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Climbs 322
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 260m a.s.l
Faces SW

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Rob Greenwood on Shot Yer Bolt (6b+) on the Main Wall at Horseshoe © Alan James

Crag features

The centre of mid and lower grade sport climbing in the Peak with many good routes between 6a and 7a, and a few below. Part of the quarry was purchased by the BMC in 2005 for the good of the nation, access is now freely allowed (with the usual caveats) and is dedicated as CROW land.

In 2017 a major rebolting excerise was undertaken on the routes on the BMC owned land, with a number of routes being decommisioned due to rock stability issues. Visitors should be aware that the quality of the bolts and indeed the rock itself might be of a significantly inferior standard in areas not owned by the BMC. See https://www.thebmc.co.uk/horseshoe-rebolting-round-up 

Quick drying and a good year round venue. Popular on sunny evenings. The best routes are on the Main Wall, 23m high, reasonably sound, but often sportingly bolted. Bolts and lower-offs on some routes have recently been replaced by the BMC, but this does not mean that the bolt spacing is comparable to an indoor wall. Best routes are Rain Dance (F6c+), Legal Action (F6c), Run For Your Wife (F6c+), Private Prosecution (F6c+), Litany Against Fear (F6b+), Megalithic Man (F6b+) and Shot Your Bolt (F6b+).

Sectors on either side off the Main Wall, and indeed above it on the Upper Tier, have been developed more recently and tend to be more closely bolted. However the rock tends to be less reliable, and although the BMC has undertaken some stabilization work, care should be exercised. Wearing a helmet is advisable, particularly when belaying. Nonetheless there are good routes to be found in most of the outlying areas - such as Rage (6b) and Excavator(5).

A few trad routes remain - such as Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep (E1 5c).

Up-to-the-minute topos can be found at www.sportsclimbs.co.uk

Approach notes

Parking for about 12 cars at the quarry entrance, which is just off the A623 at SK 205760, 1-2km west of Stoney Middleton. Do not block the turning circle. If this is full (which it often is), drive a little further west and park in the lay-bys either side of the road. Take care walking back along the road.

