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24m.

Rockfax Description
The crack that splits the enormous roof is a total gripper; though like the school bully (and unlike Whillans!) it isn't as 'ard as it looks once you take it on! The climbing is straightforward though mighty harassing and the route feels like E1. Climb to a sitting position on The Pedestal then step right and climb the short tricky wall to the roof and a big sling on the massive spike of the Cheeseblock. Lean right to get the first of the creaking juggy flakes then launch across these to the lip where solid jamming helps the pull over into the final easy crack. The old roof climbing adage of "keep your feet on the rock at all costs" is worth bearing in mind. © Rockfax

FA. Don "It's OK if you use yer loaf" Whillans 1954.

Ticklists

ROCKFAX Western Grit: Top 50, Top 20 Gritstone UKC Wishlist Climbs, Top 25 UKC Wishlist Rock Climbs, Classic Rock Climbs of Great Britain by Bill Birkett, The Roaches - Routes Graded List, ROCKFAX Western Grit Grade List, Trad climbs for sport climbers, Hard Grit history, The Peak: Past and Present, Kit Perry's 2013 Mission Statement, World Graded List, Staffordshire Grit Challenge - Brown-Whillans Day Out, Peak Rock/6/ The Emergence of Joe Brown and Don Whillans, Get out on Rock, Ultimate HVS ticklist, The BMC 70th Anniversary Ticklist, Top Five HVSs In The UK?, Roaches HVS Challenge, ULMC Classics, MUMC Ticklist, The best the UK has to offer for mere mortals (apart from the lakes cos its always wet), The Roaches 3 Star Extravaganza, Definitive *** Peak Grit, Michelle's crack ticklist, Magical mysterious and unusual beasts of rock & myth, Libby Peter's HVS Hit List, SUMC's Steep Testpieces, The Gritlist, Routes to Climb-Peak District, Big Boy Pants, 2020 Trips, Peak District Grit Graded List, Peak District Grit (2020) *** List

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User Date Notes
mb_manchester 31 Aug Show βeta
βeta: great line, very emotional but well-protected (after the commitment and confidence is reached).
βeta?
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βeta: great line, very emotional but well-protected (after the commitment and confidence is reached).
Lankcroft 12 Jun Show βeta
βeta: Wedged cam still in place on the lip but not used/tested as the tape was tangled round it a bit, plus it's in at the wrong angle - i felt it was easier/better to place my own one next to it. The tape looked a bit manky, and it sounds like it's been there a while, so might be a fair bit weaker than it was when new....
 
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βeta: Wedged cam still in place on the lip but not used/tested as the tape was tangled round it a bit, plus it's in at the wrong angle - i felt it was easier/better to place my own one next to it. The tape looked a bit manky, and it sounds like it's been there a while, so might be a fair bit weaker than it was when new....
luke_blazejewski 23 Jun, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: There is still a cam stuck in the crack.
 
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βeta: There is still a cam stuck in the crack.
damondavies 30 Apr, 2019 Show βeta
βeta: Plenty of big jugs on the roof so not as hard as it looks from below. It’s possible to place gear in the roof and reverse to the ledge to rest before going for it.
 
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βeta: Plenty of big jugs on the roof so not as hard as it looks from below. It’s possible to place gear in the roof and reverse to the ledge to rest before going for it.
Duz Walker 10 Jul, 2007 Show βeta
βeta: I feel it is in that Hinterland of HVS's with a little something extra - in this case a bejugged roof with screaming exposure and a beguiling line. God forsake me for saying it, but these E0 arguments are beginning to make some sense.
 
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βeta: I feel it is in that Hinterland of HVS's with a little something extra - in this case a bejugged roof with screaming exposure and a beguiling line. God forsake me for saying it, but these E0 arguments are beginning to make some sense.
Richard 261 13 Jun, 2007 Show βeta
βeta: Some of these comments are amazing. I went to The Roaches with some friends a couple of years ago. I was climbing at HVS and had never climbed harder than HVS. I liked the look of The Sloth, looked in the book and found it was HVS so I climbed it. It's superb. Stop trying to analyze it. If you want to climb it and can climb HVS, just get up there and do it. Otherwise climb something else.
 
