Main Face

Adjacent Areas
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Trad
Afternoon sun
15 mins
Uphill

The Main Face of High Tor is quite simply one of the finest sheets of limestone in the country. The left-hand side is characterised by some huge overhangs and long, towering corners. The great cave of Castellan is a hard barrier to cross which means that many of the routes are in the higher grades, however further left are a few orange-spot climbs which are as good as any of their grade in the Peak. In the centre the quality ramps up with the likes of Lyme Cryme, Robert Brown, Darius and Perseus taking pride of place. The other routes on this section may be slightly eliminate in nature but they are still of exceptionally high quality and mostly have fine positions on perfect rock. If anything, the right-hand side of the Main Face is even better than the Darius area. The routes start with the friendly Original Route but after that there is nothing to offer but Black Spots. It is all top-notch pocket-pulling - often bold, often technical, mostly on perfect rock and always in a splendid position. After graduating from the classics of the central face, Yankee Power, Supersonic and Bastille provide a worthy trio of ticks for any climbing career. Such a magnificent and well-featured piece of rock was always bound to attract those seekers of the less obvious way up the rock. The four diagonals described here are superb and popular too - well, at least the easier ones. Belays - The belays at the top of the crag in the middle section are set well back. It is useful to take a short 20m section of rope and leave this at the top if you intend to finish between the top of Debauchery and Original Route.

Route (click for voting and user comments) Symbols Grade
1
High Tor Gully
Of historical significance only, as the cause of a major rift in the ancient Kyndwr Club. The massive legendary cleft on the...
3 user comments
 
Loose
VD
2
Penelope Pitstop
40m. A poor attempt at a free version of Side Road, starting just right of High Tor Gully and continuing up the arete above....
 6b
3
Lamplight
The prominent corner at the left-hand end of the wall. The start is tricky then detour left around the roof at half-height.
2 user comments
 
2 Stars
HVS 5a
4
Lumb Lane
The groove and cracks left of Lamplight, in 2 pitches - 4c, 4c.
 HVS 4c
5
Sportlight
A great line, but with disappointing climbing up the arete left of Highlight. Follow the line of bolts past a hard move to...
 
1 Stars
Pumpy
Loose
7a
6
Searchlight
37m. Climb the loose wall above two sycamore trees, keeping left of the arete. A rarely climbed route.
 E3 5c
7
Highlight Top 50
The long corner with a large capping roof gives a fine route, high in the grade and with a smattering of loose rock for added...
13 user comments
 
3 Stars
HVS 5a
8
Skylight Top 50
One of the original free routes on the cliff, polished and with some spaced gear, but still well worthwhile.1) 4b, 18m....
12 user comments
 
3 Stars
VS 4c
9
Approach Pitch
A bolted pitch to allow access to the cave for the sport routes. This is not worth doing in its own right.
 6b
10
Armalite
Half way up pitch 2 of Skylight, move left under some roofs. Climb a crack then move right around the overhang to a finishing...
 E4 5c
11
Plight of the Rich
Despite recent retrobolting, the wall right of Skylight still feels a bit spicy in parts, though less so than when it was E5...
2 user comments
 
Reachy
Fluttery
Loose
7a+
12
Light and Shade
An impressive line but with the occasional chipped hold. Start 4m right of Skylight, usually on a pile of blocks. Pull through...
2 user comments
 
1 Stars
Reachy
Strong
7a+
13
Pump out the Squealies
A route of delightful contrasts. A powerful, fingery lower wall leads to an excruciatingly delicate and scary move to finish....
2 user comments
 
2 Stars
Strong
7b+
14
Squeezin' Out Sparks
One of the few remaining aid points in the Peak finally succumbed in 2007. Originally split, it is now done in a single pitch....
2 user comments
 
Reachy
Pumpy
7c
15
Limelight
Climb the roof past three glue-in bolts, by powerful moves and a huge span, to reach the sustained upper wall. It is possible...
1 user comment
 
2 Stars
Reachy
Technical
8a
16
Castellan
The impressive roof at the right end of the cave is more reasonable than it appears from a distance. Well-protected but...
2 user comments
 
3 Stars
Strong
Pumpy
Graunchy
E5 6b
17
Fantasia
A fine exposed outing with a lot of great climbing. Effectively a high girdle with some wild situations.1) 5c, 35m. Climb...
1 user comment
 
3 Stars
Pumpy
E5 6b
18
Laurin
Two contrasting pitches, each with a short hard section between rests and lots of exposure. The upper crack can get choked with...
1 user comment
 
3 Stars
Reachy
Strong
E3 6a
19
Nightmare of Brown Donkeys
Intricate route finding in wild positions - an underrated classic which needs a steady second. Be aware of the state of the old...
6 user comments
 
3 Stars
Technical
E3 5c
20
Party in the Park
An eliminate that visits some wild spots.1) 6a, 22m. Start as for Hot Gossip. After entering the groove traverse left at an...
 
