Climbing in the wonderfully picturesque Peak District!

Climbing features high in our aims for 2015 and already we have plans in motion to head over to the magnificent cliffs of Pembroke in South Wales in early April. Having been side-lined since November due to knee surgery as soon as the weather opened up, no matter how cold it was, we were keen to get out and back on the rocks. We headed to the picturesque Derbyshire Peak District for a great day of trad climbing!

Froggart, Curbar, Climbing, bouldering, peak district, uk, england, outdoors, exploring, adventure, derbyshire, travel,

Recently I found out I need more surgery, this time a medial collateral ligament recognition – not good! Initially I had been booked in for late March for my knee, which in all honesty won’t do! It has been in bad shape for 13 years, so putting it off until the end of summer to finally get it fixed is a trade I am willing to make if it means we can make the most of 2015 and put those travel, climbing and mountain plans into action!

Froggart, Curbar, Climbing, bouldering, peak district, uk, england, outdoors, exploring, adventure, derbyshire, travel,

So far plans are coming together for a weekend climbing on the cliffs of Pembroke, this in fact is something we have on our bucket list, so it’s a major thing for us! We also have other plans involving returning to Snowdonia and generally climbing outdoors as often as possible this year! Often in winter it’s easy to stay inside away from the sting of the cold air but we awoke early on the Sunday morning determined to get out and make the most of any opportunity.

Froggart, Curbar, Climbing, bouldering, peak district, uk, england, outdoors, exploring, adventure, derbyshire, travel,

This time we would be heading over to the Peak District and to Froggart and Curbar edge, a legendary crag in climbing terms and one we had been keen to climb. When we arrived the sun was shining over the frozen ground and a low mist lingered in the valley below. It was truly a beautiful day to be out climbing and given the time of year not at all as cold as we imagined it would be!

Froggart, Curbar, Climbing, bouldering, peak district, uk, england, outdoors, exploring, adventure, derbyshire, travel,

Once he we decided to spend most of the day getting on some of the crags easier routes to get us back in the swing of things. Trad climbing can be a strange thing; most people usually climb well within their ability as opposed to bouldering or sport climbing where falling is all part of the drill.

Froggart, Curbar, Climbing, bouldering, peak district, uk, england, outdoors, exploring, adventure, derbyshire, travel,

Trad it much more slow and considered and it has to be, you are placing your own protection in the wall as you ascend, it’s quite common to go for a day trading an never see another climber fall! It mostly a head game and confidence is key, as much as I have ambitions to progress a few grades this year I also know rushing is not the best way so we took our time and got up some nice fun routes and got our “head back in the game” as they say!

Froggart, Curbar, Climbing, bouldering, peak district, uk, england, outdoors, exploring, adventure, derbyshire, travel,

The crag has some wonderful lines consisting of a mixture of natural and also quarried grit resulting in some fine cracks and also many blank slab faces. We climbed some great routes mostly within the “VDiff (Very Difficult)/ HardVDiff” range, which despite their ominous sounding grades are in fact relatively easy for the experienced climber and often very well protected.

Froggart, Curbar, Climbing, bouldering, peak district, uk, england, outdoors, exploring, adventure, derbyshire, travel,

Both of us have lead at 3 grades harder than this at “VS (Very Severe)” and hope this year to go one better and eventually lead a “HVS (Hard Very Severe)”. Often grades can vary wildly depending on where you climb, as is the somewhat complex but yet brilliant UK grading system which not only takes into account the technical difficultly of the climb but also the protection and boldness of it too!

Froggart, Curbar, Climbing, bouldering, peak district, uk, england, outdoors, exploring, adventure, derbyshire, travel,

So a great first day out on the crag of 2015 in an amazingly beautiful location with weather you could only dream of in January!! We finished up the day on a wonderfully featured boulder around the back of the crag as the sun was setting on a great day!

Froggart, Curbar, Climbing, bouldering, peak district, uk, england, outdoors, exploring, adventure, derbyshire, travel,

At the moment we are looking to get out at any and all opportunity! The weather at the moment is quite unpredictable but we will be sure to be out again as soon as possible!

Froggart, Curbar, Climbing, bouldering, peak district, uk, england, outdoors, exploring, adventure, derbyshire, travel,

One of the best things about climbing is having a great day with friends and seeing some of the most beautiful places imaginable at the same time!

Froggart, Curbar, Climbing, bouldering, peak district, uk, england, outdoors, exploring, adventure, derbyshire, travel,
Lovely little Robin we saw perched on a branch in the woods.

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Nicola Hilditch-Short

Nic is one half of the Roaming Renegades, a passionate traveller, climber, adventurer, photographer and artist who has a B.A in Fine Art and M.A in Design & Art Direction.