Chee Dale Lower

In many ways Chee Dale is the centre of Peak Limestone climbing. It is the most extensive area, has the most colourful history and is home to many of the area\'s most iconic climbs. Since the 1960s, many of the big names of British climbing have made their mark here, from early aid climbing to the free routes of the 1970s to the sport boom of the 1980s. Despite this undoubted quality, some climbers have a love-hate relationship with the dale. It is probably the lack of easy to mid-grade sport routes which puts some people off, although a ticklist of the classic trad routes should be enough to convince any sceptics of the quality of the climbing hereabouts. Chee Tor itself is a fine starting venue containing a set of routes that gradually increase in both difficulty and quality, culminating in the superb Apocalypse, The Golden Mile, Ceramic Extension and Tequila Mockingbird.
Fine though these trad routes are, the real wealth in Chee Dale climbing is sport routes. Although there is little on offer in the 6a/b grade range, above that, the climbing is as good as anywhere else in the Peak with classics such as Clarion Call, Countdown, The Sea is a Brown Paper Bag, Cry of Despair and Powerplant, to mention but a few.

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