/ Beginner(ish) off to peak district

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philip041 on 12 Aug 2013 -

I've been going to an indoor boulder wall in London for 6 months and have decided to spend the last week or of the summer in the peak district and was hoping to get some ideas.

I think I am a level V4 ish if I have read the chart properly, so not beginner but nothing to boast about. I am going with a friend who used to climb a lot but hasn't been in a while. He has all the equipment, ropes harnesses etc and we are going on a course to get him back up to scratch (and for me to learn as well!). We need to find a place that is fairly beginner friendly, are there any recommendations? I also think his rope is only 50 metres.

We may be able to get hold of a boulder mat so that is also on the books.

Any advice much appreciated!

David Kay - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to philip041: It might be worth buying a peak district selected guide (the BMC do one I think) for some bedtime reading. There are lots of venues with a good spread of grades, Birchen is often a good beginners crag, Stanage has a ton of routes to choose from and excellent bouldering, as does Burbage.

As a word of warning, indoor bouldering grades don't always translate well to outdoor climbing. In my experience indoor grades are usually a bit soft and it takes a while to get used to the rock outdoors too.

A single 50m rope will be fine on most gritstone routes, just watch out for rope drag on wandering routes. It should also be fine on a lot of peak limestone but check the crag/route.

SteveoS - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to philip041:

As you're spending a week there I'd suggest starting at low grades and work your way up, it's a warm up and an introduction to real rock in anyways.

Be careful of translating indoor to outdoor grades! Aint nuffink like watching a beginner try and lead a 6a coz he did one once indoors.
andrewmc - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to SteveoS:

I did two 6a's indoors at my local wall on my first day :P

Suffice to say, the grades were a little... soft? Going outside was a bit of a shock! (although the wall's grades seem to have slowly got harder since I started which is probably a good thing)
dmca - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to philip041:

Like the others have been saying, indoors bouldering to outdoors bouldering can be very difficult to translate. I'm a beginner too, and I can usually on sight V3-V4 indoors but outdoors the hardest I've done is about 6b+, so V4-ish. And that's spending half an hour nailing the sequence. It's so much harder when every hold isn't labelled for you. Also you can go higher, with a poorer landings and need to top out, which increases the mental aspect.

If you're looking for a first bouldering venue with a good concentration of very easy problems (and some that'll stretch you too) plus a free guide you can print off, you could try Buckstones (especially below the road). Bit off the beaten track though, you might be the only ones there.

I would strongly advise a mat if you're bouldering at all. As for trad, you're going to want to start with routes well below your technical ability (V0 moves can be scary when your 15m up and poorly protected) and get confident with gear placement. Learning how to build a safe belay is probably one of the most important things, make sure you have the right kit for this.

This is all just advice off another beginner mind.
Offwidth - on 13 Aug 2013
In reply to philip041:

Bouldering only or bouldering and routes? You were not clear. Buy the excellent VG Peak Bouldering guide, whatever, and follow where it inspires. Don't worry when some sloping F5 (V0) spanks you on a hot day, as grades are for the right skills and good conditions (cooler weather than now for slopers).
philip041 on 08 Sep 2013 -
Thanks very much all for the responses and apologies I didn't reply sooner. For the benefit of other beginners who may find this thread - my friend and I ended up getting a train to Hathersage, where there is a campsite about a half hour walk through some farms called North Lees. We were almost eaten alive at about 7pm each day by midges but otherwise it is a good spot - £6.50 a night. From there it is a half hour slog up the hill to Stanage Edge, which we now know is a bit of a climbing hot spot.

As you can imagine: lots of friendly climbers and very few wannabe know-it-alls. We managed to set up what I now know is a top rope and do some 4cs and one or two 5as. There was more than enough to keep us occupied for three full days of climbing. Another climber also let us climb a route they had just led so would definitely recommend.

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