Altitude 246m a.s.l
Spiral Route © Ropeboy
The low-level, south-facing outcrop of Rivelin Edge was once ignored because of its reputation for midges and tree-shrouded greenery. It is now widely known that it is sheltered enough to be a great venue in the winter and the quick and easy approach (it is inside the Sheffield city boundary) makes it popular when time is short. It is possibe to finish work and nip out for an ascent of the Needle before the sun sets. Alternatively grab the opportunity on a beautiful winter's day to have a go at one of the big aretes or blank walls whilst the friction is good. The central area of the cliff, near the Rivelin Needle, has the highest quality concentration of good routes but hidden away to either side are some gems across the grades. The place is well worth several trips; Rivelin no longer plays second fiddle to some of its more illustrious brethren.
The crag looks south over the Rivelin Valley, above the A57, on the west side of Sheffield. Parking is in the free car park on the south side of the dam at Rivelin Reservoir. Walk back to the main road and take the path opposite that runs up towards the cliff and then veers right through a damp area, rising gently. Take a left fork which rises towards the crag, ignoring any paths leading off right, and you should emerge by the Rivelin Needle. This is easier to follow in the summer when the vegetation covers many of the minor paths here.
The landowner (a tree surgeon with a vision of how this woodland should be managed), protested strongly to the BMC about damage to trees and erosion to footpaths around the crag. Climbers should avoid the area to the right of Altar Crack and respect its integrity as a conservation area. Any further damage to trees will result in the loss of all access for climbing.
Dates: 1 March to 30 June
Reason: Nesting Birds
Tawny owls sometimes nest on the crag in the spring (previously on Kremlin Crack or Roof Route) - if present avoid the route(s) they are occupying until the nest is vacated.
Tawny owls have been known to viciously attack people climbing near their nest, so please steer well clear of these routes until the chicks have fledged, both for the benefit of the birds and your own wellbeing.
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