Many years ago in the foreign wilderness of the Nineteen Seventies a railway line was crossed by a prospector panning out for any new crags and routes. Success was achieved in the form of two routes but the nature of the approach together with the trembling of the crag from the passing trains put the would-be climber off returning. It was soon forgotten which was an unfortunate mistake on the part of the prospector.
And it came to pass that in the Nineteen Nineties in the never ending search for new uncharted rock and buttresses Nadim Siddiqui, together with compadres Colin Struthers and Rehan Siddiqui, rediscovered the crag and developed it to their own ends with a string of pleasant open face climbs both of easy access and in the sunshine. The grading spectrum of the routes was also a pleasant change ranging from E1(6a), through a pleasant selection of middle range 6bs and 6cs to a couple of harder fare at 7a - 7b.
But all was not finished. Once the cat had been let out of the bag, Gary Gibson returned to fill a few of the remaining gaps and the puzzle is now complete.
This is a little tricky because there is no right of access as described. However with caution no problems should arise. Either park in the car park of the Devonshire Arms (please ask permission if possible) or the large lay-by 1 mile out of Buxton on the right-hand side of the A6, an locate the water treatment plant directly below the crag. If no one is working there, cross the bridge and negotiate the fence, please handle with care, then proceed directly up the railway embankment onto the line. Look left for a clearway of trains, walk straight across and then right up onto the crag base.
What’s the climbing like?
Well its ideally suited to people who like their routes of the technical nature on small edges and layaways. The cliff isn’t the biggest in the world, no more than 12m, but all of the routes have enough about them to keep you interested. There is the odd overlap and bulge thrown into certain routes which does add further spice but these are generally on the harder routes.
When should I go there?
Well the cliff only takes minimal seepage and dries rapidly in the spring. The sun, if Britain ever gets any, shines on the face nearly all day (after 11am) which can make it an ideal evening venue but which can also make it very hot in the summer months: but that cooling pint is only 5 minutes away!