Hobson Moor Quarry – Great evening climbing crag
Hobson Moor is a quarried grit crag situated off Hobson Moor Road near to Mottram in Longdendale in the Peak District. It’s an urban crag to some degree, but you would never know how close it is to civilisation once you’re ensconced by the gritstone walls.
Perfect for … a quick evening escape from Manchester or traversing of the Back Wall in winter.
What I liked most … Hobson Moor is really easy access and it has the infamous back wall traverse (V5 6a)!
What could be better… There are only a few easy grades to climb – 3VDiffs, 1 Severe – What this means is there’s a challenge to get better and try the harder routes! It’s a relatively small crag, so it’s probably not a place that will entertain you for days.
Access is very easy – under 5 minute’s walk. As you drive up Hobson Moor Road from Roe Cross Road, the road branches left. About 100m metres on, you park on the right. The path to the crag is on the left. You can use the postcode SK14 6SH to get you to the start of Hobson Moor road – then follow the instructions above.
I really like the ease of access of Hobson Moor – it’s only 15 minute’s drive from my house. The crag is right next to the road – probably the closest walk-in of any crag I’ve visited. I regularly visit to do a few routes and the traverse has caught my eye. Last time I went, there were two women traversing the whole quarry – finishing off on the back wall! One of them has been known to do the traverse 5 times in a night – serious stuff!
In total there are 93 routes registered on UKC – these are a mixture of bouldering and trad climbs, with a small smattering of pegs for sports climbing. There are a number of 3 star*** routes, including Crews Route (VS 4c) and Parker’s eliminate (HVS 5a), along with the back wall traverse, as already mentioned.
Up above the back wall traverse is a wall consisting of E’s. The rock there is certainly more friable than anywhere else in the quarry, so you might want to wear a helmet if you’re traversing and someone is climbing up above. These routes are naturally less well trodden, due to their difficulty. The top boasts a series of well-positioned pegs for belays or even abseil practice. As always, thoroughly check the anchor points before using them and make sure you’ve got sufficient back up if an anchor point fails! The walk off is easy – down to either side of the crag.
When we were there last month, there was someone taking photographs for a guidebook. To the far right of the crag are some low-lying boulders. Once cleaned up, they may provide further bouldering opportunities and perhaps even some space to put up a slack-line between trees!
The Infamous Back Wall Traverse
If you don’t have a climbing buddy on tap, then this venue is great as it has the back wall traverse that you could work on without a buddy, if you have a bouldering mat. It’s graded at 6a and it is considerably harder for the short in certain sections (6b+??). It is good fun and somewhat addictive too. There are a number of people to be found at the crag working on the traverse on a sunny evening throughout the seasons – particularly in the winter when routing (climbing routes) is too difficult due to the cold.
We recently carried out a clean-up of the crag as it is regularly frequented by people who leave litter. When I say litter, think wheelbarrows, bar stools, metal rods, bin bags full of glass. The crag is liable to become very glassy – apparently locals come down with glass bottles and play shoot-out on the rocks. The presence of extreme amounts of broken glass would suggest this is the case. With this in mind, take care where you walk, so you don’t get holes in your rock shoes, and also when climbing, as you reach over to ledges.
A good crag in a nice setting, a little grubby at times, but overall a good punt on a sunny evening.
Guide Book: Western Grit
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Post written by Emily Pitts