Peaky Boulders

Posted On October 10, 2023

Robin Hood’s Stride was the location for Climbridge’s first outdoor bouldering trip. A 2.5 hour drive from Cambridge into the Peak District National Park.

We unpacked the car boots, both entirely filled with bouldering pads we’d hired from Rainbow Rocket, consulted the map one last time and set off for the crag. Compared to some of the approaches we encountered in Portland, the 5-minute walk from the north-western parking location was a relative walk in the park a field!

A brief walk to Robin Hood's Stride - looming in the background

The Dorsal Fin was the first boulder to catch our attention

We were drawn to the large Dorsal Fin boulder – home to several gentle warm up climbs (f2+ - f3) on the ‘JT’ marked face before then moving to the opposite face to tackle Vandals. This f5 climb took some projecting to begin with – with members of the group taking it in turns to find the next move. Once the beta was sussed, however, many were able then able to complete the route - balancing on the small footholds whilst clutching for the pockets on the top face to give something to pull up and over on. 

JT (f2+)

JT Crack (f3)

Vandals (f5)

We then moved downhill to the Lower Boulders which were beginning to be bathed in sun as the morning mist cleared. Here we discovered the Joy of Ledge (f3) and indeed the Joy of Noledge (f4+) too! These two slabby climbs were easy going but, as is often the case with slabs, the fear of slipping felt greater than the earlier more vertical climbs! We worked our way up the slab’s grades but, despite significant trial and error, the Flake Slab (f5) start remains a mystery… On the adjacent Lower Boulder we then tacked the T Slab and T Slab Arete (f5+, f4+) – both climbs here involved contending with the tree looming above whilst topping out! 

Joy of Noledge

(One of) The Lower Boulders

After lunch we relocated to The Cave, on the southern face of The Stride. As you’d expect, here we found overhang routes aplenty – The Foot Locker (f5+) being completed by a determined few. Much fist-jamming was attempted by Sam to recreate The Haddon Haul (f5), climbing upwards using the crack through the centre of the cave’s roof, but alas to no avail. 

The Foot Locker (f5+)

The entrance to The Cave

Emerging back into the daylight, we wrapped up the day on The Square Block which overlooks where we had parked. On the south facing side of the block we enjoyed two fun short f2+ slab climbs (Angle Arete Right & Scoop Slab), along with the stretchy Scoop Slab Traverse (f3+). One final challenge was then taken on and conquered – the f5 version of the Angle Arete, this time pulling furiously from the left-hand side. 

Scoop Slab Traverse (f3+)

Andle Arete (f5)

With the day’s climbing complete there was only energy left for one thing – curry! We chose Anila in Ambergate, somewhat ironically located opposite The Hurt Arms!

Robin Hood’s Stride provided an excellent location for our first bouldering trip – no doubt we’ll be back in the Peak District next year to explore more of the vast bouldering territory the National Park provides!

The group, assembled on The Square Block