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

Assagai Wall

  • 68 - Boundary Groove

    Grade: | First Ascent: -1968
    Rating: 0

    Climb the blocky groove that bounds Assagai Wall on its right, then from the terrace at the top of this climb diagonally right to the top.

  • 69 - Assagai

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

    One of the original routes in the quarry and still one of the best. Start from the left end of the terrace above Boundary Groove. Step down easily for about two metres, then traverse left along the obvious line (white rock) then step up and left again to a small ledge. Climb up to the horizontal break, step right and finish up the amazing fluted groove: a splendid pitch.

  • 70 - Grave Doubts

    Grade: 6b | First Ascent: -1998
    Rating: 0

    A right-to-left traverse of Assagai Wall, starting from a belay in the blocky groove at the start of Sleeping Sickness. Cross the thin crack at the start of Sleeping Sickness and move left along a faint depression until it is possible to move up to a good flat hold. Make a long reach left to gain a small ledge and then a step down to the niche on Doubting Thomas. Move left to a peg and the good hold on Sense of Doubt, which is followed past another peg and a very long reach to a positive, flat hold. Move left along a crack system which joins the traverse of Rumal at its junction with Sour Milk Groove. Move left and climb the wall above about two metres left of Sour Milk Groove, as for Day of the Beanpoles.

  • 71 - Sleeping Sickness

    Grade: 5c | First Ascent: -1976
    Rating: 2

    Technical and balancy to start, strenuous and committing to finish. This superb pitch is marred only by the junction with Assagai at half-height. Start up the blocky groove to gain a very thin crack. Follow this, thin wires, and the wall on its right to the traverse of Assagai (this section also makes an excellent bold start to Assagai at 5a). A Friend is helpful below the overhang, which is taken by the small groove; difficult and blind. Follow the crackline to meet Assagai near the top or continue straight up the tapering pillar.

  • 72 - Javelin

    Grade: 5b | First Ascent: -1976
    Rating: 2

    A contrived line but offering continuously enjoyable climbing. Follow Sleeping Sickness to the traverse of Assagai, follow this but continue left to a hidden ledge in the centre of the wall. Move up with difficulty to the break and finish up the central fluted groove.

  • 73 - Scary Monsters

    Grade: 6a | First Ascent: -1984
    Rating: 1

    Start at the lowest point of the wall and climb up to a faint seam at six metres (two pegs may not be in place). Move up (crux) and right, then go back leftwards to a shallow corner which meets the end of the Assagai traverse. Finish up that route.

  • 74 - Doubting Thomas

    Grade: 6b | First Ascent: -1984
    Rating: 2

    More sustained and possibly more serious than Scary Monsters. Up to the break it relies upon peg runners and is graded on the assumption that these are in place. Start at the foot of the ramp on the left, at the scar left by a trundled pedestal. Climb directly to two incut holds, make an awkward move to gain a niche and pass the bulge above by a wild leap. Finish up the wall to the right of Javelin.

  • 75 - A Sense of Doubt

    Grade: 6b | First Ascent: -1978
    Rating: 1

    Easier than the two preceding routes but still serious. Start on the ramp above the remains of the pedestal. Step right on to the wall and go up for three metres to a break. Move left to a good hold and go up to a horizontal crease. Continue to the traverse line of Rumal, and finish up the flutings of Javelin. Three pegs in place.

  • 76 - Day of the Beanpoles

    Grade: 6b | First Ascent: -1984
    Rating: 0

    Technically the hardest route on the wall, but well-protected. Start three metres left of A Sense of Doubt, directly below Sour Milk Groove. Climb directly up the wall (peg, may not be in place) then finish up the wall to the left of Sour Milk Groove.

  • 77 - Clotted Cream

    Grade: 5b | First Ascent: -1997
    Rating: 1

    An unlikely line that packs a lot into a short distance. Start from the right-hand end of the sloping ledge at the top of Schizoid Man, immediately below and right of the start of Rumal. Ascend the short wall to the break, pull through into a faint scoop (crux), then continue up the wall above on excellent rock.

  • 78 - Sour Milk Groove

    Grade: 5a | First Ascent: -1976
    Rating: 1

    Start at the top of the ramp. Step right on to the wall and follow the horizontal break (Rumal) to an awkward move into the left-hand of the three fluted grooves; follow this to the top.

  • 79 - Rumal

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

    The obvious horizontal break gives some good climbing with fine positions, after a short crux at the left-hand end. It is possible to climb it in both directions, but it is traditionally done from left to right, starting at the top of the ramp.

  • 80 - Truffle

    Grade: 4c | First Ascent: -1977
    Rating: 2

    The top traverse is easier than it appears, but nevertheless, the positions make it very worthwhile. It is best done from right to left. From a small ledge about three metres below the top of the crag and just left of Very Ordinary Route, step awkwardly left on to the front of the wall. Continue with plentiful holds and runners and at the end, step round to belay in the corner.

  • 81 - Twentieth Century Schizoid Man

    Grade: | First Ascent: -1967
    Rating: 0

    The slabby ramp up the left side of Assagai Wall is easy but not well-protected. Finish up the short wall at the back of the bay on good holds.