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Please can we stop over-rating Stanage?

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Deadeye 13 Jan 2020

Or eastern grit generally for that matter.

Yes, very nice for spring solos and a clutch of history, and when you want hop up and down endless routes with loads of moves packed into a short distance.

But "best crag in the universe"?  No.  Not even the best crag on grit.  Loads better in England, don't even get me started on Scotland... and elsewhere?  It pains me but the USA has a load of better places. 

Most countries where there is significant climbing have a crag equal or better than any in England.

Ok, I've said it.  Do your worst.

21
 gravy 13 Jan 2020
In reply to Deadeye:

I quite like it really...

Deadeye 13 Jan 2020
In reply to gravy:

> I quite like it really...


Yeah - me too.  But I like lots of places, some as much and, a few, more.

In reply to Deadeye:

I think it probably is the best crag on grit. It doesn't have the best routes, but if you gave all the routes a score out of 10 (10 being the best grit route of its grade, not a comparison with the best longer routes) and added up the number of points on the crag, you'd get a higher score for Stanage than any other crag.

And grit is the most convenient form of trad climbing, accessible and appealing (to some degree) to climbers of all grades and levels of experience - and all trad climbing at one's limit on a classic route is intense and fulfilling. So you might spend 100 hours climbing at Stanage for every hour you spend climbing on Scafell.

Add these together and you don't have "the best crag ever", but you do have a recipe for the most popular crag. So no, Stanage isn't "the best" crag in England - but there are good reasons why it's the most popular. Lower Sharpnose offers the best day's climbing for me (or it did before I did all the routes up to E4), but that's only going to appeal to people who like brainless pumpy E-grade tidal sea cliffs on slightly iffy rock. Yeah, it's my favourite, but it doesn't have the same mass appeal.

Post edited at 23:24
2
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Huge difference between "most popular" and "best". I imagine that the appallingly undistinguished and scrappy near-by-the-road Milestone Buttress comes very high up any "most popular" lists of crags in North Wales.

All my climbing life, right from the beginning, I thought Stanage was very overrated in terms of sheer quality. Lots of it, sure; but so much of it so ordinary, so dull: just making your way from one rounded horizontal break to the next. The best routes were great, e.g. The Unconquerables, Congo Corner, Old Friends ... but really, there's so much unmemorable dross. So undistinguished compared with the Roaches, Hen Cloud, Cratcliffe and even the Chew Valley.

P.S. This may now appear ridiculously controversial, but for the sheer quantity, quality and variety of very difficult cracks, offwidths and chimneys or all sizes close together, I've never come across anything like High Rocks nr. T Wells. Just amazing. What a pity there is now an access issue. The only crag in the Peak that comes anywhere near it is Curbar, but the range and variety there is smaller. 

Post edited at 01:20
16
 Ciro 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Deadeye:

It's not a patch on Ardmair, or torridonian sandstone in general, but it is rather more accessible.

1
 peppermill 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Deadeye:

Probably is if you live in Sheffield, just for the sheer accessibility and number of routes in one place. Evening cragging right into October. Kind of in the same way as 'The best camera is the one you have with you'

 mountbeckworth 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Deadeye: I am sort of counting up the climbs in the index to my 1994 Arapiles guidebook, and got about 1600. So in the years since lots more put up. Lots of opportunities to boulder, and a short drive away, The Wheel of Life.

In reply to Jon Stewart:

So you might spend 100 hours climbing at Stanage for every hour you spend climbing on Scafell.

Thankfully, the other way around for me. 

Increasingly, I think UKC should be renamed SYC, it is so peaks centric. 

Post edited at 06:30
14
 DaveHK 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Ciro:

> It's not a patch on Ardmair, or torridonian sandstone in general, but it is rather more accessible.

Funny you say that because I came on the thread to mention Ardmair.

A pal of mine from the lakes who has also lived in the peak once commented that if Ardmair was in either of those areas you'd never hear the end of it.

In reply to peppermill:

> Probably is if you live in Sheffield, just for the sheer accessibility and number of routes in one place. Evening cragging right into October. Kind of in the same way as 'The best camera is the one you have with you'

"Best crag in the universe"? Absolutely no chance. Not by a country mile. Those who say that have obviously never climbed on Taipan wall! 

