Gritstone – otherwise known as ‘God’s Own Rock’. Touch it, feel it, move on it and you will understand why. Often balancy, sometimes bold and occasionally brutal, the moves are highly three dimensional and your body position is crucial. The long gritstone edges are situated on open windswept moorland, a great setting for a day of top quality climbing under big skies with mind-expanding views. The ‘Dark Peak’ around Kinder Scout and Edale is a high and remote plateau where you can have a crag to yourself for the day, whilst the the more popular Eastern Edges of Stanage, Burbage, Froggatt and Curbar offer a huge variety of brilliant climbs for all styles and abilities.
With so many classic routes: High Neb Buttress, Goliath’s Groove, Left and Right Unconquerable, Heaven Crack, Mississippi Buttress, Congo Corner, Hargreave’s Original, Christmas Crack and Flying Buttress to name just a few, Stanage is over three miles long and is known as ‘The Queen of Gritstone’. Its Plantation area is also home to some fine bouldering, as are Burbage and Curbar, with classic problems like the technical Trackside and the powerful Guerrilla Warfare. Further south in Staffordshire are The Roaches, with more classic routes like Valkyrie and a Don Whillans fist-jamming test-piece called The Sloth. In other areas, the gritstone has eroded away over time, leaving deep limestone valleys and a good deal of quality limestone climbing, including some of the hardest sport climbs in Britain.