Black Rocks

Climbs 185 – Rocktype Gritstone – Altitude 250m a.s.l – Faces NW

Crag features
A dark imposing bastion with huge prows and impressive side walls, split by fine cracks and home to some of the slopiest slopers on grit. Can make a big first impression (see comments!) but time spent adjusting to the place will be well rewarded.

A historically important venue- follow in the footsteps of gritstone greats such as Puttrell (Stonnis Crack, HS 4b), Piggott (Sand Buttress, VS 4c), Harding (Demon Rib, E3 5c, Promontory Traverse, E1/2 5b), Dawes (Gaia, E8 6c) and Grieve (Meshuga, E9 6c).

Generally exposed and quick-drying although much (but not all) of the longest north side of the crag sees little light in the winter months and some routes become very green- this side gives excellent midge-free shade in summer however. The more popular west wall is a spotless year-round venue.

Sadly many non-climbing visitors leave their rubbish here- doing your bit to remove some of this is proven to earn karmic protection on the bolder routes.

Access notes
From Cromford follow road to Wirksworth (B5036) for 3/4 mile. Rocks (and picnic site!) are signed to the left.

Pay & display parking but there are a few roadside bays opposite the higher car park entrance.

A short but uphill walk from Cromford rail station.
Read more... Regional Access notes are available from the BMC.

Peak Bouldering (2014), Peak District: Bouldering (2011), Froggatt to Black Rocks (2010), Peak SE Pokketz (2007), Eastern Grit (2006), On Peak Rock (2003), Peak Climbs - Chatsworth (1996), Derwent Gritstone (1985),
Out of print: Rock Climbing in thge Peak District (1987), Rock climbs in the Peak - Derwent valley (1981)

