Black Buttress

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Black Buttress
Rhossili black buttress pano-optimised.jpg
Rock Type Quarried Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Sport
Approach Time 25 minutes
Area Gower
Sub Area Rhossili
Local Area Rhossili Upper Crags
WGS-84 Location 51.565474, -4.302656
OS Grid Ref. SS 404 876
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.569301, -4.28840
GR Parking Location SS 415 880
Parking Postcode SA3 1PP
Base Elevation 12 metres (Other)
General Info
Faces Direction North West
Aspect Partially Sunny
Wind Sheltered Mostly
Climbing Type Normal
Seepage Quick drying
Crags Within 400m

Black Buttress, Calcite Bay, Carbon Slab, Evening Wall, Fat Lady Wall, Keel Buttress, Kitchen Corner, Lifebuoy Buttress, Mermaid Wall, Platform Area, Poser Buttress, Retribution Wall, Sheepbone Wall, Silent Fright Buttress, Silent Walls, Sinister Sister Zawn, Sinners Walls, Trial Wall, Wedge Wall, Windy Buttress

Tidal Status


Bolting Policy

Retro-bolting permissible with first ascensionist's permission. Replacement of worn fixed gear on a point for point basis with bolts is permissible. New sports routes allowed as agreed recently by the NT and local BMC meeting.


About 40m right of Lifebuoy Buttress are some black walls.

This area may be suitable for families with older children if approached directly from the top of the crag.

This large area is the site of an old quarry as are most of these upper crags.

Over at Black Buttress Right a number of sports routes have been added making a very agreeable place for a relaxed climb on a sunny evening.


All access descriptions for Rhossilli Sea Level anmd Lower Crags start from the National Trust car park at Rhossili.

From the car park take the track heading out to Worm's Head for 800 metres to a point where the cliff edge comes close to the track and the track curves around to the left.

Continue along the track to a point where the it joins a wide grassy exspanse leading to the the Coastguard lookout.

From here walk 90 metres to a point on the clifftop just where there is a well-worn track leading down to the foot of Black Buttress.


All LOs. Even the trad route.

The Routes

Black Buttress Left

Black Buttress Left
  1. Unnamed 15m 6b
    There is a line of hangars on some suspect rock. Be aware.

  2. A Life without Porpoise15m 6c+
    Climb the arête to the right of Bragg to the grassy ledge. Climb directly up the steep wall above on thin edges (avoiding the loose groove to the right). Continue over the small overlap to the large ledge and the ring belay of the previous route.

  3. Bragg 12m V Diff
    Follow flakes and a corner in the centre.

  4. Little Spider 10m VD
    Up and 8 metres to the right of Bragg, Follow the crackline to the terrace.

Black Buttress Right

Black Buttress Right
Sport Grades
<= 6a+ 8
6b - 6c+ 3
7a - 7b 1
>= 7b+ 0

Further right in the quarry is a square block and lower down a crack seamed wall.

Black Wall - Right
  1. Sloppy Seconds - HVS,5b
    The crack in the left side of the block. Bolt with maillon to lower off.

  2. The Edge - E4,6a
    A perfect square-cut arête on the block. Unprotected. 5m.

  3. Bits'n Bobs - VS,4c
    The short but sharp retaining crack off the grass terrace. Bolt lower off.

  4. Spittle and Spume - Fr. 6c
    Short problem just left of the jam crack starting off the grassy ledge.

  5. Fiff and Faff - VS,4c
    Jam crack.

  6. Footsie - Fr. 6a
    The wall just right.

  7. Pied Noir - Fr. 6c+
    Start from the lower level up the groove, mantle then the tricky wall above.

  8. Wonderful Land - Fr. 6c *
    Excellent climbing to the shared belay.

  9. Monica's Dress - Fr. 5+
    Left at the short roof and up the twin cracks, excellent.

  10. Spit it Out - Fr. 6a
    Layback to gain the crack. Undercut flake leads to belay slightly to right.

  11. Black Friday - Fr. 7a
    Fingery direct up wall.

  12. Can't Swallow That - Fr. 5
    Crack to shared belay on left.

  13. Down In One - Fr 5
    The right hand of the two parallel cracks to the ledge, continue up the bolder arête to a single large ring bolt. 9m

  14. The Beautiful People - Fr. 6a+*
    Short but entertaining,the left side of the arête. 8m.

  15. Spit'n Polish - Fr. 6a
    The groove R of arête to shared belay.

  16. Spic'n Span - Fr. 6a
    The final little slab, tricky start to belay on arête.

Black Buttress Far Right

Even further right is a short pleasant slab.

Veggie Slab
Black Buttress Far Right
Sport Grades
<= 6a+ 5
6b - 6c+ 0
7a - 7b 0
>= 7b+ 0
  1. Fat End Of The Veg - Fr. 4
    The short arête.

  2. Vegimite - Fr. 4
    As for Vegazzle then move L at block to belay of Fat End of the Veg

  3. Vegazzle - Fr. 5+
    Faint corner, block, moving R to shared belay.

  4. Meat and Two Veg - Fr. 5
    Slab leading to corner.

  5. Veg? Ina - HS
    Grass ledge, corner to shared belay of Veginismus without recourse to bolts.

  6. Veginismus - Fr. 6a
    Slab then easing to a step left into shared corner.

First Ascents

Black Buttress

  1. Unnamed - Stu Llewellyn 2011
  2. A Life without Porpoise - Pete Blackburn, Paul Tucker 2014
  3. Bragg - N.Williams, P.Williams 00.00.1978
  4. Little Spider - Joe Gallacher, Darren Evans 25.05.2011

Black Buttress Right

  1. Sloppy Seconds - R. Thomas 2016
  2. The Edge - A.Berry 00.00.1997
  3. Bits'n Bobs - R.thomas 2016
  4. Spittle and Spume - G. Gibson
  5. Fiff and Faff - G. Gibson
  6. Footsie - G. Gibson
  7. Pied Noir - G. Gibson
  8. Wonderful Land - G. Gibson
  9. Monica's Dress - R. Thomas
  10. Spit it Out - R. Thomas
  11. Black Friday - G. Gibson
  12. Can't Swallow That - R. Thomas G.Gibson 2016
  13. 'Down In One - Joe Squire 2009
  14. The Beautiful People - G.Morris, A.Berry 00.00.1997
  15. Spit'n Polish - R.Thomas R.Phillips 16.08.2013
  16. Spic'n Span - R.Thomas G.Gibson 2016

Veggie Slab aka Black Buttress Far Right

  1. Fat End Of The Veg - R.Thomas Tim Hoddy 20.05.2017
  2. Vegimite - - R.Thomas & Tim Hoddy 20.05.2017
  3. Vegazzle - R.Thomas & Tim Hoddy 20.05.2017
  4. Meat and Two Veg - R.Thomas & Tim Hoddy 20.05.2017
  5. Veg? Ina - R.Thomas & Tim Hoddy 20.05.2017
  6. Veginismus -R.Thomas & Tim Hoddy 20.05.2017