The immense 7km long Stanage Edge is certainly the most famous gritstone crag in England. The outcrop is highly popular, partly because of its proximity to both Sheffield and Manchester, but above all due of its wealth of quality routes. The first climbs date all the way back to 1890 and over 1300 routes have now been established along the edge, ranging from Moderate to desperate E8 - enough to last a lifetime!
The vast majority of routes are relatively easy and ideal therefore for beginners as they tend to follow well-protected crack lines. Having said that, the smooth faces and rounded arête are a brilliant natural playground for those in search of quality testpieces.
Climbers visiting the area for the first time shouldn't miss out on the Flying Buttress at the Popular End and the routes on High Neb. Joe Brown's 1949 Right Unconquerable HVS 5a is the classic route of the crag, but Quietus E2 5c and Old Friends E4 5c are equally famous. The stunning barn door arête Archangel E3 5b at Goliath's Groove is psychologically demanding while its neighbour Ulysses E6 6b is a rite of passage to the upper extremes.
The highly popular Plantation area hosts some of the finest and most famous boulder problems in the country, such as the dream crescendio Crescent Arete Fb 5+, Not to be Taken Away Fb6c, The Green Traverse Fb7a, Brad Pitt Fb7c+ and Jerry Moffat's The Joker Fb 8a.
The outcrop varies in height up to 25m and due to its hilltop location can, at times, be extremely windy and cold. Luckily Hathersage with its warm cafes and welcoming pubs is nearby.
From Sheffield or Manchester drive to Hathersage along the A6187. From the centre of Hathersage bear right down Dale Bottom and continue until the southern end of the crag springs into view.Popular End (South end)Park at Hooks Carr (SK 245830). Walk in from the parking in about 5 mins. There is also a bus from Sheffield, check out the link below.Plantation Area (central section of the crag)Turn off left and coast the crag until you reach the Plantation (Hollin Bank) parking on the right. High Neb (North end)The Stanage Bus from Sheffield or continue past the Plantation to the limited car parking at SK 227843 (Dennis Knoll). Calculate 30 minutes for the walk-in.
Gritstone climbing at its best: technical, balancy, powerful and pumpy all at the same time. The crag is ideal for families.
FOOD AND ACCOMODATION
Accommodation in Hathersage. Campsite at North Lees, just 15 minutes walk from the cliff. (01433 650383).
The Peak District
Squashed between the northern industrial cities Manchester and Sheffield, the Peak District has always been a haven of peace for those fleeing these massive industrial metropolis in search of solitude and untouched nature. Dotted within this rolling countryside are rugged gritstone outcrops, each unique, each with routes of almost all grades and danger levels. "God's own rock", as it is often described, can be so addictive that it is not uncommon to see climbers continuing even when it rains; saner wet weather alternatives include a visit to one of the numerous indoor climbing walls or an enormous mug of tea in a cafe.
Stanage Access Issues
Stanage is one of the most frequented crags in the world. On busy weekends parking can be a problem and the Peak District National Park Authority have introduced a series of traffic management measures to address this. Furthermore, there are problems with car crime in the Stanage area. Do not leave any valubles on display. For full information check out www.thebmc.co.uk and download the Stanage bus timetable.
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