28 September 1968 Stanage Edge in the Peak District is like a magnet to a new kind of set where, rather than money or position, climbing ability is the only standard you are judged on

Geoff, you look a treat hanging up there by your eyelashes.” The burly young man had apparently reached a critical point of no return on a sheer rock face, and was hanging motionless in the wind, undecided about his next move. The remark is typical of the good humour that crackles among the climbers who come to Stanage Edge. The Edge is a sudden outcrop of steepish rocks at the lip of a long plateau above the cosy little Hope Valley near Sheffield in the Derbyshire Peak Park. The climbers chaff one another mercilessly with repartee that is both witty and crude.

A whole host of people, mainly young and husky with beards and jeans, students and apprentices, but some older seasoned souls, come to Stanage Edge every weekend. The gritstone rocks are like a magnet. They swarm with enthusiasts. The road below can have as many as a hundred cars and there may be anything from 300 to 400 people climbing. Viewed from a distance, it’s a multicoloured antheap. Voices echo back loudly from the rock face. Ropes crisscross the rocks like the tendrils of creepers. There are children playing below while fathers and mothers hang above them. Non-climbing girlfriends try to huddle out of the wind and rain, and are ready to hand out hot coffee or tea from a Thermos whenever required.

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Source: The Guardian

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