Climbs at this crag

Sort climbs
  Climb nameGrade
2Percy (Boulder problem #1)f6A
3Henry (Boulder problem #2)f3+ *
4Trevorf5+ *
5Thomas (Boulder problem #3)f6B **
6Thomas Eliminatef6C+
7Toby (Boulder problem #4)f2+ *
8Gordon (Boulder problem #5)f4 *
9Edward (Boulder problem #6)f4+
10The Fat Controller (Boulder prob #7)f6B
12Route 2 Left Handf5 *
13Route 2 (Slab problem #1)VS 5a
14Island of Sodor (Slab problem #2)HVS 5c *
15Route 1 (Slab problem #3)VS 4c *
16Duck (Slab problem #4)M
18Railway Ribf4
19Harold (Slab problem #5)f6B+ *
20The Bufferf5+
24CrackersE1 5b
25Physical GraffitiE3 6b
27Easy Aretef4+
28Megalythic Manf7A
30Angel Delightf7A+
31Easier Aretef2
33My Pet DaddyE5 6a *
35Hot Dog SnifferE6 6a **
36RafflesE3 5b
39Slab and TableHVD
40Are We Nearly There Yet?E1 5b
41East ArêteS *
43Crack and Facef5
44Valerie Ann, I'm Desperate Danf4+
46Easy Slabf3+
47Amethyst Deceiverf6C
48Dollyf6B *
49Ledge Climbf5+
50Maybellef6B+ **
52The Clamf5+
53Flaked Slabf3
54King Edwardf7B+ ***
56EasternerE1 5b
57MarmotteE5 6b
58HushVS 4c *
60VJ CrackVS 4c
61Benjamin BicklesthwaiteE4 6a
62East CrackHVD
63Mental PygmyE3 6a *
64New Year ButtressHVD
66RastafarianismE3 5c
67Queen's Parlour SlabVS 4b **
68Queen's Parlour GullyVD **
69Queen's Parlour ChimneyHS 4b *
70Original RouteS 4a *
71DynoMightE7 6b *
72The RaungeHS 4b
73MoonchildE7 6c
74Pine Tree GullyD
75Birch Tree ClimbS 4a
77Pirate's StaircaseM
78Green CrackHVS 5a
79Black CrackVS 4c *
80Stonnis PinnacleHD *
81Central ButtressHVD 3c ***
82Central Buttress DirectE1 5a *
83Central Buttress ChimneyVS 4c
84Soft RushE6 6a **
85Blind Man's CrackVD 4a *
86Blind Man's ButtressVD 4a *
88Left Promontory GullyD
89Rope TrickE2 5c **
90Vikings in a Sea of SweatE2 5c
91LongshipsE2 5b *
92FirebirdE2 5c **
93The BounderXS 6?
94MeshugaE9 6c ***
95Pog's WallE4 6b
96A Day at the PromE4 6b *
97Kit KatE3 6a *
98Promontory TraverseE1 5b ***
99The Easy Exit (Promontory Nose)E1 5b
100Prominent Tory ReverseE2 5c *
101Twisted SmileHVS 5b *
102Lucky JimHVS 5a
103Right Promontory GullyM *
104Right Promontory RibS 4a
105Green WallHS 4c
107SilicosisE1 5c
108Garden Wall TraverseVS 4c
109Stonnis Arete VariationsVD 4a *
110Stonnis AreteS 4a **
111The Eighth FoldE6 6c **
112Ladykiller PeakE3 6b *
113Fireworks for the BlindE4 6a
114Stonnis CrackHS 4b **
115DiscombobulatorE5 6c **
116Caught SmilingE6 7a *
117Sand ButtressVS 4c ***
118UntowardE5 6b *
119Sand GullyD *
121Right Hand ExitHVD *
122Camel HotE6 6b ***
123The Indirect StartE2 5c
124Lean Man's ClimbVS 4c ***
125Feeding the PonyE8 6c *
126The Superstitious StartHVS 5b *
127Lean Man's SuperdirectVS 5a ***
128Cider FrenzyE3 6a
129Fat Man's ChimneyD *
130Lean Man's EliminateVS 4c *
132Branch ChimneyM
133The Nuage TravellerE3 5c
134GomorrahE1 6a
135The SprainE2 5b *
136Liquid AbsE5 6b *
137Smears for Earsf7A+ **
138GoodmotorfingerE5 6c *
139BadmotorfingerE5 6c *
140Twin CracksVD
141Finale WallHVS 4b
142Curtain Call (Finale Slab Left-hand)E2 5b *
143Finale Wall Direct (Finale Slab Right-hand)E2 5b **
144Cybertron MissionE6 6b **
145Lawyer's Left FinishS 4b
146Lawyer's ChimneyVD
147Chancery SlabVS 4c
148Chancery GrooveM
149Our KidE4 5c
150Slanted and EnchantedE6 6b *
151Jammed Stone ChimneyVS 4c
155Curved CrackHS 4b
156Curve Ballf6B **
157Kra S'HaonVS 4b
158Noah's ArkVS 4b
159GaiaE8 6c ***
160Harder FasterE9 7a *
161Taxi to the Cragf7B *
162Through the K-holeE7 6b *
163Curving AreteE5 6b ***
165Bring Back the BirchE5 6a
166Birch Tree Wall VariationsHVS 5a **
167Birch Tree Wall- variation startVS 4c **
168Desert Island Discof6C
169Birch Tree Wall- variation finish (The Leaching Birch Tree)HVS 5b ***
170Birch Tree WallVS 5a ***
171Birch Tree Wall EliminateE4 6b **
172The CriticE3 5c *
173Demon RibE3 5c **
174Lone Tree GrooveVS 5a **
175Lone Tree GullyS 4a **
176Occam's RaisinE5 6b *
177Route 66f7C ***
178PseudonymE5 6b **
179The Devil Is In The DetailsE7 7a **
180Hat Trickf7A ***
181Non Stick Vicarf7B+
182Black Book JohnE7 6c
183Fun TraverseE4 6b *
184South Gully RibHS 4b
185South GullyVD 4a
186South CornerHVS 4c
187Bad Hair DayE4 6b
188Runnel Rib Direct FinishE4 6b
189Runnel RibE2 6b
190Fat Girl Rodeof7B *
191The RunnelE2 6b
192Slab EndD
195Shredded FeetE3 6b *
196Small ThingsE6 6c *
197Golden DaysE3 6a *
198Jumpin' on a BeetleE6 6c *
199The Angel's ShareE8 7a **
200Velvet SilenceE6 6c **
201Make it SlappyE6 6c
202Tree CrackHVS 5b
203Excellent SocksHVS 5b
204DampS 4b
205DryS 4a
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Cool, challenging crag with some great and testing routes. Absolutely heartbreaking to see so much litter though.
Go_Climb_A_Rock - 24/Aug/14
"Rough, round, big, ugly, hard and unforgiving." A perfect description of the climbing and the people you are likely to encounter on a weekend trip to Black Rocks. Shame really as it has some of the best lines on grit. If you fancy it go during the week or evening, outside holidays.
nathanlee - 29/Jul/11
