Climbs 81
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 275m a.s.l
Faces S

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West Hill - Upper Tier © ROCKFAX

Crag features

Along with nearby Harborough, a chance to savour the unusual delights of dolomitic limestone, (lots of jugs)! A collection of short walls and towers (mainly 6 - 10m high). Super soloing playground, or a family day out in summer; but take Dock Leaves! Best routes are Tower Ridge (D), West Hill Arete, Pillar Face (both VD), Penlington's Progress (VS 4c) and the desperate Little by Little (S 4c!).

Approach notes

Via public footpath leading from minor road at SK 223544 to B5056 at SK 222554. Two sections of rock are visible when approaching from the south. The West hill is the LH section.
Climbing is NOT ALLOWED on the RH section (East Hill), home of some of the longest routes.

Access Banned

Sadly, despite almost 120 years of continuous use by climbers, Rainster Rocks are the scene of a complete access ban. THE WEST AND EAST HILLS ARE EACH UNDER DIFFERENT OWNERSHIP, AND CURRENTLY NEITHER OWNER WISHES THE ROCKS TO BE USED FOR CLIMBING. There is however a public right of way to the East Hill, and so you are at liberty to visit the place. Sadly, the permitted path does not cross over the col to the West Hill, so taking a peek at that is therefore a more delicate matter - see ‘Approach’, above. If minded to explore, you should keep a low profile, leave no litter, follow footpaths, do not damage fences and walls, and do not frighten stock (this is a sheep farming area, with rearing sheds nearby, and sheep frequent all parts of the crag - LEAVE YOUR DOG AT HOME). Moody cattle are also on occasion pastured in surrounding fields - take care!

