The Roaches

The gritstone edges of the Peak District all have their own distinct character. It was the first time I had been to the Roaches and it has character to spare. Autumn really suits the Roaches, the low sun brings out the stunning colour of the rocks, which in turn complement the glorious display of the trees as their leaves put on a final show.   Mist rolls across the valley, creeps up the rocks and wreathes the tops in tattered coils.   We stayed in the Don Whillans memorial hut, a building which is embraced by and seems to be growing out of the evening rosy rock. A Staffordshire Petra.   Don Whillans, often in partnership with Joe Brown, was one of the great climbing pioneers of the 50’s and 60’s putting up some of the best routes behind the hut. We had the place to ourselves and made the most of it.   We had great weather all the time we were there and the two minute walk to the crag meant that we got lots of climbs in.   He had quite a few walks and were treated to fantastic views from the tops. I think we are all looking forward to a return.