Sean's Roof - Peak District
This tiny route was put up waaay back when lycra was still acceptable (the 90s) by Jerry Moffatt. Since then is has seen a few repeats, but over the last 10 years it has basically never dried out, therefore never had any real attention. Originally it was given french 8c til Malc Smith crushed it and said 8b+ maximum. Apparently it has lost some holds since then, making it a bit harder. Whatever, the climbing is brilliant, technical, sustained and horizontal!
The crux seems to be finding the thing dry enough to climb on – it has been at least 5 years since ive seen it dry, and may be even longer. This year, I had a peek while driving past and nearly crashed with surprise. It was dry! I got back there as soon as I could and started working the moves. It was originally climbed as a route, and the bolts still exist, but being so short (10 moves/5m high at most) it made sense to highball it (plus there is no walk in – you park in the cave your climbing on so carrying pads there is not an issue).
On first inspection, the "crux move" at the start didn’t feel too bad, but we found a sting in the tail - the last move required holding a huge swing off a jug, if you dropped this move (when highballing it) you risked a face plant onto the road. Dan Varian experimented with this beta but found that landing face first on tarmac can be quire painful. I didn’t dare try! We got our thinking caps on and realised that the big swing can be reduced by taking it off some closer but smaller crimps, then “heel over head” beta got you easily onto the jugs (once again, the heel ruins a hard sequence!).
The next time i drove over, it started to chuck it down 10 mins form the crag. I pushed on anyway to find that not only was it still dry, but the rain had cooled the air down and the rock was in amazing condition. It went down.
Roof climbing is very rare in England, and good quality roof climbing even more so. Sean’s Roof has to be the best routes/boulders of its style in the country. I think the window of opportunity to climb this is closing now the summer is coming to an end. Get to it or you risk another 5 year wait before you can try it again!