When I lived in Sheffield I thought Bamford was much better. Better aspect to the crag, more varied routes and I don't think I ever had to queue or wait for top ropers to finish

 Wanderlust 14 Jan 2020
In reply to mountbeckworth:

> I am sort of counting up the climbs in the index to my 1994 Arapiles guidebook, and got about 1600. 

So not as many as Stanage, then? ;)

I don't know how people can bring themselves to knock Stanage, really. There's just so much quality in one place. 

And it's clearly the best grit crag. I often think the 1* routes are worth 2 and the 2* routes worth 3. And there's thousands of them, in a beautiful, near-unbroken sweep.

4
In reply to Deadeye:

> But "best crag in the universe"?  No.  Not even the best crag on grit.

But is it the one having the most fun? 

In reply to Wanderlust:

> And it's clearly the best grit crag.

Some days it is, and some days it isn't.

 Tom V 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

"......even the Chew Valley".

?

 deepsoup 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Increasingly, I think UKC should be renamed SYC, it is so peaks centric. 

peak centric

;-)

In reply to Deadeye:

I've never seen Stanage overrated. I've seen it slagged off plenty. 

I could almost say the same for Eastern Grit, grit in general, non-mountain routes, single pitch mountain routes, scrambling, bouldering, indoor bouldering, indoor leading, UK outdoor sport climbing below 7a. etc. etc. etc. 

1
 mrphilipoldham 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Deadeye:

I can't think of any route being the 'best of it's type' at Stanage. There's far better cracks, slabs, aretes, roofs etc across all the grades at other crags. For the amount of rock that it does have, it's very short on absolute three star belters.. some feel they only get three because they're there at Stanage. The climbing is largely all very samey, break to break and generally decent gear. However what it does have is indeed a lot of rock, most of it solid and clean and good accessibility. But if you want to climb the best cracks, or best slabs, you do have to go elsewhere. Yorkshire, Roaches, Chew, the Moors and dare I say it.. even Lancashire  

4
In reply to Tom V:

> "......even the Chew Valley".

> ?

Because it is so neglected, even though so close to Manchester. People on UKC very rarely talk about it. I think there has to be an assumption, among those who've never been there, that it's second rate.

Deadeye 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> I've never seen Stanage overrated. I've seen it slagged off plenty. 

I'm not slagging it off - I really like it, but you missed the claim that it's the "best crag in the universe"!

 Wanderlust 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> Some days it is, and some days it isn't.

You mean when it's wet? Or below 3 degrees?

The best crag is always going to be the one that's in condition. Surely any comparison assumes they're all dry to start with??

I'm happy to concede it's not always the best place to go climbing

Post edited at 11:01
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

> I can't think of any route being the 'best of it's type' at Stanage. 

I agree. The Sloth is better than Flying Buttress Direct (although Quietus is better than Wombat), none of the HVSs are anything like as good as the Hen Cloud classics, no E2s to match Five Finger Excercise and Fern Hill.

> The climbing is largely all very samey, break to break and generally decent gear.

This is entirely untrue. How can slabs be like roofs, or cracks be like aretes? It makes no sense. If you pick any section of Stanage, you'll get pretty much every feature from chimney to finger crack to juggy roof to blank slab. It's got a lot of walls with breaks too - which is a good thing. Given the enormous quantity of routes of all styles, if you can't find anything except the break-to-break routes, then the problem is with you, not with the crag.

And I pity the poor fool who goes to Yorkshire (or even Lancashire, but that was obviously a joke) looking for a better day's climbing than they'll get at Stanage. If you want to climb the 3 HVSs and 3 E3s at Almscliffe you'll have a chance, but after those 6 routes, you're stuck.

Post edited at 11:28
1
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Because it is so neglected, even though so close to Manchester. People on UKC very rarely talk about it. I think there has to be an assumption, among those who've never been there, that it's second rate.

It is rather green, damp and scrittly, with only a handful of decent routes. If you like damp, ugly offwidths (and/or E7+ walls) you could go to Wimberry for a couple of visits before scouring the other crags for the odd decent route on offer beneath the grime. Worth doing, but it's an acquired taste.

5
 Michael Gordon 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

It's probably fair to say that Stanage doesn't compare to some other grit crags when it comes to higher grade routes? 

 Arms Cliff 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> And I pity the poor fool who goes to Yorkshire (or even Lancashire, but that was obviously a joke) looking for a better day's climbing than they'll get at Stanage. If you want to climb the 3 HVSs and 3 E3s at Almscliffe you'll have a chance, but after those 6 routes, you're stuck.

