Over the course of the next couple of months STDZ will be publishing excerpts from "Easy Grit" - a new guidebook that contains 500 of the best easy boulder problems and micro-routes (UK 3a to 5c) in the Peak District.
Here's the first...
Until recently, access restrictions have meant that climbing on Bamford Edge has always been a challenge. But with the arrival of the CROW Act this has changed and the number of visitors to the crag has dramatically increased. At weekends this can mean that popular routes are often very busy and escaping the crowds can prove difficult. However just a few minutes away from these honeypots there are lots of quiet places to explore. In this post we'll take a look at two areas - "Little Bamford" and "Hidden Bamford" that can offer great bouldering on some of the roughest gritstone in the area!
It's worth noting that at 420m above sea level, this south west facing edge is exposed to the elements. This works well in the summer - any breeze keeps you cool, the rock dry and the midges far away! However during the colder winter months there's little escape from the weather and fingers and toes can quickly go numb!
From the village of Bamford head north on the A6013 and turn right onto New Road. Follow this for about 1km and park at an obvious lay-by on the left. Cross the stile, ignore the path off to the left and head directly up onto the moor. Once on top turn left and follow the edge for a few minutes until the five boulders of "Little Bamford" appear below you (10 to 15 minutes).
Bamford Edge Map
Ready for "Hidden Bamford"?
Continue along the edge towards a set of stone walls set amongst the boulders. From here, walk directly downhill towards the cement works for 100m. Tucked away you'll find the next set of climbs 5 minutes away.
To return to the lay by face away from the edge turn left and follow a narrow track. Soon you'll join the path that you ignored at the start!
Jenga Buttress (4a)
1 Jenga Buttress (4a) – Climb a series of large holds to a short sloping groove and a steep finish.
Car Fire (4c)
2 Car Fire (4c) – Start just to the right and make a long stretch to the break and easier ground to the top. Using the right arête may help the strong who lack a long reach (sit start)!
Left Wing (3c) and Commonwealth (5a) (L to R)
3 Left Wing (3c) – Glorious climbing up the left arête!
4 Commonwealth (5a) – Climb the centre of the wall using a series of small crimps and smears. The obvious pocket and break provide only limited help, however positive holds on the top should provide the encouragement you need!
Dark Child (4b)
5 Dark Child (4b) – Wall climbing leads to an exposed and steep exit with good holds on the right. The exposure can be avoided by a sly escape out left!
Friendly Society (4a), Little Wrinkled Wall Traverse (4c), Public Good (4b) and People's Charter (L to R)
6 Friendly Society (4a) – Left arête (sit start)
7 Public Good (4b) – Centre of the wall (sit start).
8 Little Wrinkled Wall Traverse (4c) – Start at the left arête and follow good holds until a high step leads to a long reach and the right arête (sit start). Alternatively, stay a little lower and continue around the arête and make a desperate reach for a final deep pocket (sit start) (5a).
9 People’s Charter (4b) – Right arête (sit start).
Castleton (4b), Hope (4b), Bamford (4c) and Hathersage (5a) (L to R)
10 Castleton (4b) – Centre of the wall on good pockets.
11 Hope (4b) – Narrow wall on the left. Avoid the arête!
12 Bamford (4c) – The arête on the left.
13 Hathersage (5a) – The smooth wall and arête on the right.
Calver (4c), Brough (4c) and Edale (4b) (L to R)
14 Calver (4c) - The arête on the left (sit start).
15 Brough (4c) – An awkward mantel is overcome using positive holds.
16 Edale (4b) – Use both arêtes to climb the narrow overhanging wall (sit start).
Good Luck! Let us know how you got on!
The British Mountain Medicine Society (BMMS) are organising a Science Day in the Peak District on the 13th November 2019. Why not come along? Details can be found here.