07 April 2008 16:39
I live close to the Peak District and I want to start scrambling. Are there any good places that I could go in this area to start out or any books that would help. Thanks, danny1800.
By LFTO Answers Team
For an area so rich in walking and rock climbing routes, the Peak District isn’t known for its scrambles – particularly for beginners - BUT it is great territory for learning the basics of dealing with rock before you move up to full-on scrambles.
Scrambling is about sustained rock contact in the process of reaching a summit. The Peak District is great for simply exploring rock formations and geographical features - essentially walking them, but learning when and how to put your hands down.
Places such as Carl Wark, Higger Tor, Crowden Tower and the Roaches are ideal options for this. Choose a formation or feature which you can essentially walk across, then carefully seek out a step or two where your hands are needed.
This will train your body to respond instinctively to the feel of rock and its motion under your body. It will also teach you the risks (unstable hand or footholds, the danger of wet rock) while you're still in a relatively controllable and comfortable environment.
If you're doing this, our soundest advice is to go with a partner who can help you if you get stuck or call for help if you get unlucky. Always a good idea to leave someone with details of where you're going as well. A bit of research and you can target a specific feature, eg Crowden Tower, so that you can be easily traced if needed.
This kind of rock work is generally defined as easy bouldering – check out the Peak District Bouldering guide from Rockfax for more suggestions of where to go and what routes to take.
Then when you've given the rocks on your doorstep a try and want to make a serious start on scrambling, head for Snowdonia or the Lake District which are packed with good Grade 1 routes (click here for more info on scrambling grades). And if you’re heading to Snowdonia, then why not sign up for a course in scrambling at the National Mountain Centre at Plas y Brenin to get you started.
And once you’re more experienced, you could try a route from the following selection:www.ukscrambles.com/Database/scrambles/scrambles-in-england/peak-district.html
Or make the most of those fantastic rock climbs on your doorstep, and sign up for a course or find your local climbing club. Check out the British Mountaineering Council for details of your nearest set-up.