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The weather doesn't always work in our favour and a days climbing can easily be spoiled by too much rain, wind or even (occasionally!) sun. Below are a few venues to help keep you climbing when the conditions are less than perfect. The list is far from complete, almost any crag can work if you think carefully about wind direction, likelihood of rain and ease of access, but it will give you a few pointers on places to consider.

Aldery Cliff 

A Peak District limestone quarry with no easy access to the top and occasionally awkward belays doesn’t necessarily sound like a tempting venue but Aldery does have a few important things going for it. It is owned by the BMC so you are allowed to park in the quarry itself, almost literally within touching distance of the rock, an important consideration on days of questionable weather. Aldery's position means it is very well sheltered from the wind (practically regardless of direction) and it is also in the shade from around midday making it a good afternoon choice on hot, sunny days. Being limestone it definitely isn’t the best choice for rainy days but it does dry very quickly with no problems of seepage. Anyone operating in the HS to HVS grade range can expect an enjoyable day here.

Burbage North 

Burbage North can work really well on a changeable day. Its open, southerly aspect means that it generally dries quickly after rain (a few buttresses suffer from seepage but these are generally obvious) and it offers a wide range of easier climbs that are perfectly possible in less than perfect conditions. The close proximity of the parking also means that it is often possible to sit out the worst of the weather in your vehicle before grabbing a quick climb between showers. On cold and windy days it can feel pretty wild up here though so it's generally better to think about one of the more sheltered crags in the area.


A real favourite when the wind is blowing and the temperature is low, Lawrencefield provides a sheltered sun-trap that can feel warm even in the middle of winter if you pick the right day. The sheltered aspect does mean that some of the walls can be slightly slow to dry and it also has one of the longest approaches of the crags listed in this article (if you walk slowly it could take you almost 10 minutes to reach the rock!) so maybe not the top pick for a rainy day. The nearby Yarncliffe quarry is even more sheltered and quicker to access but is has fewer routes to choose from so can be busy on wet days.


Windgather has a good selection of easier routes that, unlike many gritstone crags, have actual holds rather than relying too heavily on friction. The friendly nature of the climbing coupled with the fact that this is about as close to a road side venue as we have in the Peak District means that it can be a very good wet weather option. Windgather can also work well in the warmer months when its open, westerly aspect means that even a relatively light wind will often help to keep you cool. Just be aware that anytime after midday there really isn't any shade available so probably best to avoid on a clear, sunny day. A final word of warning, the name is one of the most appropriate of any piece of rock we know, if a strong westerly wind is blowing then go somewhere else! 


Although we try to avoid it, when the rain isn't due to stop all day and the wind is howling, one of the best options is to go inside. There are now a whole host of excellent facilities to choose from and don't forget that from November our very own Adventure Hub will be bringing an indoor bouldering wall to the Hope Valley.


This article was written by Gav from Pure Outdoor

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