This site is a digital copy of the 1997 BMC guidebook to rock climbing in Lancashire

Chimney Buttress

  • 68 - Paradox

    Grade: 5b | First Ascent: -1968
    Rating: 2

    Tucked away esoterically, but once viewed, this is a line that just has to be climbed. Jamming cracks don`t come much better than this and the airy traverse across to the arête is also very rewarding. Climb a diagonal crack just left of the left arête of the buttress, to a niche. Take the continuation crack above to its end. Hand-traverse right to finish easily up the arête. A direct finish is possible but detracts from the route`s quality.

  • 69 - Parasite

    Grade: 6b | First Ascent: -1980
    Rating: 2

    Hard, thin, technical, balancy climbing may, with luck, get you to the top. A direct line up the arête to the right, utilizing the iron loop for protection. Two pegs in the break at half-height.

  • 70 - Leucocyte Left-hand

    Grade: 5c | First Ascent: -1964
    Rating: 2

    Although the difficulties are short-lived, the climbing is excellent. Climb directly up to the iron loop and move right to gain a ledge. Move up left into a niche until a couple of hard moves lead to easier ground and the top.

  • 71 - Leucocyte Right-hand

    Grade: 4c | First Ascent: -1967
    Rating: 2

    This was Hank Pasquill`s first new route, though it was then much harder than it is now. Nevertheless, many VS leaders will be intimidated by it, until they commit themselves and find that the holds are really all there. From the large ledge on the Left-hand, move up into the short corner on the right and climb it and the crack above exiting on the right.

  • 72 - The Hacker

    Grade: 6b | First Ascent: -1973
    Rating: 1

    Three metres to the right of the iron loop is an obvious small ledge at four metres; gain this and pass it with difficulty to the overlap. Go over this and up to the break of Steeplejack. Climb the headwall boldly, trending left at the top. It is possible to traverse right to finish up Central Route, just above the overlap (E3, 6b).

  • 73 - Central Route

    Grade: 5b | First Ascent: -1967
    Rating: 3

    One of the best climbs on the buttress, never desperate, but always interesting. Five metres to the right of the iron loop is a large ledge at six metres. Gain this and climb the crack above to a peg. Move right and go up to jugs (5c if taken direct), then trend up and back left to the crack and finish up this.

  • 74 - Max

    Grade: 5c | First Ascent: -1968
    Rating: 3

    A strenuous and sustained climb with some interesting moves. Three metres to the right again, climb a thin crack to a shallow cave at nine metres. Climb into the overhanging niche above and exit from this by a hard move. Follow the continuation crack to the top.

  • 75 - Wombat Chimney

    Grade: 5b | First Ascent: -1966
    Rating: 1

    Two metres to the right of Max, follow a crack to the first break. Go up and leftwards to a rest below a tantalising flared chimney. Struggle up this to easy ledges on the right.

  • 76 - The Soot Monkey

    Grade: 6c | First Ascent: -1985
    Rating: 2

    Start two metres to the right of Wombat Chimney and climb a hard, boulder problem wall to a peg. Move up and right through a slight bulge, then trend back left. Make a scary move up and right to the break of Cleansweep (peg). From a standing position on this break, go left to a rest on the right arête of Wombat before moving back right to a strenuous finish.

  • 77 - Steeplejack

    Grade: 5c | First Ascent: -1982
    Rating: 2

    An interesting, rising girdle of Chimney Buttress, with good positions. Despite the territory that is traversed, the difficulties are relatively short. Climb the thin crack two metres to the left of Loopy to a ledge, then traverse leftwards along ledges into Wombat Chimney. Step down and move left into Max and thus into Central Route. Climb this to just over the overlap and foot-traverse left to finish up Leucocyte Left-hand.

  • 77a - Toxic Bilberries

    Grade: 5c | First Ascent: -1999
    Rating: 0

    Start up Steeplejack, then take a direct line up the blunt arête immediately left of Loopy. The first peg on Loopy can be used to protect the crux, but protection above that is poor.

  • 78 - Loopy

    Grade: 6a | First Ascent: -1970
    Rating: 3

    One of the original Wilton test pieces and still good value. The ground starts to rise up towards a corner bounding the right-hand end of Chimney Buttress. Midway up the slope, is a steep crack running up to a small monolith near the top of the crag. Follow the crack (peg) to a semi-rest below the monolith. There is a choice of three finishes; a) Move up left into the hanging groove but break out left onto the slab and climb it diagonally leftwards (hardest and best), b) move up left into the groove and fight up it, (more in keeping with the crack below), c) swing right into the green groove on the right of the monolith and follow it to the top; easier but a poor alternative.

  • 79 - Cleansweep

    Grade: 6a | First Ascent: -1988
    Rating: 3

    Big arms are essential on this long, strenuous pitch. Free-climbs the old aided girdle traverse, Big Dipper. From the second peg on Loopy, go left around the nose and traverse the fault line past two pegs into Wombat Chimney; finish up this. Can also be done starting up The Corner and gaining Loopy at nine metres by a short traverse (peg).

  • 80 - Friends

    Grade: 4c | First Ascent: -1980
    Rating: 0

    Climb The Corner until it is possible to step left and gain a niche. Finish directly through this.

  • 81 - The Corner

    Grade: 4c | First Ascent: -1965
    Rating: 2

    The corner which limits Chimney Buttress on its right gives good traditional climbing on small, but adequate holds.

  • 82 - L`arête

    Grade: 6a | First Ascent: -1992
    Rating: 0

    Climb the obvious arête on the right of the corner (hidden peg on right) and continue boldly to the top.