Traditional Climbing is the most common and practised on Gritstone and Limestone (the two rock types in the Peak) this involves climbing crags generally above 6 metres in height and all protection (in the form of wires, hex’s, camming devices [friends], etc.) is placed during the ascent in natural cracks or fissures in the rock.
The rope runs through the protection via karabiners and a belayer (second climber) feeds out the rope. In the event of a fall the belayer prevents the leader hitting the floor by arresting the fall (holding the rope tight)
However sometimes there is little or no protection that can be placed so the climb becomes serious and a fall would result in possible injury or death. In this case the leader may elect to solo the climb (climb without a rope or aid) as there would be little the belayer could do to assist.
Climbs of a serious nature (like solos or those with ground fall potential) get high grades to reflect their dangerous nature and are not a place to begin climbing. Fortunately, generally speaking the more suitable for beginners the climb is, the more protection can be placed.
Guidebooks are available for all the Peak District Crags (see elsewhere in this site) that offer descriptions and grades of climbs and often advise if a climb is serious or not.
Photographs of Equipment (Clockwise)
1.Wire in crack
2.Modern Climbing Rope
4.Modern climbing Shoe
8. Screwgate Karabiner