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Peak Limestone



by Alan James, Chris Craggs

Published May 2012 by Rockfax

Reviewed by Karin Magog


Peak Limestone is another glossy production by Rockfax which covers the vast assortment of limestone crags and quarries that are climbed on in this area. It is divided into three geographical areas; the north, the south-east and the south-west. Of these the north makes up the largest percentage of the book, covering the likes of Stoney and Horseshoe in the north-east, the classic areas of Water-cum-Jolly, Raven Tor and Cheedale in the middle then finally the popular quarries around Buxton such as Harpur Hill and Staden. The south-west comprises mainly of Dovedale, Manifold and Beeston Tor, which leaves the south-east and the popular crags around Matlock such as High Tor and Wildcat. I have to admit I haven't done stacks of climbing in the Peak, being a big fan of Yorkshire limestone, but I have climbed on most of the major crags in the guide at least once and flicking through I was surprised at how many of the venues I recognised from trips down in the 90's when I was just getting into sports climbing. There seems to be a massive choice of crags in this area, covering all grades both on the trad and sports climbing front, so definitely something for everyone.


Like you would expect from Rockfax the guide is well adorned with clear photo-diagrams, easy to follow approach maps and plenty of other useful info, such as approach, access and conditions. The route descriptions are well written with enough info to compliment the diagrams and the lay-out is  nicely uncluttered. There's a good range of action photos, covering routes of all grades and styles. I was particularly drawn to some of the photos of Stoney as this is somewhere I've hardly climbed but I think I'll be checking out Windy Buttress this summer. The photo of Luke Holmes on Scoop Wall (pg 43) is one such photo and sells the route well I think. However, I was confused by the photo of Laura Hudson on the infamous Body Machine rock-over (pg 7) as it just didn't look like how I remembered. I pretty sure she's on the equally as good Indecent Exposure to it's left? However, small errors like these are almost inevitable, especially when you're turning around so many good guides so quickly. The guide also has a route index (always useful I find), both a trad and sport graded list (great for discussion in the pub afterwards) and details on local climbing walls, shops and pubs (all very useful for our British summers!). There's also a page on gear and bolting with web addresses of both bolt funds if you wish to contribute.


All in all a very useful guide to have in your collection and one which I'm sure will be very popular. A good joint effort by writers Alan James and Chris Craggs.


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