Block Buttress

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Block Buttress
Block buttress-1920x.jpg
Rock Type Natural Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Trad
Approach Time 20 minutes
Area Gower
Sub Area Rhossili
Local Area Fall Bay to Mewslade
Geodata
WGS-84 Location 51.561053, -4.282313
OS Grid Ref. SS 418 871
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.565848, -4.270856
GR Parking Location SS 427 876
Parking Postcode SA3 1PH
Base Elevation 0 metres (Other)
General Info
Faces Direction South
Aspect Sunny
Wind Sheltered Seldomly
Climbing Type Normal
Seepage
Tidal
Before/After Low Tide 2.0 hours (See Note)
Crags Within 400m

Block Buttress, Catacomb Gully, Cathedral Wall, Conglomerate Cliff, Devil's Truck, Eyeball Wall, Four Gullies, Grey Wall, Hairy Dog Wall, Jacky's Tor, Little Block, Mewslade Short Wall, Molar Wall and White Edge, Richards Rock, Rolly Bottom Buttress, The Aisle, The Prows, The Pulpit, Thurba Head, Thurba West, Trident Gully and Ridge, Upper Jacky's Tor, Yellow Wall, Zero Gully



TIDAL STATUS

2 hours either side of low water.

BOLTING POLICY

No bolting.

PREAMBLE

The return of decent rock, routes and descriptions. This is the impressive, conspicuous buttress at the seaward end of the headland to the east of White Edge. Below and left of the highest point is a deep gully.

ACCESS

From the main Rhossili road, turn left in Pitton (south) to Great Pitton Farm (SS 427 876 or 51.556076, -4.267799) where there is a car park. The honesty box no longer exists and a system of seasonal tariffs is now in operation. Payment is made via a machine or paybyphone Ⓡ. See Pitton Parking for information on charges. Currently a maximum of £5.00 is charged for parking from 06.00 to 22.00.

Turn left at the entrance to the car park. Walk a short distance down a farm track then bear right past farm buildings to gain the path leading through a narrow valley to the eastern end of Mewslade Bay (12 mins walk).

Walk approximately 220m westwards. (20 mins from Pitton Farm).

DESCENTS

Descend by scrambling down to the east.

THE ROUTES

Block Buttress as per J.O. Talbot (1970) - Needs work! Use with caution.
  1. South West Edge - M
    The easy rib and scramble on the left of the gully on the south side of the buttress. 60m.

  2. Piz - HS,4b
    Climb the groove at the seaward end of the left (west) wall of the gully. 12m.

  3. Kleine - VS,4c
    A poorly protected line up the wall right of Piz and left of Thing. 12m.

  4. Thing - HVS,5a
    Follow the waterworn groove 7m right of Piz and just left of the seaweed covered rock. Take the easier corner above to finish. 21m.

  5. Funny Fish In A Hole - E1,5c *
    The steep crackline right of Thing has a tough but well-protected lower section, continue up the corner parallel to and left of Cima. 21m.

  6. Cima - E1,5b **
    A large rockfall removed the original upper part of this route - there used to be a massive overhang in place at the top. The sea has removed all trace of the debris! Start at the foot of the left of two cracks at the back of the gully. Climb the crack via a bulge to a recess (belay possible) then continue direct following the steep crack. A super route, high in the grade (although an easier variant is possible which traverses left from the recess, finishing as for Thing). 36m.

  7. Kaiser - HVS,5a **
    1. 15m As for Cima to the recess.
    2. 24m Step right onto a rib, then into the corner on the right. Follow this until it is possible to gain a traverse line on the right wall. Follow it to finish up the arête.

  8. The Limping Limpet - E5,6a ?
    A bold undertaking between Kaiser and Power Trap. From the niche of Power Trap, reach over the bulge to a good hold in the base of a faint runnel. Pull up and climb directly to the traverse of Kaiser. Finish up Power Trap. 31m.

  9. Power Trap - E3,5c ***
    Fierce, exposed climbing. A determined approach will work wonders at the start. Start at a steep crack system in the right wall of the gully. Climb the crack past a niche, then take a diagonal line leftwards, avoiding the arête, to finish just left of the arête. 36m.

  10. South Pillar Rib - HS,4a **
    This takes the narrow right-hand pillar of the gully. Variations are possible. Climb the left-hand groove and gain the pillar front. Continue up the pillar until it narrows to an arête. Finish rightwards taking care with the rock. 36m.

    To the right of these routes is a cave at half-height.

  11. Burn The Boss - HVS,5a
    Start in the cave. Move up the left rib of the cave and enter a crack. Follow it to the top as for South Buttress. 24m.

  12. South Buttress - S
    A poor route. Take a line right of a cave at half-height to a narrow rib, then trend leftwards to reach the centre of the wall above the cave. Finish direct. 50m.

  13. Deep Crack - HS
    Climb the deep crack right of South Buttress to join it. 50m.

  14. Big Step - D
    The fissure to the right of Deep Crack.

    On the upper east face of Block Buttress, overlooking Trident Gully, is a pair of cracks near the seaward edge. 50m.

  15. Picket Line - E1,5b
    Climb to the cracks and follow them to the top. This route is best gained via The Cloth Eared Brown Mullet (Trident Gully). 18m.

FIRST ASCENTS

  1. South West Edge - J.Talbot, R.Corbett 00.00.1962
  2. Piz - J.Talbot, R.Corbett 00.00.1962
  3. Kleine - J.Talbot, R.Corbett 00.00.1962
  4. Thing - J.Talbot 00.00.1964
  5. Funny Fish In A Hole - N.Taylor 02.08.1997
  6. Cima - J.Talbot, R.Corbett 00.00.1962
  7. Kaiser - R.Corbett, D.Jones 00.00.1962
  8. The Limping Limpet - M.Crocker, M.Ward 01.07.1987
  9. Power Trap - E.Pardoe, R.Griffiths 2pt 00.00.1966 FFA P.Littlejohn, S.Jones 00.00.1970
  10. South Pillar Rib - J.Talbot, R.Corbett 00.00.1962
  11. Burn The Boss - A.Sharp, J.Harwood 13.02.1983
  12. South Buttress - SUMC 00.00.1969
  13. Deep Crack - J.Talbot 00.00.1963
  14. Big Step - J.Talbot 00.00.1963
  15. Picket Line - G.Evans, J.Bullock 00.00.1984

Additional Photos