Julian Heath, The Spider, 8a, SirPlum buttress, Cheedale © chris fox
The area Chee Dale Upper covers all the Chee Dale crags that would usually be approach from the Topley Pike (west) end of the dale. This includes everything from Blatant and Blackwell Halt, down through the Embankment and Two Tier to Nettle Buttress and the Nook.
Important Note Regarding Blatant and Blackwell Halt -
The BMC Peak Limestone North Approach notes are wrong and causing problems. Follow the approach below which is the one listed in the Rockfax and it doesn't require you to cross the live railway line which is illegal and has been prompting people to call the police.
Approach to Blackwell Halt - From the Monsal Trail on the Chee Dale Upper Approach, head down towards the cafe/cycle hire. Cross the bridge and turn sharp left at the cottages and follow a small path along the edge of the river and past a pump house. This leads to a tunnel under the train tracks. On leaving the tunnel, cross the fence on the left and go up some hidden stone steps. From here a path leads up into the grassy field below the quarry.
For Blatant Buttress - Leave Blackwell Halt and find a small path which leads right (facing out) and down a steep drop to the side of the railway. Blatant Buttress is just along here.
For the other sections of the dale here are the current access routes are:
Plum Buttress - Access from the railway traditionally crossed the scree slopes to the right of the buttress - this has now changed. Access is now via the obvious new stile directly beneath the crag, avoiding the ecologically sensitive scree. Descent from the buttress (if not completely topping-out) should be via the gully on the left-hand side.
The 2nd and 3rd Lifts - Descent to these crags can be achieved by abseiling down the small gully (marked by a cluster of small ash trees) next to the obvious feature of ‘Ragged Arête.’ Caution - this descent contains loose rock. An easier approach is down the DWT marked gully, which gives access to the 3rd Lift (on the left if facing outwards).
Moving Buttress - Descend the DWT marked gully, past the Pinnacle, to below the Western end of the buttress.
Long Wall - Access is by continuing at the junction past Mad Dogs area (Two Tier "right") and the gully approach as for the upper tier.
Two-Tier Buttress - Access to the Lower Tier is via the weir at the left end of the crag. Access to the upper tier is detailed in the BMC Wye Valley guidebook – ascend the easy gully right of the Mad Dogs section and descend via the ‘Sibser’ abseil. If abseiling from the Upper Tier to the Lower Tier, most parties choose to descend below ‘Reward’. Do not abseil from any point further West than an obvious tree stump with a bolted abseil station behind it – the wet gully bordering the crag has significant ecological importance.
Nettle Buttress - Cross the river directly below the crag via a fishermen’s weir. Alternatively, if the river is in spate, access the crag just above the river via a path joining the Monsal Trail. This should be considered a last option due to the sensitive floral assemblage in this riverside habitat.
Cheedale is a SSSI and SAC with a high level of legal protection under European law. Access for climbing is concessionary and can only be maintained if climber's continue to adhere to a number of conditions agreed with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust (who own the Southern bank of the river). These include:
|This crag has been rebolted with P bolts and the dodgy krabs at the top replaced with malons. The time & money spent on this crag has really turned it around for me as the danger of some of the ab stations ruined the overall feel. Well done that man!!
As for the climbing... its deceptively pumpy and on solid rock as far as blasted quarries go. Pretty much well worth the visit!|
John_Warner - 05/Nov/07