Rockfax Description
18m. The magnificent central crack set in a shallow groove is approached from a cave recess. It is delicate up the ramp and strenuous up the groove - hence the name. A rounded exit completes the job. According to an acquaintance who has been to Thailand, it is nothing like an elephant's arse! © Rockfax

FA. Joe Brown late 1950s 1957

Ticklists: ROCKFAX Western Grit: Top 50, The Roaches - Routes Graded List, Steve Ashton's 100 Classic Gritstone Climbs, ROCKFAX Western Grit Grade List, The Peak: Past and Present, World Graded List, Staffordshire Grit Challenge - Brown-Whillans Day Out, Peak Rock/7/8/Biven-Peck Partnership/1950's a Developing Decade, Ultimate HVS ticklist, Joe Brown's Three-Star Grit-List, Joe Browns Shops 50th Anniversary Celebration Routes List, The best the UK has to offer for mere mortals (apart from the lakes cos its always wet), The Roaches 3 Star Extravaganza, Definitive *** Peak Grit.

Barrie Schofield II 16/Oct/17 Lead O/S
James Oakes 24/Sep/17 Lead rpt
patrickcd 17/Sep/17 2nd
with Andy
galpinos 03/Sep/17 2nd

Still feels nails!

with Sam
jimbonfire 02/Sep/17 Lead O/S

Quality, pumpy but keep going..

with Georgio
GeorgiePorgie1 02/Sep/17 2nd

Impeccable lead by Jimbo! Awesome route and defo wins the route of the day award.

with Jim Broomhead
Hidden 21/Aug/17 Lead O/S
Jim Walton 16/Aug/17 Lead dog

Fluffed the top due to wasting energy removing a stuck cam, should have cursed it and clipped it and moved on.

with Andy Barker
Andrew Barker 16/Aug/17 2nd


with Jim
Hidden 13/Aug/17 Lead
AngelaC 12/Aug/17 2nd
hotfeet 17/Jul/17 Lead
with marcduhig
marcduhig 17/Jul/17 2nd O/S
with Alan
Ky 14/Jun/17 Lead O/S

A fight of fists and slaps is won with the feet. Quality route!

with Jim L, Andi Turner
Hidden 03/Jun/17 2nd
Pete Wimbush 23/May/17 Lead O/S
with Chris Hindley
wil_perry 08/May/17 2nd
Hidden 07/May/17 Lead O/S
Hidden ?/May/17 Lead
Ids1165 ??/2017 Lead
The Grist 02/Oct/16 Lead O/S
Flavio 25/Sep/16 2nd O/S
MichaelGallimore 25/Sep/16 Lead O/S
Lenny 24/Sep/16 Lead O/S
with James. D
Hidden 10/Sep/16 2nd O/S
PeteWilson 09/Sep/16 Lead O/S

very windy! hard but good, and more gear than you can shake a stick at!

Hillson 09/Sep/16 2nd
john lynch 13/Mar/16 2nd O/S


with Lewis Andrew
Droyd 12/Mar/16 Lead O/S

Savage but glorious - as the BMC guide says, "5a every magnificent step of the way"

with Dan
Hidden 12/Mar/16 2nd O/S
OliverRoss 13/Feb/16 Lead O/S
phil64 ??/2016 Lead
with various
Dogwood 20/Dec/15 Lead RP

Could have done with a warm up and being less hungover. Felt like the hardest HVS lead I've done. Top out was scary, really glad to finally tick it though!

