DOVEDALE


The north-south gash of Dovedale has a fine set of climbs on the various bits of rock scattered along its length, and has long been a firm favourite with limestone climbers. Many of the climbs finish on proper summits which is an added attraction. The Dale is the most popular tourist destination in this guidebook; in summer hoards travel up and down the valley gazing in awe at the spires, fins and arches that make up the superb rock architecture scattered along the Dale. Ascents of the free-standing tower of Ilam Rock, and the climbs around the Doveholes in particular will always draw a crowd of onlookers and the Pickering Pinnacle and Tissington Spires are also quite public, though fortunately there are plenty of more discreet bits of rock for those who don't perform well in front of a crowd. Whatever your chosen destination, many pieces of rock described here are only home to a small set of quality routes, to get the most out of a good day's climbing out of a visit you will need to go to more than one buttress.

Routes

113 trad routes (VD...?)
9 sport routes (6b+...8a)
Graded List of Routes
List of First Ascents
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Buttress (click for routes) No. of Routes Route Type Sunshine
or shade
Approach walk Other
Baley Buttress
The first piece of decent rock on the east bank of the river is a sheltered, south-facing tower of...
6
Trad
Sun and shade
Uphill

15 mins

sheltered
Ravens Tor
A fine steep cliff, northeast-facing and seamed by a selection of cracks and grooves, giving some...
17
Trad
Sun and shade
Uphill

20 mins

sheltered
Dove Holes
The twinned sockets provide one of the Peak's more unusual climbing venues - a pair of water-worn...
10
Trad
Sun and shade
Level

20 mins

Seepage
Dry in the Rain
sheltered
Ilam Rock
The finest pinnacle in the valley is in a dramatic setting, leaning out over the river and the...
8
Trad
Sun and shade
Level

25 mins

Dry in the Rain
sheltered
Pickering Pinnacle
Pickering Pinnacle is the slender, grassy tower opposite Ilam Rock. It offers some good climbing on...
11
Trad
Sun and shade
Up and down

25 mins

sheltered
Thunderball
A sunny wall in a very secluded setting. Apart from Thunderball, the routes see zero traffic -...
6
Trad
Sun and shade
Up and down

25 mins

sheltered
The Watchblock
One of the best walls in Dovedale is the superb Watchblock Buttress, home to the classic...
7
Trad
Sun and shade
Up and down

25 mins

sheltered
Reynard's Arch
A popular attraction, at least since all the trees that used to hide it were cut down. There is a...
6
Sport
Sun and shade
Up and down

25 mins

Seepage
Dry in the Rain
Campanile Pinnacle
The tower has a grassy front face of little interest, its right side has better rock. The most...
3
Trad
Sun and shade
Level

30 mins

sheltered
Silicon Wall
In the middle of the pinnacles are two small walls with a set of good pitches on clean rock.
10
Trad
Sun and shade
Level

30 mins

sheltered
The John Peel Wall
The tallest and best rock at Tissington Spires is the John Peel Wall. Most of the routes start in...
14
Trad
Sun and shade
Up and down

30 mins

sheltered
South Gully Buttress
The last of the Tissington Spires is known as South Gully Buttress. The routes described here vary...
5
Trad
Sun and shade
Up and down

30 mins

sheltered
Dovedale Church
Dovedale Church East Face has a great selection of routes ranging from the amiable VS 4c of Snakes...
23
Trad
Sun and shade
Level

35 mins

Seepage
sheltered
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  • Latest Comments

    For DOVEDALE

    Unknown
    "Changed from to ?, no votes" 24/Jun

    Black Flip
    "FFA Correction: John Fleming and Jim Shackleton made the first free ascent ca 19..." 05/Aug

    Claw Left-hand
    "Had been saving this route for years as it always seems to be wet. Oh my word wh..." 29/May

    Venery
    "Good crack climbing HVS 5a**" 17/Nov

    Simeon
    "Don't know about "low in the grade", I'd put it high in the grade." 03/Oct

    Aquarius
    "Really good route but wish I had read the comments about the vertical choss fini..." 19/Aug

    Southern Rib
    "Classic Peak Limestone HVS 5b (both pitches)" 05/Jul

    The Gladiator
    "The route is correct in the Rockfax guide with Adrian's slight re-wording probab..." 10/Jun

    Thunderball
    "Getting to the route is a definite pain (just getting up to the Watchblock is ba..." 06/Jun

    The Claw
    ""Battle" seems an appropriate verb. Unusual climbing - felt like gris..." 10/Oct

    The Claw
    "Led it in one. A good honest tussle up to the optional stance but I didn't enjoy..." 02/Aug

    Nancy Whisky
    "Worth 2 stars? I think so. E2? Probably not, but it's high in the grade. Certain..." 25/Jul

    Nancy Whisky
    "Good route but hard for the grade: I've certainly done easier E2s" 05/Jul

    Adjudicator Wall
    "the best route in the dale and to date one of the most enjoyable climbs i've lea..." 19/May

    Ten Craters of Wisdom
    "Agree with the last comment, 5a for 1 move but 4a/b for the rest. I'd still give..." 27/Mar

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