Ideas by Chris, words by Anne
The FRCC guide book says this of Esk Buttress:
“Without doubt one of the finest and most impressive crags in the district. The situation is idyllic; with large open walls looking out over the wild expanses of Upper Eskdale”
Esk Buttress is at 490m in a beautiful remote valley, and it can be reached in about two hours. You’re not likely to be fighting the crowds here. It is in the sun until mid-afternoon, and the rock dries quickly. There are many excellent climbs at a wide range of grades. Here’s my selection, listed from easiest to hardest, but there are many more!
Quite a bit of traversing, so needs a steady second
First climbed: 1932 / Current grade: HS*** / Length of route: 71m / Number of pitches: 5
Square Chimney Route/Medusa Wall
Five pitches through some great positions
First climbed: 1947 / Current grade: VS 4c*** / Length of route: 79m / Number of pitches: 5
The Red Edge
Never mega hard but just keeps coming
First climbed: 1962 / Current grade: E1 5a*** / Length of route: 60m / Number of pitches: 2
The Central Pillar
Great route with a bold fourth pitch
First climbed: 1962 / Current grade: E2 5b*** / Length of route: 98m / Number of pitches: 6
Technical and committing
First climbed: 1967 / Current grade: E2 5c** / Length of route: 54m / Number of pitches: 2
A great pitch, sustained absorbing climbing
First climbed: 1977 / Current grade: E3 5c*** / Length of route: 38m / Number of pitches: 1
When I first arrived at the crag I looked up and said, "What goes up there?!" It takes the headwall that the other routes avoid – a superb line. Hard to get into the groove then does not give up.
First climbed: 1974 / Current grade: E5 6a*** / Length of route: 89m / Number of pitches: 3
Do you have a favourite climb on Esk Buttress? Leave a comment and let us know.