Climbs 217
Rocktype Gritstone
Altitude 370m a.s.l
Faces SW

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Readza throws some shapes on Borstal Breakout. © Niall Grimes

Crag features

The superb castellated buttresses of Hen Cloud offer some of grit's finest crack climbs, and these include routes which are amongst the longest anywhere on grit. There are even some genuine multi-pitch climbs to savour. Perched above a steep bank, the positions are superb as is the outlook but, despite all these positives, the crag is rarely crowded. The climbs cover the grade spectrum and like the nearby crag of the Roaches, there is an excellent selection of lower grade climbs.

Despite facing south, the crag is inclined to be green and lichenous, especially on the left (because of the grass ledges) and as such is not a good destination after damp weather. The crag is very exposed to the wind, and will catch any precipitation carried on Westerlies.

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 (back 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
  The Aiguille
2 Starlight Left f6B+ * 40
3 Starlight and Storm f6C+ *** 10
4 Simon's Slab
-
f7A+ **  
5 The Aiguillette
-
S 4b * 19
  Pinnacles
7 Zoom Wall
-
VS 4c 11
8 Nutted by Reality E1 6a * 7
9 Slipstreams HVS 5a 3
10 Little Pinnacle Climb VD 11
11 November Cracks HS 4b * 25
12 Bulwark E1 5b ** 41
13 Slowhand E1 5b ** 63
14 Chockstone Chimney M 1
15 Mindbridge E7 6c *  
16 Master of Reality E6 6c *** 14
17 Master of Puppets E5 6b * 1
18 The Notch VS 4c 11
19 Chicken Direct E4 6b  
20 Chicken E1 5b ** 59
21 Pullet E1 5b *  
22 Piston Groove VS 5a 4
23 Man Oh Man E4 6a *  
24 Mandatory E5 6a * 1
25 The Mandrake E5 6a * 1
26 Mandrill E5 6b *  
27 Victory VS 5a * 14
28 Short 'n Sharp E1 5c  
29 Green Corner S 4a 7
30 Blood Blisters Direct
-
V3  
31 Blood Blisters E4 6b * 1
32 Blood Sisters f7A *  
33 Electric Chair E2 5c * 17
34 Bad Joke E4 5c * 7
35 Gallows E2 5b ** 5
36 Trap Door Finish E4 5c * 1
37 Sand Castles E4 5c 2
38 Recess Chimney HVD 13
39 Black Eyed Dog E6 6b ** 2
40 The Sorcerer E3 6a * 1
41 High Tensile Crack HVS 5b * 12
42 Just in Time E5 6c * 1
  Black Wall
44 Buster the Cat HVS 5b 1
45 Pug VS 4c 3
46 A Flabby Crack E6 6c ** 3
47 The Stone Loach E5 6b ** 8
48 Myxi E6 6c * 4
49 Anthrax E3 6a ** 5
50 The Lum HVS 4c 5
51 Scrumptious E4 6b * 1
52 Bantam Crack VS 4c * 15
53 Alan Whicker V4 1
54 Easter Rising f7A **  
  Delstree Area
56 Chockstone Crack HVD 13
57 The Better End E3 6a ** 14
58 Fat Old Sun
-
E3 6a *  
59 The Raid E4 6a *  
60 En Rappel HVS 5a ** 75
61 Blizzard Buttress HVS 4c ** 1
62 Caesarian E4 6b *** 19
63 Catharsis E7 7a ** 1
64 Pumpy But Pointless E1 5c * 2
65 Main Crack VS 4c * 65
66 Delstree HVS 5a *** 312
67 Levitation E5 6a *  
68 Reunion Crack VS 5a ** 166
69 The Pinch E1 5c 1
70 Slab Way M * 5
  Central Area
72 The Ape E1 5b  
73 The Monkey in Your Soul E3 5c 1
74 Broken Arrow
-
E1 5b  
75 Quantas E1 5b  
76 Press on Regardless E2 5b *  
77 Roof Climb VS 4b * 116
78 The Long and Short E1 5b * 12
79 Anaconda E4 6b ** 1
Climb name Grade
80 Anaconda Breakout E3 5c ** 1
81 Borstal Breakout E4 6b *** 23
82 Final Crack HS 4b ** 26
83 Pointless Peregrination HVS 5b * 2
84 Central Climb Direct VS 5a ** 157
85 B4, XS E7 6b *** 5
86 Hen's Dropping E1 6a  
87 Standing Tall E2 5b * 1
88 Central Climb VS 4c *** 1028
89 Encouragement E1 5b *** 157
90 Jean the Bean E5 6b *  
91 K2 S 4b ** 778
92 7 of 9
-
VS 5a 5
93 The Arête VD ** 649
  Low Central Boulders
95 Metapec / Beef or Egg Sex f7A  
96 Jimmy Hen Tricks f6C  
97 Africa f6B+  
98 Out of Africa f7A  
99 I Can Boogie f6C  
  Amphitheatre Walls
101 Arête Wall VS 4b * 36
102 Easy Come
-
HS 4b 6
103 Easy Gully M 26
