Chew Valley's Wimberry Rocks (aka Indian's Head)

(click the image above to zoom for more detail)

For more info see the BMCs: Moorland Gritstone, Chew Valley. Peak climbs series four.

Described as "the most dramatic and arguably the finest grit crag in the peak", Wimberry rocks sit high above Dovestones reservoir & the village of Greenfield; roughly twenty miles east of Manchester. Rolling moors, peat bogs and dry stone walls swirling around the fabricated water enclosures, characterize the scenery.

First ventured upon as early as 1909, and by the 1950s boasted forty routes. Today's tally is around eighty & includes some of the Peak's proudest new offerings.


1 -Pinball Wizard E2 5c. Short Crack to direct finish via small edges.

2 -Blind Faith E3 6a. Vague arÍte right of  pinball Wizard, don't escape right.

3 -Eight Meter Corner D. Easy corner.

4 -Poltergeist VS 4b. ArÍte to a short crack. The right-hand start is Blocked Chimney VD+. Chimney, swing left at the overhang.

5 -ArÍte du Coeur E4 5c. Right-hand side of the arÍte with a sloping pull over the overhang to finish.

6 -Ornithologist's Corner VS 5a. An area classic, corner crack then step right & jam.

7 -Surprise ArÍte HVS 4c. The ArÍte's right-hand side, finish in the final crack of the prior route.

8 -Surprise VS 4c. The name implies the baffling nature of the move around "the beak".

9 -Yellow Bellied Gonk E4 6a. Direct to the hanging arÍte, which is as tenuous & sloping as the final mantel.

10-Overhang Chimney VD. Face left and squirm. Finish left or direct.

11-Freddie's Finale HVS 5b. Steep fist jamming, established by Joe Brown in 1948 (5.10a/b).

12-Double Take E6 6b. Traverse right from above Freddie's first bulge, scratch around for pro then finish via marginally easier ramp-line.

13-Wimberry Overhang E5 6c. Steep start gains holds for big dynos (peg), with an easy slab finish.

14- Space Oddity E5 6c. From right of the overhang move up & hand traverse to the short thin slanting crack, follow it to the rib above.

15-Space Shuffle E4 6a. Crack climb to the second chock-stone, keep traversing left to the overhangs lip, move up, trending left to finish.

16-Hanging Groove VS 4c. Steep chock-stone crack into the groove. The headwall right of the upper section provides an E3 5c variation.

16a-Order of the Phoenix E8/9 6c. Through the roof, then the front of the buttress using the right arÍte & a couple o' pebbles.

17-Coffin Crack VS 4c. Straight up the crack, one of many pre-1950s classics.

17a-Bad Attitude Brothers E3 6a. Step left across the break from Coffin Crack's foothold. Finish up arÍte then scooped slab.

 18-Berlin Wall E6 6b. From the small shelf 15ft up coffin crack reach a small pocket (hand placed peg), diagonal right to "thank god" pocket, up pebbled wall to the roof & traverse right joining Trident.

18a- Sectioned E8 6c. Direct through the bulge and pebbled centre of the wall to twin pockets common with the other routes. One of three finishes is available, I chose the Tool's feeling it to be a better line than the bolted Wristcutter's Lullaby (E5) or right exiting Berlin Wall (E6). From a stunt rigging perspective: Gear way right for the start should pull one away from the blocks onto the grassy terrace..

19-Neptune's Tool E6 6c. Thin left slanting crack (first stopper (RP3) placed with a stick) to good stance, continue up & leftwards via pockets, finish through a bulge just right of Coffin Crack.

20-Wristcutter's Lullaby E6 6c. In the ranks of best hard routes on grit. When Neptune's Tool wanders left go straight up the pebbled wall to a loose flake & two old bolts in the roof, through the roofs trending slightly left.

21-Desecration E3 6a. From the "Trident" block step down then move delicately across the wall to Coffin Crack.

22-The Trident HVS 5a. Obvious groove containing the fluted block; the routes namesake, 1948.

23-MaDMAn E7/8 6b. Follow the blunt pebbled arÍte paralleling Trident on its right. From a stance leftwards climbing links with Trident at the block.

24-Cheltenham Gold Cup E4 6c. Leftward climbing from the large groove's base leads to a horizontal pocket, the faint groove above (crux) eases to a slab above the hidden slot.

25-Bertie's Bugbear S 4a. Follow the well protected groove, established early 1900s.

26-Thorn in the Side-wall E4 6a. Leave Bertie's at a pocket on the right wall. Swing out & climb directly up the wall with one slight leftward deviation for pro.

27-Sick Bay Shuffle E2 5b. Traverse boldly right after 40ft of Bertie's & head for the scooped arÍte. Direct project up the arÍte?

27a Dangermouse E9 6c. ArÍte direct to the finishes of Sick Bay Shuffle & Piety?

28-Piety E2 5c. Follow Blasphemy's thin crack to the stance, traverse left over the scoop to the left side arÍte.

29-Blasphemy E2 6a. The thin crack-line, increasing in difficulty all the way to the mantel finish.

30-Blue Lights Crack HVS 5a. The striking corner crack, Green Streak HVS 5a, can be added by traversing right from the top of the corner finishing in the hanging crack.

31-The Possessed E7 6b. Climb to the ledge, follow the vague crack to a bold & sloping exit.