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βeta: Some of these comments are amazing. I went to The Roaches with some friends a couple of years ago. I was climbing at HVS and had never climbed harder than HVS. I liked the look of The Sloth, looked in the book and found it was HVS so I climbed it. It's superb. Stop trying to analyze it. If you want to climb it and can climb HVS, just get up there and do it. Otherwise climb something else.
dycotiles 16 Oct, 2006 Show βeta
βeta: The BMC guidebook gives 5b HVS. The HVS is ok because the climb is well protected whith the sling on the cheese block and the bomber hex at the crux. The roof is really intimidating. The problem with this climb is that it is tried by lots of though guys that have done E2's and E5's etc. and obviously they feel they have to downgrade it to 5a to sandbag everybody else!
βeta?
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βeta: The BMC guidebook gives 5b HVS. The HVS is ok because the climb is well protected whith the sling on the cheese block and the bomber hex at the crux. The roof is really intimidating. The problem with this climb is that it is tried by lots of though guys that have done E2's and E5's etc. and obviously they feel they have to downgrade it to 5a to sandbag everybody else!
SteveM 18 Sep, 2006 Show βeta
βeta: Like most HVS leaders I'd saved this one up, avoiding the Roaches for almost 2 years to avoid having to do it. The suspense was worth it, and like the big bully at work or school it's not as hard as it looks :-)
βeta?
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βeta: Like most HVS leaders I'd saved this one up, avoiding the Roaches for almost 2 years to avoid having to do it. The suspense was worth it, and like the big bully at work or school it's not as hard as it looks :-)
Jonny2vests 7 Jun, 2006 Show βeta
βeta: Joe Squire - what are you on? This is a good fun safe as houses HVS 5a, its not Ulysees. PS: learn to write.
βeta?
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βeta: Joe Squire - what are you on? This is a good fun safe as houses HVS 5a, its not Ulysees. PS: learn to write.
Joe Solo 31 Mar, 2006 Show βeta
βeta: This routes grade does not matter. The thought off doing this route put the shits up me. If it was on a Pems route 90ft up it would be part of an E4 but it is not. This is Hard Grit for the mortal Climber's. You do not get a roof like this un-less it is on an e3 or e4 Don obviosly had big balls. Don't listn to Best rock climbs ect the sling is shit 2 rock 5's go in then a camlot 3 and the hex on the lip is balls cam 4 smacks in. Don take's his brain out for this one the poor mans big route, you climb this you are taken a risk 50% of the flake is there, you now have to reach like seb on a hard grit route. I cimbed the sloth after 1 yr of e2's vector bla bla the day i did it i played pool with the baran him self what a day, and he told me a seceret about vector which i will share with you all some other time just ask it's brill. I shit my self getting on the sloth i was sick after pulling over the roof. it is 5b climbing all the way with a 5b/5c move over the lip no question. we are talking onsight ascent. this is were the route is so different to them all you have to keep going or it is game over. any one who commits to the roof and just climbs not thinking about the grade or history will achive the greatest roof route in the UK. Forget the grade enjoy the experience you will not find a route like this any were in the world. It is our heratage enjoy forget the debate about the grade who care's every climbers experience will be different and that is why we all climb and have stories to tell in the pub's of this world. Joe Squire Swansea. enjoy, I did
 
