Wildboar Clough is one of the classic scrambling routes in the Peak District and many people say it's one of their favourites. Located by the Torside Reservoir, Wildboar Clough is easily accessible to anyone with a vehicle. Nearby parking makes things even easier, saving a massive walk in to the start of the trail.
Distance: 7.95 km
Approx Time: 3-4 Hours
Scramble Grade: 2 - 3
OS Map: OS1
Our Top Tips:
Take Climbing Gear - Scrambling and rock climbing can often toe a hazy line, especially the higher graded scrambles. This means that while most of the time you will be fine scrambling, you may find yourself facing a few short rock climb sections on the route. Generally you'll be fine without any harnesses, rope or protection whatsoever, but in the case of Wildboar Clough, you will find yourself much more equipped and able when you face the final waterfall rock climb. Not only that, but if you decide to back out from the route at any time, a rope and harness can help tremendously when trying to get back down the rock walls.
All Day Parking - For the extra £0.75 it costs to pay for all day parking, we highly recommend it. This means that you don't have a time limit on the scramble, and you can stop to catch your breath and admire the views while you're up there. It also means that if you were to find the route harder than you expected, you're not under a time pressure to get back before the ticket warden appears.
Soak Up the Scenery - The views from the top of the Clough were some of the best I have seen in the Peak District and it is well worth taking a moment to stop and really appreciate the local area. This is the reason I suggest paying for all day parking - trust me, the photo opportunities and viewpoints on route are on par with those you see plastered over Social Media. Carry some snacks and take a moment to sit on a dry rock, recharge your batteries and enjoy the moment.
Take a Map - The route is pretty obvious on a clear day. Just follow the rockfall and you'll be on the right track. Once you're at the top of the Clough though, making your way across the moorland to Torside Clough can be a bit harder - especially if the weather turns against you and reduces your visibility. Carrying an OS map & compass, and knowing how to use them can make a huge difference in getting home safely.
Wildboar Clough is surprisingly accessible from the main roads. Simply head toward Torside Reservoir Car Park (located a 3.5 mile drive North from Glossop). If the car park doesn't show on your sat-nav simply head for the reservoir itself and once there continue down the country road until you see the sign for parking. The car park costs £4.00 for 4 hours or £4.75 for the whole day and accepts coins only so make sure you take some change with you. Otherwise you'll be facing a 7 mile round trip to Glossop like I did to break down that £10 note. It's also a National Trust car park so if you're a member, you can park for free.
Getting to the Clough:
Once in the car park, take the left most path through the gate, and follow the pathway up through the memorial trees. You'll need to follow this all the way until you reach a bricked section on a track path which is the Pennine Way. Take a left here, towards a wooded area until you see the sign for Wildboar Clough (below) on the right hand side of the track. Follow the sign over a wooden style and follow the natural path.
Following this path will take you through some woodland for around 20 minutes as you climb higher into the peaks. Keep going until the path meets with the riverbed. You'll spot a small wood and wire fence running down through some bramble (marked with a wooden cross-section). Follow the fence down towards the rock where the Clough begins.
The Main Event:
It's time for the scramble! You'll find yourself scrambling over slippery rocks for around an hour as you climb up ever increasingly difficult rocks. It's fair to say that the further into the scramble you get, the harder it becomes. The incline becomes gradually steeper and the rocks become less solid as you go. There's several steep sections, but can be easily navigated by looking for good hand and foot placements, and the left hand side of the scramble tends to be a little friendlier in the steep sections.
When you reach the waterfalls, you'll want to stay to the left where there is less water. If it is the height of summer, you may opt to go directly up the waterfall face, but in less than perfect weather conditions we recommend you stick to the left and use the cracks and fault lines in the rocks and slabs to climb your way up and over.
The second waterfall is best climbed by moving left and scrambling through a gap between two big rocks until you can get your feet on a ledge that runs around the corner of the waterfall. The hand holds here are delicate but you are able to get both feet on solid rock so you should be able to shuffle yourself around the corner without too much difficulty.
The Final Climb:
After a little more scrambling from the two rock walls, you'll be faced by the crux of the scramble, and the final rock wall climb. From where you stand, the climb looks intimidating and impossible to scale - that said it is possible. We recommend you only attempt it if you're wearing shoes appropriate for climbing, or have adequate equipment to keep you safe should you slip from the wall.
It was at this point that Siân and I decided to turn around and head back down Wildboar Clough the way we had come. We had climbed well up to this point, and didn't fancy taking the risk of injury and ruining what had been a perfect weekend. We had a rope and a harness, but given how wet and slipper the rocks were, we made the sensible call and turned back.
If however you decide to ascend the final climb, look to the left of the waterfall. You'll see that all the rock appears to be slanted to the right. Because of this, you'll need to take it carefully so not to tip off and into the waterfall. Now, be prepared to get wet.
The climb starts in the corner at the bast of the waterfall, where you'll find a few cracks big enough for hand holds and a few jutted rocks where you can place solid feet. As you make your way up, look away from the corner and you'll see a crack running straight up the rock wall. It's filled with moss and grass, but there's room enough to place fingers around the crack corner to work your way upwards. From there, move left again on top of the rock boulder and wriggle your way up and over the final lip, using the protruding rock ledges as you go to get a decent push up. The top of the waterfall will be slippery, so take care when mantling over the top.
Back to Safety:
The main scramble is now complete! Well done you. From the top of Wildboar Clough, make your way across the worn path through the moorland towards Torside Clough, where you can either scramble down the Clough (which is much friendlier than Wildboar) or if you feel exerted enough, there is a worn pathway that leads through the woodlands back to the car park.
What did you think of the Wildboar Scramble? As a classic route, did it live up to your expectations? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Image Credit: Aaron Hall (IG: aaron.hall93)