/ First trip to climb grit - tips?

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J Brown - on 17 Feb 2013
So what's all the fuss about?

I've never climbed on the grit before, in fact I've never climbed outside of Scotland, and I thought I might take a trip (most likely over a, probably long, weekend) to visit some crags and get a taste of a different type of climbing.

I would normally be happy on anything up to VS, but would start out on easy things to get the hang of it, I'd be in a pair, would probably go for something relatively far north to lessen the driving.

I guess I'd just be looking for a couple of venues that might fit that bill, and give me a good taste of this type of climbing.

Any tips for venues, classic routes, best times of year etc gratefully received.

Cheers.
muppetfilter - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown: Depending on how you intend to travel and where you intend to stay. You could head to North Yorkshire or further down to Derbyshire (near sheffield)
In Derbyshire Stanage or Frogatte give some really good quality climbs with lots to choose from at your grade. Being scottish you wiull find the local grades quite soft touch and a bit girly ;0)
J Brown - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to muppetfilter:

Ha! I won't bet on that.

I'd be driving, and would just stay at the most convenient town / city. Thanks for the tips!
johncook - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown: Bring plenty of antiseptic cream and sticking plasters. A spare sheet of skin will help if you are thinking of doing some of the classic jam cracks, you will be adding a deposit ofyour skin to that of the indoor/sport climbers who have tried them before you. There aren't too many sandbagged routes, but the locals know which they are, so beware the friendly comments of "do X it's a lovely route and it's at your grade". usually followed by a smile.
JamButty - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown: I've always loved grit, and climbed some of my hardest routes on it, but put me on a HS+ jamming crack and I'm dead meat. Never could jam properly - so unless you're happy jamming I'd stay clear first visit, plenty others to go at especially as mentioned with Stanage/Froggat

deepstar - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown: Heather Wall at Froggatt is Brilliant at HVD a good intro to Grit.
Pero - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown: One thing you might find on grit is that VDiff and Severe can sometimes be more awkward and difficult to protect. And, perhaps don't feel like VDiff and Severe elsewhere. Whereas, HS, VS and HVS might feel more like what your used to.

So, I'd say choose your warm-up route carefully. Never underestimate a gritstone VDiff!

Stanage is the best by a long way (in my view) and the weather is fairly good over that way, compared with Western Grit. I don't know much about Yorkshire. So, it is an option early in the season while Scotland might still be struggling out of winter.

I like Millstone as well, although it pretty much starts at HS. It's more sheltered than Stanage if it's windy, cold or the rain is threatening.

Frogatt and Bamford are good as well. But, I might give Curbar a miss until you get the hang of grit. That might be a bit of a culture shock, unless you're never really found the need of hand-holds!

JLS on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown:

Slipstones and Almscliffe will give you a great grit experience in Yorkshire and save bit of driving. (Birds nest crack at Almscliffe is for me the perfect grit route)

Both are excellent venues but perhaps don't offer the quantity routes at your grade that Stannage Popular and Frogatt will.
Kelcat - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown: if this is your first time climbing grit then my top tip would be - don't do any washing up for a week afterwards!
Oh I miss grit rash!
In reply to JLS:
> (In reply to J Brown)
>
> Slipstones and Almscliffe will give you a great grit experience in Yorkshire and save bit of driving. (Birds nest crack at Almscliffe is for me the perfect grit route)
>
> Both are excellent venues but perhaps don't offer the quantity routes at your grade that Stannage Popular and Frogatt will.

Slipstones is tiny - not much more than bouldering for much of the crag. Almscliff is brilliant but probably not the best intro to the rock. Eastby, Rylstone, Crookrise or even Briham would be better bets.


Chris
Mark Collins - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown:
> So what's all the fuss about?

The Peak District is bordered by 2 cities, which go climbing there. As there are so many people climbing there, they can create a lot of fuss. So much so that internationally renouned climbing 'superstars' come and visit from time to time. Is it good, well yes I certainly enjoy a good day out on the grit as much as the next man. Is it any better than climbing on Torridonian Sandstone for instance, no.

> I would normally be happy on anything up to VS, but would start out on easy things to get the hang of it, I'd be in a pair, would probably go for something relatively far north to lessen the driving.
>
> I guess I'd just be looking for a couple of venues that might fit that bill, and give me a good taste of this type of climbing.
>
> Any tips for venues, classic routes, best times of year etc gratefully received.

Checkout the ticklists in the logbook:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=184
Jon Stewart - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown:

I'd say it's probably worth the drive down to Stanage and the Eastern edges to get the best from Grit.

Slipstones is nearest and is a fantastic crag for bouldering and there a handful of great routes at HVS/E1, but other than that for leading it's small and limited. Almscliffe is a good crag, but it is tiny (width-wise) compared to the Derbyshire edges. Yorkshire grit in general is much harder to get on with for leading than the Peak, with many north facing, scrappy crags - but the bouldering is very good.

At Stanage, I would warn you that there is a possibility of disappointment if you stick to the totally classic easier routes at Stanage Popular, say. While it's obviously an amazing crag with so many good climbs all packed next to each other, some of the easier ones are very polished and can leave you wondering what on earth the fuss is about. On grit, it's the jamming cracks and scary slabs that tend to be most memorable.

