/ Agden Rocher
A lot of it is, yes
In places, but they're obvious from the ground. Quite similar to Millstone in that respect (and a few others).
Not in general. Some trees affect a few routes, some ivy a few more (mainly the harder ones), but it's mostly clean. I think some cleaning has been done recently.
Not with the latest guide. The only undergraded route I can think of is Double De-Clutch but even that's only by a grade (VS 4c, should be HVS 5a). Deadnettle Crack (VDiff) has a 4b/c start but if you can get off the ground it's VDiff. Even old editions weren't as sandbaggy as other Peak guides of the same period.
It's a brilliant crag if you go with an open mind. I'm gradually working my way through all the VS and below routes, done 43 so far. My favourite is probably Bianco (VS 4b). Campsite Crack's a must-do at Severe, White Rose Flake at VS. Oak Tree Walk is unusual - either 3 stars or a black spot depending on your point of view!
Lovely place on a cool, sunny day. The left hand end (viewed from the bottom) is very loose but I'm assured that the steeper lines further along are much better.
Any of the routes with stars should be fine. The loose looking ones are pretty obvious, and it's not heavily vegetated & full of sandbags. A good venue, especially if you like escaping the crowds
Sounds like my experince albeit from a few fewer routes. Briggs and Tittertons is my favorite or Campsite at a lower grade.
> I went once and it was really nice. This is a good route http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=32968
Thank you, thats one of mine :-) I used to really like Agden and climbed there a lot, I can't imagine it's changed that much over the years, belays at the top sometimes used to be a problem.
Keep your expectations low and you'll be pleasantly surprised, it's not as bad as you think. :O)
They still can be, but there are a few belay stakes around, and some good new fence posts (a long way back).
Agden is great spot. True, it doesn't lend itself to soft touches but its always worth a visit.
it's ace, I love it! You'll have a good day.
The best routes are often steep slabs. The climbing is more steep for the grade than steep (as the holds are pretty good on average).
Sorry about that but I can assure you what was said here isn't misrepresentative. You need to get on some routes before you can judge the crag. The main problem with the place is there are no really easy warm ups. Campsite Crack is probably the best place to start and you need to be a solid HS leader to start on such a route.
"No holds anywhere"?
Either your definition of a hold is a bit weird, or you didn't look very hard. It's a bit of an acquired taste, but it's a nice little crag.
it's a great crag!
Wow! no holds? Agden is probably my favourite crag in the Peak, sad I know, but its got some great routes a beautiful view and its quiet! Many of the climbs are steep but juggy and the loose ones should be obvious from the ground and guide.... did you try anything?
We have been working our way through the crag in an attempt to tick every climb, plenty of routes have been re-cleaned and quite a few new ones added. It is now a great time to climb at Agden with the leaves turning, and I can heartily reccomend the Nag's Head at nearby Loxley for one of the best and cheapest pints around.
So you didn't look very hard.
It is weird rock, but it's covered in lovely incut crimps. Shame you didn't try any of the routes, the climbing is really nice.
I was going to suggest that the place is an acquired taste and requires the ability to handle rock that is less than perfect - but with the chorus chanting "its brilliant" I kept quiet!
PS. the place is an acquired taste and requires the ability to handle rock that is less than perfect
Well that is deffo the case!
Re: Agden, I don't dislike the place, but Stanage it aint!
>the place is an acquired taste and requires the ability to handle rock that is less than perfect
I can agree with that. It's certainly a bit different to your average gritstone edge. In fact it's a bit different to most crags, the only other crag I could compare it to would be Whitestonecliffe.
Maybe because they are both landslips - though one is limestone and one sandstone.
Have you climbed at Whitestonecliffe, or are you comparing two crags you haven't actually climbed on? ;-)
Agden's nothing like Whitestone, the most similar crag I can think of is Wharncliffe, both are unusually square cut gritstone.
The best way to find the holds is to climb off the ground and look for them - if you ever fancy a return visit I'd be happy to show you around.
I've done a lot of climbing on Wharncliffe which to me is different to Agden Rocher in that it's not as steep and the rock is much more solid. I would also say that Wharncliffe is much more amenable to climb on than Agden Rocher appeared to be.
It's certainly more beginner-friendly, I'll give you that.
Agden's loose when you compare with places like Stanage or even Wharncliffe (where the looseness is on a much bigger scale, look at Puttrell's cave!). But it's no worse than most (and better than many) mountain crags where you always get a few suspect holds. Certainly nowhere near as bad as popular places like Horseshoe or Harpur Hill!
Incidentally I see from your profile that you're a fan of Whitestonecliffe. Just out of interest do you also climb at Boltby Scar? I've done a bit of bouldering and low grade soloing up there but have never seen the crag mentioned in any climbing literature.
Went for a look once. It resembled the worst bits of Whitestone but with a vegetable cornice at the top, so I've not been back! Perhaps I was looking at the wrong bits :)
Is there more than one Agden Rocher? The crag I've visited was nothing like a chossy limestone venue. It had good quality grit, an impressive main wall and a host of very good HVS/E1 routes. Castor, Pollux, Conjunctus Viribus, Asteris etc compared well with any routes of the same grade I've done at Millstone etc.
Thanks for the thread, inspired me to visit Agden again yesterday. Did one of the obscure routes down the left hand end - character-building stuff.
Remarkably given the freezing cloudy conditions, there was another pair climbing at the 'popular' end.
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