Mike W 20/Dec/15 2nd
with Dogwood
Stanners 11/Oct/15 Lead O/S

A very impressive line which from a distance could be about E7! Well protected fun - and pump, but solid jams make it quite hard to fall off.

with Giles
Hidden 04/Oct/15 Lead
Heather Osborne 04/Oct/15 Lead O/S

This has to be one of my favourite climbs! Really varied, awesome climb. Was pretty surprised to make it over that bulgy top though, was literally hugging the rock! Felt really good on it, despite it being hard. Really happy.

with Charlotte Nelson
mop449 04/Oct/15 2nd dog

Stopped to try and get the stuck cam. Failed. Bloody hard for HVS.

phillipwright 04/Oct/15 Lead O/S

Hard for HVS.

with mop449
Charlotte Nelson 04/Oct/15 2nd
with Heather
mark4344 27/Sep/15 Lead O/S

v.yough jamming crack with no rests.

with Michel
Hidden 27/Sep/15 2nd dog
poeter210 26/Sep/15 Lead O/S
Hidden 26/Sep/15 2nd O/S
Mark Stevenson 21/Sep/15 Lead O/S
Longsufferingropeholder 20/Sep/15 Lead O/S
with C May
C May 20/Sep/15 2nd dog
with Tim
Ironmax 19/Sep/15 2nd dog
with Luke Doherty
matt1024 19/Sep/15 2nd O/S

Tried to remove the in-situ can with no success :(

with Mark Stevenson
Brannock 29/Aug/15 Lead O/S

Proper HVS, topout is so rounded...

Stroppy 09/Aug/15 Lead O/S

Wow! Amazing route, has to be one of the best of its type in England? Would probably give 5b for the top out, nearly spat me off! Also there is an abandoned cam that would probably come out with a bit of time, effort and lube

with Oli Brend
JEP 21/Jul/15 2nd rpt
Graham Westbrook 18/Jul/15 2nd
hthom 11/Jul/15 2nd
with RobScarisbrick, Bernie
Bernie L 11/Jul/15 Lead O/S
RobScarisbrick 11/Jul/15 2nd dog
with Bernie
Dogwood 29/Jun/15 Lead dnf

Went dark. More jamming practice needed. I will return.

Hidden ??/2015 Lead
Seymore Butt ??/2015 -
Hidden 10/Nov/14 Lead
Hidden 05/Oct/14 2nd O/S
birks3746 05/Oct/14 Lead
manxclare 28/Sep/14 2nd
with jon22
John sealey 28/Sep/14 Lead
switch 28/Sep/14 2nd rpt
with James
brian watson 27/Sep/14 Lead O/S
Hidden 07/Sep/14 Lead O/S
Mark Warnett ?/Sep/14 Lead O/S

Doesn't get better than this, absolutely immaculate!

keith Lonsdale 29/Jul/14 2nd
andybirtwistle 29/Jul/14 Lead

Seemed easier 8 years ago :)Has to be one of the best HVS's on grit.Simply stunning :)

soph 23/Jul/14 Lead rpt
with Lindy Smith
Nick Russell 21/Jul/14 Lead O/S

28/31. Brilliant! Just enough semi-rests in the upper crack to place the gear and recover enough to haul my ass upwards.

Alex Winter 21/Jul/14 2nd rpt

28 on Staffordshire nose. Should have been my lead, but I cowardly sent Nick up it.

with Nick
soph 15/Jul/14 Lead O/S
with Lindy Smith
NickyC 12/Jul/14 2nd
with Zain Karim
dan gibson 29/Jun/14 -
with michael porter
Hidden 29/Jun/14 2nd rpt
Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing ?/Jun/14 2nd
with Mel Brown
robgixer 12/Mar/14 Lead O/S
Rob Grant 01/Mar/14 -
Will Hunt 01/Mar/14 2nd O/S

No comment.

with Tom Nichols
Frank the Husky ??/2014 -
IanGilbertJones ??/2014 -
JayAyBee ??/2014 Lead O/S

Laybacked the whole way

with John
nickwhimster 07/Dec/13 Lead dog
monsteratt 07/Dec/13 2nd O/S

Excellent! Would like to come back and lead.

with Nick Whimster
1poundSOCKS 29/Sep/13 2nd β
pauldrew 27/Sep/13 Lead
with Rick Newcombe
Bloke on a Rope 31/Aug/13 2nd O/S
with Matt
Climbster 31/Aug/13 Lead O/S

Left or Right at the Top? Decisions, Decisions.

