I, like most climbers this time of year, have every weather app that I can find on my phone. Every evening I nervously check my phone for hourly updates on the recent weather patterns, looking for that golden window, those few hours when a wind blows, the rain stops and the sun comes out. But, this morning, as I look out of the window, the weather has been cold, wet and only last night it had snowed, and mostly the ground is wet. There has been a frost that has retreated under the warm gaze of a winter sun, it’s minus five and I’m packing my bouldering gear and heading out of the door.
I live in the High Peak, which, along with its ancient, hills and valleys carved from retreating glaciers, has one of the country’s best and classic Trad climbing and bouldering. It is truly a mecca of rough-cut gems to wrestle with and project over.
However, this morning I’m heading to a particular diamond; The Torrs, nestled in the in the town of New Mills. I park my car in an easily accessible public carpark, pay my few quid for the days parking and grab my gear. First stop? Beles Brownies. If there was ever a place to find crag-cake for a hard-climbing session this was it, and if cake isn’t your thing, then just wander down the road to the pastry shop’s where you can find more hot pasties for your cold climbs from ‘Potts‘ or ‘Buds‘
I drop off the road and walk down the path leading to, what I can only describe as one of the only purpose-built indoor climbing walls, but completely outdoors. Tucked under the viaduct and protected by sheer cliffs, this little climbing wall has it all, from sports routes that climb high up the central pillar, to some challenging Trad routes carved out of the cliff-face, all the way to some bouldering problems that could challenge the best.
For 300 days a year (potentially more) this covered little crag is a haven for the climber, whether you are working on you winter endurance and trying to crack the 7a pillar traverse or just like to get out and feel really rock under your fingers. When all others have been swamped and rained off, this place, this last bastion of climbing gold tucked in to the town of New Mills, will welcome a weary climber to come and warm their fingers on her crimps, slopers and jugs.
Links and credit
Written by Stephen Harvey
Featuring Nadine Muller