Steve & Judy Pardoe welcome you to...

Stanage, Queen of Grit

Steve and Lewis on Flying Buttress (VDiff)
Stanage Edge, May 1999

Edition of 21. May 1999

This page serves as my Trip Report, and as a pointer to our Photo Album from Stanage, taken at the uk.rec.climbing ("Youarsey") meeting on 15/16. May 1999.

It was my first outing on God's Own Rock. I shall add some further images as people kindly send them in.

General pictures from the meet appear on our Stanage Gallery, while you can see the rest of Adrian Japp's digital images on his site www.japp.freeserve.co.uk.

Ant's epic lead of Flying Buttress Direct is here, and a sample of the culinary delights to be savoured are on our crag food page. Enjoy!


Steve's list (Grades, stars, etc are from BMC "Selected Climbs On Peak Grit" book)

Sat 15/5/1999 Popular End, Flying Buttress Area

Big gathering of Youarseys, loads of cake.

Seconded Lewis up Hollybush Crack, VDiff *** (1926) 14m
Nice intro to gritstone climbing, the exit didn't seem as awesome as the guidebook says.

Hollybush Crack, my first gritstone route

Seconded Lewis up Central Trinity, VS 4c ** (1929) 15m
Ideal intro to grit jamming! Now I know why they are called finger jams. They turn your fingers into jam.

Lewis (Adrian's picture) leading...       ...me up Central Trinity

Led Flying Buttress, VDiff *** (1922) 20m
Nicely wandering line, and easy to protect (with a lot of advice from Lewis). Big jugs on exit crenellations, easy mantle if you are tall.

The illustration at the top of the page is from a photo of this climb.

Ant belayed me, and Lewis unselfishly soloed alongside me on this, my first gritstone lead, to show me how to protect it, and also helped set up the top-belay. Ant will have been equally grateful for that!

Led Crack & Corner, HVDiff 4b *** (1923 - 1951) 15m
Beautiful route, really nice line, my first 'on-sight' lead without any coaching. The initial polished crux is easier if you are tall, I found the move onto the outside of an iffy-looking flake more unnerving.

Topped out on Crack and Corner Leading Black Hawk Hell Crack, with Marek belaying
(Ant's picture)

Led Black Hawk Hell Crack, S ** (c.1932) 14m

Nice, if gloomy, route, good thread near top. Took me a while to set up a decent top-belay though, very glad of Ant's help on that.

Threading a sling About to exit Black Hawk Hell Crack, with Gem looking on
(Ant's picture)

Sunday morning 16/5/1999 High Neb Area

Quite late arriving, after compulsory visit to Outside, and diversion to pick up Ant off the bus at Baslow (eventually got his message that the bus times had changed, and he was going to the Roaches).

Seconded Lewis up Gunter Crack, VS 4c (we had thought this was Straight Crack, S 4a) (not in OPR). Some quite exposed moves: Lewis had wisely decided to bail out of soloing it before we arrived.

Seconded Lewis up Eckhard's Chimney (V Diff)
Easy going, after a gloomy and rather strenuous start. Now I see why Lewis doesn't like chimneys.

Led Inaccessible Crack, VS 4c * (1915) 18m
There are various starts in the guidebook, but all lead to a thin crack to an obvious break, traversing to a corner, with a small roof to be negotiated.

Starting up Inaccessible Crack (Lewis belaying) Moving up towards the exit

Lewis advised getting some pro in before I was much off the deck, and I was glad of this.

Initial crack is easy, but with a tricky exit. I had a slip/fall (well held by Lewis) when trying to gain the glossy ledge at the obvious break (just above my helmet in the left-hand photo), but I had some good gear in, so I hung on in there and scrabbled my way back up. After a delicate stand-up and traverse to a good stance, I got myself tired trying to get a wire in to protect the next big move (it later fell out, but Lewis thought it better for me not to know).

Layback above a small roof is airy, but has good holds, with an excellent exit into cave (should post to uk.rec.caving). I clipped rather unsportingly into Mark's previous top-belay setup to protect my exit, so with the half-fall it barely counts as a true lead.

Lewis kept a close eye on me all the way up, and made invaluable suggestions about gear placements and moves. I was gratified that it seemed to take a bit of seconding, even for him.

Two great days out on the "Queen of Grit".

Special thanks to Ant, Lewis, Marek, Mark and all the Youarsey crew for all their support and encouragement. It's no exaggeration to say I couldn't have done it without you.

You can also see our page about the Roaches Minithon on 18. June.


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