He did say the best routes, rather than a better day’s climbing. Has Stanage produced 3 E3’s of equal quality in its 4km length as Almscliff does in 400 m?

4
In reply to Arms Cliff:

> Has Stanage produced 3 E3’s of equal quality in its 4km length as Almscliff does in 400 m?

No. But the question isn't "which grit crag has 3 classic E3s within 400m"? On that criterion, Almscliffe is undeniably absolutely amazing, incredible, unbeatable. Similarly, you could ask "which crag has 3 classic aretes within 100m", the answer to which would be Stanage. I don't see your point.

Post edited at 11:59
1
In reply to deepsoup:

> peak centric

> ;-)

I did it especially for you  

 Offwidth 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

In the Chew valley, aside from Wimberry... one of The Essential grit crags..  Dovestones Edge and  Standing Stones are major crags with many clean classics. Ravenstones is exceptional in dry summer weather. Alderman is smaller and more broken but with some great climbing with a great outlook.  Dovestones Quarry has the longest 'up' classic routes on grit (the stable classics are contenders for the most oddly overlooked climbs on grit) and  some really good stuff on the wings. Rob Rocks is one of the best small, low grade crags on grit. There is loads of other stuff with some excellent esoterica up there.  They are quiet compared to Stanage because too many climbers don't have the time to get there or if they do have the time, because they lack imagination.

All crags have their own character and positives and negatives, that vary according to the grade you climb and personal taste. Labelling a crag like Stanage (that is so big it fills a whole guidebook and has so many areas with some very different feels) as overated, in such a context, is just daft (and shows up those claiming it). It's a very long edge, clean, accessible with some excellent climbing and next to major conurbations so was always going to be as popular as any crag. As to being crowded... I've never needed to queue even on busy days... there is always something else good to climb nearby while you wait for a climb to come free (they always do come free as the crag is so big it 'swallows' hundreds of people).  One area where I think it is as good as any crag in the UK is it's no star and one star routes, which are almost all commonly clean and worthwhile. It maybe surprisingly lacks contenders for best climbs of a grade for grit  but Right Unconquerable would be up there and I think the Popular End has the best selection of 2 star and above VDiff climbs on grit. Even for such an excellent crag conditions do matter... it's a high exposed and on moorland.... it can be a terrible choice on cold windy winter days and on hot humid summer days when the sloping holds can feel greasy and midges will eat you alive; in such conditions there are much better crag choices in the Peak.

 deepsoup 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Much appreciated.  I don't really care that much myself, but like to bite on the "peaks" thing occasionally in memory of Al Evans.

 Simon Caldwell 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Deadeye:

I really like Stanage. It's almost as good as Agden Rocher.

1
Deadeye 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> No. But the question isn't "which grit crag has 3 classic E3s within 400m"? On that criterion, Almscliffe is undeniably absolutely amazing, incredible, unbeatable. Similarly, you could ask "which crag has 3 classic aretes within 100m", the answer to which would be Stanage.

No, the answer would be Millstone

 Beanmanclimb 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Arms Cliff:

> He did say the best routes, rather than a better day’s climbing. Has Stanage produced 3 E3’s of equal quality in its 4km length as Almscliff does in 400 m?

But can you climb any e3's at either crag?

5
 Tom V 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I'll take your "handful" with a very large pinch of salt.

I have always thought that the lack of interest shown in the Chew is nothing to do with the quality of the climbing or the weather but simply a matter of laziness on the part of most Peak climbers: Wimberry is probably the most  easily approachable of the main crags and a slog like that is beyond most Eastern Grit fans' experience.

 mrphilipoldham 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

We agree entirely on the amount of rock Stanage has giving a ‘better’ day out on the whole.. the point was if you wanted to climb the best routes of any type then you’ll have to go elsewhere - indeed to many crags even. I never said you could do them in one place. 
 

Slabs can be like aretes because at Stanage both are generally peppered with breaks. Great if you like your climbing well protected. Compare say Hargreaves Original to the slabs of Froggatt and you’ll see the point I’m making.  

1
 mrphilipoldham 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Your experience seems rather unfortunate. 
 

