Curbar // Outdoors Climbing Venue: Review
Curbar is a Peak district Gritstone crag stretching from Froggatt Edge to Baslow Edge. Curbar is a beautiful setting for gritstone climbing and is much less well trodden than other local climbing venues like Stanage, due, in part to its fierce reputation for being hard…. But is this true? Read on to find out.
Perfect for … practicing your crack climbing! And easy access bouldering.
What I liked most … The grit is gritty and it’s not at all busy.
What could be better… It’s not a very sociable crag, so if socialising is your thing, you’re unlikely to bump into familiar faces here. There are a large proportion of crack climbs – just be prepared!
Parking… There are a couple of laybys in which to park, plus a pay and display car park. If you decide to park on the road anywhere, just be aware that you may be issued with a ticket if you cause any blockages.
Walk –in… Do not try to fight the ferns – they will eat you and break your ankles! Seriously, use the paths that are indicated in the guide book.
It is very hard (I tried and failed today) to traverse and then break out and go straight up. If you park in the layby, there is a wall and a gate, with a path clearly trodden by others. By using the path you protect the wildlife and environment and you make it a lot easier for yourself – the bracken is taller than me (5ft 1”) and the rocks underneath are very uneven.
Grading… On the climbs I did today, I feel that the grading is fair and representative. However, there are an intimidating number of hard climbs, which could overawe the more sensitive or delicate types. It also has a fearsome reputation, which didn’t ring true to me. If you look beyond the hardcore cracks, you’ll find some absolute gemstones. Owl’s Arête and Bel Ami were just two absolutely charming routes out of 467 in total at Curbar, including the multifarious problems to keep the boulderers happy. Find out more at UKC.
Curbar really does cover a whole gamut of grades – from mod up to E10 7a, so even if you’re here for a whole weekend, you’re not going to run out of routes to keep you entertained. There is an excellent selection of bouldering, accessed very easily – within ten minutes’ walk of the road – from Vb 4a up to f7c+ / V5 6b. For anyone who says it’s all hard stuff – there are 35 easy climbs (Mod, Diff, Vdiff, HVD) here!
What was lovely about Curbar was the ground below the crags was flat enough to minimize intimidation, unlike Wimberry for example, where everything is so steep that you fear a fall would see you rolling a mile to the bottom of the hill!
One of the undeniable benefits of Curbar, for both women and men, is the presence of ferns. What this means is that men are very much less likely to be flashed at here than other gritstone crags like Windgather and Stanage, where cover is almost impossible to find when nature calls. In all events, you could try the Sheewee (check out our review first).
Guidebook: Eastern Grit
Take some finger tape just in case the grit eats your hands. I used all tactics available (mostly laybacking) to try and avoid getting mashed up!).
Great crag, in a picturesque setting, away from the hustle and bustle, veering slightly towards crack-heads.
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