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Rock Climbing Challenges

It is yet another beautiful day here in the Peak District and as we are slowly turning toward the summer with longer days and dry crags. This weekend at Pure Outdoor we were running a hillwalking and navigation course and our first rock climbing course of the season so it is certainly time to make summer plans.

Today however we are going to talk about some of our ‘Summer Super Challenges’, we do not advertise these as we tend to offer these to current customers but here is a sneak peak of some ideas for you to get involved in this summer. All adventures are aimed to push you to the limit, maybe a little silly and generally all will leave you flagging by the end of the day.

Most of these challenges are based around the Eastern Grit (Rockfax) area of the Peak District but others venture further away!

1. ‘Classic Rock’ Peak and Pennine

For this adventure we aim to tick all of the ‘Classic Rock’ listed routes from Ken Wilsons ‘Great British Rock Climbs : Classic Rock’ book in a day. Yes… in a day. Starting at Penyghent we have an early start on ‘Red Pencil Direct’ before jumping in the car and going for the classic ‘Parsons’ Chimney’ at Almscliffe. Another journey south brings us to Stanage and Birchen and with a celebratory finish on the beautiful ‘Technical Slab’ at the Roaches. A full day out 3 hours or so in the car, a lot of beautiful scenery zipping past us and a wonderful sunset finish in the Western Peak District.

2. All ’Starred’ VS’s in a Day

Pick your crag and pick your grade… try and knock them all off. Wait until the Summer Solstice and see if you can tick a whole crag at a certain grade. The great thing about this is that you can choose your level of adventure. Stanage is a belter for this one. The gauntlet has been laid down!

3. Tick the Crag

There is certainly some fun to be had in rocking up to a crag and seeing if you can climb every route (at your grade?). Some great little crags are good for quick circuits and give you chance to stretch your legs for a few  hours solo or lead climbing. Try Windgather and Harborough Rocks if you want to give yourself the ‘Tick the Crag’ challenge.

4. Peak District ‘Top 50’ <HS

New to the Grit and want a good feel of the classics? The Rockfax ‘Eastern Grit’ Top 50 is a good place to look. In fact if you check out all of the Top 50 routes at grade HS and below you will find 11 routes. Not bad for a day out on the grit. And you only need to visit 3 crags. Go get stuck in.

This report is one of a series coming in the next few months from Guy Wilson - Mountaineering Instructor and Company Director of Pure Outdoor offer guidance in Rock Climbing, Hillwalking, Mountaineering and Scrambling. Based in the UK but operate country wide could have something that can get your climbing on track. To speak to Guy or the team call 0800 612 7069 or visit

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