with Ian
andi turner 22/Jul/13 AltLd
with pete bridgwood
Tala A 14/Jul/13 2nd O/S
R0bbie 21/Jun/13 Lead O/S
with leighn
Hidden 20/Jun/13 Lead O/S
WillDoyle 09/Jun/13 Lead O/S
with Mike
Coel Hellier 07/Jun/13 Lead
Hidden 05/Jun/13 Lead O/S
Jonathan Hall 05/May/13 Lead
with Ian Peachy
markfairbank 05/May/13 Lead O/S
Hannes B 06/Apr/13 2nd
with DebsB
Chris Sansum 06/Apr/13 Lead dnf

Woosed out at the move left on tiny holds. Out of practice on the grit (and out of the right sized cam - note to self, save little white cam to protect that move)! Will be back...

with Phil Gibson
Hidden 06/Apr/13 Lead O/S
jacobjacob 16/Feb/13 Lead O/S

Possibly the best HVS I've done, anywhere.

climbingpixie 14/Oct/12 Lead O/S

Superb! Not as hard as I'd expected, great jams and decent feet all the way up. Top out was a bit ungainly!

with Andy
Hidden 14/Oct/12 2nd O/S
Hidden 22/Sep/12 2nd O/S
Helen Gibson 22/Sep/12 2nd


with Paul
AJ007 22/Sep/12 Lead O/S
with Brian
Hidden 22/Sep/12 Lead O/S
Brown 22/Sep/12 Lead
with Andy R
Batt 15/Sep/12 2nd O/S

Very good. Quite sustained but enough for feet to get gear in or out under a little less strain! Hold to the right at the top.

Hoyes 15/Sep/12 Lead O/S

Pleased to lead this clean.

julesmckim 09/Sep/12 Lead

Up there with the best routes on grit

Hannes B 30/Jul/12 Lead O/S
with Francis
Dan Geh 15/Jul/12 Lead O/S

Cave start was covered in bird poo. Nice jams up the groove but very sustained and pumpy, rounded top out was a nightmare! An excellent proper Hen cloud HVS

tgeh 15/Jul/12 2nd O/S


with dan geh
timmyhobby 05/Jul/12 Lead O/S
Russell Blackaller 05/Jul/12 2nd
nickmattia 10/Mar/12 2nd O/S

Lead up to the jamming crack. Found it piss wet through, wimped out, backed off. James led instead. Thank god.

Tony Kartawick ??/2012 -
Hidden ??/2012 -
Hidden 12/Dec/11 Lead
mark20 15/Oct/11 2nd O/S
bigdrew 15/Oct/11 Lead O/S
with Mark R
Fran S8 02/Oct/11 2nd
marcoleptic 24/Sep/11 Lead O/S
with max
benkelsey 24/Jul/11 Lead O/S

a test of my jamming skills learned a la ramshaw, paid off put pretty boxed by the top.

Hidden 24/Jul/11 2nd rpt
James Oswald 24/Jul/11 Lead O/S

With Jim. The best HVS on grit? Absolutely superb and it felt as hard as lots of E1s. Awesome 5a move after 5a move. Some ok rests but pretty pumpy! Awesome! Why only 86 ascents on UKC? Go to Hen Cloud people!

Jim Slater 24/Jul/11 2nd rpt
uphillnow ??/2011 -
sgl0jd ??/2011 -
keith leonard ??/2011 -
PAJames ??/2011 -
thomasadixon 30/Oct/10 2nd rpt

Led clean up to the top out which I screwed up, still chuffed with it cause I can't jam and managed the jamming bit well enough. Then handed the ropes to Mike.

with Mike
Jim Slater 16/Oct/10 Lead O/S
Alex Winter 21/Sep/10 Lead

Sublime thuggery up the groove. Very sustained 5a.

