When the sea retreated from the Peak District millions of years ago we were left with crags formed of a compact grey rock called gritstone. This has left us with, as well as a stunning landscape, an amazing adventure playground. Many climbers call gritstone ‘God’s Rock’ reflecting its unique climbing characteristics and the many thousands of different vertical challenges it offers. Add to this easy accessibility and the many varied locations and we have the perfect venue for group activities. Oh, and it also helps that there is a homely pub near one of the main access points and the Burbage Valley is easily accessible from Sheffield (leaving the option to house the group in a city venue) or close to welcoming villages like Hathersage.
Although many variations are possible, a firm favourite with our many group clients is our Burbage Gritstone Challenge. The Burbage Valley is a beautiful gritstone crag rimmed cirque with user friendly paths lapping its fringes. On one side there is the Cark Walk iron age hill fort site and there are convenient access points to the north and south.
This challenge involves a circumnavigation of the valley which can be combined with a stunning abseil and/or climbing session on the gritstone crags. We have run challenges there in many ways. Many teams like to take the challenge of navigating their way around the valley (a great team building activity) and along the way we set clues for them to find. Some like to work as one team while others split into teams to add an element of competition.
With the walk as the central theme of this circuit it is then possible add some vertical challenges. A popular choice is for the group to navigate to one of the crag venues to participate in an abseil and then, having continued the walk, the group will come to a separate venue for a climb. This is a brilliant option for large or small groups and, as the vertical adventures can be completed by either all participants or just certain group members, it can be very much challenge by choice.