1 Stars
Technical
E5 6b
21
Hot Gossip
A complex line, finding its way through some unlikely territory, but with good climbing. Start under the left-hand of a pair of...
2 user comments
 
1 Stars
Fluttery
Loose
E5 6a
22
The Phrantic Phinish
20m. An alternative finish to Nightmare of Brown Donkeys or Laurin. From the Laurin stance, climb to the roof, thread, and...
3 user comments
 E4 5c
23
Delicatessen Top 50
A classic journey crossing the main face. With the exception of one short sequence, the climbing is no harder than 5b with...
7 user comments
 
3 Stars
Technical
E2 5c
24
The Grapevine
A bit of an eliminate, but with some good moves and low in the grade too.1) 6a, 25m. Climb Lyme Cryme for a few metres then...
1 user comment
 
1 Stars
Technical
Fluttery
E5 6b
25
Lyme Cryme Top 50
A superb route which for many years had a reputation for poor gear, however, protection on the whole is good and the old, bold...
7 user comments
 
3 Stars
Pumpy
Fluttery
E3 5c
26
Brompton's Cocktail
An interesting addition which, despite its eliminate nature, deserves more attention than it receives. Pitch 2 makes a good but...
1 user comment
 
1 Stars
Technical
Fluttery
E5 6b
27
Robert Brown
An excellent, direct line up the cliff with just one difficult section on the first pitch. Start left of Darius, below a...
7 user comments
 
2 Stars
Fluttery
E3 5c
28
Ariadne's Thread
An eliminate with some good climbing; hard sections are broken by easier climbing and good rests. Sufficiently independent....
1 user comment
 
1 Stars
Fluttery
E5 6b
29
Darius Top 50
A gem of a route, but like all gems rather polished - a sign of its allure as one of the best E2s in the country. The route is...
9 user comments
 
3 Stars
Pumpy
E2 5c
30
Debauchery Top 50
One of top ten E1s in the country, it can be forgiven for the odd bit of polish here and there. The route crosses some...
16 user comments
 
3 Stars
Pumpy
E1 5b
31
Andromeda
An eliminate of limited appeal squeezed into the small gap between Perseus and Darius. Start as for Perseus but pull left onto...
 
Technical
E3 6a
32
Perseus
A worthy route which deserves more attention and would get three stars on most other cliffs. The upper section feels a little...
6 user comments
 
2 Stars
Pumpy
E3 5c
33
Original Route Top 50
A right of passage for HVS leaders - the exposure of the huge face is well felt, a great experience at the grade. Start on...
23 user comments
 
3 Stars
Pumpy
HVS 5a
34
Tales of Yankee Power
The perfect introduction to the E5 grade and on the perfect cliff. Spicy, but safe with a bit of Buoux thrown in. Climb direct...
5 user comments
 
3 Stars
Fluttery
E5 6a
35
Flaky Wall Top 50
Another fine route, tracing the easiest line up the shield. Immaculate rock, good protection, a hands-off rest and some...
4 user comments
 
3 Stars
Technical
E4 6a
36
Reproduction
High quality climbing up a tenuous line on the blank wall left of Flaky Wall, with spaced protection and a lonely feel. Move...
1 user comment
 
3 Stars
Pumpy
Fluttery
E6 6b
37
Supersonic
Outstanding face-climbing, continuously interesting with the two hard sections linked by superb moves. All this, plus...
10 user comments
 
3 Stars
Fluttery
E5 6a
38
My New Hat
The hardest route up the shield which, despite the bolts, could barely be described as a sport route. It may not have been...
 
Technical
Crimpy
E6 6c
39
Bastille
One of the best hard routes in the country with a technical crux, a bold groove and a sting in the tail. Although the crux is...
4 user comments
 
3 Stars
Technical
Pumpy
Fluttery
E6 6b
40
Decadence
Well-named, the line encompasses some of the best moves and rock on the Tor. While pitch 1 has a sense of urgency about it,...
5 user comments
 
3 Stars
Pumpy
E4 6a
41
Tumbril
Largely forgotten since the best climbing is also taken by Decadence and the start is serious. Start left of Decadence, below...
 
