I'm perusing guidebooks for some exciting new limestone trad in the peak I haven't been to before as i'm beginning to exhaust my usual haunts in my grade range (E1-E2ish). There looks to be a lot to do at Water Cum Jolly, specifically in the upper circle and Jackdaw point, but from the look of the logbooks nothing sees much traffic (aside from Ping and Ping pong). Has any one done much here? I've never been as I always viewed this as a hard (to hard for me) sport venue. Its it a neglected dusty vegetated horror show? will I be eaten my enormous pocket-dwelling spiders whilst desperately digging out gear placements from muddy cracks? or is it worth a visit?
I’ve done Erithacus, Fear of Flying, Army Dreamers etc up there some time ago, very good routes from what I recall And in your grade range. Very quiet too. I had a look and it doesn’t look like there are access issues, but I’m sure there have been so take a low key approach.
I haven't been this year but the trad isn't too filthy for Peak lime usually. I haven't climbed loads but the stuff I have climbed has been good. Ping Pong, Deception, Desmond Douglas (I think it's called).
Central Buttress looks great, and although I've never been its covered in stars. I expect as with most limestone trad on sighting is difficult as most things need a clean.
I have no idea why trad limestone is so unpopular. Its absolutely amazing! seems such a shame that even though you can't get anywhere near Horseshoe for the hoards, the windy ledge routes at Stoney don't see anyone. Stoney is THE place for limestone E2's if you haven't already cleared up there.
Cheers - that's great info,
I've got a bit of a secret shame with Stoney - I've never been there! despite all the classics their that are a serious gap in my peak CV. I always blame this on a weird combination of its polished reputation, an aversion to peak limestone I've only overcome in recent years and the fact that one of my climbing partners, who's a Stoney regular, keeps threatening to show me around but keeps decking out and seriously injuring himself at Stoney - which always puts me off. I also only really climb with my wife nowadays as I'm a miserable b*stard with no friends, and she doesn't climb much above VS and likes to climb at least one route a day between belaying me and only likes going to scenic venues witch kind of rules Stoney out. I also know scoop wall will totally kick my arse so like to amass a good list of excuses for not getting on it!
Honestly, forget the rumours and get stuck in. They're brilliant, solid for limestone standards and often climb lovely gear filled cracks. Yes the bouldering is possibly the most polished rock I've ever witnessed but the Trad isn't.
Also once you get above the tree line and away from the cars you might as well be in the Verdon!
OK that last bit was a lie.
Have you been to Staden or Chee Tor? These are brilliant too.
No, don't get rid of my excuses, i'm getting pumped just thinking about it!
It was Chee Tor that made me realise peak limestone trad is actually great and not the horror show that could somehow be both horribly polished yet vegetated and loose at the same time. I never really understand why you don't hear more about the place as some of the routes are utter quality, I guess the fact it gets dirty so easily. I was at Staden on Sunday doing the last few classics I hadn't done, I had a look of some of the slabby E3s but they looked somewhat terrifying to really appeal.
The WCJ trad is fairly decent really all the way along from Jackdaw Point down to the sport areas. Most of the Upper Circle stays clean and it is a lovely spot - nice views and quiet. Routes are perhaps a bit short, but you can get a good day in that includes the classics (Ping etc). Chee Tor is amazing at the grades mentioned and there are other areas of Chee Dale worth visiting to pick off the worthwhile E1s and E2s - everything is close together so you can move between crags. Same applies to Dovedale - start a Pickering Tor, then move along with a final route on Tissington Spires. Staden is good at those grades. The bits of WCJ that get grubby are Lammergeier area down in the trees
Have climbed there a fair bit in the past but less so recently. Many of the routes mentioned above are pretty good. Central Buttress which is an impressive crag, may be pretty nettley at the base at the moment. Dont go in shorts and a trekking pole may be useful.
Good point, I had missed off head high nettles off death in my initial anti limestone rant.
> and not the horror show that could somehow be both horribly polished yet vegetated and loose at the same time.
I had an interesting experience last Sunday, that reminded me after years of lovely Peak Limestone trad that some of it is that horrible combo of polished, vegetated and lose at the same time. Went to Ravensdale. I wanted to do a couple of the E1's there. I thought I should start on Mealystopheles (VS 5a). It even has a star! Now, last time I was at that crag was 2012 and on that very climb I broke a hold off, fell off, my hand skimmed the rope and I got really bad rope burn. I thought it was unfinished business but it was more loose and more vegetated than last time, I have honestly been less scared on E3's than on that horrorshow. 😆
No nettles under Central at the moment and the path is well worn. The routes are cleanish as well.....
I also went back to Ravensdale on Tuesday after a break of about thirty years. In the old days, I dismissed the place (though did most of the routes), because it didn't have many higher grade routes. On Tuesday, I enjoyed the place - really quiet and scenic and I saw slow worms. Did Mealy Bugs, Mealystopheles and Mephistopheles and enjoyed them all - even planning a return visit. Yes, a bit polished and loose in places, but not bad for all that and Mephistopheles felt like a proper E1 - so much more memorable and challenging than clipping bolts. That said, it is an acquired taste for sure!
