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The Roaches

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Five Clouds 
Lower Tier 
Upper Tier 

The Roaches  

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Location: 53.15752, -1.99255 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Chris Owen, Euan Cameron, Nick Russell, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Chris Owen on Nov 23, 2007
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BETA PHOTO: Roaches Overview Map


Ironically some of the best grit is nowhere near Sheffield.

This BIG gritstone crag runs for miles, with a shorter Lower Tier, and a much longer Upper Tier. This is where Joe and Don first met on the rock and boasts such classics as Black and Tans, Valkyrie, Saul's Crack, The Sloth, plus many more. There's much scary hardness here too.

The pro is natural, cams and wires are particularly useful, as are double ropes; a lot of the harder routes use cracks either side for pro.

The something for everybody here - jam cracks abound, roofs , steep walls, slabs - you name it - there's also some good boulders at the base.

Be an expert with natural pro, and natural belay anchors as there are no bolts here.

Getting There 

The nearest town is Leek, from there go north-east on the A53 towards Buxton. Turn off left at Upper Hulme. Soon pass the right turnoff for "Ye Olde Rock" a recommended pub, then down past buildings to the open road which runs along the side of the moors, you'll first see Hen Cloud, and then the big long pull out for The Roaches.

The "Staffordshire Nose" 

A brutal challenge, all in the name of fun of course, is to climb all 31 of the Brown & Whillans routes at the Roaches (plus Hen Cloud and Ramshaw), in a day. Many of the Routes are notorious sandbags, most are crack climbs, and none are to be taken lightly! If you think you're up to it, you can find the complete list of routes as a UKC ticklist

The speed record currently (July 2014) stands at 5 hours, 54 minutes, set on a rainy November day by Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.2 miles from here

10 Total Routes

['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Roaches:
Valkyrie   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches   Lower Tier
Saul's Crack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 60'   Upper Tier
Browse More Classics in The Roaches

Featured Route For The Roaches
Chris Owen on pitch 2, past the crux, after a craz...

Valkyrie 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  Europe : United Kingdom : ... : Lower Tier
A total classic with a wandering line and a BIG feel to it, and tons of exposure.1) 50ft 5.7. Up the groove, then traverse left along big flakes to a ledge with a huge chimney behind it.2) 80ft 5.8. There's a big flake left of the chimney (facing the rock) up this, over the top (long sling) and down the other side (insane!!!!!) to a tricky and exposed move onto a ledge (crux). Go around the arete and up the finishing slab with a feeling of real achievement.Descend to the left and down the steps....[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of The Roaches Slideshow Add Photo
Elegy E2
Elegy E2
It's sunny, it's dry, it's grit - what more could ...
It's sunny, it's dry, it's grit - what more could ...
Gates that enter into the Lower Tier
Gates that enter into the Lower Tier
Roaches Upper Tier - Bouldering, Marc Chrysanthou.
Roaches Upper Tier - Bouldering, Marc Chrysanthou.
Elegy E2
Elegy E2

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