Raven Tor

The Green Alternative
The Green Alternative (7c+) - a short and powerful roof problem.

This major section of one of the most important Peak crags currently has only one topo.

Character

At its highest point the crag reaches 40 metres whilst on the righthand end the routes are short, extended boulder problems. The contrasting styles of climbing provide long stamina routes like Indecent Exposure, Body Machine and The Prow, to boulder problem routes like Pump Up the Power, Weedkiller and Out of My Tree. The thing most lacking is good warm up routes and bouldering, fingerboards or even Sardine and Tin Of are used for this.

It's popularity unfortunately means many of the easier lines, and some of the harder ones, are now very polished. The rock quality varies but some sections are shattered and holds often break, sometimes making the routes harder. Although the list of routes here seems quite long bear in mind that many of the routes listed are often variations, extentions or link ups of other routes.

Aspect

Despite the difficulty of the routes here, its ease of access and the number of routes and boulder problems mean Ravens Tor is nevertheless a popular crag. You can climb here in a range of conditions including the pouring rain. Some sections seep and take a long time to dry out but other sections remain dry for most of the year. In the warmer months the main problem is the full sun. The crag gets shade all morning so some people opt for an early start at that time of the year.

The Topos

The history of Ravens Tor has been almost that of an outdoor climbing wall. Before the invention of modern indoor walls climbers from Sheffield and Manchester used 'The Tor' as a place to train. In the winter months much of it remained dry and you could even climb here during a downpour. People would do laps routes and then link them into other routes. If one were to list all the possible variations and link ups possible very complicated topos would emerge.

For the sake of clarity and brevity some of the topos synthesize the main lines into single pitches that seem to make most sense. Before the advent of sport climbing almost all routes went to the top of a crag for the simple fact that climbers usually had to get back down and there were no lower offs. With bolts came chains to simply lower back down. In France routes didn't necessarily go to the top of the crag any more. Sometimes good climbing could be found below a blank roof. At other times the upper half might be too easy to bother with. To the French as long as routes ended at a natural stopping place—easy ground, a rest or a big jug—a bolt belay could be placed there to mark the end of a climb. Many routes at Raven Tor follow this tradition.

This guide is not intended to be definitive. It's simply one interpretation of the climbing at Raven Tor. The routes are described in their fullest longest version but intermediate lower offs are described and the lower grade to these points is given. No guide to Raven Tor has included every link up, variation or minor route at Raven Tor. This guide has been intentionally sparce. Feel free to climb where you want. If you want to link Weedkiller into the first pitch of Rooster Booster and finish up Sardine, as one visiting French climber did (Ello Ethique, 8a-ish) feel free.