There certainly are access issues on the North bank. UKC logs only bring up the RAD for the South bank. Not that it should stop you going but don't be surprised if you're confronted.
Hmmm just took a look at the RAD, DWT and fisherman, I'm struggling to think of a more officious grumpy bunch when it come to access.
On the list for a return visit then - again after more than 30 years!
They also read this forum as well......If you are quiet and use common sense there shouldn’t be an issue.
Climbers have been going there for years.
Use it or lose it.
Have you ever been to High Tor or Plum Buttress?
I haven't placed trad gear on lead in two decades, something I would like to rectify. First on my list would be Sirplum because I had something to do with a well known route to the left and it's almost criminal to not have climbed this classic several grades easier.
Hardly ever see anyone on it.
I've done Sirplum twice it's so much fun! Not done tonnes at high tor but a few of the classics, including the inevitable spanking on Darius.
I recall St Paul as being one of the best at your grade at WCJ, not sure how it rates these days.
Willersley is great on a warm day. Big, safe routes. Fantastic VSs.
At E2 at stoney, you could start with Carl Wark crack. I'm afraid I'm one of the many people who have done laps on Double Scotch in the rain, but it's still with leading. Medusa, E1 is safe. So is Dead banana crack, but it's hard
Dove dale is another obvious one for quality trad.
I agree with you that the trad climbing on Peak limestone is amazing.
As to why it is unpopular, perhaps dirt and vegetation on the routes, old degraded in-situ gear on the routes and on the belays, and plenty of other easy climbing options now available, maybe some of the reasons.
e.g. on yesterday's 3* classic in Dovedale, I had to climb past some very unstable blocks to lower off a belay that used opposing wires simply looped with a sling to back up a tree. Stable enough but not really long lasting.
Ps. Doveholes now a sports crag?
I did sirplum a week or so ago. Grit was heaving, we had the whole buttress all day to ourselves. It was a weekend too.
Had a really good day, would highly recommend it as a route. My partner rated it as good as dream of white horses. Now that's an endorsement.
FYI, you can ab off from near the top. Save those nettles!
I've done loads at Willersley and honestly its venues like these that has always put me off, always dark, slippery, polished yet loose and vegitated. I will conceded the Vs routes on the right are ok.
I've climbed a bit in Dovedale and wolfscote dale. I'd like to do more but have always been put off by the lack of traffic outside the trade routes. I guess I should be more community minded and get cleaning but never have the time on ab or skill on lead.
Re Sirplum that's quite a stunning admission 😀
Us punters always assume that wads will have climbed all the classics in areas where they're actively doing hard stuff. Is Ron going to pop up on here and tell us he's never done Heaven Crack?
Edit: it appears that your route has lost its front cover status.
As someone else said, access to Central Buttress is fine but I would be careful of the routes there as there is a lot of loose rock. For example, Alien is in the guide as a 3* E4 but it is still loose and has lost holds making it a fair bit harder.
> I've done loads at Willersley and honestly its venues like these that has always put me off, always dark, slippery, polished yet loose and vegitated. I will conceded the Vs routes on the right are ok.
Don't forget that one of the best limestone routes of its standard in the Peak (well, OK, just outside the Peak) - Lime Street Direct - is on the left side of Willersley.
Damn, now you're gonna make me give it another visit! I was hoping to give it another 8 years.
Allthough it was a while ago, I remember not really rating lime street, I seem to recall one rather pokey traverse move on rounded holds followed by some pleasant but not particularly memorable crack/groove climbing. But maybe I was just having a bad day.
The direct start is a bit harder but preferable to that scary traverse from the right. All of the corners in that area are brilliant and interesting routes if a little loose near the top.
The high left to right traverse of the crag is a good day out. Also, not quite as good, is the one on Wildcat across the river.
I never understood what the problem was with the little traverse from the right, just put a runner in the crack of Lone Tree Edge.
Traverse on Lime Street at Willersley. Is the peg still there and who put it in, which I guess we will never know. It's a disgrace and not needed, I've done it several times prior to the peg going in, as have plenty of other people.
I was there when the one of the two remaining pegs failed, and that was over thirty years ago, just leaving one in the top groove before the belay.
> No nettles under Central at the moment and the path is well worn. The routes are cleanish as well.....
Thanks thats handy - may well get down there again (just seen this).
> Don't forget that one of the best limestone routes of its standard in the Peak (well, OK, just outside the Peak) - Lime Street Direct - is on the left side of Willersley.
And Gangue Grooves one of the best HVS's
I spent a lot of time cleaning the place up as well as replacing a significant number of pegs and adding new boot belays as well as regearing a number of sport routes there about six or seven years ago.
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