Rockfax Description
One of the classic test-pieces of the Peak which is a 'must do'. Polish is no excuse since it has been slippery for many years. Head diagonally right with testing moves to clip the old peg (beware of runners in the undercut; they may appear better than they are). Move up to the break, swing up and left and tackle the upper crack past an awkward-to-place runner.
The Great Leveller, E6 6b - Direct from the undercut flake on Bitterfingers via a painful mono move and long stretches. There is no gear once you leave the security of Bitterfingers. © Rockfax

FA. Gabriel Reagan, Geoff Birtles 1976

Ticklists: Extreme Rock, Great Wall Climbs of the UK, Rockfax Peak Limestone Top 50, World Graded List, 50 cracks to Squamish, Peak Rock/13/The Limestone Revolution, Ultimate E4 ticklist, The best the UK has to offer for beasts (apart from the lakes cos its always wet).

NDD 14/Sep Lead β

On Sam's gear.

Josh Hadley 08/Sep Lead RP

Amazing varied climbing and pumpy. Worked on top rope after leading DB crack. Ppg

James Oakes 31/Jul Lead O/S
with Ramsden Senior, Steve Ramsden
Andy Moles 21/Jul Lead
with James Oswald
Mike_Hayes 15/Aug/16 Lead G/U

Felt like E5 6b to me

with Mike Lea
Hidden 04/Aug/16 TR
heywoodj 24/May/16 2nd dog
with JT
Hidden 19/Apr/16 Lead
WB 10/Apr/16 Lead

Some how managed to go a bit off route. Chopper

rocksol ??/2016 -
Hidden ??/2016 Lead
James Thacker ??/2016 -
eduardo 18/Jul/15 TR dog

Couple of hard sequences!

with Ian W, Mark H
deacondeacon 18/Jul/15 Lead RP

Dogged on Thursday, led clean today (just). 'Ard! A busy day in Bitterfingers bay.

Nick1812P 17/Jul/15 Lead O/S
with Calum harvey
Hidden 15/Jul/15 Lead RP
Hidden 04/Jul/15 Lead dnf
Theo Moore - UKC and UKH 09/Jun/15 Lead rpt

Excellent route. Dogged up this last week. Felt much easier in better conditions - placed gear on lead.

Luke Dawson 05/Jun/15 Lead O/S
Albert Exley 05/Jun/15 2nd dog

Just slipped of a foot hold after the peg...

LRob 31/May/15 Lead G/U
harry_lewis 21/May/15 Lead G/U

Happy to get this, done after a couple of unsuccessful attempts

jon_gill1 02/May/15 TR dog

thought id see how this route felt after trying it years ago, managed to climb all sections free this time round,probably have cleaned it if i wasn't so tired and warmed up better.

phil64 ??/2015 -
Canyak ??/2015 -
Misha 27/Sep/14 Lead O/S

Yes! This has intimidated me long enough and somehow there has always been an excuse not to try it. May be just as well as need to be on form for this. Up to the undercut flake is fine and there's a (seemingly?) good friend there. Pumpy to place wire to the right in line with the peg seemed sensible. Fairly hard to the peg but could hand around once there. Peg getting on a bit so backed up with a cam 0.3. The next section is the crux. Already a bit tired but have to crank out a series do tough moves. I was thinking this feels like E5 if it goes on much longer but thankfully got to a half-decent rest. A good rest at the big flake soon follows. Spent a while there and did some up and down to have a look at the hard section above. Another 6a sequence awaits there, really good moves. Phew, made of! The hard to place wire is a faff, used one of Tom's small aliens - about cam 0.3 or slightly smaller. Great route, top end E4, have to go for it above gear but with one good rest and some not so good ones it's not too bad.

Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing 03/Aug/14 2nd rpt

Just as hard as I remember it being!

Duncan Campbell 03/Aug/14 Lead O/S

Mega! Very surprised and happy to onsight this, thought it would involve protracted ground-up scenes. 3 rest days defo helped. Found it hard and scary up to peg with the crux coming just after the peg to gain the break. After that it is sustained but very well protected. Very psyched. The runner in the top crack isn't that awkward to place and there is another above it.

with Robbie
Rachel Slater 22/Jul/14 Lead RP

Success on the re-match.

Rachel Slater 12/Jul/14 Lead dog

Made it up the first crack, tough but ok. Fully de-pumped on break, couldn't see where to place to "awkward runner" above and didn't want to commit without it. Eventually saw it and committed fine once it was in. Tough little cookie.. I will be back!

Olli-C 12/Jul/14 2nd dog
jpeg 08/May/14 Lead O/S


phildawson 05/May/14 2nd dog
tim newton 05/May/14 Lead RP

Tried this a month ago and fell off the crux onto the peg really pumped and retreated, convinced it was a total sandbag. Today couldn't have been much more different, found the crux pretty steady and got to the top without much pump.

Hidden 13/Apr/14 Lead RP
tim newton 30/Mar/14 Lead dnf

climbed up to the peg, clipped it and put a wire in, but then was really pumped so down climbed the route back to the ground clean. Then went back up but still fell off the move above the peg. Did Fe Fi Fo Fum instead as I'd wasted enough time already.