The best way to experience these smaller crags is to visit rarely. I’ve been to Standing Stones three times, and still have things to go back for. Ravenstones twice, and still things I want to do. Wimberry I must have been to a dozen times and still desire to return. There’s a lifetime on the Kinder plateau for most people alone. Each time I do return, my grade has notched up a bit so I can unlock the secrets of those routes that I’d only previously dared look at. To dismiss them as single visit crags, unless you’re operating in the high Es to begin with is doing them a severe disservice and it is that attitude that leads to them becoming overgrown, green and grimey. I’d like to think that one day, when Stanage is polished to buggery that these places will come back in to fashion and I’ll be able to feel partly responsible for them being even slightly clean for future climbers to rediscover. They just need a few more climbers visiting at least rarely, that’s all. 

 Ciro 14 Jan 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> Funny you say that because I came on the thread to mention Ardmair.

> A pal of mine from the lakes who has also lived in the peak once commented that if Ardmair was in either of those areas you'd never hear the end of it.

I've only climbed a couple of days there, and without a regular partner so didn't get on anything too hard, but I was blown away. I'd always found Stanage a bit underwhelming - a lot of faff to gear up for just a few extra moves beyond bouldering.

I walked up stac pollaidh but didn't climb on it... Looks totally inspiring.

Remember thinking "wow, this is what gritstone is training for". 

Post edited at 14:53
1
 Rob Parsons 14 Jan 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> Funny you say that because I came on the thread to mention Ardmair.

> A pal of mine from the lakes who has also lived in the peak once commented that if Ardmair was in either of those areas you'd never hear the end of it.

I have been in the area around Ardmair Bay a lot, but have only noticed one rather scruffy-looking crag up a valley on the right of the road as you're leaving the town. But I am obviously missing out. Which crags are you referring to?

In reply to Rob Parsons:

> I have been in the area around Ardmair Bay a lot, but have only noticed one rather scruffy-looking crag up a valley on the right of the road as you're leaving the town. But I am obviously missing out. Which crags are you referring to?

Like Reiff, Ardmair goes on getting better and better the further you get from the road.......

GoneFishing111 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Deadeye:

Just grit in general, way overrated. Wouldn't be bothered if i never went to Stanage again tbh.

11
 Iain Thow 14 Jan 2020
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Heaven Crack, Right Unconquerable, Black Slab and Goliath's Groove are surely contenders for "Best of its type" when it comes to outcrop routes. Rockfax's Eastern Grit has 21 Stanage routes in its Top 50, so if you take the Eastern Edges as being about a third of the "Grit world" that means 15% of the best routes on grit are on Stanage. Sounds about right to me (and I'm a Moorland Grit addict really). As Jon says, where it really scores is the variety in a small space.

1
 mrphilipoldham 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Iain Thow:

Contenders perhaps. But as good as Heaven Crack is, even for outcrops it's a bit short lived, and positioned in a descent gully? Answer Crack is longer and better positioned. Right Unconquerable I haven't actually done yet as there's always been a queue or the starting crack has been wet. Black Slab, potentially.. it gives access to a lovely feature that isn't widely available at the grade, but it is the same move repeated between cam placements all the way to the top. Extraction at Rylstone is more varied and more exciting for it's slight notch up in grade (5a.. not the 'b' suggested on here). Goliath's Groove, personally I preferred Great North Road and the reasonably long groove section on The Shabby Tiger stands fonder in the mind.

I'm only playing devils advocate here, but it is an excellent way to bring back some brilliant memories  

 DaveHK 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> I have been in the area around Ardmair Bay a lot, but have only noticed one rather scruffy-looking crag up a valley on the right of the road as you're leaving the town. But I am obviously missing out. Which crags are you referring to?

Ardmair Crags

In reply to Jon Stewart:

The best crag on grit for both bouldering and lead for me would be Cratcliffe esp if we could pull in Robin Hoods Stride as a combo deal. Stanage’s great selling point is that all the hordes climbing there take pressure off everywhere else in the Peak. It’s all a bit rubbish though, compared to the limestone Tors. Maybe High Tor takes the best Peak crag crown with such a high number of classy mid-Es in a splendid position?

otherwise it’s difficult to be objective, I’m sick of the crowds and bored stupid with the Peak, esp Stanage. 😁

2
 Duncan Bourne 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Deadeye:

"When you're tired of Stanage you're tired of life" Oscar Wilde

 Eric9Points 14 Jan 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

That's you spoiled it now. Next Summer you won't be able to get near the place.

Mind you the midges are utterly horrendous. People have died there.

You can't say that about Stanage.

In reply to Deadeye:

> Loads better in England,

Ssshhhhhhhhhh!!! Don't tell them. What are you trying to achieve here?

