Looking for a venue for gritstone climbing? Want to be bathed in sunshine all year round, out of the wind and midge free? If so then you need to head to the south of the peak district, as Pule Hill might be a fantastic climbing venue, but its elevation can lead it to be misty and windy most of the year. That said it does provide some fantastic climbing all year round.
Pule Hill crags in Marsden, east of Huddersfield, is a large gritstone outcrop on the top of Pule Hill, comprising of a number of large buttresses and a quarry, providing good climbing across a variety of grades. The crag is unmissable from the A62 Manchester road and is just as popular with walkers and paragliders as climbers.
There is a good range of grades to challenge the experienced and for newbies like me and yet it is never busy. The routes are all quite short and described by the BMC Guidebook as “like Windgather with teeth”.
The quarry area has the more serious routes with grades from VS to E4 6b, whereas the rest of the crag has routes from Diff to E1.
What I like the most…..
Pule Hill is my local crag and as many of the routes are short it is good for an evening climb. It’s also really accessible from the road, with the walk-in being only 20 minutes. This summer I climbed a variety of routes from the chimneys of Amen (VD) and Coffin Corner (VD) to the buttresses of Windy Wall and Flying Arete (both HS 4b).
Access and approach….
The view from google maps looks something like this:
The postcode HD7 6NL will take you close to Pule Hill, but follow the instructions below for parking. Whilst easy to see from the A62, Pule Hill crags take about 20 minutes to reach on foot, due to the steep ascent from the road. Once at the bottom of the crag moving along the wall is easy on the lower path. Topping out you might find yourself being watched by dog walkers who like to walk along the ridge path to the trig point. As it is a natural crag, belay points are on buried stakes as well as the crag itself; some of the stakes are hard to identify in the grass.
Parking for Pule Hill
Parking is available in two laybys on the A62 and the path to the crag is over the stile on the fence on the other side of the little wall.
What could be better….
Midges and the wind. An odd combination perhaps, but if there’s no wind, midges can become a real problem, especially in the quarry. If there’s no midges, it’s because there’s a gale blowing across the top of the hill from Manchester. Like all high crags in this area, the weather can turn quickly and it’s a bit of a long dash back down the road to your car. There has been some recent rockfall in the quarry, so do be aware when climbing.
The nearest pub in The Carriagehouse Inn which serves food as well as drinks. It also has a small campsite to the back should you wish to stay over. Marsden Village centre is about a mile or so down the hill where there is a good selection of pubs and places to eat and drink.
Which guide book….
BMC – Over the Moors.
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