Some good VS routes for a first visit, I think are:

Stanage:

Hargreaves Original Route - ever so rounded, but plenty of gear (cams)
Hell Crack - intro to grit jamming
Count's Crack - a real deal gritstone crack
Wall End Slab - intro to scary slabs...do try not to fall off!

Froggat:

Sunset Slab - just tickles HVS, but it's hard to say 'cause it's easy but with no gear
Broken Crack - a complete sandbag, a real grit crack
Tody's Wall - just tickles HVS, a route that packs a lot in
Chequers Buttress - if things are going well, this is a great route, fairly easy at HVS and everyone really loves it because it's superb and spectacular

Curbar: avoid the place like the plague. It will beat you up.

deacondeacon - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: A sunset slab recommendation could prove to be a fairly heavy burden to someone who has never climbed on grit.
Like Jon has stated though Stanage and Froggatt are must do's, they're popular for a reason.
You can always find a quiet spot at Stanage even on the busiest of bank holidays, this isn't the case for many of the other crags. I'm sure you'll have a great time wherever you end up.
Jon Stewart - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to deacondeacon:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) A sunset slab recommendation could prove to be a fairly heavy burden to someone who has never climbed on grit.

There's always people around though...TOP ROPE!!! TOP ROPE!!! TOP ROPE!!!
deacondeacon - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart: Haha definitely won't be the first time.
Bingers - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown:

The most important thing would be to keep a simple list of what routes you have done, just in case anybody ever enquires.
EeeByGum - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown:
> So what's all the fuss about?

Just be aware that you will almost certainly hate your first time on Grit. It is an acquired taste.

- You will hate the roundness.
- You will hate the fact that your shoes don't grip because your footwork hasn't figured out how to make the most of the excellent friction.
- You will hate the fact that you won't trust hand jams
- You will hate the lack of holds

Stick with it though and all those hates will turn to delights!
mkean - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown:
If you see "J Brown" against any of the routes then you have to do them. Well established Peak district rule ;-)

You can't really go wrong if you base yourself near Hathersage, there is loads to have a bash at.
duchessofmalfi - on 18 Feb 2013
Also if you see Brown or Whillans as FA be prepared for them to feel hard for the grade (then take a moment to imagine "hemp rope and big boots")
mkean - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
Curbar: avoid the place like the plague. It will beat you up.

Ramshaw: Will beat you up, nick your bus fare home, steal your girlfriend and stuff your head in the loo while laughing manically.

Bloody good fun though ;-)
alooker - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to mkean: I found this out for the first time yesterday. Ramshaw is brutally fun.
jkarran - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown:

If you have a half day in passing and some pads then Slipstones is superb. It is small and it is atypical but it's perfect in almost every way.

Assuming you're going soon I'd then head for the eastern edges, North Yorkshire's other great crags are rather seasonal.

Actually if I was already half way there I'd personally head up to the NW coast before the midges get the same idea. Loads of beautiful grit up there!

jk
Pero - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Some good VS routes for a first visit, I think are:
>
> Stanage:
>
> Hargreaves Original Route - ever so rounded, but plenty of gear (cams)
> Hell Crack - intro to grit jamming
> Count's Crack - a real deal gritstone crack
> Wall End Slab - intro to scary slabs...do try not to fall off!
>
> Froggat:
>
> Sunset Slab - just tickles HVS, but it's hard to say 'cause it's easy but with no gear
> Broken Crack - a complete sandbag, a real grit crack
> Tody's Wall - just tickles HVS, a route that packs a lot in
> Chequers Buttress - if things are going well, this is a great route, fairly easy at HVS and everyone really loves it because it's superb and spectacular

That's looks to me very much like a view from an E3 climber. I don't think many VS climbers would start on Hargreaves or Hell Crack. In fact, it's rather like a of sandbags for the non-grit VS climber!

Pero - on 18 Feb 2013
... I'd even say to start on Heaven Crack as an intro to grit.
Monk - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown:

Most people so far have been recommending the Eastern Peak District crags, and there is some validation to that. However, if you do want to save some driving, I would definitely recommend a trip to Brimham. It's a great place to go, although a little maze-like, but there are some great routes there in a fantastic location. Almscliff is also excellent, with some great routes and a big feel for such a small crag.
Ava Adore - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown:

Froggatt would be a real treat for a gnarly Scotsman because the walk in is flat :-). There are some lovely VDiffs, HVDiffs, Severes, Hard Severes all nestling close up to the harder stuff and the crag is probably a bit kinder because it's more sheltered. Stanage is awesome but it can be blowing a hoolie up top. Mind you, given your gnarly Scottishness, I'm sure that won't be an issue :-).

First time out avoid routes that have "traditional" in the description. Or FA Joe Brown. :-)
JimboWizbo - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown: Nobody has mentioned Windgather yet as a grit intro venue. Loads and loads of easy, solid, well protected routes to get a feel for it.
Simon Caldwell - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Monk:
> Almscliff is also excellent, with some great routes and a big feel for such a small crag.

Almscliff was my first grit crag, and put me completely off gritstone for several years!
J Brown - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown:

Lots of very useful advice here. Thanks everyone.
Owen W-G - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to J Brown:

Slipstones is great but boulering mat very useful on those nasty landings

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