The Roaches

Western Gritstone

This entry covers the Roaches Lower and Upper Tier, The Clouds, Skyline and all bouldering within these areas. Has it all - from lengthy 3* scrambles to cutting edge E8 mindgames - Britain's best gritstone crag?

Crag information
Climbing Area: Peak District Rock Type: Gritstone
Importance: National CRoW Land: Yes
Ownership: Within National Park No. of Routes: 352
Within National Park: Yes Year Developed: 1901
Grid Reference: SK002630

Please keep to the established footpaths and avoid taking short-cuts across open moorland areas. In particular please approach the ‘Cube’ boulder along the sheep track running due south.

Rockhall Cottage is run as a climbers and walkers hut by the BMC. It can be booked for up to 12 people - further information on the hut and the booking system can be found here.

Parking and Approach

Parking has always been limited at the Roaches and Hen Cloud and during peak times, it can be hard to find a space. Please consider lift sharing to reduce the number of vehicles and increase your chance of getting parked. Ensure that you park within the marked bays and don't block the road, gates or driveways - remember that large farm machinery and rescue vehicles need space to pass too. Given the limited amount of parking available, have a plan B in mind in case you cannot get parked near the crag.

Tickets have recently started to be issued for vehicles parked on the verges outside of the parking bays and wardens are patrolling 7 days a week including bank holidays. 

CRoW Information

Open access land, designated under the Countryside & Rights of Way Act (2000) give area access rather than linear access as provided by public rights of way. It also gives a legal right of access specifically for climbing, as well as walking and other quiet recreation on foot.

Please bear in mind however that the landowner still has the right to restrict access for up to 28 days per year (often used on public safety grounds for shooting in moorland areas), and can also apply for longer term restrictions with Natural England (such as bans on dogs, or regular restrictions during particular times of year). It is important to check for these restrictions regularly as they can be added at short notice – all details for open access land in England can be found on Natural England’s website.  

Group Advice

All group leaders should familiarise themselves with BMC's Green Guide to Groups of Climbers.

Environmental damage is occuring at certain areas of the Lower and Upper Tier and this is exacerbated in wet conditions. Established routes should not be used fo abseiling and in particular avoid any of the slab routes. If you intend to use any area for an extended period of time be sensitive to the needs of others who may wish to use it - in particular do not leave ropes in situ. 

Area information

Weather Information

Guidebook info currently being updated

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1) Anonymous User
21/08/2018
Although from the road it looks as if the fire is under control there are persistent hot spots deep in the peat which will take much longer to eradicate. It is probable that access will be restricted to Hen Cloud over the Bank Holiday weekend. Parking is restricted at Hen Cloud and Parking Wardens may well be active over the weekend. To avoid frustration and let the Wildlife Trust (and fire fighters) concentrate on dealing with the hot spots it's probably best to go elsewhere.
The hot spots create cavities under the peat which collapse spontaneously and restart active burning on the surface. There may be no visible sign of the underlying cavity on the surface and it is therefore easy to step through into them, and as temperatures of 300 C have been recorded this is potentially very dangerous. The heat has been high enough to burn through the fire fighters heat resistant hoses.
The Roaches Wildlife Trust are aware that the Roaches has some of the best gritstone climbing in the country and they will open the area as soon as is reasonable.