In reply to Wanderlust:

I often think the 1* routes are worth 2 and the 2* routes worth 3. And there's thousands of them, in a beautiful, near-unbroken sweep.

Apart form the very best routes I think the opposite applies! Knock a star off most grit routes and you have a more honest picture of their strengths and limitations. 

 Lankyman 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> "When you're tired of Stanage you're tired of life" Oscar Wilde


Ah but 'Stanage is a good walk spoiled' Mark Twain.

 Offwidth 14 Jan 2020
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Another Stanage myth as the most affected routes were polished to buggery more than 50 years ago (mainly due to nailed boots) and little has changed in route polish since I've been taking route notes on the grit in the last 25 years. It's the same reason you'll find perfectly polished footholds under a foot of turf on Laddow.  Its only the Stanage boulder problems that are getting trashed fast and on routes the main serious recent damage is from poor cam use on major classics (ie: poor cam placement; resting and moving about on cams; aid dogging on cams and trying routes too hard and taking multiple swinging falls)....this has led to a few snapped flakes and loaded cams moving in breaks are starting to grind them out (some may soon look like they do on classics on softer grit like Birchen).

Also my view is the moorland crags nearly all need more traffic (as long as the bad habits with cams stay away).

In reply to Deadeye:

Gritstone; sandstone that thinks it's 'ard.

I appreciate the why, and the when, but despite many visits the here and now frequently failed to inspire in the manner that trips to other crags, made of other rock, did.

T.

 Iain Thow 14 Jan 2020
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

I agree Answer Crack is better positioned but the moves on Heaven Crack just flow so perfectly. Probably agree re Great North Road, but Crowden Quarry? Really?

Just down from Bleaklow so I can vouch for Moorland Grit not looking too enticing at the moment!

 Offwidth 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

That sounds like the start of the crags... you need to be leading extreme to get the best from them and really like steep ground: an outstanding venue if that fits your needs: Admair has much less variety than at Reiff (aka Stanage by the sea, with no polish). Stac Pollaidh is very good for those experienced enough to cope with mountain rock and the terrible lower grade sandbags. Tons of amazing bouldering in the region as well.

1
 Offwidth 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Iain Thow:

I love the moors but also think Heaven Crack is better than Answer Crack for its 3 stars.

 mrphilipoldham 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

Yes I know this, perhaps I was somewhat optimistic in suggesting that I may personally feel happy.. but you know, in a couple of hundred years..

 mrphilipoldham 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Iain Thow:

You should try it, it’s only a short section, perhaps as long as the initial section on Goliaths Groove but it climbs like a dream! Proper unexpected gem spoiled only by the bushy start and non-descript finish. Like I said, I was having fun playing devils advocate all the same. I was up and over Mount Famine and South Head this morning and it too was bleak in every single one of the 360 degrees of view! 

 alan moore 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

Must agree. Answer Crack has amazingly sustained and delicate climbing for an easy route but Heaven Crack simple grabs your hands and swings you upwards in great easy arcs until you find yourself leaping over the top! I've never found another route tha does that.

In reply to mrphilipoldham

> Slabs can be like aretes because at Stanage both are generally peppered with breaks.

Hmm. Last time I was teetering on some run out slabby esoterica in the murkier reaches of the Popular End, I distinctly remember thinking, this needs more seasoning. 

 Iain Thow 14 Jan 2020
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

The crack does look good, but by the time it dries out I'll be up in Ullapool for the summer with better things to go at.

 kevin stephens 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Deadeye:

I moved to Sheffield 5 years ago, still can’t see what all the fuss is about Stanage, or grit for that matter. I’d still rather spend extra time driving to North Wales or elsewhere . There’s no adventure on grit

Post edited at 21:03
7
In reply to kevin stephens:

> I’d still rather spend extra time driving to North Wales or elsewhere .

If you can't though, but still love climbing, Sheffield (and similar) aren't bad places to be.

I know what you mean about adventure - I do the drive over to the Lakes or Wales enough times, particularly in winter - but other people get their kicks from different types of climbing. Different strokes etc..

In reply to alan moore:

But Heaven Crack, fun as it is, is just SO short it's almost a joke. It's like taking a very short segment of so many high quality rock climbs and calling it a 'route' in its own right. Overrated bollocks.

5
 john arran 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> But Heaven Crack, fun as it is, is just SO short it's almost a joke. It's like taking a very short segment of so many high quality rock climbs and calling it a 'route' in its own right. Overrated bollocks.

