Climbs 179
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.

 

 

Seasonal Restrictions

Dates: 15 March to 25 July

Reason: Nesting Birds

The peregrines have failed to nest this year (2017) and the restriction has been lifted - climbers can now access the whole crag.

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+ * 37
3 Starlight and Storm f6C+ *** 6
4 Simon's Slab
-
f7A+ **  
5 The Aiguillette
-
HS 4c * 18
6 Zoom Wall
-
VS 5a 8
  Pinnacles
8 Nutted by Reality E1 6a * 5
9 Slipstreams HVS 5a 3
10 Little Pinnacle Climb VD 10
11 November Cracks HS 4b * 18
12 Bulwark E1 5b ** 47
13 Slowhand E1 5b ** 51
14 Mindbridge E7 6c *  
15 Master of Reality E6 6c *** 8
16 Master of Puppets E5 6b * 1
17 The Notch VS 4c 7
18 Chicken Direct E4 6b  
19 Chicken E1 5b ** 46
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 * 13
31 Bad Joke E4 5c * 7
32 Trap Door Finish E4 5c * 1
33 Gallows E2 5b ** 3
34 Sandcastles E4 5c 2
35 Recess Chimney HVD 12
36 Black Eyed Dog E6 6b ** 2
37 The Sorcerer E3 6a * 1
38 High Tensile Crack HVS 5b * 10
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 ** 6
45 Myxi E6 6c ** 2
46 Anthrax E3 6a ** 2
47 The Lum HVS 4c 4
48 Scrumptious E4 6b * 1
49 Bantam Crack VS 4c * 14
50 Alan Whicker V4 6b 1
  Caesarian
52 Chockstone Crack HVD 12
53 The Better End E3 6a ** 8
54 Blizzard Buttress HVS 4c **  
55 The Raid E4 6a *  
56 En Rappel HVS 5a ** 61
57 Caesarian E4 6b *** 13
58 Catharsis E7 7a ** 1
59 Pumpy But Pointless E1 5c * 2
60 Main Crack VS 4c * 45
61 Delstree HVS 5a *** 284
62 Levitation E5 6a *  
63 Reunion Crack VS 5a ** 138
64 Slab Way M * 4
  Central
66 The Pinch E1 5c 1
67 The Ape E1 5b  
68 The Monkey in Your Soul E3 5c 1
69 Press on Regardless E2 5b *  
70 Roof Climb VS 4b * 101
71 The Long and Short E1 5b * 8
72 Anaconda E4 6b ** 1
73 Borstal Breakout E4 6b *** 14
74 Anaconda Breakout
-
E3 **  
75 Final Crack HS 4b ** 28
76 Pointless Peregrination HVS 5b * 2
77 Central Climb Direct VS 5a ** 139
78 B4, XS E7 6b *** 5
79 Central Climb VS 4c *** 901
80 7 of 9
-
VS 5a 5
81 Encouragement E1 5b *** 138
82 Jean The Bean E5 6b *  
83 K2 S 4b ** 614
84 The Arete VD ** 576
  Modern
86 Easy Come
-
HS 4b 4
87 Arete Wall VS 4b * 31
88 Easy Gully M 23
89 Songs Of Praise E2 5c 1
90 Prayers, Poems & Promises
-
E1 5b * 1
91 Flexure Line
-
HVS 6a 1
92 Modern VS 4b ** 397
93 Ancient VD * 171
  Bow Buttress
95 Small Buttress HVS 5a 13
96 Bitching E1 5b * 24
97 Bow Buttress VD * 68
98 The Driven Bow E7 6c * 7
99 Solid Geometry E1 5b ** 65
  Bachelors Wall
101 Problem 0 V0 5a ** 12
102 Left vein V2 (5c) ** 17
103 Right Vein V2 6a * 9
