Stoney Middleton’s crags are without doubt home to some of the hardest climbs in the world, the epicentre for British climbers in the 50s 60s and 70s. Principally developed by Jack Street, Geoff Birtles and Tom Proctor who in 1968 established one of the hardest climbs in the world known as Our Father on Windy Buttress.
The roadside crags of Middleton Dale are a series of impressive buttresses up to 50m high, offering almost exclusively traditional routes at mainly VS and above on good rock. One of the original forcing grounds of hard limestone climbing. Many superb climbs, although some classics are polished. Sheltered and quick drying. Too many superb routes to choose from, but of National worth are the multi-pitch traverse of Alcasan (E2) and Our Father (E4 6b,5a). Home of some of the hardest and most polished bouldering in the Peak. (UCK)
Further up The Dale (towards Tideswell) is Horse Shoe Quarry (former Furnesss quarry). The centre of mid and lower grade sport climbing in the Peak with many good routes between 6a and 7a, and a few below. Purchased by the BMC in 2005 for the good of the nation, access is now freely allowed (with the usual caveats) and is dedicated as CROW land. It is quick drying and a good all year round venue (popular on sunny evenings). The best routes are on the Main Wall, 23m high, reasonably sound, but often sportingly bolted. Bolts and lower-offs on some routes have recently been replaced by the BMC, but this does not mean that the bolt spacing is comparable to an indoor wall. Best routes are Rain Dance (F6c+), Legal Action (F6c), Run For Your Wife (F6c+), Private Prosecution (F6c+), Litany Against Fear (F6b+), Megalithic Man (F6b+) and Shot Your Bolt (F6b+). (UCK)
Rock climbing should only be undertaken by experienced climbers or under professional supervision.
Read Geoff Birtles rock climbing section
Read about climbing courses available at Stoney Middleton by Pure Outdoor