/ Top roping for my kids somwhere near Hathersage
Staying there for a weekend in a couple of weeks. They're six and eight, not super regular climbers but they do enjoy a wall session now and then. Anything on Stanage? It's so long since I climbed there myself!
Cheers in advance,
Thanks - my guidebook tells me I climbed there fourteen years ago! Ulp! Could do with some stuff in the mod-diff-v.diff range really.
Yarncliffe is a reasonable bet - longish routes mostly with "holds" taht are reasonably space for the height challenged, quick and easy to rig straight up top ropes, an ok-ish descent, reasonably sheltered and a very short walk in which makes the cold much easier to stomach.
Stanage will be a lot colder, the climbing will more grit style.
The obvious place might be windgather although as the name suggests it might be cold and has a reputation for not being entirely trivial to rig TR anchors.
Experience tells me not to underestimate the cold!
I agree about the cold - I put my daughter off outdoor climbing for a while after taking her to the Roaches on a bitter day in February.
You will need shelter on anything other than an exceptional day. Stanage is usually really cold. Yarncliffe often damp and sandy. Best bet locally is Froggatt. Rivelin, wharncliffe, harborough are all better but more of a drive.
Windgather is also usually too cold in feb.have you climbed at these crags in feb?
As others have said, you're probably going to struggle with conditions. I'd hate to see them get put off climbing because of a grim day.
If it was me (and it's not!) I'd take them indoors (i.e. The Foundry, The Edge, etc) - for their climbing. Chances are, they'll get far more done. I'd also show them outdoor climbing, say drive them up to the car-park at Stanage, where they can see people in action.
Conditions and time permitting, I'd get them well wrapped up and take them for a walk, say along the top of Froggatt, where they can hopefully see more people climbing. By splitting things like this, they'll probably get more done and begin to have an appreciation of climbing outdoors. It will always be there for them - and you - on a nicer day in summer.
Just some ideas. Whatever happens, hopefully a good time will be had by all. I'd have loved my parents to have taken me climbing when I was a nipper.
Ditto. Overhanging Buttress Arete and various eliminates to the left kept my keen 8 yr old happy on a vile cold day.
Roadside Bay, Lawrencefield.
Another vote for Yarncliffe for the convenience and ease of escape
The area just left of Twin Towers at Stanage is ideal (weather permitting):
There are about 5-6 routes (Mod-VDiff) that are great for 6-8 year olds.
Also the small slab at Baslow:
Very short and slabby. About 5 lines that are Mod-VDiff. Will likely be a better bet than Stanage in winter.
Windgather is good but tends to be very exposed to westerlies.
Why so many votes for Yarncliffe? Its usually shit in February (holds damp and stays sandy and lacks easier routes) and the path is a bit exposed for most to let kids follow it unroped, have you climbed there with kids at that time of year?
Been thinking about this and two good alteratives are short roping on the big easy block under Ash tree wall on Burbage North, near the main track and further down the valley the slab on The Whale at Burbage South Boulders. In fact bouldering (with the odd short roped problem) is a much better bet than top-roped climbing. More info on grades and lines here:
I'd also go to Burbage, Offwidth's idea about short roping up the easier blocks it's easy to boulder up and have a play on is a great idea.
Totally agree anti Yarncliffe in February. Easy access yes, but surely it will be an a very unpleasant state? Also most stuff is outside the OP's desired grade range. Burbage must be a better bet.
It's where I first went climbing with my dad, I remember it seeming like a friendly and not intimidating place at the time.
Birchens may be a reasonable bet, lots of easy stuff
But Birchen also has lots of routes with high first foot holds, hence making a Diff or VDiff rather difficult for someone small.
The Edge or the Foundry !!
birchen also has a tendency for few anchors. I'd say it depends on their age, size and ability but there is lots of classics at burbage that are easy top ropes for kids, same goes for Stanage but windy. I hear froggott is good for top rope anchors.
Not a big fan of Yarncliffe. It is popular with groups and not that big so if 20 energetic scouts turned up, you would feel rather trapped. Personally, I would head for a quiet bit of Stanage (the bit between High Nebb and Plantation is deserted and has some lovely little routes) or maybe other backwaters like Baslow. You can often find a private bit of Burbage North at this time of year as well.
Anywhere but the rather grim, sandy, busy and therefore noisy Yarncliffe.
Thanks to all for the input, much appreciated. I'll keep an eye on the weather on the day and make a decision from there, you've all given me plenty of ideas to go at. I do like the idea of taking them to Stanage as such a sprawl of rock does have a bit of a wow factor!
I would suggest a walk along the top of Froggatt in the morning, pub lunch at the Grouse (great food) and down to an indoor wall (Awesdome,has a lot of low grade stuff for kids!) for the afternoon. They will experience the outdoors and also get some climbing done without being cold, wet and miserable!
With the wind in its current direction North Burbage is going to be bleak, with the wind being funnelled up it, stanage/Froggatt/eastern edges also bleak. Yarncliffe, damp and sandy and not much in the way of very low grades.
I would be good if they could climb outdoors, but this weather may put them off for life!
I'd second Froggatt (as a place to visit, not necessarily climb).
If you're in that area, the scramble down to the foot of Brookside Buttress could be a bit of a mini-adventure, and the kids get to 'discover' a waterfall. Exciting stuff. :o)
(While you're down there, it might even be worth top-roping Tinsel's Tangle.)
If you do end up climbing indoors, unless the kids are really keen to rope up and climb routes I'd suggest heading to the Mini-Works for a couple of hours. Lots of fun for kids and no need to schlep into/across town. (The Foundry is bad enough, AW really is in the industrial arse end of Sheffield.)
But then if you get one of those cold crisp sunny winter days, climbing on grit in a t-shirt is never more enjoyable.
I think I agree!
For my 5 and 7 year old we used Burbage North and Baslow as previously mentioned above. They loved it but it was in the summer...
Agreeing with everyone else about the likely conditions!
They could have quite a bit of fun exploring below Froggatt (talking about the area north of Sunset Slab) and Curbar edges. There's plenty of squeezing through gaps and that sort of thing which kids of that age can enjoy while togged up with hats and gloves. If I recall, towards the Froggatt end of Curbar you can find caves that allow you to emerge through a hole at the top of the crag.
On the subject of gaps and squeezing the "troglodytes tours" in the BMC Burb Infinity, Froggatt and Stanage guides came from something to do to keep warm outside on cold wet days.
It was bitter when I took my boys to Burbage N.The 11 and 5 year olds found a boulder to hide under while I belayed the middle boy for a couple of hours. I froze. He had great fun. Hard lads.
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