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Peak Limestone

Selected guidebook covering the best trad and sport limestone crags in the Peak District.
More info
We've just spent two happy days on the West Hill, Lower and Upper Tiers, and have cleared some of the nettles. Lovely rock! The first day we hacked our way through the undergrowth, not knowing any better, but the second we followed the path from the corner of the road, sweeping round to the left through two gates and a gap in the wall to arrive at the upper tier. A fine Bank Holiday Sunday and we didn't see anyone all day!
Jamjar - 27/Aug/17
I went here yesterday, and the nettles were getting to be annoying - I expect they will make climbing quite hard later in the year. Also, the right hand section of the East Hill upper tier has some birds nesting in it.
MatthewV - 17/May/15
Despite some of the negative comments below re nettles etc, I had a nice hour soloing a few easy lines on the West lower tier - the nettles all dead at this time of year, so prob the ideal time. Short and sweet, lovely juggy rock, no polish to speak of on these routes. Access not easy across a jumble of boulders and trees, but I found this added a frisson of intrepidness and solitude. This was also the location of my very first climb as a teenager 30 years ago, so was nice to re-visit for the first time since. I'll be back, with a guidebook next time.
Dr Matt - 19/Jan/14
Went up there yesterday. PWoW unfortunately ends just before West Hill and farmer has double fenced the field. No sheep in the field so we carefully crossed fences. Well worth the visit at this time of year - no nettles!
climbingrev - 08/Nov/11
The field that rainster rocks is in is totaly closed off with no obvius way in gates where securely locked etc so we spoke with a farmer at the end of the field and where told that the rocks have been unused for some time and that the field was not public access and is infact the field where the farmer rears sheep and that people coming in to the field would upset the sheep but as its currently out of season he was nice enough to let us go and have a look at the state of the rocks from what we could see none of the climbs are useable they are deeply overgrown with stingers and other weeds you cant even see enough of the rock to be able to identify the climbs might be worth taking this one off ukc.
ophielle - 17/Jun/11
Apparently the west end of West Hill is clear of nettles and climbable...we gave up just too soon (with a 9 year old in tow)
Nigel Modern - 28/Oct/05
Went yesterday with family party to West Hill...nettles dying off but still a problem and Lower Tier would need a machete to get close to it. Climbed on Upper Tier no problem. No access problems apart from finding the way past a new barbed wire fence between East and West Hills. There is a very basic stile just below the west shoulder of East Hill rocks with much clambering through brambles etc. Access difficult around the back of the crag.
Nigel Modern - 27/Oct/05
A lovely little crag for some easy limestone action. West Hill lower tier isn't currently as overgrown as the Miniguide suggests, we did Rowan Wall and Tower Ridge (not in the Miniguide, but in On Peak Rock) without trouble. Nettles might get taller in the summer though!
tmh - 26/Apr/05
21/11/03. Still very overgrown although most of the Stinging nettles were dead. Would not like to climb the lower face in the summer. Upper Tier would be great for beginners. Wondered over to the East Hill. Again overgrown and had trouble spotting the 30m Classic.
Jeff Baker - 21/Nov/03
Access to the west hill is via a footpath that runs via the East hill, according to the map, in the ground the footpath doesn\'t exist, it\'s a case of pick your way through the fallen down trees, nettles and brambles, until you reach the clear ground between the two hills. Although climbing is not allowed on the east hill there were three sets of people climbing there wearing bright red jumpers clearly visible from the road. As navigation to the west hill is difficult, don\'t be tricked into thinking that the first hill must be the right one as people are climbing on it. The Upper Tier on the West hill is very nice and offers good climbing, but I wouldn\'t bother with the south wall. To get to it you will have to fight your way through a jungle of fallen down trees and branches. It looks as if the only climbing done there lately is that of the nettles climbing ever higher up the rock face. If you really want magnesium limestone then Harborough Rocks is a far better day\'s climbing.
annie - 15/Apr/02
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  East Hill - Long Climb Area
2 Long Climb Variants VD 25
3 Long Climb Indirect S 4a 17
4 Long Climb Direct HS 4b * 27
5 Chimney Route S 4a 6
6 International Climb VS 4c * 18
7 Moderation Gully M 15
  East Hill - Upper Tier
9 Judo Route
S 6
10 Hawthorn Face S 5
11 Hawthorn Twin HVD 7
12 Hawthorn Crack HVD 6
13 Caveman Crack VD 8
14 Inverted Groove VD 6
15 Sycamore wall VS 4b 4
16 Sycamore Crack
D 10
17 Easter Arete D 6
18 Easter Crack D 7
19 Passover D 4
20 Scoop Wall D 6
21 Scoop Wall Crack D 6
22 No. 1 Crack D 39
23 Face Climb Number 1 D 97
24 Arete Number 1 VD 68
25 Steep Chimney VD 40
26 Arete Number 2 VD 4a 83
27 Face Climb Number 2 VD 87
28 Pedestal Chimney M 54
29 Pedestal Wall HVS 5a 47
Climb name Grade
30 Brassington Crack Arete S 4a 76
31 Brassington Crack Face HS 4b 58
32 Brassington Crack HVD * 84
33 Brassington Face VD 54
34 Easy Arete M 36
35 Snuffer Chimney S 4b * 34
36 The Overhang Indirect VS 4c 14
37 The Overhang HVS 5b * 20
38 Smooth Chimney Outside Route HS 4b 41
39 Smooth Chimney VD 29
40 Elder Rib VS 4c 39
41 Chockstone Chimney D 34
42 Crack and Face VD 55
43 Face Direct VS 4c 38
44 Angel's Crawl VS 4c 47
45 Elderberry Crack S 4a 74
46 Savoy Crack HS 4b 20
47 Two Minute Crack S 4a 15
48 Girdle Traverse
VS 4b 6
49 Ali's Arete * E3 6a * 1
  West Hill - Lower Tier
51 Two-Step HS 4b 9
52 Pillar Chimney HVD 10
53 Penlington's Progress VS 4c * 22
54 Pillar Face VD * 34
55 Nettle Wall VD 27
56 Nettle Chimney D 14
57 Cracked Wall VD * 24
58 Ash Tree Chimney VD 9
Climb name Grade
59 Ash Tree Wall VD 16
60 Ash Tree Wall Crack VD 10
61 Ash Tree Wall Route 3 VD 6
62 Ash Tree Wall Route 2 VD 7
63 Ash Tree Wall Route 1 VD 6
64 Rowan Wall
VD 11
65 Rowan Crack HS 4
66 Winged Swing HVD 3
67 Little 'Orror HVD 3
68 Swinged Wing HVD 5
69 Tower Ridge D 8
70 Tower Chimney HVD 2
71 Red Arete HVD 3
72 Little Red Chimney D 5
73 Red Chimney Arete HVD 4
74 Red Chimney D 5
75 Jugs Galore * M * 1
  West Hill - Upper Tier
77 West Face Climb VD 36
78 Blind Man's Arete M 50
79 Little Wall VD 35
80 Elderberry Chimney M 32
81 West Hill Arete VD ** 65
82 Little-by Little S 4c * 37
83 Little Crack M 34
84 The Golden Globe * VD 4a * 2
  Outlying Crags
86 Pinders rock VD 6
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

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