Fluttery
E5 6a
42
The Passion Wagon
A worthwhile route but never likely to become popular. It has been given 7b but it isn't really a sport route. Start as for...
 
1 Stars
Pumpy
Crimpy
E5 6b
43
The Pillar
A good introduction to the grade, lacking the big feel of the classic routes of the Main Face, but requiring a deal of care...
1 user comment
 
1 Stars
Fluttery
Loose
E5 6a
44
Pillar Direct
An interesting climb which provides a few entertaining moments. Despite the lower E grade, it is only slightly easier than the...
 
1 Stars
Loose
E4 6a
45
Cathy Come Home
Start right of the overhang of Pillar. Climb the wall to a groove (peg), continue to a slab which leads to a belay.
 E1 5b
46
The Unoriginal Route
36m. A poor, chipped eliminate left of Original Route which has had its (crucial) fixed gear removed. Follow Original route on...
 E5 6a
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  • Latest Comments

    For HIGH TOR

    Memories
    "Perhaps the best route of its grade on Peak Limestone?" 05/May

    Original Route
    "Six years on, I wonder how much that 20kg block is worth now Jon?" 20/Jul top50

    No Entry
    "Backed off the committing hard pull off the ledge as the rock with your first ge..." 01/Jul

    Still Searching
    "Appears that some rock has come off just below the small sapling making it a bit..." 24/Aug

    Dutch Moon
    "Good rock + moves if you stay on line" 27/Jun

    Prejudice
    "This is a great little trad route. I agree care is needed with protection - whic..." 20/Jun

    Robert Brown
    "Did this first back in the early 80's and found the gear very low down and not i..." 15/Dec

    Prejudice
    "The climbing is not difficult but getting solid protection throughout requires ..." 07/Dec

    M1
    "did this a couope of weeks before Andy and agree with his comments. This route ..." 02/Aug

    M1
    "Gear is fine. Insitu gear is rubbish but not needed at all as it is easy to back..." 23/Jul

    Robert Brown
    "Peg in P1 RB replaced, but the shield of rock it's in and which gives the last p..." 10/Jul

    Prejudice
    "Ian is correct." 05/Jul

    Robert Brown
    "The new peg is now loose. It came out easily by hand - I pushed it back in. Is t..." 20/Jun

    Skylight
    "There's a very loose rocking block in the base of the chimney just after the in-..." 03/Jun top50

    The Phrantic Phinish
    "Having eyeballed this line over the years when abbing from the debauchery tree, ..." 10/Oct

    Supersonic
    "The pegs in the starting groove are now looking much better now.....replaced 08/..." 21/Sep

    Original Route
    "The tree stump is gone as of today." 16/Aug top50

    Darius
    "there's now some tat by the old bolt. Whoever thinks this is polished should ..." 26/Jul top50

    Perseus
    "Fantastic route. Going straight up to the overlap without the clipping the peg ..." 12/Oct

    Highlight
    "The black and yellow coloured rock on the right side of the route immediately ab..." 13/Sep top50

    M1
    "absolutely brilliant route, better climbed as a single pitch as the in-situ bela..." 08/Aug

    Lyme Cryme
    "i thought the gear seemed pretty bomber, spaced entering the groove but good fri..." 27/Jul top50

    Entropy
    "If you start up the rib left of the crack at the start then it's very pleasant a..." 01/Jun

    Flaky Wall
    "quality E4. great climb with testing moves all the way. beware the tricky move a..." 25/Apr top50

    Skylight
    "Had me sweating: not to be underestimated" 20/Apr top50

    Delicatessen
    "The belay in the Cave doesn't get the sun until later in the day and it can feel..." 20/Apr top50

    Debauchery
    "the best climb in the peak (probably), didn't seem to bad for E1 as me and my un..." 28/Oct top50

    Highlight
    "The arete to the left is Sportlight, 7a, which is a good line and a long pitch, ..." 07/Oct top50

    Debauchery
    "Re. above: Oh come on, you obviously don't like trad, but you are actually joki..." 19/Aug top50

    V2
    "I thought this was better than TalesOYP, with some awesome pocket yarding and an..." 18/Aug

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