Chee Dale

Central Limestone

The area is internationally important for its crag flora and steep grassland along the River Wye. Each crag has its own character - some are bolted, some trad.

Crag information
Climbing Area: Peak District Rock Type: Limestone
County Derbyshire Access Status: Restrictions/ Sensitive Access
Importance: National CRoW Land: No
Ownership: Wildlife Trust No. of Routes: 423
Within National Park: Yes Year Developed: 1963
Grid Reference: SK124730

Cheedale is a SSSI and SAC with a high level of legal protection under European law. Access for climbing is concessionary and can only be maintained if climber's continue to adhere to a number of conditions agreed with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust (who own the Southern bank of the river). These include:

  • No access along the top of the dale beyond a corner formed by the wall and obvious new fence bounding the 3rd major gully east of Plum Buttress. Therefore, no access to Runyans Corner and Moving, Long, or Two-Tier Buttresses from above.
  • No further bolted development on the small, vegetated, and obscure crags, which rim the dale - most of these are of negligible climbing quality.
  • Do not leave in situ crabs or tape on bolt hangars.
  • Parts of Nettle Buttress, Chee Tor East, and Dogs Dinner area are bolt free areas of outstanding appearance. 
  • Do not remove large swathes of ivy.

 

Parking and Approach

The revised access routes are:

  • Plum Buttress – Access from the railway traditionally crossed the scree slopes to the right of the buttress - this has now changed. Access is now via the obvious new stile directly beneath the crag, avoiding the ecologically sensitive scree. Descent from the buttress (if not completely topping-out) should be via the gully on the left-hand side.
  • The 2nd and 3rd Lifts – Descent to these crags can be achieved by abseiling down the small gully (marked by a cluster of small ash trees) next to the obvious feature of ‘Ragged Arête.’ Caution - this descent contains loose rock. An easier approach is down the DWT marked gully, which gives access to the 3rd Lift (on the left if facing outwards).
  • Moving Buttress – Descend the DWT marked gully, past the Pinnacle, to below the Western end of the buttress.
  • Long Wall – Access is by continuing at the junction past Mad Dogs area (Two Tier "right") and the gully approach as for the upper tier.
  • Two-Tier Buttress – Access to the Lower Tier is via the weir at the left end of the crag. Access to the upper tier is detailed in the BMC Wye Valley guidebook – ascend the easy gully right of the Mad Dogs section and descend via the ‘Sibser’ abseil.  If abseiling from the Upper Tier to the Lower Tier, most parties choose to descend below ‘Reward’. Do not abseil from any point further West than an obvious tree stump with a bolted abseil station behind it – the wet gully bordering the crag has significant ecological importance.
  • Nettle Buttress – Cross the river directly below the crag via a fishermen’s weir. Alternatively, if the river is in spate, access the crag just above the river via a path joining the Monsal Trail. This should be considered a last option due to the sensitive floral assemblage in this riverside habitat.

Do not cross the live railway line to access Blackwell Halt or Blatant Buttress - police have been called and attended recently to remove climbers and this could result in a fine or worse. Please use the following access routes to avoid having to cross the lines (instead of the description in the recent BMC Limestone North guide):

  • For Blackwell Halt: from the Monsal Trail on the Chee Dale Upper approach, go down toward the cafe/cycle hire. Cross the bridge and turn sharply left at the cottages to follow a small path along the edge of the river, past a pump house. Take the tunnel under the train tracks and on the other side, cross the fence on the left and climb some hidden stone steps. From here a path leads up intro the grassy field below the quarry.

  • For Blatant Buttress: follow the approach for Blackwell Halt and from there find a small path, which leads right (facing out) and down a steep drop to the side of the railway. Blatant Buttress is just along here.

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