Valkyrie Top 50

3 Stars
Pumpy
 VS 4c

Adjacent Routes
<< Valkyrie Direct < Matinee  |  Northern Comfort > Licence to Run >>


A wandering climb of great quality - the archetypical 'must-do'!
1) 4b, 15m. Climb the slabby groove to its top then traverse left to a stance on giant jammed blocks with a variety of belays.
2) 4c, 25m. Climb on to the tip of flake (a sling on it stops the rope jamming down its back) and descend its edge (scary) until a hidden foothold gives some respite. Gain a narrow crease on the left and teeter along this to access the front face of the buttress. One tricky move leads to the slabby finish. Great care is needed with the rope to avoid it jamming and to protect the second adequately. Thought by many to be HVS.
<font color="red">The line on the photo-topo on page 52 is slightly wrong on the upper section. You should actually traverse all the way onto the front face before climbing up, not up the short green crack as shown.</font>
FA. Peter Harding 1946

USER COMMENTS

A LONG TIREING ROUTE. PUT THE RIGHT HAND ROPE ON THE TIP OF THE FLAKE FOR BETTER ROPE WORK.
TRY UNDERCUTTING THE CRACK AFTER STEPPING OF THE FLAKE.
ANDREW MACKINTOSH - 02/Mar/02

Classic! One of the most 'thought provoking' routes on grit. Never very difficult, but you really have to think.
On Peak Rock was wrong to upgrade it to HVS though.
Phil Marren - 06/Mar/02

Not a HVS, but one of the most stimulating VS's in the Peak (... in the world). Love that step out from the huge flake. Hey - does it count as HVS if the top section is under snow?
Mark F - 16/Mar/02

The VS stands for very scary.
Mike - 26/Mar/02

Alan - please don't mention the hidden foothold in the description - it spoils the suprise. one of my favourite routes regardless of grade.
gr - 27/Mar/02

We did this route without seeing anyone else on it and with no knowledge of the hidden foothold and it did feel more like HVS.
Janet - 26/Apr/02

The climbing is VS. The intimidating position is HVS.
Al.Smith - 04/Jun/02

Did this in the rain too. Even scarier than very scary. 15 years on I think I'd only do it in the dry now, but it's certainly worth it.
wurzel - 26/Jun/02

The afore mentioned hidden foothold isn't there any more, possibly the reason for the upgrade? Or perhaps it's just for the pant filling experience!
graham leadbeater - 04/Jul/02

The hidden foot hold is there I was watching some one find it and shout over to his mate. Not telling you where it is... Apparently it looks chipped but roaches is softer rock so it could be wear. When I climbed it I didn't find it. Prolly made it more like 5a...

Woker
Woker - 30/Sep/02

Top pitch wonderful. Has maybe got a shade harder with wear (but still only 4c) - yes, feels v scary, but really, how many routes are this well protected, with a runner way above you to one side, so that all that's going to happen is you're going to take a big swing without falling anywhere?

Surprise is the first '4b' pitch which is now, with wear and polish, full-weight 5a IMHO. Much, much harder than it used to be.
Gordon Stainforth - 09/Jan/03

If you think Valkyrie is scary, try doing the flake facing outwards, looks good from below but my son, Mikes, doesn't want to do it like that again!
SteveW - 12/Feb/03

hidden foothold definitely there...really wish it wasn't in the description...kind of spoils the route a little bit.
Toby Jackson - 17/Mar/03

Pretty steady VS as long as you keep the ropes tidy. I can also confirm the presence of the "hidden" foothold, but it still took me ages to find it.
r0b - 26/Apr/03

VS, absolutly no harder worth 3.5 stars and best enjoyed on a hot sunny day - get on it!
Stuntman - 30/May/03

p.s. Anybody who thinks it's harder should do Old Faithful at Swanage!
Stuntman - 30/May/03

Didn't find any hidden foot holds so had to use a not quite so hidden smear which made it feel more like 5a. But point taken stuntman nowhere near as hard as Swanage's Baboon!
Kev - 30/May/03

Bottom pitch is getting increasingly ugly due to lots of wear from top-roping groups with muddy trainers... Still worth doing the route just for the 2nd pitch of course!
Nick Smith - 12/Jun/03

There's no doubt that this is an easy VS to lead. However, got to be HVS for the second!
ander - 13/Aug/03