Hidden 21/Sep/10 2nd
hotfeet 04/Sep/10 Lead O/S
Hidden 30/Aug/10 Lead
al99 30/Aug/10 2nd O/S
climbinmunkey 22/Aug/10 Lead O/S

Fantastic route. Found it a big challenge. Had initial trouble getting onto the starting block which I solved by bridging across the corner. Got through the roof no problem; lovely moves, then across to the delicate bold traverse to the corner. Found the corner tough partly due to the exposure but gear is all solid and there's a good rest at half way. Found the upper part quite hard and the top out a proper bugger. Well worth the struggle :)

with Ken
lrandall 08/Aug/10 Lead dnf

Made the delicate traverse into the crack but couldn't commit to the sustained loking corner carck. Pissed.

31770 01/Aug/10 2nd O/S
with Jesse Dufton
Hidden 17/Jul/10 Lead dnf
Different Steve 11/Jul/10 Lead O/S
gingerwolf 08/Jul/10 2nd O/S

Epic route, but you can layback the crack :)

Hidden 03/Jul/10 2nd
Hidden ??/2010 Lead
Hidden ??/2010 -
Conor1 17/Oct/09 2nd dog

Absolutely fantastic! Had to rest twice on upper section, which was a shame, but can't say enough about the route. Tough start requiring some VERY wide bridging, then lean out under the roof and a mantle to gain the bottom right tip of the main face. The traverse is easy if you find the right holds (undercut), but moves away from uninspiring gear until the sanctuary of the corner. Then great tough jamming/laybacking with just enough for feet (and hands) all the way up. A really fantastic route.

with Tom Parry
Misha 04/Oct/09 Lead O/S

A proper grit route with a bit of everything. Accidentally did a direct start way to the left of the normal start, which involved a high rockover off jams - 5b? The last move had me stumped for a while, resorted to bridging round and over the elephant's arse. Quality!

Hidden 26/Sep/09 Lead O/S
shed_hed 26/Sep/09 2nd
Graeme Hammond 26/Sep/09 Lead O/S

nice jams, excellent

Hidden 17/Sep/09 Lead O/S
Ebarnes 17/Sep/09 Lead O/S
Boy ?/Sep/09 -
with Ben Heason
Sankey 29/Aug/09 2nd
with Luke
Mr Wild 20/Jul/09 Lead
craig d 04/Jul/09 Lead O/S

Hardest of the 3

with Mick Fox
Mark Dennison 05/Apr/09 2nd
Hidden ??/2009 -
Alex Winter 09/Jul/08 Lead dnf

Early in my jamming apprenticeship. Bit spooked after falling onto a shitty hex at the bottom of the groove. Lucky I didn't get any higher because I didn't have any gear. Horribly hungover, after trying to drink a pint of everything on draft in the Rock the evening before.

Twisty 07/Jun/08 2nd O/S

Excellent- good jamming and swift laybacking up the crack

with Byron Buck
Byronius Maximus 07/Jun/08 Lead O/S

Certainly brought out the Joe Brown in me!

Hidden 31/May/08 2nd rpt
Hidden ??/2008 -
middlevern ??/2008 Lead O/S
with Mike Blood
galpinos 06/Oct/07 2nd O/S
with Nick V
Hidden 06/Oct/07 2nd
mark s 29/Sep/07 Lead
with andi t
MeMeMe 09/Sep/07 Lead
with Andy
shoulders 09/Sep/07 Lead
Jon Read 07/Aug/07 Lead O/S
with Debs
nige 08/Jul/07 Lead
with dave kells
DavidEvans 31/May/07 2nd
Adam Ellwood 31/May/07 Lead O/S
davek 29/May/07 2nd
with Shaun L
Danos ?/Apr/07 Lead
with Ed
Rob Kennard ??/2007 -
Hidden 07/Nov/06 Lead
Si dH 21/Oct/06 Lead O/S

Brilliant climbing up the groove, pumpy but not quite as hard as I'd expected (a lot easier than BLH). The slab is a bit rubbish but the route is well worth 3*.