It's a ditty - albeit a catchy and pleasant one - in a world full of songs and symphonies

 GrahamD 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Deadeye:

For sheer quality routes of all grades one after another I can't think of anywhere better than Stanage. 

1
In reply to john arran:

Yup. Exactly.

In reply to GrahamD:

> For sheer quality routes of all grades one after another I can't think of anywhere better than Stanage. 

The Roaches (upper and lower tiers) wins hands down, surely? In just so many ways: length, variety, quality of rock, interest and 'character of route, and the beautiful setting.

 bensilvestre 14 Jan 2020
In reply to Deadeye:

> Or grit generally for that matter.

Fixed that for you. Good fun until you remember that almost any other climbing is better. 

In reply to bensilvestre:

> Fixed that for you. Good fun until you remember that almost any other climbing is better. 

That's my general reaction to limestone (except Pembroke). 

 Tom V 15 Jan 2020
In reply to kevin stephens:

. There’s no adventure on grit

I'm guessing you have never visited Dovestones Main .

 GrahamD 15 Jan 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Not sure the Roaches does quite the same grade range as Stanage, does it ? Certainly at VS I can't think of an area at the Roaches where you get quality routes one after the other.  Add to that the Roaches seems to be shrouded in mist and greeness more frequently than Stanage I still think Stanage is the winner. 

2
 Geoff82 15 Jan 2020

This is a non topic really, not everything needs to be ranked and compared. Just enjoy all of it for what it is! 

Excellent trolling skills though; only to be beaten by starting a Peak grit bolting discussion! 🤣

In reply to Deadeye:

> No, the answer would be Millstone

Why not both?

 Rob Parsons 15 Jan 2020
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> I have been in the area around Ardmair Bay a lot, but have only noticed one rather scruffy-looking crag up a valley on the right of the road as you're leaving the town. But I am obviously missing out. Which crags are you referring to?

Thanks for the various responses on this. I have obviously misjudged the place, and will look again.

 robert-hutton 15 Jan 2020
In reply to Deadeye:

I agree that it is not great crag, but go and climb on a spring still night with the cuckoo's and other birds singing and you will understand why people love it.

1
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Not sure I get the idea that if the routes 'aren't the best of their type' that they don't count. As someone else pointed out, even the 1 and no-star routes at Stanage, can be very worthwhile. 

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> But Heaven Crack, fun as it is, is just SO short it's almost a joke. It's like taking a very short segment of so many high quality rock climbs and calling it a 'route' in its own right. Overrated bollocks.

The problem with Heaven Crack is it's length. It's lovely to climb but leaves you with "if only it was three times the length without being any harder".

Anyone out there got any contenders?

 birdie num num 15 Jan 2020
In reply to Lankyman:

“Heaven Crack comforteth, like sunshine after rain”  (Ron Jeremy)

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> But Heaven Crack, fun as it is, is just SO short it's almost a joke. It's like taking a very short segment of so many high quality rock climbs and calling it a 'route' in its own right. Overrated bollocks.

But many long routes won't have a 'bit' as good as the best grit routes.

 Duncan Bourne 15 Jan 2020
In reply to Lankyman:

touché

but what has Mark twain ever done on grit

Post edited at 08:20
 mrphilipoldham 15 Jan 2020
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Who said they don't count? The one/no star routes can indeed be worthwhile, I know, I've done enough of them. I don't think anyone is denying the quality and quantity that Stanage offers, but if you want to climb the best routes of any particular sort then you'll have to go elsewhere. If someone asked me where to go and climb the best slabs in the Peak then I'd say Froggatt. Best cracks? Millstone or Wimberry. Sense of history? Laddow. Other than 'a great day out' I can't think of any other subset that'd get Stanage as a recommendation. But if someone asked me if Stanage was worth visiting, I'd equally tell them yes, it's amazing. It's a simple point to understand.

 Iain Thow 15 Jan 2020
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Yes, I pretty much agree with that, but Stanage has a big collection of "close to the best" in all of those categories, so scores on variety. Plus it's unusual in that there are hardly any rubbish routes. Great as the Roaches are they have quite a lot of vegetated crap in between the gems, ditto for the Moors, Curbar and even Froggatt (and tiny though it is I'd still have Heaven Crack as the best outcrop V Diff, every move perfection). As you said earlier, it's all completely subjective anyway and just an excuse to blether about routes ☺

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 deepsoup 15 Jan 2020
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

>  but if you want to climb the best routes of any particular sort then you'll have to go elsewhere

It's only one route, but I think Stanage clearly has the best example of whatever Robin Hood's Right-hand Buttress Direct (HS 4a) is.   (Easy undercut roundy offwidth?)