Got lost in the middle of the second pitch - is it straight up the jamming crack (as per the rockfax photo), or the (much easier) escape onto the nose as shown in OPR? Lost a lot of skin on route 1!!! Great route though
Nick - 13/Aug/03

Eh? wtf?
DaveP - 14/Aug/03

I thought the first pitch was the harder by far.
bill - 15/Sep/03

hidden foot hold?its a obvious as the nose on your face.never hvs its not hard or scarey enough,& thats soloing.an ejoyable climb,3 *'s
mark s - 15/Sep/03

First pitch is harder than 4b.
Gareth Rees - 03/Oct/03

Whoever thinks this is harder than a VS 4c obviously doesnt climb many places other than on grit. I dont climb much harder than VS but still found this a soft touch. You dont even need this so called hidden foothold, just jam yer' leg in the crack!
Stu Mac - 14/Oct/03

I found the first pitch was technically much harder than the second (probably top end 4c), the second pitch mentally harder. The hidden foothold is only hidden if you don't look at the route from the ground, where it's obvious. But I thought the foothold made the route harder, I could only make the step across by not using it.
Simon Caldwell - 20/Oct/03

...and the route is only HVS for the second if the leader makes a mess of the rope work. Or if he starts the route late and faffs for so long on the crux that the second has to climb it in the dark (sorry Carmen).
Simon Caldwell - 20/Oct/03

The second would experience a longer fall than the leader due to down climbing, not bad rope work. The hidden foothold makes the so-called crux very easy.
Tom Gilbert - 19/Nov/03

Using double ropes the second will have a rope directly above them for the whole of the down-climb and traverse, so will not fall any distance at all. If you only have a single rope, pull it through and lower it back to the second, so the same applies. Anything which could give the second any significant fall is poor rope work.
Simon Caldwell - 20/Nov/03

Agreed. Unless, of course, the entire pitch is a traverse with poor protection (not applicable to Valkyrie).
Tom Gilbert - 20/Nov/03

The best vs 4c for skill and puzzle solving and requires good communication(Screaming) between lead and second. I found the face on the second pitch around the corner after the 'step' very intimidating, one dodgy friend and a 'dive board' edge to contemplate as you scrape your way up! The second pitch is too scary to second!
Rock Trash - 09/Dec/03

Had to solo out past the flake to get my prescious no.4 cam back after my second bottled and scuttled through the exit hole at the top of the 1st pitch. All good banter though, i was shaking like a shitting dog. The boys well up for it now though, he doesn't like failure
Cheerio, bye ta ta
Toon boy - 01/Apr/04

this is an amazing, epic climb. it's probably the most memorable climb i've had. i found the crux to be moving from the flake on to the main face.
leon skeldon - 05/Apr/04

i just think that this is one of the most overrated climb on grit - sorry!
hans - 01/Aug/04

3 Stars. Excellent value.
Swig - 27/Oct/04

If you aint done it....go do it! I'd agree that the first pitch is harder, especially in slimy November conditions! The positions on the flake and crossing the edge after it above the 'abyss' are fantastic.
Andrew Barker - 01/Dec/04

nice route. Found the first pitch hard on the second and the top pitch thrilling to lead! ropework went to hell but still caught my buddy when he muffed the step off the flake! ***defo!
adam - 08/Dec/04

Exhilarating position. Nice route, feels good to be on the front face at the end.
Iggy_B - 22/Feb/05

Very good but I didnt think as brilliant as its hyped up to be. The first pitc his pretty nastily polished.
Also I felt the crux to be down-climbing the crack which was awkward and insecure, the move across being pretty easy (soft for 4c certainly)
Si dH - 04/Sep/05

Absolutely loved this route. Been building up to it for a while and definitely didn't find it the most challenging VS I've done - but definitely the most fun.

The hidden foothold - is there but not exactly hidden - look down and you see it! I didn't find the first pitch particularly polished - just a bit awkward.

Stepping onto the face wasn't that technical - I found the technical crux the first move up the final slab - but I'm pretty short making it a real reach.

Rope work really makes you think.

