/ Agden Rocher

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Gerry_Doncaster - on 26 Oct 2012
I'm being dragged along to Agden Rocher tomorrow and am not keen at all. I've always been lead to believe it's steep as hell, loose as hell, heavily vegetated and the routes are all sandbags. Is it really that bad? Any advice will be much appreciated.
Mr Powly - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:

I went once and it was really nice. This is a good route http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=32968
Simon Caldwell - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:
> it's steep as hell

A lot of it is, yes

> loose as hell

In places, but they're obvious from the ground. Quite similar to Millstone in that respect (and a few others).

> heavily vegetated

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.

> the routes are all sandbags

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!
hang_about - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:
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.
cem on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:

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
Offwidth - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Toreador:

Sounds like my experince albeit from a few fewer routes. Briggs and Tittertons is my favorite or Campsite at a lower grade.
Al Evans on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Mr Powly:
> (In reply to Gerry_Doncaster)
>
> 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.
deepsoup - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:
Keep your expectations low and you'll be pleasantly surprised, it's not as bad as you think. :O)
Simon Caldwell - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
> belays at the top sometimes used to be a problem.

They still can be, but there are a few belay stakes around, and some good new fence posts (a long way back).
Martin Haworth on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster: I've been there twice, including last weekend. Its a lovely crag with some very good routes, the routes with stars all seem solid. The best sections seem to be Great Wall and Whittler wall area. Its definately worth a visit.
GrahamD - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:

Agden is great spot. True, it doesn't lend itself to soft touches but its always worth a visit.
Dan Lane - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:

it's ace, I love it! You'll have a good day.
Gerry_Doncaster - on 26 Oct 2012
Thanks so much to everybody who took the time to reply. You've certainly eased my fears of loose rock, vegetation and sandbags. It seems the crag is steep however. I'm not very good at steep stuff but I'll give it a go. I feel a lot better about going there than I did this morning.
Offwidth - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:

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).
Gerry_Doncaster - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Offwidth: That doesn't sound too bad then. I'm OK on slabs, it's the strenuous thuggy steep stuff that I'm not good at.
Gerry_Doncaster - on 27 Oct 2012
What a disaster that turned out to be. We spent an hour walking along the crag looking without success for something we might actually be able to get up before packing in and heading for Wharncliffe. The whole crag just seemed to consist of vertical rock with no holds anywhere. Those of you who actually climb there, you're all obviously much better climbers than I'll ever be.
Offwidth - on 28 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:

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.
victim of mathematics - on 28 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:

"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.
Gerry_Doncaster - on 28 Oct 2012
In reply to victim of mathematics: I know what a hold is and I'm well used to climbing on little fingertip crimps and small delicate slopers for the feet. There just didn't seem to be anything to move on at Agden Rocher. Maybe you have to feel for the holds there but there didn't seem to be much of anything looking at the routes from the ground. It just all looked like smooth vertical rock and neither me or my two mates fancied trying to climb it.
The Pylon King on 28 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:

it's a great crag!
Paul Ha on 28 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:
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.
victim of mathematics - on 28 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:

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.
Gerry_Doncaster - on 28 Oct 2012
In reply to victim of mathematics: To be truthfull I didn't think I could actually get up anything there, most of the crag looked to be beyond my capabilities. We did look at a couple of cracks that looked potentially do-able but they just appeared to be horrible thuggy struggles. As I said before, those of you who climb there are obviously much better climbers than me.
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:

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!


Chris

PS. the place is an acquired taste and requires the ability to handle rock that is less than perfect
Al Evans on 28 Oct 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs: You've obviously become a sport climbing wimp :-)
In reply to Al Evans:

> (In reply to Chris Craggs) You've obviously become a sport climbing wimp :-)

Well that is deffo the case!

Re: Agden, I don't dislike the place, but Stanage it aint!


Chris
Gerry_Doncaster - on 28 Oct 2012
In reply to Chris Craggs:

>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.
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:

Maybe because they are both landslips - though one is limestone and one sandstone.


Chris
Simon Caldwell - on 29 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:
> In fact it's a bit different to most crags, the only other crag I could compare it to would be Whitestonecliffe

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.
Gerry_Doncaster - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Toreador: I've soloed a short Diff on Whitestonecliffe but that's all. I really meant both crags look very similar in terms of steepness, size, setting and friability.

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.
Simon Caldwell - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:
> 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!
Gerry_Doncaster - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Toreador: I'm no beginner but I'd agree that Wharncliffe is certainly friendlier than Agden. I just really didn't like the look of Agden and I'm no stranger to climbing mountain crags with loose rock.

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.
Simon Caldwell - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:
> Just out of interest do you also climb at Boltby Scar?

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 :)
thebigfriendlymoose - on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:

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.
Al Evans on 30 Oct 2012
In reply to thebigfriendlymoose: I love it when people enjoy routes I did the first ascent of :-)
Simon Caldwell - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Gerry_Doncaster:
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.
deacondeacon - on 05 Nov 2012
In reply to Toreador: If anyones up for a climb there give me a shout. I don't live too far from there but none of my regular partners are keen to go. I need to see how good/bad it actually is.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.