The Peak District is home to the UK’s oldest national park and is steeped in climbing history, with some of the World’s earliest recorder rock climbs established on its crags and the legacy of the Kinder Trespass reminding us of the price paid by previous generations to secure open access for all to our wild spaces. The gritstone, the course conglomerate rock that makes up the crags on each side of the park, is world famous, brought to the attention of foreign climbers by the iconic 90’s film Hard Grit. Not only the preserve of top end route climbers and boulderers, the gritstone edges have lots of friendly, well protected routes in the lower grades, and have long been a popular place for climbers from across the country to cut their teeth. The Peak’s limestone cliffs are less well known internationally, perhaps of more interest to a more local audience, but the big-grade sport crags such as Raven Tor, with its batch of high 8’s and 9a’s, attract steely-fingered climbers from further afield. In recent years a number of limestone quarries have been developed to give low to mid-grade sport routes, and these venues have become increasingly popular with people who are newer to climbing outdoors.
It is possible to climb on the grit all year round, the crags busy on summer evenings with people from local towns and cities getting out into the National Park. For the crispest conditions needed for harder routes and boulder problems the cooler days from the Autumn through to the spring are ideal. Some of the limestone crags can be climbable all year round, however many of the sport crags lying deep in the river valleys can seep and become wet in the winter months.