Climbs 65
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 315m a.s.l
Faces E

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Samuel James-Louwerse at the top of Mitre Crack (VS) at Aldery Cliff. © Alan James

Crag features

Aldery Cliff is a secluded crag that offers a decent set of trad routes at some reasonable grades. The crag faces east and gets the morning sun. It is well sheltered from westerly winds. In hot weather, it is a good late afternoon venue. Generally, the quarry is quick-drying and doesn't suffer from seepage.

In 2017 some misguided climbers chopped and poisoned the trees on the crag. This caused some unpleasant erosion on the upper sections where the trees used to provide useful belays, abseil points and hold the ledges together. In August 2020 fixed belays were arranged at critical points above the routes but usually below the upper sections of the original climbs. Virtually all routes now finish at a fixed belay. In keeping with the traditional ethic at this crag it is hoped that these will be used for belaying on and abseil descents and not for top-roping. Some can be used for lower-off but please avoid repeated top-roping.


Approach notes

Aldery Cliff is situated just to the southeast of the tiny village of Earl Sterndale - the crag is sometimes referred to as 'Earl Sterndale'. From the A515 south of Buxton, follow signs for Longnor. Earl Sterndale is signed off these roads. The crag is about 500m south of the village, right next to the road, and you can park in the area in front of the crag. Please make sure you close the gate at all times.

No Access Issues

New bolted anchors were installed in August 2020 (following discussion and agreement at Peak Area meetings,) to replace tree lower offs which had been removed during unsanctioned work in 2017. These anchors are setup to use for belay, abseil or lower off; with two stainless steel resin bolts, connected with stainless chain to a ring. As with all fixed anchors, if multiple people are going to climb a route and lower off or top rope, climbers should use their own carabiners to attach the rope to the anchor, with only the last climber re-threading and using the ring to prevent wear to the in situ equipment. 

A list of the anchors and the routes they serve (in Peak Limestone North) is below, with the numbers relating to the marked up crag image in photos:

1:  Best Forgotten Groove to Therianthropic (routes 4-6) 2:  Jackorner to November Wall (routes 7-10) 3:  Carmal to Rentaghost (routes 11-13) 4:  The Arete to The Cardinal (routes 14-17) 5:  Carmen to Carmen Mirander (routes 22-23) 6:  Carmen Mirander to Lizzie (routes 24-26) 7:  Ash Tree Arete to Ash Tree Slab (routes 27-28) 8:  The first pitches of Central Arete to Clothesline (routes 22-36) 9:  The Fly to Burst (routes 37-39) 10:  The Bender to Terrace Wall Direct (routes 40-41) 11:  Right Arete to A Pig in the Middle (routes 43-45)

Other considerations:

  • As with many limestone trad crags, loose and friable rock can feature on the crag – be alert to this and consider wearing a helmet.
  • Significant rock instability has been identified at the left side of the crag around the cave entrance (Sword and Stone to Hidden Corner), and right of A Pig in the Middle. These parts of the crag have significant areas of potentially unstable rock which could fall at any time and should be avoided.
  • There is a cable handrail at the top of the crag to aid climbers passing a ‘bad step’ – do not belay from this cable as it is not sufficiently strong to use as an anchor.
  • Fly tipping has been an issue at the crag in the past - please report any dumped material to the BMC Access Team and note down any vehicle number plates if you see the perpetrators in action.

Seasonal Restrictions

Reason: Other

Bats have been known to use Mitre Crack as a roost in late spring/early summer. It is very obvious when they are present due to the noisy chattering coming from the depths of the crack - please avoid this route when the bats are present.

Seems to have been extensive forestry work carried presumably by the BMC and a lot of trees have been cleared at the top and bottom of the crag. This gives amore open aspect and hopefully has stabilised the top.
Craig Samuels - 12/Apr/22
Bolted Belays/Lower Offs now seem to be in place for most routes. It looks like there is no need for a frightening top out any more!
roger whetton - 23/Jun/21
Some of the rock underneath the chains above Right Arete/Hard Labour are a bit loose, so take care towards that right hand side.
rtdennison - 17/Sep/20
Now the tree has gone from the top of Surface plate how the **** are you ment to get down? I saw one person down climb and wondered what he was doing, so I climbed up but there is no way down. Fortunately I am a fairly competent climber and quested my way to the top on very dirty and loos ground.
GouldHarry - 24/Apr/18
A lot of work has been done by a local hero who has opened up a lot of the crag and removed the mass of nettles so the faces further round can be accessed, work is still on-going but is still 1000x better than before
rtdennison - 09/Apr/17
There has been a cleanup (maybe a still continuing cleanup?) with loose rock and trees removed from several areas - thanks whoever did it. Some rock is still a bit dirty and some of the ground around the routes is a bit unstable but I'm sure all will settle down
roger whetton - 16/May/16
there has been a recent large rockfall in the corner to the right of Carmen/Carmen jones
PeteWilson - 05/Sep/13
The recently cleaned slabs on the right hand side contain 3 routes, all done by Dave Williams. Unfortunately the large block above and to the right of them is reported to be dangerously loose. Therefor DO NOT CLIMB THESE ROUTES, at least for the time being
Chris the Tall - 01/Dec/06
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Climbs at this crag

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