/ Quiet Crags in Derbyshire
There are some great quiet crags over towards the roaches, look at back forest, a great spot, steady short routes with good flat landings to aid confidence, although evenings may be a little midgy
Harborough rocks is a good place to learn to lead. It's not always quiet but it's never busy.
Wharncliffe is worth considering, not in Derbyshire though.
I'm at the same stage (leading diff to HS) and we had a good evening at Baslow Edge recently. Beautiful night and we had the crag to ourselves. Lots of short Diffs and VD, bit scary with the lack of gear on some!
Harborough is great for soloing, the rock maybe a little friable for leading though.
Birchens is good for aspirants.
The quiet bit of Stanage is pretty good ('Secret Stanage' in the BMC guide). Accessible and quiet.
Birchens - not too tall, plenty of low grades, good rock, fairly quiet, pub at the bottom of the walk in!.
Harborough - same as above though the rock can be a bit polished on the popular routes, good if you want something other than grit, the factory can be a bit noisy, lovely on a sunny day.
Baslow - nice short routes, though if you want to practice placing gear the slab on Gullies Wall area is a bit sparse!
Wharncliffe - Bit further afield but lovely rock and quiet!
Back Forest - Not such a fan of here, I found many of the climbs hard to setup belays.
Bamford has some nice easier stuff, and has normally been fairly quiet when I've gone there.
Or to be honest, don't worry about finding a quiet spot and just go to somewhere like Stanage Popular or Burbage North or wherever else takes your fancy - you can practice placing gear at ground level or slightly above, then jump on the lead on some really nice easy routes.
I've never encountered anyone, no matter how busy the crag or how popular the route, getting arsey about slow novice leaders at a single pitch cragging venue. And I'm a fairly slow leader myself and have belayed a few who seemed to be hoping that in a few thousand years, erosion would bring the top of the crag down to them. (About the closest to backchat I've come was a group of students suggesting that one of them could solo up to my girlfriend to see if a toke on his spliff would calm her nerves a bit...)
Ive seen a few barneys arise at popular crags on classics. Its not reasonable to hog such routes on busy days. There are plenty of less classic routes that would be fine but then sometime you get the unwanted helpful stranger effect.
Really? With someone leading (and just going slowly because they're having a series of extended wibbles) rather than top roping?
Yes, never undestimate some peoples impatience or other's inconsideration. Yet you can get the opposite as well: when we first produced the Offwidth pages we crossed the Popular End on busy days without queuing by selecting what was free and by moving so fast some pairs let us in.
It must definitely be a rarity rather than the norm though. I've never seen anyone being moaned at for leading too slowly (unless it's me belaying :))
Needle borough rocks is deserted most evenings
Its not always just leading its multiple seconds, stuck gear they insisted on removing themselves etc, faff sometimes has no bounds. Training on the classics on a busy Stamage day is simply impolite.
Because there are only a small number of routes at Stanage for everyone to share. Oh wait...
Indeed. Often the no star routes can be more pleasant as well, as they can be unpolished.
Thanks again folks!!
Birchen (NO S!) - very popular, short and somewhat roundy.
Wharncliffe - maybe a bit north but a great beginners crag as holds are positive rather than rounded & it's quiet. Belays are easy too. Get on the Black Slab for starters. It's near the M1 too.
We started at the quieter parts of Stanage. Never seen any complaints of slowness there but a friend reported people climbing OVER him at the Roaches!
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