Definitely worth doing - i already want to do it again. But not particularly hard or exposed for VS and definitely not more than 4c.
Evil Twin1 - 26/Sep/05

I found the hidden foothold, and still thought this route was tough for a vs, then again it was my first trad lead, brilliant though,
ToffeeSockScissorBitch - 29/Nov/05

THe best VS on grit, HVS position but 4c with good gear. I overdid the looking for the hidden hold the first time & ended up with feet dangling below the roof. If you cant find it just jam a foot in & stretch left. The 1st pitch is now technically harder because of the polish
Iain Thow - 19/Mar/07

>>>A wandering climb of great quality - the archetypical 'must-do'!<<<
A horribly contrived and pointless wandering route with virtually no 'climbing' involved. Plenty of grovelling along ledges though if you like that.
A technical grade of maybe 4B and probably HVS due to the "controlled falling" section.
There is a hidden left foothold, but it didn't seem necessary once your right foot is at the very bottom of the flake, then just step across with your left foot.
If all routes were like this dustbin full of dogsh1te, I'd probably take up bouldering.
Ignore it and do The Sloth instead. That's good climbing with a point, exposure and exhilaration.
How did Valkyrie get three stars? I give it three dog turds.
richard - 24/Mar/07

P.S.
You might also compare Valkyrie to Chequers Buttress at Frogatt, which is a very similar route when you look at them.
However, Chequers Buttress has excellent climbing.
Chequers Buttress definitely deserves three stars.
richard - 24/Mar/07

P.P.S.
This rant is now concluded, I'm off to have my medication and can be found back in my cage.
richard - 25/Mar/07

Valkyrie has somewhat more to it than Chequers Buttress! Contrived in what way - cunning perhaps - like Vector - it finds a way onto the front of the buttress at a reasonable grade. CB is too short to get 3 stars imo.
Andrew Mackintosh - 02/Apr/07

Anyone who thinks this route is rubbish shld probably stop climbing!
Wilbur - 08/May/07

I led the first pitch, didn't find it as polished as I anticipated, certainy not slippy (or maybe I'm just getting used to it). I'm not convinced about this hidden foothold. Either a) it's at the bottom of the flake, or b) it's on the left. If it's a), my leader climbed down too it, found it, and decided it was easier to climb back up a step and just step left - I did the same, with right foot on a notch on the edge of the flake. b) it it's on the left, it's not hidden. The hidden undercut to aid the step across is far more hidden! Or maybe I shouldn't have said that ;) Regardless, I enjoyed the route. We hadn't planned to do it, I once wanted to but went off the idea with it being so popular. But it was a special occasion and quiet at the crag, so we just found ourselves on it which turned out to be the perfect choice and we had a great evening. Kudos to the party of 3 who did it in the dark with headtorches after us, one of whom had just led his first route that evening!!
cider nut - 08/Jun/07

p.s. Apparently you can foot traverse the ledge at the top of the first pitch with hands on jugs on the wall above. Without realising that I hand traversed it (where it's more slabby but with poor hand holds), which looks a little interesting and dubious but it actually ok :S
cider nut - 08/Jun/07

My mate led the first pitch and I led the second, after which he fell on the crux!
Fantastic Route. I think the worst bit is traversing round to the front because of the huge rope drag. The route shown in RockFax is wrong, you have to traverse round to the front face.
David Hewitt - 28/Oct/07

No way the first pitch is worth HS 4b anymore. Second pitch is more scary but no harder technically.
Paul Johnson - 02/Jul/09

hardest way is to lead 1st pitch and 2nd the crux pitch , but alot more enjoyable the other way round. better still be selfish and lead both pitches . first now 4c , second pitch still 4c . Brill climb one that makes you love climbing
chris davies - 24/May/10

After years of climbing I finally got to do Valkyrie as there was no queue, though it had just stopped raining.
Truley a brilliant route, loved it.
albie niedojadlo - 06/Sep/10

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  • Route Grade Votings

    Total votes cast 397
    hard HVS 0 of 138
    HVS 0 of 138
    easy HVS 9 of 138
    hard VS 64 of 138
    VS 61 of 138
    easy VS 4 of 138
    hard HS 0 of 138
    HS 0 of 138
    easy HS 0 of 138
    hard 5a 0 of 132
    5a 0 of 132
    easy 5a 3 of 132
    hard 4c 45 of 132
    4c 76 of 132
    easy 4c 7 of 132
    hard 4b 1 of 132
    4b 0 of 132
    easy 4b 0 of 132
    3 Stars 119 of 127
    2 Stars 3 of 127
    1 Star 3 of 127
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