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The Torrs - Rock climbing

Climbing beneath the viaduct

NEW MILLS TORRS – O.S. ref. SJ 999853

Rock – A quarried gorge of hard sandstone.
Character – the gorge lies under the town centre, beneath the 1884 Union viaduct (24m) near the confluence of the rivers Goyt and Sett. Vertical or over hanging rock faces with incut holds. Some in-situ pegs. Some abseiling descents can be made. Faces often remain dry even in rain, some climbs sheltered by the viaduct. Bouldering.
Grades – fifty established routes from VD to E5, mainly HVS and above.
General - Parking is available close by in the town centre. Torrs well sign posted. Shops, cafes and pubs close by.
Definitive guidebook – Kinder and Bleaklow (BMC 1990).

Recent Developments – permission granted to peg viaduct leg. Permission also granted to extend use to other rock faces, within the gorge. Many trees now removed to expose new rock faces and walls.

The climbs are described from left to right, beginning at the large square bay 12 meters to the right of the railed steps coming down from the bus station/Heritage Centre.

Alcove Crack – HVS 5a         21m. (1977)
Sustained climbing up the crack-line at the back of the bay.

Nine meters to the right is the impressive arête forming the left edge of the main wall:

(1) The Arête – E3 5b                         24m. (1976)
The ledge at 9m is reached via a deviation to the left. Follow the arête above. The thin crack to its right eventually provides some protection. A serious route.

(2) Mather Crack – E1 5b                    24m. (1977)
The obvious crack 2m right of the arête. Demanding.

(3) Electric Circus – E2 5c                   28m. (1977)
Three meters to the right, climb to the top of the large detached flake. Detour right (peg), go up and back, to reach the flake 4m higher. Move up awkwardly, poor peg, to reach the final leaning crack. Intimidating.

(4) Grim Reaper – E5 6b                    24m (1979)
The terrifying face to the right. An enigmatic lower wall (behind the ash tree) leads to a peg, then up slightly rightwards to a layaway flake at the roof. A swing left and up, with a hard move diagonally left, gains large ledges.

To the right is a stone wall, and 9m beyond it is a large wafer-thin flake:

(5) The Flake – VS 4b                         14m (1976)
Move right from the top of the flake to a continuation crack and the eventual safety of a big Oak tree.

Five meters to the right is:

Original Route – VD                           14m (1970s)
The series of flakes and steps leading diagonally up left to the large tree.

(6) Viaduct Wall – E2 5c                     14m (1977)
Three meters right, in the centre of the wall under the viaduct, an unprotected lunge leads to a narrow ledge. The mantel that follows is optional.

Six meters to the right, across a nasty steep groove, is the overhanging Bionics Wall:

The Redemption of a
Grit Pegging Antichrist – E3 5c         16m (1985)
Parallel to, and 2m in, from the left edge of Bionics Wall. From the left-hand end of an irregular ledge, climb direct to finish on a short groove.

(7) Bionics Wall – E3 6a                     16m (1979)
Gain the middle of the irregular ledge by fair means (6b) of foul. Move up, via a wafer, to reach a ledge, peg. Climb direct to another peg, and then pull up hard, slightly right, for a couple of moves before powering up to the top.

Hallelujah Chorus – E5 6b                 16m (1985)
An ultra pump above the right hand edge of the ledge.

(8) Heavy Duty – E2 5b                      16m (1977)
Start just left of the man made chimney to the right. Gain, and then climb, the hanging corner to a peg. Reach hard for holds on the right, then ape up slightly leftwards to the top.

There is excellent hard bouldering including a low level traverse along the base of the crag under the viaduct and also around the viaduct leg. Permission to add permanent pegs to the viaduct leg to aid traversing has been granted (BMC). Considerable tree clearing has opened up additional rock faces and chimney.

The Torrs are owned by New Mills town council who support and encourage the safe use of the climbing available in the gorge, and welcome suggestions
to improve it.

The Union Bridge is now bolted, providing 7 new sports climbing routes

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