Popular trad routes on Stanage

Over 4 miles, the breathtaking gritstone edge of Stanage is home to some of the most famous traditional or ‘trad’ routes in the world - and it literally forms the boundary edge of Sheffield. If you wanted a single venue to capture the full gritstone climbing experience then Stanage is your place.

Whilst one continuous edge, Stanage is split into three main areas: Stanage Popular, as the name suggests the most popular area on the edge and easily accessible from the road. Plantation is in the middle of the edge and home to the main concentration of boulder problems as well as high quality routes and Stanage North is more remote and wild than the other areas, offering climbers an opportunity to escape the crowds.

Trad climbing requires specialist equipment and knowledge to be carried out safely. If you want to give it a go then several local outdoor adventure companies offer an introduction to trad and the British Mountaineering Council offer plenty of advice on how to make your first steps into the sport.

Stanage is one of the best places to first try out trad climbing as it has high quality routes in the lower climbing grades. Here are our top 5 picks of classic lines on Stanage.

  1. Manchester Buttress located on Stanage Popular, a true gem of a line with fun, flowing moves and excellent opportunities for protection.
  2. Christmas Crack traditionally done on Christmas day by climbers donning Santa Suits and full of mince pies. If you get the trad climbing bug it is definitely a date for your calendar.
  3. Fern Crack a tricky start gives way to more glorious gritstone jamming at the Plantation area.
  4. Paradise Wall, another at plantation with great moves and great opportunities to refine gear placement.
  5. High Neb Buttress a true classic. Beware the challenging start, but you are instantly rewarded with unbelievable views of Stanage edge as you gain the upper section of the wall.

In terms of getting out to Stanage, there are numerous car parks at the bottom of the edge. Get there early on a fair weather day as the parking will fill up and parking on verges is strictly not allowed.

Also make sure that you leave the edge as you find it. Make sure you remove excess chalk from a route and you do your best to not leave any protection in the route. Stick to the marked paths and take all litter home with you, even if it is not your own so we can keep Stanage special. Do not climb on damp rock.

Once you have finished climbing, there are a whole host of pubs to grab food and well deserved refreshments! The Broadfield on Abbeydale Road (back in Sheffield) is an infamous local climbers haunt to recount your tales of wild run-outs and show off your battle-scars from tackling the gritstone cracks and slopers.