Thursday, 30 June 2011

Harborough Rocks

  I write covered in well earned sunburn five days after a visit to Harborough rocks. 
 Enjoyable blue skies and a cool breeze blended with a view from atop buttercup covered hills of distant sail boats dotted across the Carsington reservoir and cool limestone at your back. Almost perfect if not for the drone of the brick works that all but fades into background noise as you enjoy your day.

  Peak Limestone is often talked about as Gritstones less favoured sibling, being in general smoother and more overgrown due to a lot less human traffic. The problem being more traffic equals more polished slippy routes, alternatively less traffic results in more green and in turn loose rock.

  Harborough Rocks however is very different; being atop a hill with no shade or trees results in a quick drying yet heavily weathered rock. The Limestone is dolomitic(softer magnesium based) in style with lots of holds, edges, lots of pockets and great jugs resulting in easy climbs. A perfect introduction to dolomitic limestone and a great place to practice gear placements and other techniques in a near safe environment.

  As a crag the climbs are short, ranging from 4m boulder problems to low 10m Trad routes. A perfect day out for people looking for a stress free day. Most of the lead climbing is easy ranging from Moderate to a couple of HVS 5a climbs. There is some really good climbing here and I personally found it all good clean fun.

Jennifer Leading Steeple Arête Vdiff
Harborough is a place to go with new people, to take the family, friends
or even people who "don't get climbing" to picnic or relax. There is plenty of room for kids to roam, at least compared with most crags. Let everyone else sunbath and eat the sandwiches while you climb, perfect. If it rains there is even a little cave to let them hide while you finish getting your gear.

For more information see:

Crag summary

The girls on the approach
With Harborough, you get what go for, good easy climbing with an easy less than 5 minute approach. This is not a place to go and push your grade rather a place to relax and enjoy doing what you love. Setting up anchors here is easy normally nothing more than a couple of slings needed. Great views and easy access by car and for families. a little pushchair lifting required.


A little constant noise in the background and no public transport access, one other thing I've discovered is this can be a popular crag for groups and abseiling practice due to its flat crag bases and easy anchor set ups. 

A few pics.

Me, leading Trident Eliminate HS 4B
Jamie Seconding Blinkers, VS 5a
Jenny Belaying after her lead on The Arete S4a
Placement and anchor practice
Starting early.

Jennifer placing gear on a cold January Sunday.

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