32-Sacrilege E2 5c. After 30ft of Starvation chimney, jam the horizontal crack in the cleft's left wall, exiting awkwardly onto the ramp.

33- Starvation Chimney VD+. Climbing Climbing/caving, follow the cleft and tunnel behind the block (overhang). Left Leg HVS 5a, gains the left hand crack at the overhang. Right Leg HVS 5a ventures up the nasty looking cleft on the overhang's right. Splits HVS 5a, wide bridging straight up.

33a Baron Greenback E10 6c. Straight up the prow.


34-Appointment with Fear E7 6b. A stunning line to be precariously executed. From the shelf on Route One (just above ledge) pull onto the left wall, move up a little, then traverse left (crux) to a stance on the arÍte, boldly finish up its right side. E6 with the old aid bolts pre-clipped

34 Unknown Stones E9 6c. Wall between Appointments with Fear & Death

34a-Appointment with Death E9 6c. After the establishing initial move on to the wall from Route one (shared with Appointment with Fear) finish direct.

35-Route One S 4b. Classic well protected clean corner crack.

36-Purple Rat E2 5b. The lower and upper walls between Routes 1 & 2, side runners above the ledge, finish by laybacking Route Two's upper left arÍte.

37-Route Two VS 5a. Fifteen feet right of Route One; thin crack to a ledge, step right to corner, onto the knob then back left into the upper crack.

38-Virgin Flier E3 6a. Takes the blunt rib above Route Two's knob.

39-Halina E2 5c. From the knob gain the ramp (right) after passing the rude bulge. A slightly less scary finish exits the unprotected ramp (after the crux) in favour of Virgin Flier's rib.

39a-Michael Knight Wears a Chest Wig E7 6c Stating at an obvious porthole left of Twin Cracks heads up the wall & finish laybacking up the left arÍte.

40-Twin Cracks S 4b. Cracks left of the large corner. Brushed project L of this route?!

41-Easy Descent, Moderate.

42-Squirmers Chimney S. Deep and narrow cleft, crawl inside and crawl towards the light. Chockblock E5 6b takes the slab right of #42 & The Quiver E3 5b climbs it's R hand arÍte.

43-Consolation Prize E5 6a. Hard undercut start to exposed arÍte climbing without protection.

44-Slab Climb VD+. Follow the left side of the slab, don't skate, polished routes are scarce at Wimberry.

45-Herring-bone Slab HVS 4c. Follow the slabs right edge for 30ft then step left at the sloping ledge. Direct finish is E1 5a.

46-Tap Dance E3 5c. The buttress' left side via breaks and undercuts.

47-Charm E3 5c. Fine pebble pulling up the face's centre.

48-Climb with no Name E5 6a. Gain the arÍte from a short groove & follow the exposed right side.

49-Cooking Crack S 4b. Take the crack direct with an awkward undercut beginning.

50-Sloping Crack VD. Easy climbing leads to the curving wide crack.

51-Piedra Verde E6 6a. Step from the boulder onto the steep wall. Directly & tenuously past the arÍte & pebbled slab. Direct up the steep buttress nose, not out to the left as marked in current (RockFax) guidebook.

52-Wall and Bulge E1 5b. The short wall to an overhang (runner) then right and into the scoop. Direct into the scoop is E2 5b.

52a-Appointment Missed E4/5 6b. The roof direct between 53 & Twilight zone. Gear in the friable flakes in the roof, finish up either arÍte as the wall would be contrived.

53-Dream of Blackpool Donkeys E3 5b/c. Traverse the break to the arÍte then up its right side.

54-Twilight Zone E4 5c. Right side of the blunt, undercut arÍte. Gear in the break for the curved upper rib.

55-Cranberry Crack VS 5a. Just to the right of 54 is a short, awkward to enter, undercut wide crack, classic.

56-Curving ArÍte VD. Several metres right is Fisher's Chimney HD, from its base step left onto the arÍte to pleasant easy climbing

57-Kvick Chimney HS 4c. The obvious, awkward chimney splitting the buttress. The buttress' left arÍte (staying on the right-hand side) is Mellow-Drama E1 6a/b.

58-Village Green E3 6c. Right side of Kvick buttress. Desperate undercut arÍte (on either side), over the roof & finish direct. 

59-Cloudberry Wall VS 5b. The centre of the wall on small edges. Just right of the corner.

60-Cave Groove VS 4c. V-shaped groove above the cave's left entrance. Bridge then jam.

61-Cave Rib E2 5b. The outside face of the cave via the right rib to a ledge. The short steep final wall proving very interesting.

62-Pulsation Crack VS 4c. Follow the crack around the arÍte into the shallow corner, jam & layback the new crack. Following the arÍte's thin crack is Kanawana E1 6a. Escapable but fun problem.

63-Ding HVS 4c. Left of centre on the slab to one's right. Layback onto the shelf then the thin slab.

64-Dong VS 4c. Just to the right. Hairline crack and ramp to an easy finish.

65-Green but Sure E1 5a. Climb up to the hanging slab, delicately step on then finish direct.

66-Northern Ballet E3 5a. Step onto the slab as for Green but Sure then traverse left to the arÍte and finish with it.

67-A Walk with Whittaker E3 6a. From the block gain entry into the scoop then finish direct to & up Northern Ballet's arÍte. 



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