/ Best single pitch beginners trad crag
My 12 year old niece has recently got into climbing (indoor wall) and is very enthusiastic about it. I would like to take her trad climbing on some easy (VD, S, HS) routes which are single pitch. My non climbing wife will be belaying me from the ground hence why they need to be single pitch. She is learning to belay has no intention of leaving the floor. Will also be on a single rope. My niece doesn't appear to have any fear of heights so exposure isn't an issue.
We live in Northamptonshire and it will be a day trip so I'm thinking maybe Stanage or the Roaches. Anyone have any recommendations please for places and / or routes?
As I will be the only climber in the group a top rope rescue is out of the question.
Burbage North is a fantastic beginner crag, and can often be surprisingly quiet compared to Popular, Froggatt, Birchen, etc.
Yarncliffe is very good. Ant wall is quite high but very easy.
Good luck, Iain ! If I think of somewhere I’ll let you know !
Windgather is great for the family-friendly feeling, low exposure, low height and that kind of stuff that my younger family (under 9 y.o.) all like. However, for a bit more of a sense of adventure Stanage is hard to beat for beginners (although not actually more adventurous). It has really easy quality routes of 16 metres and more.
If you're going to make the trip, you may as well get that bit more quality imho
Stanage or the Roaches are both great choices and really nice places to visit in their own right. Best invest in a guidebook, I'd say. Peak district guidebooks will get a lot of use.
Another vote for Wingather.
Castle Naze also worth a visit
+ 1 for Birchen Edge
Definitely better than Windgather
... although a 12 year old novice climber might prefer the getting-off-the-ground moves at Windgather!
All the obvious peak options have been listed. One possible advantage of Harborough, is that an indoor climber like your niece might like the holds more than the gritstone options.
I was there on Friday with OffWidth and BuxtonCoffeeLover and we were the only people there.
> + 1 for Birchen Edge
> Definitely better than Windgather
Couldn't disagree more
After many visits to Windgather, and to the alternatives for a first time trad crag, I'd now go for Windgather every time. Friendly rock angle with lots of incut holds, lots of gear placements for a first time lead, top anchors which really teach you how to use trad gear, and lots of good quality routes in the easier grades lined up alongside each other. (Oh, and honest grades with none of Birchen's sandbag first moves).
Nice, straightforward, short routes at Lawrencefield too.
Thanks for all the replies everyone. I think we’re going to go to Stanage. Lots of routes, easy to find quieter areas, bit higher than some of the other crags suggested and a bit of nostalgia for me.
I'd recommend Windgather as my favourite and ideal for what you want: very short approach, loads of routes, good holds, climbing not very affected by polish... maybe too far to drive. Stanage is good away from the popular bit of the Popular End... the left of the Popular End and the right of the Plantation has a great collection of nice routes. Burbage North is mostly too polished. Birchen has too many hard starts. Roaches is too polished and crowded but the Skyline is good in parts. Froggatt mostly too crowded. Yarncliffe sandy and not good for TR given eroding tops and has nasty ants. Wharncliffe is very good especially around Black Slab and just as quick from the M1 as Stanage as long as the traffic is flowing. Baslow is very good but best when the bilberries are out. For quiet away from it all lower grade adventure Dovestones Edge in the Chew (a long way for you) is maybe the loveliest. On limestone, Harborough rocks is a bit grim at times with the factory and a bit steep, fingery and polished.... I much prefer Pleasley Vale for beginner routes which is a quicker option for you but stick to classics to avoid loose rock there.
Try Harborough Rocks it's limestone so loads of holds which will help anyone new to outdoor climbing, plus a great family day out take a picnic if the weather is nice
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