with Neil Furniss
dannyboy83 30/Jul/06 2nd O/S
feilx 30/Jul/06 Lead O/S
gregoritos ?/Jul/06 Lead O/S
Stig 05/May/06 2nd rpt
with Jonathan Teale
andybirtwistle 17/Aug/05 Lead
with Sue Birtwistle
Stig 19/Jul/05 Lead O/S
with Farmer Mark
Andrew Abraham ?/Jul/05 2nd dog

With Gus, wore me out, sat on the top rope twoce before I completed it!

chrishedgehog 15/May/05 Lead O/S
with Will Parsons
Tom Briggs - Jagged Globe ??/2005 -
mark s ??/2005 -
nickdonohue ?/Nov/04 2nd
with Jim Barradale
cem 04/Sep/04 Lead O/S
Hidden ?/Aug/04 Lead O/S
Hidden 21/Jun/04 2nd
jimshrimp 27/May/04 Lead O/S

Perhaps stepped up outside my upper limit. Fought every last inch of the crack. Just made it to the belay, well worth doing, glad I completed it. Stumbled upon at the right point of my climbing, and on a good day. Magnificent in every sense.

Hidden 23/May/04 Lead
Budge 08/Jul/03 Lead O/S
with Mike Oates
Hidden ?/Jul/03 Lead
Hidden 21/Jun/03 Lead O/S
zero six ??/2003 Lead O/S
kato'sdad 28/Aug/02 Lead
RobSimmo 28/Aug/02 2nd O/S
FrankW 14/Apr/02 2nd O/S
with Joe
Stone Muppet ??/2002 -
Gus ??/2002 -
Rob Kinsey ??/2002 Lead
DubyaJamesDubya ??/2001 Lead O/S

One of the best.

with Nik Howard
Nigel Coe 01/Oct/00 2nd
with Dick Hanson
goi.ashmore 05/Aug/00 Lead O/S
with Roy Thomas
nickcanute ??/2000 Lead O/S
dan gibson ??/2000 Lead O/S
with helen gibson
ste_d 27/Sep/99 Lead rpt
with andy perkins
Hidden 15/Aug/99 Lead O/S
Hidden 22/Jul/97 2nd rpt
Hidden 05/Jul/97 Lead O/S
Chris Murray ?/Jul/97 Lead
with Geoff
SR1970 ?/Aug/96 Lead O/S
Hidden 17/Jul/96 Lead
rurp ??/1996 Lead O/S
ste_d 18/Jul/95 Lead O/S
with mik
Marti999 ??/1995 Lead
crossleysm ?/Aug/94 2nd O/S
nokishatov 12/Jul/94 Lead
Martin Bennett 03/Jul/94 -
with MT
ste_d 12/Jun/94 Lead O/S
with mik
Stoney Boy 24/Apr/93 2nd O/S
with Colin Hughes
Hidden 23/Apr/92 2nd
Chris Ellis 18/Aug/91 2nd
with Andy Barker
NickJH ?/Jun/91 2nd O/S
with N Hancock
sadams 16/Sep/90 2nd
with Mark Bonham
andybirtwistle 25/Jul/90 Lead
Roget 06/May/90 Lead O/S
with jim
Hidden 30/Sep/89 2nd
tapley 03/Sep/89 Lead
with Dave Kent
OMSKB ?/Aug/89 TR
with John Roberts
charlesmfrench 08/Jun/86 Lead O/S
Hidden ??/1986 -
Neil McA 03/Dec/83 2nd O/S
with Andy Scrase
Ken Taylor 21/Sep/82 AltLd
with Andy Chadwick
Hidden 28/Aug/82 Lead
Ghastly Rubberfeet ??/1980 Lead
with Lyn Noble
Hidden ??/1980 Lead O/S
Hidden ??/1978 -
clanger ??/1972 -
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High E1
Mid E1
Low E1
High HVS
High VS
Mid VS
Low VS
Votes cast 75
High 5b
Mid 5b
Low 5b
High 5a
Mid 5a
Low 5a
High 4c
Mid 4c
Low 4c
Votes cast 72
Votes cast 66
Style of ascent
Alt Leads
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Flashed (β)
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