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βeta: This routes grade does not matter. The thought off doing this route put the shits up me. If it was on a Pems route 90ft up it would be part of an E4 but it is not. This is Hard Grit for the mortal Climber's. You do not get a roof like this un-less it is on an e3 or e4 Don obviosly had big balls. Don't listn to Best rock climbs ect the sling is shit 2 rock 5's go in then a camlot 3 and the hex on the lip is balls cam 4 smacks in. Don take's his brain out for this one the poor mans big route, you climb this you are taken a risk 50% of the flake is there, you now have to reach like seb on a hard grit route. I cimbed the sloth after 1 yr of e2's vector bla bla the day i did it i played pool with the baran him self what a day, and he told me a seceret about vector which i will share with you all some other time just ask it's brill. I shit my self getting on the sloth i was sick after pulling over the roof. it is 5b climbing all the way with a 5b/5c move over the lip no question. we are talking onsight ascent. this is were the route is so different to them all you have to keep going or it is game over. any one who commits to the roof and just climbs not thinking about the grade or history will achive the greatest roof route in the UK. Forget the grade enjoy the experience you will not find a route like this any were in the world. It is our heratage enjoy forget the debate about the grade who care's every climbers experience will be different and that is why we all climb and have stories to tell in the pub's of this world. Joe Squire Swansea. enjoy, I did
fenclimb 24 Dec, 2005 Show βeta
βeta: HVS 5a is spot on did it as an early hvs and know a few people who did it as there first, its only hard if it intimidates you.
βeta?
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βeta: HVS 5a is spot on did it as an early hvs and know a few people who did it as there first, its only hard if it intimidates you.
Leek_lad 21 Feb, 2005 Show βeta
βeta: 'Spose it depends on whether you hang around under the roof placing gear as to whether it's E1 or HVS. Reckon it's 5a though. No jamming required & all good holds throughout. Did it in 1 pitch not 2.
βeta?
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βeta: 'Spose it depends on whether you hang around under the roof placing gear as to whether it's E1 or HVS. Reckon it's 5a though. No jamming required & all good holds throughout. Did it in 1 pitch not 2.
Dave Emms 1 Dec, 2003 Show βeta
βeta: If you can climb HVS then get yourself on this route, now! Just don't stop climbing once you're on the roof, wack in the gear and go.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: If you can climb HVS then get yourself on this route, now! Just don't stop climbing once you're on the roof, wack in the gear and go.
ericinbristol 6 Jul, 2003 Show βeta
βeta: I've done this route three times. No need to do it in two pitches: 1 is fine. Gear is perfect and bomber, so it isn't bold in terms of danger, just in terms of exposure. On the crux you can a big hex or friend in above your head. You don't even need to jam - just reach up grab a jug. Upgrading this from HVS 5a would be really bad. Whillans said 'It's easy if yer use yer loaf', and he's still right. I've done it before and after the bit of flake snapped off, and it is no harder.
βeta?
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βeta: I've done this route three times. No need to do it in two pitches: 1 is fine. Gear is perfect and bomber, so it isn't bold in terms of danger, just in terms of exposure. On the crux you can a big hex or friend in above your head. You don't even need to jam - just reach up grab a jug. Upgrading this from HVS 5a would be really bad. Whillans said 'It's easy if yer use yer loaf', and he's still right. I've done it before and after the bit of flake snapped off, and it is no harder.
Toby Dunn 7 Mar, 2003 Show βeta
βeta: A bit too much beta in this description? However hard it is now, its going to be quite a bit harder soon unless everyones quite careful with that flake...
βeta?
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βeta: A bit too much beta in this description? However hard it is now, its going to be quite a bit harder soon unless everyones quite careful with that flake...
Robo 30 Jun, 2002 Show βeta
βeta: It's not that easy. If you aren't au fait with upside down jamming the pull over the lip can be a bit of a puzzler, and it's not a good place to hang around and scratch your head...
βeta?
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βeta: It's not that easy. If you aren't au fait with upside down jamming the pull over the lip can be a bit of a puzzler, and it's not a good place to hang around and scratch your head...
Alex "wurzel" Thurgood 26 Jun, 2002 Show βeta
βeta: I too always thought this to be HVS 5a. I saw my leader deck it from the crux, so I had to step in (he too fell on his back on the slab, luckily with no severe injury). Pretty scary, but not technically very difficult. A classic in my mind.
βeta?
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βeta: I too always thought this to be HVS 5a. I saw my leader deck it from the crux, so I had to step in (he too fell on his back on the slab, luckily with no severe injury). Pretty scary, but not technically very difficult. A classic in my mind.
philhilo 10 Mar, 2002 Show βeta
βeta: Having taken a lob off the lip several decades ago before i could afford friends, E stands for excruciating pain as i hit the back wall next to the belayer. Wouldnt recommend it as a first E1, so 5a or 5b for sure.
βeta?
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βeta: Having taken a lob off the lip several decades ago before i could afford friends, E stands for excruciating pain as i hit the back wall next to the belayer. Wouldnt recommend it as a first E1, so 5a or 5b for sure.
mark s 20 Feb, 2002 Show βeta
βeta: hvs def , 4c maybe,big holds all the way through the overhang.
βeta?
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βeta: hvs def , 4c maybe,big holds all the way through the overhang.
Nick Smith - Climbers 20 Feb, 2002 Show βeta
βeta: I agree about the route being intimidating (I didn't dare try it until I had several E2's under my belt!) but not about the grade. The climbing is fairly easy (especially if you are used to climbing steep overhangs indoors), but the gear is good. I'd give it HVS/E1 5a or even 5b.
βeta?
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βeta: I agree about the route being intimidating (I didn't dare try it until I had several E2's under my belt!) but not about the grade. The climbing is fairly easy (especially if you are used to climbing steep overhangs indoors), but the gear is good. I'd give it HVS/E1 5a or even 5b.
Iain McTaggart 20 Feb, 2002 Show βeta
βeta: How can something that overhanging be 4c?
βeta?
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βeta: How can something that overhanging be 4c?

Logged Ascents

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Voting
High E1
Mid E1
Low E1
High HVS
Mid HVS
Low HVS
High VS
Mid VS
Low VS
Votes cast 331
High 5b
Mid 5b
Low 5b
High 5a
Mid 5a
Low 5a
High 4c
Mid 4c
Low 4c
Votes cast 404
Votes cast 370
Style of Ascent
Lead
Followed
Alt Leads
Toproped
Soloed
Not Set
Onsighted
Repeated
Dogged
Flashed (β)
DNF
Redpoint
Ground Up
Not Set
Route of Interest

Saul's Crack

Grade: HVS 5a ***
(Roaches Upper Tier)