Climbs 189
Rocktype Gritstone
Altitude 370m a.s.l
Faces SW

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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).

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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+ * 40
3 Starlight and Storm f6C+ *** 10
4 Simon's Slab
-
f7A+ **  
5 The Aiguillette
-
HS 4c * 19
6 Zoom Wall
-
VS 5a 10
  Pinnacles
8 Nutted by Reality E1 6a * 7
9 Slipstreams HVS 5a 3
10 Little Pinnacle Climb VD 11
11 November Cracks HS 4b * 24
12 Bulwark E1 5b ** 40
13 Slowhand E1 5b ** 61
14 Mindbridge E7 6c *  
15 Master of Reality E6 6c *** 11
16 Master of Puppets E5 6b * 1
17 The Notch VS 4c 11
18 Chicken Direct E4 6b  
19 Chicken E1 5b ** 57
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 * 13
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 ** 4
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 13
55 The Better End E3 6a ** 12
56 Blizzard Buttress HVS 4c ** 1
57 The Raid E4 6a *  
58 En Rappel HVS 5a ** 69
59 Caesarian E4 6b *** 19
60 Catharsis E7 7a ** 1
61 Pumpy But Pointless E1 5c * 2
62 Main Crack VS 4c * 61
63 Delstree HVS 5a *** 301
64 Levitation E5 6a *  
65 Reunion Crack VS 5a ** 151
66 Slab Way M * 4
  Central
68 The Pinch E1 5c 1
69 The Ape E1 5b  
Climb name Grade
70 The Monkey in Your Soul E3 5c 1
71 Press on Regardless E2 5b *  
72 Quantas E1 5b  
73 Roof Climb VS 4b * 114
74 The Long and Short E1 5b * 11
75 Anaconda E4 6b ** 1
76 Borstal Breakout E4 6b *** 21
77 Anaconda Breakout E3 5c **  
78 Final Crack HS 4b ** 25
79 Pointless Peregrination HVS 5b * 2
80 Central Climb Direct VS 5a ** 149
81 B4, XS E7 6b *** 5
82 Central Climb VS 4c *** 975
83 7 of 9
-
VS 5a 5
84 Encouragement E1 5b *** 154
85 Jean The Bean E5 6b *  
86 K2 S 4b ** 725
87 The Arete VD ** 626
88 Metapec / Beef or Egg Sex f7A  
89 Jimmy Hen Tricks f6C  
90 Africa f6B+  
91 Out of africa f7A  
92 I Can Boogie f6C  
  Modern
94 Easy Come
-
HS 4b 5
95 Arete Wall VS 4b * 34
96 Easy Gully M 24
97 Songs Of Praise E2 5c 2
98 Prayers, Poems & Promises
-
E1 5b * 1
99 Flexure Line
-
HVS 6a 1
100 Modern VS 4b ** 472
101 Ancient VD * 215
102 Even Smaller Buttress HVS 5a  
  Bow Buttress
104 Small Buttress HVS 5a 17
105 Bitching E1 5b * 30
106 Bow Buttress VD * 82
107 The Driven Bow E7 6c * 8
108 Solid Geometry E1 5b ** 84
  Bachelors Wall
110 Problem 0 V0 5a ** 12
111 Left vein f5+ ** 17
112 Right Vein V2 6a * 9
113 Stokes' Line f6A+ * 4
114 This Poison E3 6b * 1
115 Slimline E1 5b ** 55
116 Peter and the Wolf E6 6b * 4
117 Fast Piping E4 6b * 6
118 Hedgehog Crack Lefthand Finish HVS 5b 1
119 Hedgehog Crack VS 4c ** 202
120 Comedian E3 6a *** 52
121 Frayed Nerve E5 6b * 2
122 Second's Retreat HVS 4c 52
123 Second's Advance HVS 5a * 41
124 Corinthian E3 5c *** 45
125 Hen Cloud Eliminate HVS 5b *** 334
126 Cool Fool E6 6b ** 1
127 Rib Crack VS 4c * 14
128 Rib Chimney S 4a ** 175
129 Caricature E5 6b *** 6
130 Caricature Direct E6 6b *** 2
131 Chiaroscuro E7 6b ** 2
132 Bachelor's Left-hand HVS 5b *** 477
133 Parallel Lines E6 6c * 1
134 Bachelor's Climb VS 4c *** 399
135 Space Probe E4 6a ** 3
136 Night Prowler E6 6a ** 3
  Great Chimney
138 Great Chimney S 4a *** 785
Climb name Grade
139 Rainbow Crack VS 5a ** 422
140 Pre Cam Brian E5 6a  
141 ArĂȘtenophobia E6 6b * 1
142 The Midlander f7A+ 1
143 Chameleon E4 6a *** 25
144 Sauria E5 6a *  
145 Left Twin Crack HS 4b * 87
146 Right Twin Crack VS 4b * 46
147 Desperado E5 6b 2
148 The Last Great Problem XS ***  
149 Dead Banana Slab HVS 5c 4
150 Footpath Chimney
-
VD * 7
151 Just Thirteen VS 5a * 3
  The Inaccessible Pinnacle
153 Ankle Biter E2 5c *  
154 Thompson's Buttress Route 1 HVD 4a * 156
155 Thompson's Buttress Route 2 HVD 83
156 Professor Calculus E2 5c *  
157 Tree Chimney VD 34
158 Cold Sweat E1 5b *  
159 Pinnacle Face HVS 4c * 42
160 Face Value HVS 5a 3
161 Pinnacle Rib HVS 5a * 26
162 Delusion HS 4a 1
163 Short Side V0 2
  Boxing Gloves
165 Rastaman Spars With Babylon On His Bike E3 5c *  
166 Diagonal Route
-
VD 17
167 Triumph of the Good City
-
HVS 5b * 1
168 Flourescent Squid V4 *  
169 Jellyfish E4 5c * 1
170 Dive In The Fifth E4 6a *  
171 Pete's Back Side HVS 5a 3
172 Central Tower
-
VD 9
173 Knuckle Sandwich V3 6a *  
174 Rope a Dope E2 5c *  
175 The Nutcracker S 4a 3
176 Heart of Gold
-
E2 5c ** 20
177 The Deceiver VS 4b * 6
178 Touch E4 6c ** 23
  Far Right
180 Ginger Biscuit
-
VS 5
181 Gingerbread
-
HS 4a 2
  Lower Crags
183 Bordello E3 5c ** 4
184 Border Skirmish E1 5b 1
185 Fire Down Below VS 5a 2
186 Boysen's Arete E2 6a * 1
187 The Young Pretender E8 6c **  
188 Hal's Ridge
-
VD 4
189 Short Man's Misery HVS 5a 3
190 Crispin's Crack HVS 5a 13
191 Duck Soup HVS 4c * 5
192 Stationary Celtic Compass Points HS 4a 6
193 Micks Metaphor E1 5c ** 7
  The Wood
195 Mad Lines E1 5b 7
196 Spacepube VD 12
197 Pluto's Ring E1 5c 3
198 Jetez le Pantalon E2 5b 3
199 The Chapel f6C **  
200 Smears for Tears f6C ** 1
201 Arete and Cracks f6A 1
  Very far right
203 Toblerone V7 ** 1
  Unverified routes
205 David Attenborough * f6B+ ** 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