5 Tough Rock Faces To Try When Climbing in The Peak District

Redwall at Lawrencefield

I have been climbing in the Peak District for many years now and I never get bored of it. There are just so many exciting places to climb and so many rock faces to scale. I enjoy sharing my knowledge with other climbers and introducing the sport of climbing to new people who are looking for a physical challenge and see the Peak District.

Ant Crack-Yarncliffe Quarry

Grade Severe

Climbing Ant CrackAs soon as you walk into Yarncliffe Quarry this line catches your eye-a perfect crack going all the way up the cliff. This crack in the rocks is so perfect looking, It looks as though it’s been drawn on the cliff with a pencil and ruler.

This is where your jamming skills are useful as you can sink the fist jams into the crack and utilise small footholds on the right wall for your right foot while jamming your left foot in the crack.

Another reason why I also like Ant Crack is it’s well protected, so take your medium to large cams with you.

The location is glorious when the sun is on it. Why is it called Ant Crack? Well, it’s all in the name. Be careful of the huge ants which live it at this cliff, they bite!

High Neb Buttress-Stanage

Grade Very Severe

High Neb Buttress - StanageI really like this climb because of the superb positions that you can achieve. The Buttress offers great climbing and good protection too. Not to mention the fantastic location, Stanage Edge is one of the best-known venues for climbing in the Peak District.

High Neb Buttress starts with some tricky and bold moves to get established on a nose, and you need to move up onto a ledge, the next move up is ok but bold then you soon arrive at a good number 3 or 4 cam slot. From here it gets technical, slabby moves leads to better holds and the top. the climbing is Just fantastic.

Bring your medium to large cams, and of course your camera because this buttress is just a joy to climb.

 

Phoenix Climb-Shining Clough

Grade Very Severe

PhoenixThis north facing cliff is the home to some of the most excellent climbs in the Peak District. Take note, this face needs a long dry spell to come into condition, but once its ready, this climb is a must. The cliff requires an hours uphill walk to get to it and as you soon arrive at this dark fore sombre cliff, your eye is soon caught by a superb crack line going all the way up the cliff. Good jamming skills are essential for this climb as they can just sink in.

An added bonus is it’s well protected by good cams and nuts. What’s also good about this climb are the views from the top. Also, take a moment to reflect that this climb was put up by the renowned Peter Harding in 1947.

 

Aurora -Stoney Middleton

Grade Very Severe

The small village of Stoney Middleton used to be the forcing ground for climbing in the 1960/70 but went out of vogue for a long while, but it’s now becoming popular again. The Limestone cliffs that line the road into Stoney, are imposing. Limestone offers the chance to do some multi-pitching climbing.

Aurora packs a lot into its two pitches, although the first pitch is poorly protected. A second pitch, up corner, looks intimidating from the bottom but when you actually climb it, handholds and runners are plentiful.

The first pitch involves a poorly protected move onto a ledge then you have to traverse out onto an exposed nose and make bold moves up the nose to a welcome peg runner. After that more technical moves to the belay ledge.

The second pitch involves difficult moves up a corner, followed by bridging and a move onto an exposed ledge with a big drop below you. Take plenty of nuts and larger cams. Aurora makes it into my top five Peak district climbs because it has great positions, is exposed and it keeps you thinking. Also, when the sun is out, it’s just superb!

 

Red Wall with the Delectable Variation – Lawrencefield

Grade Very Severe

Redwall at LawrencefieldLawrencfield offers some great climbing routes, but Red Wall is a gem of a route deserving its 3 stars. Often overlooked as its away from the main cliff. Red wall has a totally improbable looking line, especially the second pitch.

It starts with difficult moves to get established in a groove, which is followed to a large ledge. From the ledge you have to inch your way along the ledge, place a good friend runner and launch out along the wall to the arete in superb positions. After that the climbing is easy but you need bold moves up the arete to the top.

I’d describe this ascent as “totally brilliant”.  Take your nuts and cams. This climb has good protection

 

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