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Guidebooks

Peak Limestone

Selected guidebook covering the best trad and sport limestone crags in the Peak District.
More info
Now that the rebolting work is nearing completion can we expect to see published a list of routes rebolted, routes stripped and information on any routes that may have radically changed?
roger whetton - 30/Oct/17
Had a cracking day climbing here 21/04/14 round the toilet area, had no problems with rock falling off! The climbs were in good condition!
sam_whitehouse - 21/Apr/14
Climbed some lines on the slabs at the far end of the quarry on Saturday. A massive flake came off in my hands and split on the way down causing a chunk to hit my partners head. It has cracked her helmet and caused a slight head injury. I would seriously advise not to go up on here even if the lower grades are tempting as my piece wasn't the only piece that fell off!
Rhi Rhi - 22/Apr/13
Climbed a couple of lines on Guoranga Buttress Saturday and suggest avoiding them. It's all very loose and after doing a route we moved elsewhere for fear of doing more damage to the rock!
seanraby - 07/May/12
went there thursday last week and tuesday this week. did most of the 4+ on the slabs. good routes although the ground underneath is very eroded so be careful. Did latrine and removal man which were really good routes. good venue.
danimal - 10/Feb/11
Doodah Buttress is the short wall to the right of the upper tier. In the 1986 Stoney guide, but none of the more recent ones. Classics(?) include Pot-washer's wall (HVS 5b*) and Hot Zipperty (HVS 5a*). Rumour has it that this area has also been used for dry-tooling
Chris the Tall - 29/Oct/10
i just wanted to say thank you to the four guys who helped me on the 28-05-2010. i realy apreciate everything you did for me, from packing my gear to carrying it all out for me. but most of all for comforting clare while i was being treated. your a lovely bunch and i hope our paths will cross again someday, hopefully under better circumstances. best regards too you and a top venue. mike. no broken bones
mike-a-walton - 31/May/10
Horseshoe was one of the first of the peak district quarries to be developed to cater for the growing need of lower grade (sub 7s) sport climbing. It's amazing the place now sports over 250 routes although the quality of the vast majority of these is fairly poor. The crag is popular mainly because there are few other sport crags around that have many routes in the sixes and below. Being a disused quarry it's not exactly the most aesthetic place to climb but it's got a sunny aspect and it's far enough from the main road to at least be quiet. The main wall is by far the best part of the crag. The routes here lack natural lines: most are just blank walls linking up small features between the horizontal breaks. But good rock and interesting, and sometimes very technical climbing, more than make up for that. The bolts are in good condition, well placed and sometimes spaced far enough apart to add a little bit of excitement to the climbing too. If 6c is your grade Horseshoe has a handful of decent routes that make a visit definitely worthwhile.
stp - 19/Oct/09
i went last saturday , for my fisrt ever sport climbing day, apart from nearly pulling the routes off and leaving just a wall of soil, it was good, but it seemed as the routes get harder, it gets more polished, its a good crag but just needs a bit of getting used to. Ill be going back soon.
Liam Copley - 01/Jun/08
I agree with Wal's comments. But please don't light a bleedin' BBQ while people are climbing. There are so many varying sport routes here and still some excellent trad routes. I must have been here a dozen times over the last couple of years and tomorrow I'm going again cos it might be showery and it's easy to get off if you get caught in the rain - also there's nearly always something dry at Horseshoe if it's wet everywhere else.
Richard 261 - 09/Nov/07
Visited horseshoe for the first time on Sun 10 Jun 07 - after almost being put off by the earlier comments posted here. So glad I went! What a great sports climbing location! More than a hundred well bolted routes from 4 to 7, sheltered site, sun trap, tidy, no graffiti, no litter, easy access. What more could you want?
skyhigh269 - 11/Jun/07
Suitable for beginners/bottom-ropeing??? Right donw road from my aunties so is in fantastic location!
nolo - 24/Jun/06
When Iím hanging on by my finger-nails, I just donít seem to spend much time admiring the views!! For all its faults, there is a great selection of routes, itís very accessible and when the sun is out thereís plenty of space for Frisbees and barBQ.
Wal Holmes - 01/Jun/06
I must agree that the quarry is a good place to climb. And at what crag don't you get loose rock as all rock is vulnerable to weather conditions causing erosion.
MattieS - 09/May/06
i think it's a great place to climb there are just so many bolted routes at do-able grades. ok there's a fair bit of loose rock but if you're careful and wear helmets you'll be ok. it may not be beutiful and it may not be tranquil but the only time i've ever seen more climbable rock in one place was the grand canyon. in my opinion it's a great day out.
Josh - 01/Aug/05
After reading the comments above, I think there must be 2 Horseshoe quarries. In the one I go to, I have never encountered any polished routes. There are literally hundreds of good, well bolted routes in the 6a - 6c grades and even a few good trad routes. True enough, it's more like an outdoor climbing wall than a real crag, but my climbing is improving every time I go there. I'm looking forward to Pembroke in August, but I'll still keep going to Horseshoe.
Richard 261 - 26/Jun/05
Includes a gully at the left hand end of the lower tier described in On Peak Rock. "Quite Tricky, 50m"!
mad matt - 30/May/05
Been there today for the first time, i thought it was great and the sun was out.....cracking day! i know what you mean about the loose rock, bring on the adventure...............
JayJay - 12/May/05
I like it!
Adam Moroz - 18/Feb/05
There are sections of the quarry where you have to wonder "why bother?". If the BMC is to buy the quarry then serious consideration should be given as to whether some routes should be pulled down on safety grounds.
Bob - 06/Sep/04
So its not ideal, but what the hell, if you don't like, don't climb there, then it will not get so polished!!!!!!
Bob - 01/Sep/04
You might want to include a warning about loose rock and friable holds, particularly on the newer routes. Belayers should either wear a helmet or avoid standing directly below the route - or both - and even then you might not be safe!
Chris the Tall - 07/Aug/03
Well bolted but an extremely dangerous slab due to some very big loose rocks (especially on the first 2 routes from the left). If you are determined to climb there, a helmet is essential.
Antony - 16/Jul/03
Dont knock it. The best routes are good, particularly in the Legal Action to Megalithic area. Why would it be so popular if they were not? Beware some of the recent developmments though.
Harold - 24/Dec/02
I like it and most of my mates do as well, not a pretty place, but hey how many sports crags have we got? Some good routes on the top level. Stu
StuT - 08/Nov/02
A bloody awfull crag!!!! Dropped straight in the Peak from the Devil's backside. Embodies all the worst aspects of climbing, i.e. polished, badly bolted, chipped, quarried, ugly. We don't have to stoop to this....
Dave - 08/Nov/02
This place is so ugly people shouldn't be allowed to climb here.....actually I don't think you are allowed to climb here. [You are - UKC Ed.]
Stone Donkey - 08/Nov/02
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Climbs at this crag

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