It was ever thus... Lots of names carved into the rock on the top - some of it quite artistic, some of it "AB luvs CD" etc. Some of it very new and some has been there for generations. Yobs? Not really, but plenty of weekend gawpers..."Oh look there's one! There's one!" Was the cry when the little group appeared on the skyline and pointed at us. Shame about the litter - lots of this. If you can put up with being gawped at then you will find some tough testpieces in a reather testing environment. The grades are a little less than generous for grit but there are some fantastic routes. A friend of mine once remarked that no birds sing at Black Rocks...nothing sinister about that - it's just that the sound of dogs, prams, bikes, shrieking people and cars drowns them out. Enjoy!
Rampikino - 18/Oct/10
Rough, round, big, ugly, hard and unforgiving, everything gritstone should be! One of the best gritstone crags in the Peak for hard climbing. If you want your grit technique to improve its a toss up between here, or the cowperstone. Shame about the yobs, i reckon you get an extra 'E' point for each empty can of stella you get thrown at you whilst ur on the lead.
tom allsop - 13/Oct/09
Taught climbing to an old friend there today. I was embarrassed with the rubbish, fosters cans and broken glass everywhere. Apart from that, there are some great routes, probably not the best crag for teaching a beginner on though...
Mattu - 22/Jun/09
Yes its a bit green on the off side but never mind, great climbs, sunset view point after the rounded gritstone struggles. To the people who post 'wont be returning to this one' good riddance dont come back!! xxx
ktmdave - 08/May/08
Went on sunday, beautiful day for climbing unfortunately most of the climbing here was poor. Obviously underclimbed as everything apart from the birch tree wall area was very green and slippery and most of the routes up to VS on birch tree wall were very polished. Shame as what we did do had a lot of potential and some of the routes are pretty high for gritstone. Still probably won't come back here again - at least the reports of Chav's and beer cans proved unfounded.
timbo - 31/Aug/05
went on saturday,took children to it,had an excellent day,no yobs of people,would go again
rachel - 06/Jun/05
Not impressed at all. Most of it very very green despite being June, sadly defaced by names cared into the rock, and frequented by grubby chavs swigging from cans of lager in the middle of the day who appear to think nothing of littering the place with their empties. Safe to say that we won't be coming back.
Dave - 05/Jun/05
An excellent crag - can be abit wet on the north facing area but loads of excellent routes and bouldering (with a mat) - it is sometimes abit litter strewn but i've never had problems with yobs throwing cans either (i feel i'm missing out!)
mark pollak - 31/Jul/04
Some excellent routes, but the crag suffers more than most from local yobs leaving litter, and from large groups of top-roping kids with dirty trainers damaging the routes :(
Nick Smith - 12/Jul/04
My local crag for the last 30 years and despite climbing there literally hundreds of times I always find it to be one of my favourite gritstone crags and not once in all those years have I ever seen anyone carving their name in the rock or throwing cans off the top. It has to be said though that some of the carvings are quite ingenious, the weeing donkey being a favourite with my children.
jonathan shepherd - 11/Jul/04
This crag is ideal for novices to experts, best avoided on weekends when total idiots decide to take hours chiselling their names into the face whilst drinking Stella and hurling their cans upon anyone attempting some of the excellent climbs! Watch out for broken glass on the ledges and make sure the cracks are clear before you hand-jam.
Stephen Farrer - 11/Jun/04
The first derbyshire gritstone crag I laid eyes on and it was enough to get me addicted! Found alot of the VS level routes absolutely nails and Stonis crackspat me off atleast four times. Ten years later I got back on it and it is still hard. My mate got his foot stuck in it for five minutes!! Prom traverse is one of my favourite routes..... Indeed an excellent crag.
Dave Evans - 08/Jun/04
BU - 26/Aug/03
A beast of a place. Some execellent routes, albeit a bit green in places. Easy access with nearby car parking below the crag. Shame about all the carvings in the rocks by mindless morons.
DS - 26/Jun/03
On reading my old diary from 1947 I see where Birch Tree Wall was a real bugger. As I remember it it was a lay-back up the crack but the slopping ledge to the left was a worse bugger,no hand holds 54 years ago I still remember sticking my hand in a crack then twisting it for a hold. Feeling sharp one early morning I detirmine to do her without a rope I nearly became religist that morn. Other climbs in my diary is Palm tree gally and groove, Lean\'s Ordinary,Q.P.slap,I dare say on the end of a rope.
Ralph H. Brailsford - 31/Aug/02
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These details were last updated on 04/Nov/2014

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