Climbs 178 – Rocktype Limestone – Altitude 180m a.s.l – Faces W

Crag features
The north-south gash of Dovedale has a fine set of climbs on the various bits of rock scattered along its length, and has long been a firm favourite with limestone climbers. Many of the climbs finish on proper summits which is an added attraction. The Dale is the most popular tourist destination in this guidebook; in summer hoards travel up and down the valley gazing in awe at the spires, fins and arches that make up the superb rock architecture scattered along the Dale. Ascents of the free-standing tower of Ilam Rock, and the climbs around the Doveholes in particular will always draw a crowd of onlookers and the Pickering Pinnacle and Tissington Spires are also quite public, though fortunately there are plenty of more discreet bits of rock for those who don't perform well in front of a crowd. Whatever your chosen destination, many pieces of rock described here are only home to a small set of quality routes, to get the most out of a good day's climbing out of a visit you will need to go to more than one buttress.

Access notes
Dovedale is the valley between Thorpe Village at its southern end and Milldale at its northern end. It runs parallel to the main A515 Buxton to Ashbourne road which is the best road to gain access to the villages at either end. There is a large free car park in Milldale, and a large expensive car park just past the Izaak Walton Hotel at the Thorpe end. A substantial path follows the east bank of the river for the entire length of the dale and this gives access to Bailey Buttress, Dove Holes, Pickering Tor and Tissington Spires. The one bridge gives access to Ilam Rock but Dovedale Church and Ravens Tor usually require a spot of wading. More detailed approaches are given with each buttress.

Peak Limestone (2012), Northern England (2008),
Out of print: Northern Limestone (2004), Peak Limestone - South (1987)

