UKC

Climbs 186
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).

Rockfax App

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Guidebooks

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
  Aguilette
2 Starlight Left f6B+ * 39
3 Starlight and Storm f6C+ *** 10
4 Simon's Slab
-
f7A+ **  
5 The Aiguillette
-
HS 4c * 19
6 Zoom Wall
-
VS 5a 9
  Pinnacles
8 Nutted by Reality E1 6a * 6
9 Slipstreams HVS 5a 3
10 Little Pinnacle Climb VD 11
11 November Cracks HS 4b * 22
12 Bulwark E1 5b ** 39
13 Slowhand E1 5b ** 59
14 Mindbridge E7 6c *  
15 Master of Reality E6 6c *** 10
16 Master of Puppets E5 6b * 1
17 The Notch VS 4c 10
18 Chicken Direct E4 6b  
19 Chicken E1 5b ** 54
20 Pullet E1 5b *  
21 Piston Groove VS 5a 4
22 Man Oh Man E4 6a *  
23 Mandatory E5 6a * 1
24 The Mandrake E5 6a * 1
25 Mandrill E5 6b *  
26 Victory VS 5a * 12
27 Short 'n Sharp E1 5c  
28 Green Corner S 4a 7
29 Blood Blisters E4 6b * 1
30 Electric Chair E2 5c * 15
31 Bad Joke E4 5c * 7
32 Trap Door Finish E4 5c * 1
33 Gallows E2 5b ** 5
34 Sandcastles E4 5c 2
35 Recess Chimney HVD 13
36 Black Eyed Dog E6 6b ** 2
37 The Sorcerer E3 6a * 1
38 High Tensile Crack HVS 5b * 12
39 Just in Time E5 6c * 1
  Black Wall
41 Buster the Cat HVS 5b 1
42 Pug VS 4c 3
43 A Flabby Crack E6 6c ** 3
44 The Stone Loach E5 6b ** 7
45 Myxi E6 6c * 3
46 Anthrax E3 6a ** 2
47 The Lum HVS 4c 5
48 Scrumptious E4 6b * 1
49 Bantam Crack VS 4c * 15
50 Alan Whicker V4 6b 1
51 Easter Rising * f7A **  
52 Blood Sisters * f7A *  
  Caesarian
54 Chockstone Crack HVD 12
55 The Better End E3 6a ** 11
56 Blizzard Buttress HVS 4c ** 1
57 The Raid E4 6a *  
58 En Rappel HVS 5a ** 62
59 Caesarian E4 6b *** 16
60 Catharsis E7 7a ** 1
61 Pumpy But Pointless E1 5c * 2
62 Main Crack VS 4c * 53
63 Delstree HVS 5a *** 275
64 Levitation E5 6a *  
65 Reunion Crack VS 5a ** 138
66 Slab Way M * 4
  Central
68 The Pinch E1 5c 1
Climb name Grade
69 The Ape E1 5b  
70 The Monkey in Your Soul E3 5c 1
71 Press on Regardless E2 5b *  
72 Roof Climb VS 4b * 112
73 The Long and Short E1 5b * 10
74 Anaconda E4 6b ** 1
75 Borstal Breakout E4 6b *** 18
76 Anaconda Breakout E3 5c **  
77 Final Crack HS 4b ** 23
78 Pointless Peregrination HVS 5b * 2
79 Central Climb Direct VS 5a ** 139
80 B4, XS E7 6b *** 5
81 Central Climb VS 4c *** 926
82 7 of 9
-
VS 5a 5
83 Encouragement E1 5b *** 146
84 Jean The Bean E5 6b *  
85 K2 S 4b ** 682
86 The Arete VD ** 601
  Modern
88 Easy Come
-
HS 4b 4
89 Arete Wall VS 4b * 31
90 Easy Gully M 24
91 Songs Of Praise E2 5c 2
92 Prayers, Poems & Promises
-
E1 5b * 1
93 Flexure Line
-
HVS 6a 1
94 Modern VS 4b ** 452
95 Ancient VD * 204
  Bow Buttress
97 Small Buttress HVS 5a 17
98 Bitching E1 5b * 28
99 Bow Buttress VD * 78
100 The Driven Bow E7 6c * 8
101 Solid Geometry E1 5b ** 81
  Bachelors Wall
103 Problem 0 V0 5a ** 12
