The thing about Peak Grit is its simplicity. I prefer Yorkshire and its stubborn complexities but sometimes you just need a rest.
Of the myriad of options available in the Peak, Stanage offers a really easy relationship, you open your door and there it is,seemingly supine, a grey-stone climbers watermark.
Stanage demands to be dealt with as a whole, not just a day on an isolated buttress.
I don't remember how it started or where the idea came from but someone said.......
"Lets just start at one end and just climb things till we get to the other end, you know, Left to Right".
Simple really! Why not?
22nd October 2011 sees the Girl and me at a freezing Stanage Left Hand End gearing up at Start Buttress.
No big deal, just climbing what we wanted, looking at the lines, poking around in the forgotten corners.
11 visits later (of which only 9 involved climbing) and 70 odd routes later we have arrived at the Plantation path.
We have climbed nothing super hard, but we have been together, usually alone, looking out from the rock as 3 years have rolled past us.
Stanage, in a different mood every time has welcomed us in its stoic, stony fashion as we have relaxed amongst its folds and soaked in our own existence.
But this is the point, its not the difficulty of the engagement or the celebrity of the actors its your own involvement which makes these things worthwhile.
It doesn't need to be Everest or E12.
It just needs to force you to really take part. To recognise your existence
We both arrived at the Plantation path and looked South and what struck us most was the fact it was Bus Station busy.
People everywhere.Crags wrapped with ropes. Litter on the ground. No solitude.
Ready, Deep breath taken, we stepped across the Rubicon.
Stanage Popular ......We are coming to get you!