Dan-Cheetham ??/2014 -
mike mo ??/2014 -
Hidden ??/2014 -
tebs 27/Aug/13 2nd β

Skin of the teeth!

with Burns
Hidden 13/Aug/13 Lead O/S
tonevert 12/Aug/13 2nd dog
with Kevin Faux
Kevster 12/Aug/13 Lead RP

Failed OS due to foot pop. Gear is more than adequate.

Hannes B 30/Jul/13 Lead

1 rest

with Phil
markalmack 30/Jun/13 Lead O/S

Put shit loads of gear in up to the peg as none of it felt bomber. Hard moves above the peg, and then again into the thin crack higher up. A shame it's so polished, but still definitely worth climbing.

samt 25/Jun/13 Lead

At long last, after a slip 12 years ago and another last week

with Lucian
Haydn Jones 18/Jun/13 Lead O/S

Fantastic route! Top end of the grade but not E5.

with domonic
Hidden 26/Apr/13 Lead O/S
Apharri 25/Apr/13 Lead O/S
with Dave Wharton
realbobsmith 24/Apr/13 TR β

regular training hit

Nick Sillem ??/2013 Lead β
ejected ??/2013 Lead O/S
captain ??/2013 -
climbingsheep 30/Oct/12 2nd β
with Mike Watson
akhughes 14/Aug/12 Lead O/S
Hidden 10/Aug/12 -
dominic lee 24/Jul/12 Lead rpt
JBO 30/Jun/12 Lead O/S

I've been wanting to do this for ages but I'd always saved it for when I felt good. Felt good today, and it went pretty easily apart from a stiff pull above the peg and a bit of a scare on the crack higher up. Truly classic!

Speeddemonsi 27/Jun/12 Lead
mwatson 18/Jun/12 Lead O/S
Gus 17/Jun/12 Lead O/S
Dan Arkle ??/2012 Lead
kingholmesy ??/2012 Lead β

Climbing it on Jake's gear after belaying him helped. The shower mid-route hindered.

with Jake O
Bob ??/2012 -
Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing ??/2012 Lead
Tony Kartawick ??/2012 -
J.Wells 28/Sep/11 Lead RP

need a ground up button - ground up

Hidden 28/Jul/11 Lead β
Joe Costello 12/Jul/11 Lead O/S
with Matt
steve_yo ?/Jul/11 2nd
with steve f
alaan 26/Jun/11 Lead O/S

Butterfingers would be more appropriate.

with Will
Hannes B 19/Jun/11 Lead dnf
with Rik
Hidden 09/Jun/11 TR dnf
Hidden 08/Apr/11 TR dnf
jon_gill1 08/Apr/11 TR dog
Jack Geldard - Consulting Editor ??/2011 -
GeoffG ??/2011 -
phil64 ??/2011 -
Hidden ??/2011 Lead
Fraser13 ??/2011 -
Hidden 16/Oct/10 TR β
Hidden 16/Oct/10 TR
Hidden 12/Sep/10 Lead rpt
Matt Fry 30/Aug/10 Lead β

Absolutely brilliant, really enjoyed it.

with Mark Rankaine, Andy Janezko
Hidden 12/Aug/10 2nd O/S
Mike Goldthorp 22/Jul/10 Lead O/S

Pumpy beast. rests are ok but climbing is quite sustained and strenuous for most of it (solid f7a). Had to really fight pump to get through the top crux through the mini roof, really pleased to get it!

Marti999 21/Jun/10 Lead dog

:-( fell on the last move,pumped out.

with Anna
miastacey ?/Jun/10 Lead RP
with Bob Smith
Hidden ??/2010 Lead O/S
dan gibson 31/Oct/09 Lead RP
with anna barnes
Andrew Barker 11/Aug/09 Lead O/S

An incredible route. Didn't second Alex up this when he did it two years ago and luckily had no memory of him climbing it. I tried it on Sunday - almost got to the peg but got spooked and downclimbed to the ground and took the gear out. Shouldn't have bothered as I was really nervous and convinced myself that all the low gear would blow out if I fell. Got back on it today and was very scared clipping the peg even though one of the many lower pieces of gear would have held. The moves from the peg to the break felt like the crux. The top crack had tricky footwork but was steady. I didn't bother with the hard-to-place runner as the previous runners are good.

sadams 05/Aug/09 2nd
with Eric Hildrew
Franco Cookson OLD ?/Aug/09 Lead O/S

uggy, uggy, uggy, Aid, Aid, Aid

Hidden 19/Jul/08 Lead dog
Hidden 19/Jul/08 Lead O/S
Hidden ?/Jul/08 Lead O/S
Brown 07/Jun/08 Lead O/S
with John
skygodley 26/May/08 Lead RP

fell of this baby about four years ago, felt great today though!

tuftynick ??/2008 2nd
with simon wilson
Al Evans ??/2008 -
JulesV ??/2008 Lead O/S
Alex Mason 30/Aug/07 Lead

fell off at peg, climbed to the top pulled ropes and then lead clean on pre placed gear, with peg pre-clipped. need to climb placing gear next time im down.

