Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Churnet Valley

When talking about climbing in the Peak District one needs to understand that it is not one large climbing area but rather a smattering of small areas spread over a fairly large region.  Some areas are extremely small and most days consist of hitting up several places so planning is important as one doesn't want to spend an hour in the car getting between two distant areas.  Fortunately many of the areas are located in clusters (sometimes walking distance from each other) making the transition from one to the next quite easy.  But there are some areas that sit isolated at the edge of the Peak District and warrant a good portion of your day just do to laction.  The Churnet Valley is one such area.

The Churnet Valley is near the edge of what you can call the Peak District (I believe it is located outside the Peak District National Park but is still included in the bouldering guide) and from the looks of it I wasn't too enticed.  The climbing consists primarily of drop-offs on cliff bands but there is one major plus to the area......problems can stay dry in the rain.  Knowing that England wasn't going to provide decent weather we made a trip one cloudy day and Churnet Valley proved to be the perfect location as we climbed a good number of problems despite frequent rain showers.  I'd even go as far as to say that we climbed some good problems, just wish they topped out.

The "main" wall at Churnet Valley is actually quite impressive and the problems have pleasing movement on high quality rock.  If only these problems would top-out. 

 Another view of the main wall.  Plenty of climbing on a single wall.

Patrik on one of the easier problems on the wall.  This wall is not recommend for those that don't climb in the  Font 7 grades.

 Simple Simon was one of the better looking problems and despite some serious effort I couldn't find a way to do it that didn't involve a right heel (damn my hamstring)

Patrik on Simple Simon

Patrik climbs The Nose at another wall in Churnet Valley

 A fun, thuggy roof crack

 Holding the big swing at the end

A cool dyno problem

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