Valkyrie Top 50

3 Stars
 HVS 5a

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A fine historic HVS which features two contrasting pitches, a mid-height stance and a belay on a proper summit.
1) 5a, 10m. The tricky, slanting, jamming crack, and a short traverse, lead to a small stance on the arete (awkward belays).
2) 5a, 10m. Step right, climb the wall (gear in the vertical crack) then move left (there is bizarre no-hands rest here) then mantelshelf to the easy upper slab. Enjoy the summit experience then abseil from the ring-bolt.
FA. Joe Brown, Wilf White 1949


Don't try to out-think this one: it's a Joe Brown brute-force-and-ignorance first pitch, and you shouldn't waste your time hanging around. The top pitch is more refined and delicate, which is probably a good thing given the state of my arms after the first one.
Will Judge - 06/Nov/02

The first pitch is brutal, couldn;t work out the start so started from the boulder. Watch out for bats in the horizontal hand slot on the right sode of the crack. I couldn't find any decent jams to hang of and place gear and got totally pumped,
Jon Greengrass - 16/May/03

Just keep going on the first pitch - the lower half of the crack is the hardest and it eases considerably towards the top. Fabulous :)
Nick Smith - 30/May/03

excellent route. avoid hanging around first pitch, save it for the second one where you can savour the position and views.
paul - 12/Jun/03

Anyone else find the traverse difficult?
vic - 26/Jun/03

Although seconded I found the first pitch much harder than the second one. Something to do with the lost art of jamming im sure. The second pick was great especially the first half as felt 'interesting' stopping to place gear when still abit pumped after the brutal first crack. Has anybody leapt off the top recently? Would be quite tempted if I had brought my trainers.
Joe Mansfield - 30/Oct/03

You can get a no hands rest off a knee bar right below the mantelshelf.
Nick - 06/Jun/04

I found the first pitch hideous! Starting was awkward but eventually managed it by basically throwing myself at it (didn't use boulder), placing gear was strenuous and I found the gear then got in the way of the jams. I then sat on ledge on left for a rest which was probably a mistake since it's pretty awkward to get back down to top of crack in order to do the hand traverse. Once I got onto the traverse however I found it easy (only a couple of moves and more to stand on that it first seems).

Once at the belay we were subjected to rain, hail and gales and were seriously considering abbing off. We decided it would be just as quick to climb up as go down and partner did splendidly on top pitch in the rain.

As we squelched off to Grindleford cafe for celebratory tea and chip butty clouds melted away, sun came out and it was brilliant weather for rest of afternoon.
MeMeMe - 31/Aug/04

I agree with the first pitch synopsis; very pumpy!! My partner made a awkward looking head jam to matleshelf into to belay position (sacrificnig his helmet in the depths of the break!!) As, for the 'bomber rock 9', i had one ready on a quick draw but 2 to my dismay, it didnt fit. then got very tired whilst placing a solid wallnut 5 and was knackered for the crux. All in all, an awsome route, an only my second HVS. If you can battle through the first pitch... u'l be happy u did!!
dancurrie - 24/Apr/05

I lead the top pitch - oh so different to the thug fest on the first part. And that knee bar at the mantle shelf came as a very pleasant surprise - a good crowd pleaser as you go hands free.
Albie - 31/May/05

Did this yesterday on one of the hottest days of the year so far, i thought the crux was tryin to get the bomber nut in on the second pitch as trying to hold onto a frictionless ledge with one hand in the boiling heat with sweat pouring out of everywhere is extremely difficult. Suffice to say i dint flash it, ah well first Hard Rock route though Yipee!
Adam Moroz - 11/Jul/05

i found the second pitch straightforward, pleasant hvs 5a. the first pitch was my worst nightmare
leon skeldon - 18/Jul/05

First pitch was very good but very sustained. Unfortunately the worst section of the crack wit hthe thin jams was laos wte, making it especailly difficult, I had to semi-layback part of it. Top pitch would be softish HVS 5a if it wasn't for just having done the bottom one. Awesome route.
Si dH - 29/Jan/06

its good if you use two ropes and do it as just one long pitch; rope drag aint too bad and its a lot of mileage for your money :)
lleyton - 20/Feb/06

yeah much better in one long pitch and the first pitch int to bad if u can jam although u can layback most if it
dave - 18/Apr/06

What a fantastic route. As mentioned, don't miss out on the knee-bar (both knees!) hands-off rest just below the final mantle on the second pitch. You can pause there and enjoy the great position. Great North Road *was* my favourite grit HVS, but now I'm not so sure. Magic!
Tim Waterhouse - 19/Sep/06

Ended up leading both pitches, the first pitch isn't technically difficult, but stopping to put gear in is a nightmare. Went left after the first pitch which was a mistake, then found the traverse desperate, top pitch is amazing you have really got to enjoy it. the top pitch is my style of climbing but the bottom pitch isn't anyones style of climbing except joe brown's.
robert bridges - 11/May/07

I have come to a conclusion, Valkyrie is the best HVS on natural grit and great north road the best on quarried. And before anyone says I know Froggatt has been quarried, as probably all the edges have but not quite in the same way as millstone.
Michael - 30/Dec/07

What about Bachelor's Left Hand? The best route never to be included in Hard Rock at the grade along with Valkyrie on the Roches.
Themeninblack - 31/Dec/07

i found the crack about ten times more enjoyable than the rest, but still awesome route
Dave - 20/Jun/09

I found the crack harder than Chequers, worse even Terrazza? There are only a couple of good james on the whole thing, first it's horribly wide, then it's horribly thin. EEuuggh.
Jon Stewart - 01/Jun/11

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  • Route Grade Votings

    Total votes cast 177
    hard E1 0 of 61
    E1 0 of 61
    easy E1 2 of 61
    hard HVS 41 of 61
    HVS 18 of 61
    easy HVS 0 of 61
    hard VS 0 of 61
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    easy VS 0 of 61
    hard 5b 0 of 58
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    hard 5a 0 of 58
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    hard 4c 0 of 58
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    hard ?? 0 of 58
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    3 Stars 56 of 58
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