 Iain Thow 15 Jan 2020
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

By the way, did you notice the coincidence that the only pic of Shabby Tiger on UKC is from Caroline McCann, currently fronting the Spine Race Safety Team (to link this with the thread next door)

 mrphilipoldham 15 Jan 2020
In reply to deepsoup:

Blimey, now we are getting eliminate But leave it with me, I'll have a think!! 

In reply to mrphilipoldham:

> If someone asked me where to go and climb the best slabs in the Peak then I'd say Froggat.

To continue in the spirit of subjective blether: I'm afraid you're on the wrong side of the Peak.

 mrphilipoldham 15 Jan 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

Roaches, you'd say? I haven't had the pleasure yet.. all a bit bold/hard for me at the mo! 

 Offwidth 15 Jan 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

And Heaven Crack, fun as it is, being short is almost like retelling a favourite joke. Climbing many such routes in a row is like combining the best short segments of so many high quality rock climbs and with no need to be concerned about a long 'route' in its own right. If you want adventure, just solo hard. The romanticised fixation of some, on their specific climbing preferences at the expense of others is just bollocks.

As a man said 'Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.'

Or another man 'Stanage is just one big hold'

Post edited at 11:01
In reply to Offwidth:

> The romanticised fixation of some, on their specific climbing preferences at the expense of others is just bollocks.

Well said. 

In reply to Iain Thow:

> Great as the Roaches are they have quite a lot of vegetated crap in between the gems

Or scenery, as we prefer to think of it. 

 Offwidth 15 Jan 2020
In reply to Dave Garnett:

Or ex routes now mainly roots as some others might say. The vegetation seems more keen on the no star routes there than the climbers. 

In reply to mrphilipoldham:

> Roaches, you'd say? I haven't had the pleasure yet.. all a bit bold/hard for me at the mo! 


I certainly would, particularly the Lower Tier and the Skyline. Also better cakes than any Eastern crag, in the Roaches Tearoom.

In reply to Offwidth:

> If you want adventure, just solo hard.

Or go to the Lleyn. I had to spend a day lying down after just one pitch there.

In reply to Iain Thow:

Its a loooong time since I did it but I remember thinking Answer Crack (HVD) is better than Heaven. I do remember Heaven is slightly intimidating for us climbers of lesser ability - I soloed loads of diffs, vdiffs, severes and even the odd HS at Stanage but for some reason thought better of soloing Heaven.

 Iain Thow 15 Jan 2020

In reply to TobyA:

us climbers of lesser ability 

I bet you climb harder than I do Toby, especially these days.

Heaven Crack is still the only route I've ever done that I had to do again immediately. I've never got tired of it. It's the flow of it, I suspect, which not many routes have as completely (Integrity, Hammer, maybe Satan's Slip, or the main corner on Centurion would be my suggestions)

In reply to Iain Thow:

> us climbers of lesser ability 

> I bet you climb harder than I do Toby, especially these days.

I was looking at my logbook for the last year, the other day and was faintly embarrassed by the grades I was regularly climbing! For about 20 years, I always told myself it didn't get much harder, but point me at VS of almost any type, anywhere and I'd get up it safely - but currently VSs in good style feel like a decent achievement! I live quite close to Stanage but even closer to Curbar and Baslow and Birchen - so I really should start bouldering regularly and trying a bit harder!

 Michael Gordon 15 Jan 2020
In reply to Michael Hood:

> The problem with Heaven Crack is it's length. It's lovely to climb but leaves you with "if only it was three times the length without being any harder".> 

Three times the length would be a better route, but with a different feel. Micro-routes have their own charm.

 Offwidth 16 Jan 2020
In reply to Iain Thow:

I've soloed it almost every time I've been on that part of the crag. It's a delight.

After the Peak Area BMC meeting last night it seems climbers might need to get organised again soon to help defend the estate, given the latest developments from the Peak District National Park where yet again it may be proposing unsuitable options for the future, with none which provide a holistic position that encapsulates the principles behind national parks nor the terms on the original land sale to the PDNP.

Post edited at 11:12

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