Chequers Crack

2 Stars
 HVS 5c

Adjacent Routes
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How can a 6m crack be this hard? One of the most frigged pitches in the Peak, despite its innocuous appearance. The crack leads to the break and an easier upper section on solid jams. For the competent it may be easier to solo than to faff with runners!
FA. Don Whillans 1951


great gritstone HVS. agood grade harder than the buttress.
steve - 09/Feb/02

Maybe it's just me but I think this is well harder than HVS, at least E1!
Baron Von Odds - 16/Jan/03

A mighty struggle. HVS 5c? Maybe. Gear is good, but hard-won, and it certainly felt like every single move was 5c on the lower bit.
Stefan Kruger - 23/Jun/03

People who can't get off the ground on this should count themselves lucky! The lower section is continuous hard 5b at the very least. Even getting onto the midway ledge is a nightmare! BUT, it's an amazing route. Bombproof gear all the way (if you can place it!), and really great technical moves on finger and hand jams, with a bit of desperate laybacking. Pure quality, I reckon it's better than chequers buttress, although absolutely miles harder.
RobD - 25/Mar/04

I don't think it is 5c. I got stuck by not reading it right, but once I calmed down and used jams (vs layback)it was not too bad. HVS 5b
nate - 13/Sep/04

Felt like 5c to me. Didn't find it hard though. Got to the break and found the sneaky hold and just relaxed a little too much. Next thing I know I'd clattered my girlfriend/belayer in the head. Got up second go.
dan_o_b - 23/Mar/05

There isn't a single 5c move anywhere on it. Just three or four 5b moves on top of each other, with bomber gear everywhere. Which makes it E1 5b in my book, certainly hard for HVS.
Alun - 14/Apr/05

Take my advice and never do this horrible horrible climb! Do the buttres instead whic is so lovely it's unbelievable
kermit - 24/Jul/05

'tis a bastard. felt like a battle. not 3 stars, not 5c, not HVS. Did this today, wasn't alot of fun. It's quite polished and battered too. I think E1 5b is the grade. Syaing that, I think The Big Crack is easier.
Unless you really like climbing hard cracks don't bother. Even then think twice. Not convinced by the soloing advice either unless you climb cracks a couple of grades harder alot.
Steve Ramsden - 24/Sep/05

brillent route, if you like that sort of thing, and i do! great stuff
jamesturnbull - 25/Nov/05

Didn't find any 5c moves on it. Lots of 5b in the lower crack though. Gear obviously good but, strenuous to place - makes it E1 5b in my book....

Found the upper crack surprisingly awkward though - 5a?
Tobias at Home - 17/Feb/06

this route is great. if you can jam then its quite tiring, if you cant then i imagine its well nasty! the solo advice is perhaps ill-advised; slotting a couple of pieces before the break is feasible and worth it. the top crack is steep but has wicked jams!
lleyton - 20/Feb/06

Did this ages ago after watching others struggle on it. Placed one decent piece in the bottom crack and another in the top section. My Froggatt guide (1978 version) gives this as HVS(-) 5a. I think that's a fair reflection of the grade.
Andy - 28/Jun/06

If it is 5c its very easy (try Toy), Certainly much easier to solo, especially if you use a mat.
Al Evans - 27/Aug/06

did this today felt like h.v.s. 5b. that said there are several 5b moves in a row!
wayne peplow - 08/Oct/06

This route is a definative grit HVS crack climb, grading it E1 would be a mistake and not fo the route justice
alex g - 05/Nov/06

A very hard HVS and my first 5c trad lead, although have lead several E1 5b's. Onsited this... just!! Got to the ledge and rested for what seemed like an age sorry AJ, top crack of the VS (chequers climb) felt solid HVS 5a I reckon.
Michael - 16/Apr/07

Thank god I did this route today.
Now I NEVER need to do it again.
I have NEVER fallen off a route so much or struggled with a route so much.
You could put every piece of gear you own in the route... if you can stop to place it.
Above the cave at half-height it's a nice VS 4c, but the first half of the route is EVIL!
This route should be banished to the underworld.
richard - 10/Feb/08

Brilliant route, the bottom half is an absolute beast, you'd need arms of steel to get up clean. I'd say the bottom half is easy, but very pumpy 5c, and pretty relentless, top half solid VS 4c. Only seconded up it but didn't think it was quite intimidating enough for E1 with the amount of solid gear you can get in. Very hard for HVS but quite easy for 5c. A beast but well worth the effort!
Rob Cole - 13/Apr/09

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  • Route Grade Votings

    Total votes cast 227
    hard E1 0 of 82
    E1 0 of 82
    easy E1 36 of 82
    hard HVS 31 of 82
    HVS 15 of 82
    easy HVS 0 of 82
    hard VS 0 of 82
    VS 0 of 82
    easy VS 0 of 82
    hard 6a 0 of 77
    6a 0 of 77
    easy 6a 1 of 77
    hard 5c 4 of 77
    5c 27 of 77
    easy 5c 19 of 77
    hard 5b 26 of 77
    5b 0 of 77
    easy 5b 0 of 77
    3 Stars 19 of 68
    2 Stars 43 of 68
    1 Star 3 of 68
    0 Stars 2 of 68
    Bag of ..... 1 of 68

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