The Peak District is a wonderful playground for climbing and bouldering (often the line is blurred due to the short stature of many of the crags). There are two main rock types, Gritstone and Limestone. This page only aims to give a brief overview of the areas and bouldering, for detailed information on problems, grades and so forth refer to the superb Peakbouldering.info.
Northern Grit Edit
Encompassing the northern reaches of the Peak District and the Chew Valley, the Northern Grit area is large of size and generous of walk-in. Due to the often lengthy nature of the approaches, most of its rock will never see a fraction of the attention bestowed upon its more accessible neighbours, and this of course is one of its key virtues. For those in search of solitude, good views and long days out, these are the crags to seek. Late summer and early autumn are perhaps the best times to explore these exposed moorland venues.
Boulderers less enamoured of the mini-wilderness experience are also well catered for by Wimberry, the popular king of the north, with its steep slopes dotted by roughly textured boulders, and these amply blessed by must-climb features.
- 8A - The Enigma - Tintwistle Knarr
- 8A - Acapella - Tintwistle Knarr
- 8A - Playing With Fire - Black Tor
Eastern Grit Edit
Dominated by the Burbage valley and Stanage, the Eastern Grit area is the most well developed and popular collection of crags in the Peak. Clustering a host of classics within a stone's throw of Sheffield, the bouldering here is varied and excellent, though on sunny weekends it can be incredibly busy.
Hardest Problems (Traverses/linkups not included)
- 8B+ - Voyager Sitstart - Burbage North
- 8B - The Ace - Stanage
- 8B - Brad Pit Sitstart - Stanage
- 8B - Voyager - Burbage
- 8A+ - The Bed of Procrustes - Millstone
- 8A+ - 8 Ball - Gardoms
- 8A+ - Supersize Me - Curbar
- 8A+ - Work Hard - Curbar
Southern Grit Edit
Centred around the flagship twins of Cratcliffe and Robin Hood's Stride, southern grit may not have the same volume of classics as the burbage valley, but still holds enough quality bouldering to keep most people busy for many years. Weather here can be markedly better than other areas, and on rainy days in the east it often pays to check the local webcams.
- 8A+ - Stanton Deliver - Stanton Moor
- 8A - The Stanton Shuffle - Stanton Moor
- 8A - Catch sitstart - Rowtor
- 8A - Pink Lady - Rowtor
- 8A - Sweet Thing - Robin Hood's Stride
- 8A - The Pessimist - Eastwood Rocks
- 8A - Hats for Youths - Eastwood Rocks
- 8A - Westwood - Eastwood Rocks
Western Grit Edit
Western Grit flaunts its wayward character with wild, curvaceous rock shapes and fine-grained rock. The Roaches captains the area with bouldering to beckon fingers of all strengths and sizes, while the spine-like stretches of Ramshaw and the Newstones are able deputies of equal allure.
Hardest Problems (Traverses/linkups not included)
- 8A+ - Nth Power - Five Clouds
- 8A+ - Intertia Reel Traverse - The Roaches
- 8A - Darkest Cloud - Nth Cloud
The Churnet Edit
Within earshot of Alton Towers, sandstone buttresses lurk in all shapes and sizes. From the red steep stuff, to the monster pebble stuff, to the only-just-harder-than-sand stuff, it's all here. The scarlet overhangs of Wright's Rock rule the area with rainproof burl, while elsewhere there are many other less prominent walls that combine to make the Churnet a special place.
- 8A - Warchild - Wright's Rock
- 8A - Wildchild - Wright's Rock
- 8A - Quill Sitstart - Wright's Rock
- 8A - Witness the Churnetness - ?
Central Limestone Edit
Traditionally the peak's summer option, limestone bouldering has historically revolved around the fearsome foursome of Rubicon, Raven Tor, Crag X and eliminates at Stoney Middleton. Steep, fingery and polished, this is make or break country for tendons. In recent years the development of Blackwell Dale in particular (as well as other more minor venues) has relegated Stoney to last place in the popularity contest, though there is still nowhere as reliably dry in bad weather as the good old Minus Ten wall.
