Although Stanage Edge is popular with walkers, it is even more of a magnet for climbers. The rock here is gritstone, a sedimentary rock which is a hard form of sandstone This rock is rough, offering good friction which enables a climber to grip and find holds which would be more precarious on a smoother rock surface.
With over 4 miles of Edge, there is plenty of scope for climbing and over 700 recognised routes exist, ranging from easy to the extremely severe (E) grades. The routes along Stanage Edge go by intriguing names like Flying Buttress, Christmas Crack, Inverted V, Tango Buttress and the gauntlet of Left Unconquerable.
Of course, climbing is what made me end up here in the middle of my half term holiday. The Mum taxi was called upon and I found myself spending the warmest, sunniest day of the whole week watching my lads climbing in this beautiful setting. Magic!
(The climbers in the photo are mainly students from the University Mark attends. More about the lads themselves tomorrow.)