HARPUR HILL


The quarried plateau of Harpur Hill is clearly visible on the hill overlooking Buxton. Its stark outline hides a large expanse of walls and quarries connected on different levels by tracks and paths. The setting can be delightful in places like The Playground and on much of the Upper Tier, but the Lower Tier with its rusty car wrecks and general grotty appearance makes it a less pleasant spot.
The development has been sporadic over the years. Initially there was a small collection of trad routes on Papacy Buttress then in the late 1990s the place saw a large number of sport routes added, again, mostly on the Upper Tier. It is a nice feature of the place that the original trad routes have retained their status in most cases and are still some of the better routes across the crag. The Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Deadly Virtues and Nostalgia are all great routes which it is worth packing your wires and cams for.
In more recent times all the walls have been dotted with sport routes of varying quality and some of the later additions on The Dark Side are pushing the bounds of what is worthwhile bolting.
Safety note - There is plenty of loose rock here and there have been accidents, a helmet is a good idea, as is belaying in a position that isn't directly below the leader.

Routes

48 trad routes (HS...E4)
304 sport routes (4a...7b+)
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
The Dark Side - Upper Tier
To the left of the main Papacy Buttress, the Upper Tier swings around to face east. This section...
43
Sport
Early morning sun
Uphill

15 mins

Perched Block Buttress
To the left of Papacy Buttress, the Upper Tier swings around to face east. At the junction of the...
14
Trad and Sport
Early morning sun
Uphill

15 mins

Papacy Buttress
A fine buttress containing many of the best routes at Harpur Hill. It has some striking corners,...
28
Sport
Early morning sun
Uphill

12 mins

Prophecy Area
The most extensive section of the upper walls consists of a series of vertical faces, steep cracks...
46
Sport
Early morning sun
Uphill

12 mins

The Dark Side - The Racetrack Playa
The furthest section of the Lower Tier of the east-facing Darkside has been developed with a...
23
Trad and Sport
Early morning sun
Uphill

15 mins

The Dark Side - Long Wall
The right-hand side of the Lower Tier has some decent buttresses. Again the area isn't popular,...
35
Trad and Sport
Early morning sun
Uphill

15 mins

College Buttress
The far right-hand end of the Dark Side has a decent chunky buttress with some reasonable routes.
18
Trad and Sport
Early morning sun
Uphill

15 mins

The Lower Tier
An extensive wall of rather scrappy rock. There are plenty of routes to go at here, and as long as...
47
Sport
Early morning sun
Uphill

8 mins

Cairn Area
The best of the harder routes at Harpur Hill is found on a fine wave formation on the lower walls;...
30
Sport
Early morning sun
Uphill

10 mins

The Sanctuary
The Sanctuary has a small collection of steep routes in an out-of-the-way setting. As with all...
19
Sport
Early morning sun
Up and down

12 mins

The Playground
Situated above the Cairn Area and the Sanctuary is a smaller quarry which is invisible from most of...
21
Sport
Early morning sun
Uphill

12 mins

The Retreat
A set of sport routes in a shady setting. Nothing of any real quality but worth a look if you have...
28
Sport
Early morning sun
Uphill

15 mins

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