Rocktype Grit (quarried)
Altitude 253m a.s.l
Portnoy's Complaint © mark20
Esoteric, and almost a gem, given more traffic to clean up the routes. Shrouded in trees, the cracks can be slow to dry but the more open climbs are surprisingly fast drying, and of course avoid the worst of the weather over the higher Peak edges. Best on windy days in Autumn and Spring when the leaves are off the trees. The path above and below the crag is improving and it is worth nipping over from the main crag to pick off a couple of the more popular routes which generally stay clean.
Recent developments have added to many worthwhile climbs here, but most of the quality lies in the extreme grades. Best routes are Impecacuanha Groove (HVS), Rhododendron Crack (E1), The Two Toms (E1), Portnoy's Complaint (E2 5b), Paddington (E4) Teddy Bear's Picnic (E4 6b), Feet Neet (E5), Flex (E5/6) and Earthboots (E6/7). The blank arete of That's My Lot (E8) is worth looking at and wondering how it is possible!
There is also worthwhile bouldering here. The Mini Beak and Happy Campus area is popular and accessible from the main crag, while a scattering of other problems further along the quarries are also worthwhile - Glom Onto (7A), Geisterspeil (7A) and Cold School Closure (7B/+) in particular.
Most will approach by traversing left from the left-hand end of Rivelin Edge, either on the path above the edge, or below. The first quarry is reached in a few mins.
Please be respectful of the residents of the nearby houses if climbing at the far left end of the crag.
The landowner (a tree surgeon with a vision of how this woodland should be managed), protested strongly to the BMC about damage to trees and erosion to footpaths around the crag. Climbers should avoid the area to the right of Altar Crack and respect its integrity as a conservation area. Any further damage to trees will result in the loss of all access for climbing.
Dates: 1 March to 30 June
Reason: Nesting Birds
Tawny owls sometimes nest on the crag in the spring (previously on Kremlin Crack or Roof Route) - if present avoid the route(s) they are occupying until the nest is vacated.
Tawny owls have been known to viciously attack people climbing near their nest, so please steer well clear of these routes until the chicks have fledged, both for the benefit of the birds and your own wellbeing.