About the Peak District
For those not familiar with this area (that’s what this is all about) the “Peak” is located at the south end of a range of hills called the Pennines which are called the “Backbone of England”, nestling between the large cities of Sheffield and Manchester. This area only rises to about 600m (2000′) above sea level and for all intents and purposes the climbing is “outcrop climbing” up to a maximum of 60m (200′) in height.
The rock is divided into two types, Gritstone (a coarse grained sandstone) and Limestone. The grit, as it is called overlies the limestone. The two types of rock being so dissimilar in nature result in two distinctive styles of climbing. All routes on grit are climbed in “traditional style” by placing protection on the lead. Some in-situ pegs are accepted in quarried areas.
Many of the harder climbs (and some easier ones) are quite unprotected are very psychologically committing for a leader, some routes might as well be soloed.
Much of the limestone is similar in the respect that the routes are “traditionally” climbed, however unlike the grit, there are areas that have been bolted (see top crags for a taster).
The Peak has something for everyone and contains some of the hardest climbs in the world, many of the UK’s best climbers are based in or around the area.
The area is a National Park and there are lots of varied family attractions and the area is very popular with tourists from near and far. Close to the area is the UK’s largest theme park, Alton Towers.
If you are from abroad and fancy a visit the best times in the year are probably June until August but many areas can be climbed all year round. There are indoor walls available in the cities around the area so all is not lost if you do visit and the UK weather makes outdoor climbing impossible.