Climbs 178
Rocktype Gritstone
Altitude 370m a.s.l
Faces SW

Readza throws some shapes on Borstal Breakout. © Niall Grimes

Crag features

Simply marvellous, home to some of the longest routes on grit, yet often overlooked because the Roaches is nearer the road. Great climbs at every grade; a confident approach pays dividends. Single- and multi-pitch climbs up to 36m (straight up!). Unmissable: Central Climb (HS 4a), Bachelor's Left Hand (HVS 5a), Encouragement (E1 5b 5b), Comedian (E3 6a), Caricature (E5 6a), and all the E6s and E7s...

Sometimes green - but often looks worse that it actually is. The former stamping ground of Joe Brown and especially Don Whillans, which is all the warning you'll get.

Approach notes

Occasional bird bans, usually spring to early summer. See access notes below. Parking available in designated bays only beneath the crag; do not park outside of the bays in the restriction zone -- you will get a ticket. If it's really full, careful parking on the road is permitted outside of the restriction zone (towards Upper Hulme).

Restricted Access

The footpath up to the centre of the crag is eroding in places, please try to walk on stones/boulders where possible. This whole area is vulnerable to fire in dry conditions and the ecology is sensitive.




Western Grit

The 2009 edition of the award-winning guidebook to Staffordshire, Kinder, Bleaklow, Chew, Lancashire and Cheshire areas covered with photo-topos and descriptions.
More info
This really is a fabulous crag, and often over-looked in favour of its more famous neighbour the Roaches. Quality routes on solid rock in a beautiful setting, away from the crowds and outdoor instruction groups. Some great 3-star routes including Delstree, Central Climb, Encouragement, Hen Cloud Eliminate, and probably the best HVS route I've *ever* been on - Bachelor's Left-hand!
Nick Smith - 12/Jul/04
Just got back from Hen Cloud and am very impressed, quality of rock is excellant and there's hardly anyone ever around, just one problem, those bastard midges, they bite and itching is unbearable, i look like i've got measles, so insect repellant is a must, Happy Climbing!
Adam Waszkiewicz - 28/Aug/03
Great Chimney 18m (Eliminate Area)- is a fantastic route for those learning to lead.(***) Easy to advise on gear placements from top or bottom, plus the magnificently formed chimney structure makes it stand out from any other S grade climb on gritstone that i can think of. I just wish it was longer!
Max Linnemann - 08/Feb/02
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
2Starlight Leftf6B+ *36
3Starlight and Stormf6C+ ***6
4Simon's Slab
f7A+ ** 
5The Aiguillette
HS 4c *18
6Zoom Wall
VS 5a 7
8Nutted by RealityE1 6a *5
9SlipstreamsHVS 5a 3
10Little Pinnacle ClimbVD 10
11November CracksS 4a *17
12BulwarkE1 5b ***45
13SlowhandE1 5b **53
14MindbridgeE7 6c  
15Master of RealityE6 6c ***8
16Master of PuppetsE6 6b *1
17The NotchVS 4c 7
18Chicken DirectE4 6b  
19ChickenE1 5a **48
20PulletE1 5b * 
21Piston GrooveVS 5a 4
22Man Oh ManE4 6a * 
23MandatoryE5 6a *1
24The MandrakeE5 6a *1
25MandrillE5 6b * 
26VictoryVS 4c 12
27Short 'n SharpE1 5c  
28Green CornerS 4a 7
29Blood BlistersE4 6b *1
30Electric ChairE2 5c *13
31Bad JokeE4 5c *7
32Trap Door FinishE4 5c *1
33GallowsE2 5b *3
34SandcastlesE4 5c 2
35Recess ChimneyVD 12
36Black Eyed DogE6 6b **2
37The SorcererE3 6a *1
38High Tensile CrackHVS 5b 11
39Just in TimeE5 6c *1
 Black Wall 
41Buster the CatHVS 5b 1
42PugVS 4c 3
43A Flabby CrackE6 6c **3
44The Stone LoachE5 6b **6
45MyxiE6 6c **2
46AnthraxE3 5c *2
47The LumHVS 4c 4