104 Songs of Praise E2 5c 2
105 Loose Fingers
-
E2 5c  
106 Prayers, Poems and Promises
-
E1 5b * 1
107 Modern VS 4b ** 516
108 Flexure Line
-
HVS 6a 1
109 Ancient VD * 227
110 Even Smaller Buttress HVS 5a  
111 Small Buttress HVS 5a 16
112 Andrei's Route
-
HVS 5a  
113 Bitching E1 5b * 29
114 The Driven Bow E7 6c * 8
115 Solid Geometry E1 5b ** 88
116 Bow Buttress VD * 86
  Bachelor's Area
118 Right Ramp V0 ** 12
119 Left Vein
-
V2 * 10
120 Right Vein f5+ ** 18
121 Stokes' Line f6A+ * 4
122 This Poison E3 6b * 1
123 Slimline E1 5b ** 65
124 Peter and the Wolf E6 6b * 4
125 Fast Piping E4 6b * 6
126 Hedgehog Crack Left-hand Finish HVS 5b 1
127 Hedgehog Crack VS 4c ** 209
128 Comedian E3 6a *** 54
129 Frayed Nerve E5 6b * 2
130 Second's Retreat HVS 4c 56
131 Second's Advance HVS 5a * 41
132 Corinthian E3 5c *** 47
133 Hen Cloud Eliminate HVS 5b *** 348
134 Cool Fool E6 6b ** 1
135 Rib Crack VS 4c * 14
136 Rib Chimney S 4a ** 182
137 Caricature E5 6b *** 10
138 Caricature Direct E6 6b *** 3
139 Chiaroscuro E7 6b ** 2
140 Bachelor's Left-hand HVS 5b *** 495
141 Parallel Lines E6 6c * 1
142 Bachelor's Climb VS 4c *** 418
143 Space Probe E4 6a ** 3
144 Night Prowler E6 6a *** 3
  Great Chimney
146 Great Chimney S 4a *** 830
147 Rainbow Crack VS 5a ** 446
148 Pre Cam Brian E5 6a  
149 Arêtenophobia E6 6b * 1
150 The Midlander f7A+ 1
151 Chameleon E4 6a *** 26
152 Sauria E5 6a * 2
153 Left Twin Crack HS 4b * 90
154 Right Twin Crack VS 4b * 47
155 Flour Wall
-
E2 6b  
156 Dead Banana Slab HVS 5c 5
157 Just Thirteen VS 5a * 3
158 Footpath Chimney
-
HS 4c 7
Climb name Grade
159 Desperado E4 5c 2
160 The Last Great Problem ? ***  
161 Wavelength
-
E1 5c  
  Thompson's Buttress
163 Thompson Twins
-
HS 4b  
164 Ankle Biter E2 5c *  
165 Thompson's Buttress Route 1 HVD 4a * 158
166 Thompson's Buttress Route 2 HVD 83
167 Professor Calculus E2 5c *  
168 Tree Chimney VD 35
169 Tunnel Vision
-
HVS 5a  
170 Touched
-
V2  
  The Inaccessible Pinnacle
172 Cold Sweat E1 5b *  
173 Pinnacle Face HVS 4c * 44
174 Face Value HVS 5a 3
175 Pinnacle Rib HVS 5a * 27
176 Delusion HS 4a 1
177 Short Side V0 2
  Boxing Gloves
179 Shoe Shine Shuffle
-
HVS 5b  
180 Triumph of the Good City
-
HVS 5a 1
181 Diagonal Route
-
VD 17
182 Flourescent Squid V4 *  
183 Jellyfish E4 5c * 1
184 Dive in the Fifth E4 6a *  
185 Pete's Back Side HVS 5a * 3
186 Central Tower
-
VD 9
187 Knuckle Sandwich V3 *  
188 Rope a Dope E2 5c *  
189 The Nutcracker S 4a 3
190 Heart of Gold
-
E2 5c ** 20
191 The Deceiver VS 4c 6
192 Touch E4 6c ** 25
193 Scrabble
-
E3 6a *  
  The Lower Buttress
195 Boysen's Arête E2 6a * 1
196 The Young Pretender E8 6c **  
197 Hal's Ridge
-
VD 4
198 Short Man's Misery HVS 5a 3
199 Crispin's Crack HVS 5a * 13
200 Duck Soup HVS 4c * 5
201 Baboon
-
VD  
202 Mark of Zorro
-
VS 5a  
203 Stationary Celtic Compass Points HS 4a 6
204 The Chapel f6C **  
205 Micks Metaphor E1 5c ** 7
206 Probably Boysen's Arête
-
E3 6b  
  Bordello Area
208 Bordello E3 5c * 4
209 Border Skirmish E1 5b 1
210 Sedition and Alchemy
-
E3 6a  
211 Fire Down Below VS 5a 2
212 Trouble at t'Mill
-
HS 4b  
213 Appocaliss
-
V3  
  The Bottom Buttresses
215 Mad Lines E1 5b 7
216 Spacepube S 12
217 Pluto's Ring E1 5c 3
218 Bewhiskered Behemoth
-
E2 5c *  
219 Sanitarium Direct
-
V7  
220 Sanitarium
-
E5 6a 1
221 Jetez le Pantalon
-
E2 5b 4
222 Last View
-
HS 4a  
223 The Weirdy
-
S 4a  
  Biscuit Buttress
225 High Energy Plan
-
HVS 5a  
226 Shortbread
-
HVS 5a  
227 Shortcake
-
E1 5b  
228 Gingerbread
-
HS 4a 2
229 Ginger Biscuit
-
VS 4b 5
  The Wood
231 Smears for Tears f6C ** 1
232 Arête and Cracks f6A 1
  Very Far Right
234 Toblerone V7 ** 1
  Unverified climbs
236 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