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Beat the weather: where to climb, come rain or shine

Illustration by Alys at Eleven.

If you climb outdoors you will always have one eye on the weather. A little local knowledge can help you find the right crag in and around Sheffield, and get a good day’s climbing whatever the weather.

Wet weather?
If there’s a chance of showers, head to Millstone or Lawrencefield near the Peak District village of Hathersage – both have short walks in, and back out again. Once the rain has passed, nearby Stanage Popular’s exposed position means that, with a little wind, the rock will dry quickly. Or for light showers Rivelin, within Sheffield's boundaries, stays sheltered by surrounding trees.

If it’s still raining, dedicated climbers can venture further across the Peak District to New Mills Tors. Here, there are sport and trad routes underneath the railway bridge in the town centre. Alternatively, bail to Outside's cafe in Hathersage for coffee and a butty until it dries out.

Too hot?
The grit can get a little sweaty in warmer weather. If that's the case, limestone is the answer. Head to Wildcat near Matlock Bath for multipitch trad, or Stoney West near the plague village of Eyam for sport climbing at amenable grades. Or try going higher up to Dovestone Tor, overlooking Upper Derwent Reservoir, for some moorland grit.

Too cold?
It's never too cold for the grit! With friction at a premium, get the duvet jackets on and get down to Stanage Plantation or Burbage North/South for some quality bouldering just beyond the city's limits. If there’s snow on the ground, "snow ball" the classic high ball boulder problems (i.e. the ones that are difficult and far from the ground) with a cheeky extra cushion for the landing. And if you’re keen for trad, Froggatt Edge is a winter suntrap.

Too midgey?
Midges are often a problem in summer months. On warm, still days, avoid gritstone edges and aim instead for limestone crags like Ravensdale near Cressbrook village for trad or Horseshoe Quarry, just past Stoney Middleton, for sport.

Too windy?
Windy days can be an ordeal at exposed crags like Stanage, Bamford or Curbar. Find a sheltered spot at Lawrencefield, Rivelin, or Yarncliffe instead.

Written by Anna Paxton

17.08.2015

Information

Useful links: Read more about location, access and routes at each of the locations mentioned on UK Climbing.

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