone, with its memorial plaque for two climbers who died in the Dolomites in 1972. Continue along the moor-edge path for a few minutes to the first set of boulders left of the path. The buttress containing The Hanging Crack can be seen on the right-hand side of a gap about 20 metres beyond the boulders. The descent is just over 40 metres further on which leads between the June Wall and Answer Crack areas (35 minutes). B An overall gentler, but longer approach. From the Binn Green pay and display car park or the adjacent lay-by, follow the path signed to reservoirs and trails down through the trees and turn left along a track to gain the reservoirs’ access road. Follow this to the dam, cross this and turn right at its end. Almost immediately an obvious path leads steeply uphill; follow this over a stile and fork right after about 50 metres. This eventually contours around a steep valley with clear views of the rocks. As the edge is reached, the path swings round to the south-west and, when opposite the car park, look out for the unmistakable profile of the Nasal Buttress route. A down-climb descent is 20 metres left of this, facing out (50 minutes).

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PEAK DISTRICT GRITSTONE

The Routes

The routes are described from left to right beginning at Nasal Buttress. All the climbs described are within 150m of Nasal Buttress.

NASAL BUTTRESS AREA The down-climb descent for this buttress is fine when dry, but loses its novelty when damp; one of the easier descents situated not much further left (facing out) may then be a better option. Nasal Buttress is immediately right of the descent (facing out). 1

asal Buttress  HS 4b  15m  ÙÙÙ N A popular classic of the moors hereabouts with a photogenic finish which is sunny before midday. Climb the left arête of the buttress with safe, crux moves to get established on the nose from its left-hand side. Continue more easily up the left-hand side of the enjoyable arête above. George Bower pre-1924

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asal Buttress Right-Hand  VS 4c  17m  ÙÙÙ N An excellent companion route, juggier but steeper and with an intimidating crux. Thug up the outer face of the buttress to below the nose. Move warily up and right of this to finish up the right-hand side of the arête. anon. 1965–1976

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rack and Chimney  Mod  14m  ÙÙ C As with most chimneys, this one is best experienced by climbing it at its outer edge rather than on the inside. This one has great moves to pass the capping stone. traditional


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alpitation  E1 5b  15m  Ù P A demanding route which has a bold lower section followed by a strenuous but well-protected upper. Climb the buttress by a choice of lines to the roof and good gear slots. Pull over (crux) to finish on withering arms. Jim Campbell 1973

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L eft Embrasure  VS 4b  15m  ÙÙ To the right and up is a cave. Start down left of this and climb flakes to gain the bulging wide crackline which proves to be a surprisingly pleasant experience with good holds, fun moves and excellent protection. Tony Howard 1958

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plintered Buttress  Diff  15m  Ù S The narrow, low-angled prow is an enjoyable romp on large flakes, taken initially up its centre, on its right in the middle section and finishing towards its left-hand side. prob. George Bower 1923

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ight Embrasure  VS 4c  14m  Ù R A bit like a visit to the dentist – soon over and not as bad as you’d imagined. Climb the right wall of the cave and enter the crack which can be effectively top-roped on overhead gear. Very satisfying if you hit it right. Barry Kershaw 1958

THE CENTRAL SECTION Across the gully, past the descent, is a tower. 6

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entral Tower  VDiff  18m  Ù C Good climbing on flaky ledges. Ascend the centre of the buttress to a small roof and make crux moves left and up steeply to pass a large flake on to a ledge (and if you’re lucky into the sun). Step right and finish directly. anon. 1924–1948 ower Arête  VS 4c  18m  Ù T A hard climb which escalates in difficulty to a tough crux at the limit of the grade. Climb the right edge of the tower, initially on large flakes, to below the final nose. Pass this to its left by an exposed and strenuous rockover using a boss on the arête. Take plenty of cams. Rick Gibbon 1986

10 M aggie  HVS 5a  10m  Ù A bit short, but fun while it lasts. The clean-cut arête is gained by a hand-traverse from the left. Commit to the arête and reach good holds (and pro) at a break. More precision laybacking leads to the top. Tony Jones 1960 11 N oddy’s Wall  VS 4b  11m  ÙÙ Surprisingly clean and definitely enticing; the dearth of protection in its upper section maintains the interest. Climb the centre of the buttress on generally good holds, moving left to finish by the left arête. John ‘Noddy’ Hadfield 1958 12 S wan Crack  S 4a  12m  ÙÙ A deservedly popular route with good protection, rests and continuously interesting climbing. Climb the rounded right arête of the buttress, moving right to follow a flaky crackline into the wide, upper crack which has a useful chockstone low down. anon. 1924–1948

CHEW VALLEY – DOVESTONES EDGE (DEAN ROCKS, ASHWAY GAP ROCKS)

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