Toby Dunn 24/Aug/07 Lead
with Ruth
Ian Broome 17/Aug/07 TR dog

Hard, would be a gripping lead!

Hidden 17/Aug/07 TR dog
Neil Adams 10/Jun/07 TR dog
with Andre & Adrian
Ram MkiV 19/Apr/07 Lead

2nd attempt: (3 days on) found previous point of failure annoyingly and strangely easy. Great pitch. 1st attempt (16/04/07): One fall from higher crux - failed to latch jug after slapping in pumped desperation. Didn't read the moves so well and nearly fell off around the first peg too. Could do better....

with Al
Boy ??/2006 -
Hidden ?/Jun/05 Lead dog
Hidden ?/Jun/05 2nd O/S
Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe 29/Apr/05 Lead rpt
with Nic Sellers
marcoleptic ??/2000 TR
Hidden ??/2000 -
Carl Smethurst 31/Oct/99 TR dog
Dave Musgrove Jnr 19/Jul/98 2nd
Hidden 15/Jul/98 Lead O/S
Hidden 07/Sep/97 Lead rpt
goi.ashmore 09/Aug/97 Lead β
with James Tracey
Hidden 07/Jun/97 Lead dog
Hidden 13/Apr/97 TR
Hidden 21/May/96 Lead dog
ste_d 13/Sep/95 Lead O/S
with mik
keefe ??/1995 -
ded ??/1995 Lead dog
Glenn Sutcliffe ??/1995 -
with keefe
nokishatov 01/Sep/94 2nd β
Cowflinger ?/Sep/94 TR
Roget 27/Jul/94 Lead O/S
with jim
Hidden ??/1994 -
crossleysm ?/Aug/93 Lead O/S
mattnuttall 12/Jul/93 Lead O/S
with Alan Holden
Hidden 05/Jul/93 2nd
Hidden ??/1993 TR O/S
robyn1 ??/1993 -
Hidden ??/1992 Lead
Eduardo Martinez 08/Sep/90 Lead O/S
Greg Cunningham 01/Jun/90 -
Hidden 01/Apr/90 Lead
keefe ??/1990 -
Billg ??/1990 Lead O/S
uphillnow ?/Sep/89 2nd

probably with Pog

jon 21/Apr/89 2nd

H led.

with H
Hidden 20/Apr/89 Lead rpt
Hidden 18/Apr/89 Lead rpt
craig h ?/Oct/88 2nd O/S

Luke woke me up early as the forecast was bad, did this route, everyone was still asleep when we returned, so must have been up before 06.00

with Luke Steer
Hidden 30/Mar/88 Lead dog
Paul Clarke ??/1988 Lead
with Leeds Crew
ukb & bmc shark 07/Nov/87 Lead
with Seb Grieve
Rock to Fakey 19/Aug/87 Lead dog

2 falls at peg, 3 falls at overlap / roof.

William Robertson ??/1987 Lead O/S
with Emily, Steve, Shaun etc
Hidden ??/1987 -
Hidden 12/Sep/86 2nd
Neil R 07/Jun/86 2nd dog
with Ian
ukb & bmc shark 05/Jun/86 Lead
with Chris
steve taylor ??/1986 2nd dnf
with jon reti
Hidden ?/Jun/85 Lead O/S
sadams 05/May/85 Lead rpt
with Chris Thwaites
ukb & bmc shark 06/Apr/85 Lead dog
with Howard
neilh 06/Apr/85 2nd
with dave marsh
Mike Owen 20/Mar/85 Lead rpt
with Lew Brown
Chris Wright 19/Mar/85 Lead
Andy Nicholson ??/1985 -
Dave Musgrove 23/May/84 2nd
with Kim Greenald
Ian Clare ??/1984 -
Mike Owen 06/Nov/83 Lead O/S
with Phil Davidson
Ian Jones ??/1983 Lead β

Fingery and pumpy.

with Neil McAdie
jon 22/Sep/82 -
TonyF 01/May/82 2nd dog
with Tony Cox
duncan ?/Dec/80 Lead G/U

This was my first contemporary guidebook E4 and felt like a psychological breakthrough. Several ground-up attempts over two days. The successful ascent occured with the arrival of Jerry Moffatt at the base of the route to spectate. A coincidence I'm sure.

Mark Kemball 07/Jun/80 Lead

My first E4 lead.

with John Jefferies
Hidden ??/1980 Lead
Hidden ??/1980 Lead
mitch1960 ??/1980 Lead
Hidden ??/1979 Lead
Andy Edgar ??/1978 Lead
Hidden ??/1973 -
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High E5
Mid E5
Low E5
High E4
Mid E4
Low E4
High E3
Mid E3
Low E3
Votes cast 57
High 6b
Mid 6b
Low 6b
High 6a
Mid 6a
Low 6a
High 5c
Mid 5c
Low 5c
Votes cast 50
Votes cast 51
Style of ascent
Not Set
Flashed (β)
Ground Up
Not Set