104 Stokes' Line E1 6b * 4
105 This Poison E3 6b * 1
106 Slimline E1 5b ** 47
107 Peter and the Wolf E6 6b * 3
108 Fast Piping E4 6b * 6
109 Hedgehog Crack VS 4c ** 179
110 Comedian E3 6a *** 43
111 Frayed Nerve E5 6b * 2
112 Second's Retreat HVS 4c 41
113 Second's Advance HVS 5a * 33
114 Corinthian E3 5c *** 37
115 Hen Cloud Eliminate HVS 5b *** 297
116 Cool Fool E6 6b ** 1
117 Rib Crack VS 4c * 14
118 Rib Chimney S 4a ** 160
119 Caricature E5 6b *** 4
120 Caricature Direct E6 6b *** 2
121 Chiaroscuro E7 6b ** 1
122 Bachelor's Left-hand HVS 5b *** 469
123 Parallel Lines E6 6c *  
124 Bachelor's Climb VS 4c *** 380
125 Space Probe E4 6a ** 2
126 Night Prowler E6 6a ** 3
  Great Chimney
128 Great Chimney S 4a *** 734
129 Rainbow Crack VS 5a ** 357
130 Pre Cam Brian E5 6a  
131 ArĂȘtenophobia E6 6b * 1
132 The Midlander f7A+ 1
133 Chameleon E4 6a *** 19
134 Sauria E5 6a *  
135 Left Twin Crack HS 4b * 66
136 Right Twin Crack VS 4b * 42
137 Desperado E5 6b 1
138 The Last Great Problem XS ***  
139 Dead Banana Slab HVS 5c 3
140 Footpath Chimney
-
VD * 7
141 Just Thirteen VS 5a * 3
  The Inaccessible Pinnacle
143 Ankle Biter E2 5c *  
144 Thompson's Buttress Route 1 HVD 4a * 146
145 Thompson's Buttress Route 2 HVD 77
146 Professor Calculus E2 5c *  
147 Tree Chimney VD 33
148 Pinnacle Face HVS 4c * 37
149 Face Value HVS 5a 3
150 Pinnacle Rib HVS 5a * 25
  Boxing Gloves
152 Rastaman Spars With Babylon On His Bike E3 5c *  
153 Diagonal Route
-
VD 17
154 Triumph of the Good City
-
HVS 5b * 1
155 Flourescent Squid V4 *  
156 Jellyfish E4 5c * 1
157 Dive In The Fifth E4 6a *  
158 Pete's Back Side HVS 5a 3
159 Central Tower
-
VD 9
160 Knuckle Sandwich V3 6a *  
161 Rope a Dope E2 5c *  
162 The Nutcracker S 4a 3
163 Heart of Gold
-
E2 5c ** 14
164 The Deceiver VS 4b * 5
165 Touch E4 6c ** 17
  Far Right
167 Ginger Biscuit
-
VS 5
168 Gingerbread
-
HS 4a 2
  Lower Crags
170 Bordello E3 5c ** 4
171 Fire Down Below VS 5a 2
172 Boysen's Arete E2 6a * 1
173 The Young Pretender E8 6c **  
174 Hal's Ridge
-
VD 4
175 Short Man's Misery HVS 5a 3
176 Crispin's Crack HVS 5a 13
177 Duck Soup HVS 4c * 4
178 Micks Metaphor E1 5c ** 7
  The Wood
180 Mad Lines E1 5b 7
181 Spacepube VD 12
182 Pluto's Ring E1 5c 3
183 Jetez le Pantalon E2 5b 3
184 The Chapel f6C **  
  Very far right
186 Toblerone V7 ** 1
  Unverified routes
188 Stationary Celtic Compass Points HS 4a * 6
189 Hedgehog Crack Lefthand Finish HVS 5b 1
190 Delusion HS 4a 1
191 Quantas E1 5b  
192 Short Side V0 5a 2
193 Even Smaller Buttress HVS 5a  
194 Cold Sweat E1 5b  
195 Border 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