Climbs at this crag

Sort climbs
  Climb nameGrade
2Flying BlackberryE3 6a
3RibitE4 6a/b
4Claw Left-HandHVS 5b **
5The ClawHVS 5a **
6Swallow TalesE3 6a
7Bill BaleyVS 4b
8Cenotaph CornerS
9The BeakHS 4b
10An Air of DetachmentVS 4b
11The FilterVS 4c
12FiltrationHVS 5b
13Baley ChimneyVD
15Tennessee WaltzHVS 5b *
16Southern RibHVS 5b **
17The TemptressE5 6a **
18Deltoid ShuffleE4 5c **
19Left-hand RouteE1 5b **
20Sentinel CrackS
21RavenE2 5c,5b *
22Brown's BlunderVS *
23AquariusE2 5c **
24Central WallE2 5c **
25Central Wall DirectE4 6b *
26JudasE5 6b *
27The DoldrumsE3 5c
28VeneryHVS 4c **
29Parrot FaceHVS 5a *
30SkewballVS 4c
31JugbitE2 5c
32Tendonitis SucksE5 6b
33Girdle TraverseHVS ***
34Southern GullyHVD
36The ArchersE5 6b
37The BallA2
38Pumping IronE5 6b *
39The UmpireE3 5c *
40Restricted PracticesE5 6b
41The WickedA1 *
42The BatA2 **
43Middle StumpA3
44Follow the BearE5 6b
45Police and ThievesE4 6a **
46Dynamic AidersA2 *
47Girdle Lip traverseA2 **
49Original RouteS 3c
50The Wong EdgeE3 6a *
51The GrooveE2 5c *
52The GladiatorE4 6a ***
53Steve's RouteE6 6c **
54Eye of the TigerE6 6c ***
55The White EdgeE3 6a **
56Easter IslandE1 5b **
57Easter Island-White Edge ConnectionE2 5c
58Ducie island HVS 4c
60Pickering RidgeVS 4a
61What Crisis?HVS 5a
62CrisisE5 6c
63Uncontrollable UrgeHVS 5a
64Daylight RobberyE1 5b
65Monsieur Mange ToutE5 6b **
66The RiverE4 6a
67The FlakeE1 5c *
68Pickering's OverhangE1 5b
69Chunky PunkyHVS 5a
70Original RouteS
72Final WitnessE2 5b *
73ThunderballE1 5b *
74Red EyeHVS 5b
75Suspended SentenceE5 6b *
76Harold WilsonE2 5b
77Palsy WallHVS 5a
78Beginner's LuckHS 4a *
80Wall of StrawsE5 6b ***
81Three Piece ComboE4 6a *
82Adjudicator WallE3 5c ***
83Nancy WhiskyE1 5b *
84Watchblock DirectHVS 5a
86The Lime Arch6b+ **
87Jonah's Boner7c *
88Arch Rival7a *
89Arch Nemesis7b+ **
90Arch Enemies7c+ ***
91Sworn Enemy8a ***
92Things Ain't Like They Used to Be7a+ *
93A N Other Gary Gibson line6b
94Bo Bridgesf7B **
97Veteran's ChimneyS 4a *
98Thunder RibHS 4b
99Pensioner's GrooveVS 4b
100Roaring FortiesHVS 5a
101Bird Box RouteHVS 5b
102Slime TraverseVS 4c
104CampanileS 4a *
105London BridgeE2 5b
106WhackoE3 5c *
107The Man with X-Ray EyesE2 5b *
109FetlockVS 5b
110So This is SummerE4 6c
112Topsy TurvyHVD
113Sentinel CrackS
115Finders KeepersE3 6b
116Keeper's CrackS 4b
117BoomerangHS 4c
119Desolation RowHVS 5a
120Victoria FallsHVS 5a
121HortusHS 4b
122Model WorkerHVS 5a
123Rattus NorvegicusHVS 4c
125Rose BowlHVS 5b
126Don van VlietE1 5c
127Ten Craters of WisdomVS 5a **
128SimeonVS 4c *
129Simeon DirectHVS 5a *
130Archibald the GrimE2 5c *
131MassambulaE2 5c
132Sunburst and SnowblindVS 4c
133Woodlouse WallVS 4c
134Flopsy Bunny goes to the ZooE1 5b
135Dovedale Chainsaw MassacreE2 5c
136Bird StreetE2 5c
138SiliconHS 4b **
139Manna MachineVS 4c *
140Under PressureHVS 5b
141A Secret StateE3 5c *
142TormentorHVS 5b
143DeflectorE1 4c
144Rumble RidgeS
146MandarinHVS 4c
147BrutusE1 5b *
148There Will Be Blood8a
149CaesarE4 6a **
150GeorgeE1 5b ***
151Destot's GapE5 6c
152Bye, GeorgeE3 5c *
153John PeelHVS 5a ***
154Black FlipE4 6a
155Wild BillE2 5c *
156Yew Tree WallE1 5c **
157Calamity JaneE1 5b
158Uncle SamHVS 5a
159Geronimo.E3 6a
160Orange PeelE3 6a *
161Faulty TowersVS 4c
163Zulu DawnE5 6b *
164And the WeatherE1 5b
165Dr LivingstoneVS 4b *
166The Mystery TourS 4b
167Stanley WallVS 4c
168AmoebaHVS 5a
169Crazy HorseE3 5c *
171Wild CountryE4 6c **
172HornerHS 4c
173Bob Can't CopeE3 5b
174Bob HopeE2 5b
175Cryptic CrackVD
176Crypt RouteS 4a *
177No Turning BackE5 6b
178Sold Down the RiverE4 6b **
180French Technique7a *
181American StyleE4 6b *
182Bolt it and Believe it7c *
183Tales of the RiverbankE5 6a ***
184Pogles' WoodE4 6a
185The RattlerHVS 5b *
186AnacondaHVS 5b **
187Phil's RouteE2 5c ***
188JunglelandE5 6b ***
189AmazonaE6 6c ***
190Snakes AliveVS 4c ***
191Judge JeffriesHVS 5c *
192Quiet LifeE3 6a **
193Blue SisterE4 6a *
195Cat's Eye CornerHVS 5b *
196Castle CrackVS 5a
198The Jaguar SmileE4 6a
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.
Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Graeme Hammond

USER FEEDBACKLogin as Existing User to add your comments
I climbed there this weekend and getting to the routes was fine. There are quite a lot of nettles in the gullies, especially below John Peel area, but the paths are obvious. Quality trad limestone.
ctodd - 04/Sep/11
Hi Steph, I know that underused climbs can return to nature very quickly. I have climbed in the John Peel area recently and that seems fine - as does the Ten Craters area. The paths aren't the best I'd agree, but it's all part of the fun of limestone. Dovedale is managed by the National Trust - I'm not sure what their policy is on crag clean-ups. I'll raise it at the next BMC area meeting. Cheers, Alan
EarlyBird - 02/Aug/11
The climbs at Tissington Spires are very inacessible. I went 30th July 2011, and couldn't get anywhere near the rock, as so many plants/trees has spiralled out of control. It is a shame as it is a large area and looks like some great climbs. There are some sort of pathways up but they are very stoney and dangerous to climb with all your gear on your back. Would be good if it all got cut back to a decent level so it can be acessed. Don't believe the rockfax picture, nothing like it now!
climbingsteph - 01/Aug/11