48ScrumptiousE4 6b *1
49Bantam CrackVS 4c *16
50Alan WhickerV4 1
52Chockstone CrackM 12
53The Better EndE2 5c **8
54Blizzard ButtressHVS 4c ** 
55The RaidE4 6a * 
56En RappelHVS 5a **57
57CaesarianE4 6b ***17
58CatharsisE7 7a **1
59Pumpy But PointlessE1 5c *2
60Main CrackVS 4c *43
61DelstreeHVS 5a ***275
62LevitationE5 6a  
63Reunion CrackVS 4c **131
64Slab WayM *4
66The PinchE1 5c 1
67The ApeE1 5b  
68The Monkey in Your SoulE3 5c 1
69Press on RegardlessE2 5b * 
70Roof ClimbVS 4b *99
71The Long and ShortE1 5b *8
72AnacondaE4 6b **1
73Borstal BreakoutE4 6b ***23
74Final CrackHS 4b **21
75Pointless PeregrinationHVS 5b *2
76Central Climb DirectVS 5a **130
77B4, XSE7 6b ***9
78Central ClimbVS 4c ***870
797 of 9
VS 5a 5
80EncouragementE1 5b ***130
81Jean The BeanE5 6b * 
82K2S 4b *593
83The AreteVD **555
85Easy Come
HS 4b 4
86Arete WallVS 4b 32
87Easy GullyM 23
88Songs Of PraiseE2 5c 1
89Prayers, Poems & Promises
E1 5b *1
90Flexure Line
HVS 6a 1
91ModernS 4a *385
92AncientVD *174
 Bow Buttress 
94Small ButtressHVS 13
95BitchingE1 5b 24
96Bow ButtressVD *65
97The Driven BowE7 6c *7
98Solid GeometryE1 5b *71
 Bachelors Wall 
100Problem 0V0 **11
101Left veinf5+ 5c **18
102Right VeinV2 *9
103Stokes' LineE1 6b *4
104This PoisonE3 6b *1
105SlimlineE1 5b *45
106Peter and the WolfE6 6b *3
107Fast PipingE4 6b *6
108Hedgehog CrackVS 4c **172
109ComedianE3 5c ***49
110Frayed NerveE5 6b *2
111Second's RetreatHVS 4c 40
112Second's AdvanceHVS 5b *35
113CorinthianE3 5c ***44
114Hen Cloud EliminateE1 5b ***292
115Cool FoolE6 6b 1
116Rib CrackVS 4c *13
117Rib ChimneyS 4a **158
118CaricatureE5 6b ***4
119Caricature DirectE6 6b ***2
120ChiaroscuroE6 6b 1
121Bachelor's Left-handHVS 5b ***447
122Parallel LinesE6 6c * 
123Bachelor's ClimbVS 4c ***367
124Space ProbeE4 6a **2
125Night ProwlerE6 6a **3
 Great Chimney 
127Great ChimneyS 4a ***707
128Rainbow CrackVS 5a ***388
129Pre Cam BrianE5 6a  
130ArĂȘtenophobiaE6 6b **2
131The Midlanderf7A+ 1
132ChameleonE4 6a ***28
133SariaE5 6a * 
134Left Twin CrackHS 4a *65
135Right Twin CrackVS 4b *41
136DesperadoE5 6b 1
137The Last Great ProblemXS *** 
138Dead Banana SlabHVS 5c 3
139Footpath Chimney
VD *6
140Just ThirteenVS 5a *3
 The Inaccessible Pinnacle 
142Ankle BiterE2 5c * 
143Thompson's Buttress Route 1S 4a *138
144Thompson's Buttress Route 2HVD 73
145Professor CalculusE2 5c * 
146Tree ChimneyVD 35
147Pinnacle FaceHVS 4c *36
148Face ValueHVS 5a 3
149Pinnacle RibHVS 5a 25
 Boxing Gloves 
151Rastaman Spars With Babylon On His BikeE3 5c * 
152Diagonal Route
VD 17
153Triumph of the Good City
HVS 5b *1
154Flourescent SquidV4 * 
155JellyfishE4 5c *1
156Dive In The FifthE4 6a * 
157Pete's Back SideHVS 5a 3
158Central Tower
VD 9
159Knuckle SandwichV3 * 
160Rope a DopeE2 5c * 
161The NutcrackerS 4a 3
162Heart of Gold
E2 5c **13
163The DeceiverVS 4b *5
164TouchE4 6c **28
 Far Right 
166Ginger Biscuit
VS 5
HS 4a 2
 Lower Crags 
169BordelloE3 5c **4
170Fire Down BelowVS 5a 2
171Boysen's AreteE2 6a *1
172The Young PretenderE8 6c ** 
173Hal's Ridge
VD 3
174Short Man's MiseryHVS 5a 3
175Crispin's CrackHVS 5a 8
176Duck SoupHVS 4c *4
177Micks MetaphorE1 5c **7
 The Wood 
179Mad LinesE1 5b 7
180SpacepubeVD 10
181Pluto's RingE1 5c 3
182Jetez le PantalonE2 5b 3
183The Chapelf6C ** 
 Very far right 
185TobleroneV7 **1
 Unverified routes 
187Stationary Celtic Compass PointsHS 4a *6
188Hedgehog Crack Lefthand FinishHVS 5b 1
189DelusionHS 4a 1
190QuantasE1 5b  
191Short SideV0 2
192Even Smaller ButtressHVS 5a  
193Cold SweatE1 5b  
194Border Skirmish *E1 5b 1
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Jon Read