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

Witchcraft Buttress

  • 55 - Witchcraft Crack

    Grade: 4b | First Ascent: -1976
    Rating: 0

    A poor climb which takes the obvious shattered crack at the left-hand side of Witchcraft Buttress.

  • 56 - Witchcraft Left-Hand

    Grade: 5b | First Ascent: -1981
    Rating: 0

    An indifferent start leads to a short, but interesting finish. In the steep wall on the right is a thin crack. Gain the base of this crack from the left, then climb it and move up right to gain a good flake. Continue up the wall on good holds to finish.

  • 57 - Witchcraft

    Grade: 5b | First Ascent: (1972/1975)
    Rating: 2

    Excellent wall climbing, with an awkward, but well-protected, traverse. Start two metres to the right and climb a short, bulging wall to a large square ledge on the right. Continue up the groove above the left side of the ledge, until it is possible to move up and right over a slight bulge. Step left to arrange some nuts, then traverse back right on small holds to gain an arête and follow this to the top.

  • 58 - The Dark One

    Grade: 5c | First Ascent: -1981
    Rating: 2

    Quite intimidating. After a bold start, protection improves for the more strenuous upper section. The big groove which runs from the right side of the ledge on Witchcraft to the left side of the large overhang. Climb the groove to a good hold at six metres (peg on left), move up (peg), then step right and follow a thin crack up to the overhang. Using undercuts, make a long reach and a bold move round to better holds and the top.

  • 59 - Spelling

    Grade: 6a | First Ascent: -1998
    Rating: 1

    An eliminate. Climb the arête to the right of The Dark One to a roof, then swing left on to Witchraft below a smaller roof. Reverse the traverse of Witchcraft, then finish up a steep, block-filled crack.

  • 60 - Prayer to Absent Friends

    Grade: 5b | First Ascent: (1971/1975)
    Rating: 0

    Bridge up the wide-angled corner four metres right of The Dark One to the roof. Pull up left into a short bottomless corner below a second roof and make a long reach right to a hidden jug, which enables a swing to be made on to the front face. Finish up a line of flake holds which are not always above suspicion.

  • 61 - The Ducking Chair

    Grade: 6a | First Ascent: -1981
    Rating: 2

    The wall on the right has a niche at five metres containing a peg. Gain this directly (crux), and climb through the apex of the niche to a crack in the roof above. From the crack, reach up and left to small holds and use these to get established on the headwall, then make an easier finish.

  • 62 - Black Orchid

    Grade: 5b | First Ascent: -1978
    Rating: 2

    Good technical climbing on steep rock. Well-protected at the bottom, but there is a poorly protected, thought-provoking finish. Using thin left-slanting cracks (peg), gain the niche on The Ducking Chair from the right (poor peg), then follow another crack back right to a ledge on the arête at the foot of a white groove. Climb this, then finish by moving up and left to gain a ledge just below the top. Serious in its latter stages.

  • 63 - Return of the Incubus

    Grade: 5a | First Ascent: (1979-83)
    Rating: 0

    Climb the narrow wall to the right of the arête on the right edge of Witchcraft Buttress. Continue directly over an overhang, then finish up and slightly to the left.

  • 64 - Hubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble

    Grade: 5b | First Ascent: -1981
    Rating: 1

    A right-to-left traverse across Witchcraft Buttress. Start as for Return of the Incubus and climb up to a ledge on the arête. Reverse the thin crack of Black Orchid into the niche (peg), and continue to the corner of Prayer to Absent Friends. Climb the corner to the second roof, then traverse left under it to gain a short arête by an awkward move. Step up and continue leftwards along the obvious line to finish.