- 8B+ - Belly Of The Beast - Raven Tor
- 8B+ - Bewilderness - Badger Cove
- 8B+ - Dandelion Mind - Badger Cove
- 8B - Keen Roof (& extension at same grade) - Raven Tor
- 8A+ - Superman - Crag X
- 8A+ - Pinch 2 (eliminate) - Stoney
- 8A+ - Fat Lip - Raven Tor
- 8A+ - Hooligan Start - Raven Tor
- 8A+ - Recreational Violence (& RH variation at same grade) - Beginner's Wall
- 8A+ - Wild East - Raven Tor
- 8A+ - Working 9-5 - Sean's Roof
- 8A+ - Sean's Roof - Sean's Roof
Hardest Traverses & Linkups
- 8B+ - Staminaband/PUTP - Raven Tor
- 8B+ - Finest Pedigree - Cheedale
- 8A+ - Tamora - Roadside Cave
- 8A+ - Press LL > Reverse Trav > Kudos Hard (eliminate link) - Rubicon
- 8A+ - Press LR > Reverse Trav > Kudos Hard (eliminate link) - Rubicon
- 8A+ - Tsunami > Reverse Trav > Kudos Hard (eliminate link) - Rubicon
- 8A+ - Should Be Band - Raven Tor
- 8A+ - Out of Stamina - Raven Tor
- 8A+ - Boy Band into Staminaband - Raven Tor
Southern Limestone Edit
Something of a sleeping giant, the southern limestone area currently demonstrates only glimpses of its full bouldering potential. The two most popular crags are The Tube - an unusual hilltop cave, and Nudas Tartan - a strangely featured contortion of low overhangs.
- 8A+ - Metal Slug - The Tube
- 8A+ - The Swarm - Harborough Rocks
- 8A - Creep Extension - The Tube
- 8A - Down Under - Harborough Rocks
- 8A - Bury My Heart - Boardwalk Cave
Far Eastern Limestone Edit
The newcomer to the scene is a band of magnesian limestone which stretches north to south, a little way east of Sheffield. As such, it is not actually within the peak district, but its proximity to both the motorway and the city has made it a popular alternative to the Central Limestone group. Much of the climbing here is subject to fragile access agreements, but has become increasingly popular due to the density of harder problems and general ergonomic bliss of its comfy holds, which compare favourably to the standard central lime gnarl.
Access to the brilliant Crag David, the crag with perhaps the most potential for super hard problems, is troubled, though some boulderers have been granted permission from the landowner. The crag of the moment is Anston Stones, with an extensive selection of 7's and a few 8's, though here as everywhere climbers must be aware that access is still fragile. Roche Abbey completes the trio of the main crags, with yet more problematic access issues and a good selection of tough problems. Climbers have been turned away, but a low key approach is often tolerated.
Elsewhere, a variety of outcrops, quarries and some boulders have been extensively developed, with more details hopefully soon to emerge.
- 8B+ - Tomahawk - Impossible Roof
- 8B+ - Serendipity - Impossible Roof
- 8B+ - Fire in the Rain (eliminate rules) - Anston Stones
- 8B - Windy House - Crag David
- 8B - Speedway Sitstart - Roche Abbey
- 8B - Serenity - Impossible Roof
- 8B - Apache Static - Impossible Roof
Sheffield has a number of free-standing artificial boulders in public spaces for all to use. At present there are twelve (known about by the current author) and they have been placed on a Google Maps Overlay to help you find them (see the Google Maps site description for more information and links to topos). Some are geared towards kids for playing around on, others for the more serious (sic) boulderer.
A number of guides exist for bouldering in the Peak District, although many are out of print.
- BOULDERING IN THE PEAK DISTRICT An Introductory Guide by Allan Williams OUT OF PRINT
Bouldering is also covered in the most recent BMC Guides.