Steve Pardoe's Rock Climbing Pages

6.October 2001, Froggatt Edge

Revision of 16. October 2001

This was a hastily-arranged Youarsey* meeting with John M and Roger D, and my first climbing visit to Froggatt Edge, a three-star Gritstone outcrop in England's Peak District


The weather forecast has suggested that this would be the better day of the weekend, and it dawned clear and bright in Cheshire. The satellite pictures looked reassuring, and a post on uk.rec.climbing said it was still bright in the Peak, so we headed off to deepest Derbyshire. As we approached the Eastern Edges, the sky began to bruise, and the rain came down as though for Noah. The road up past The Chequers was a torrent, inches deep in a cascading brown slurry of leaves and debris. Getting out of the car was out of the question, never mind climbing, so we had a quick window-to-window confab with Roger at the lay-by, and headed up to The Grouse for soup, a pint of Pedigree, and a natter over the guidebooks. There are worse ways to spend a wet lunch hour.

John and Roger at the start of Heather Wall

All bad things must come to an end, and after a while the sky cleared, and we headed off, hors sacs, for a stroll along the sandy crag-top path, just to have a look at what we'd missed. The experienced pair pointed out all the classics to this novice, including, in hushed and reverent tones, the remarkable Three Pebble Slab. It looked as though someone had just done their washing on it, so there was no regret that we'd left the kit in the cars.

On the way back, however, the sun and wind seemed to have dried the attractive-looking boulders, so we decided to fetch our shoes and do a bit of bimbling. "Might as well bring everything", so we did, and we found that some of the routes were feasible after all.

John leading Heather Wall

John led us up Heather Wall, a pleasant Hard VDiff which Roger elected to second directly up the final slab, on a tasty line that I surprised myself by being able to follow. Roger tells me this variant is CMC Wall, HVS.

(I see that Heather Wall now gets Severe on the UKClimbing website)

Roger starts Heather Wall

Thus inspired, we followed John up Terrace Crack, a Mild VS which had one hard section, which seemed to me well up to the 4b guidebook grade (BMC, 1985, thanks, John. It gets S 4a in Roger's 1977 book). The rain had washed a load of sand into the route, making some of the holds distinctly chancy.

John bringing Roger up Heather Wall

Terrace Crack

Steve seconding Terrace Crack (left and above)

John then had a thorough look at leading Three Pebble Slab, but it was still too damp to provide a reliable finish above the infamously singular gear. He thoughtfully set up a top rope, so that Roger and I could have a safe introduction to this classic Gritstone test-piece.
Three Pebble Slab

Steve top-roping Three Pebble Slab (tightly). The sun was just falling into the clouds, so these pictures are rather dim
Thanks to both John and Roger for excellent company and support on Saturday, which turned out so well after a very inauspicious start!
John, barely visible in the gloom, trying some alternative footwork on Three Pebble Slab

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