Ashop Edge, on the north side of the Kinder plateau, is something of a connoisseurs crag. Rarely in condition, it features a number of routes that (when “in”) would warrant 3* on Stanage, but many others that warrant a wide berth! Chris Craggs gives it quite a write up in Rockfax – here’s what he has to say (please excuse any copyright infringement, but I particularly liked the line: “come prepared for a bit of a battle”!):
In the 30 years before this week I can count my visits on the fingers of one hand, but now I’ve added two more. Saturday saw Andy, John and me approaching via Mill Hill – not the shortest route (6.5km), but it’s a long way from wherever you start, and at least it’s possible to park on the Chunal Road (crazy on The Snake at the moment). First stop, Jester Buttress, and I quickly baggsied Jester Cracks for my lead – one of the few routes to catch any sun before evening, and an absolute belter of a HVS (the climber in the background is on Candle in the Wind):
… especially when equipped with my new Jamming Gloves (thanks Santa – first time out of the bag, and I’m already hooked!)
John led Twisted Smile, an even more classic HVS, then Andy chipped in with the stupendous Candle in the Wind, E3. Like most Arête climbs, this makes for some great pics:
John then embarked on the harrowing voyage through the overhanging territory of the right side of the Buttress, with Harlequin (E3 and no joking matter!) significantly less travelled and more scrattly than the other more classic routes (which are all in great nic – get on them now!)
After that excitement we decamped a few hundred metres west to Big Brother Buttress, in search of more clean rock, and I led the outstanding Legacy, and Andy finished off proceedings with Intestate (here’s a shot of a different team on it).
With the weather due to crap out, Tuesday was the last opportunity in a while for Tash and Amy to take a mountain dip in one of Kinder’s pools. In the interests of social distancing, Jim and I were on Dad’s Cabs duty, so it seemed churlish not to nip back up to Ashop Edge for a couple of routes whilst the girls were sploshing.
Arriving at the Edge from The Snake Inn (a bit faster, but still a long way, and almost impossible to park even midweek) we headed rightwards to Eureka Buttress and its eponymous route – a 3* VS. Great climbing requiring a wide range of techniques, including “jump and swim” at the top according to the guide!
The rest of the adjacent routes were pretty unappealing (or even repugnant in the case of Ure (should be Urgh!)) so we mosied on to Little Brother Buttress where I did the excellent Dunsinane and then Jim finished off on BBB with Legacy (again)!
Time to catch up with the girls for a cooling paddle (but not the total immersion they’d been enjoying!)