104 Left vein f5+ ** 17
105 Right Vein V2 6a * 9
106 Stokes' Line f6A+ * 4
107 This Poison E3 6b * 1
108 Slimline E1 5b ** 52
109 Peter and the Wolf E6 6b * 3
110 Fast Piping E4 6b * 6
111 Hedgehog Crack VS 4c ** 192
112 Comedian E3 6a *** 50
113 Frayed Nerve E5 6b * 2
114 Second's Retreat HVS 4c 46
115 Second's Advance HVS 5a * 35
116 Corinthian E3 5c *** 43
117 Hen Cloud Eliminate HVS 5b *** 310
118 Cool Fool E6 6b ** 1
119 Rib Crack VS 4c * 13
120 Rib Chimney S 4a ** 164
121 Caricature E5 6b *** 6
122 Caricature Direct E6 6b *** 2
123 Chiaroscuro E7 6b ** 2
124 Bachelor's Left-hand HVS 5b *** 453
125 Parallel Lines E6 6c *  
126 Bachelor's Climb VS 4c *** 370
127 Space Probe E4 6a ** 3
128 Night Prowler E6 6a ** 3
  Great Chimney
130 Great Chimney S 4a *** 759
131 Rainbow Crack VS 5a ** 405
132 Pre Cam Brian E5 6a  
133 ArĂȘtenophobia E6 6b * 1
134 The Midlander f7A+ 1
135 Chameleon E4 6a *** 23
136 Sauria E5 6a *  
Climb name Grade
137 Left Twin Crack HS 4b * 77
138 Right Twin Crack VS 4b * 44
139 Desperado E5 6b 2
140 The Last Great Problem XS ***  
141 Dead Banana Slab HVS 5c 4
142 Footpath Chimney
-
VD * 7
143 Just Thirteen VS 5a * 3
  The Inaccessible Pinnacle
145 Ankle Biter E2 5c *  
146 Thompson's Buttress Route 1 HVD 4a * 154
147 Thompson's Buttress Route 2 HVD 82
148 Professor Calculus E2 5c *  
149 Tree Chimney VD 34
150 Pinnacle Face HVS 4c * 40
151 Face Value HVS 5a 3
152 Pinnacle Rib HVS 5a * 26
  Boxing Gloves
154 Rastaman Spars With Babylon On His Bike E3 5c *  
155 Diagonal Route
-
VD 17
156 Triumph of the Good City
-
HVS 5b * 1
157 Flourescent Squid V4 *  
158 Jellyfish E4 5c * 1
159 Dive In The Fifth E4 6a *  
160 Pete's Back Side HVS 5a 3
161 Central Tower
-
VD 9
162 Knuckle Sandwich V3 6a *  
163 Rope a Dope E2 5c *  
164 The Nutcracker S 4a 3
165 Heart of Gold
-
E2 5c ** 19
166 The Deceiver VS 4b * 6
167 Touch E4 6c ** 20
  Far Right
169 Ginger Biscuit
-
VS 5
170 Gingerbread
-
HS 4a 2
  Lower Crags
172 Bordello E3 5c ** 4
173 Fire Down Below VS 5a 2
174 Boysen's Arete E2 6a * 1
175 The Young Pretender E8 6c **  
176 Hal's Ridge
-
VD 4
177 Short Man's Misery HVS 5a 3
178 Crispin's Crack HVS 5a 13
179 Duck Soup HVS 4c * 5
180 Micks Metaphor E1 5c ** 7
  The Wood
182 Mad Lines E1 5b 7
183 Spacepube VD 12
184 Pluto's Ring E1 5c 3
185 Jetez le Pantalon E2 5b 3
186 The Chapel f6C **  
  Very far right
188 Toblerone V7 ** 1
  Unverified routes
190 Stationary Celtic Compass Points HS 4a * 6
191 Hedgehog Crack Lefthand Finish HVS 5b 1
192 Delusion HS 4a 1
193 Quantas E1 5b  
194 Short Side V0 5a 2
195 Even Smaller Buttress HVS 5a  
196 Cold Sweat E1 5b *  
197 Border Skirmish * E1 5b 1
198 Beef or Egg Sex f6C  
199 Metapec * f7A  
200 Africa * f6B+  
201 Out of africa * f7A  
202 I can Boogie * f6C  
* 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