Shire Combe Buttress

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Shire Combe Buttress
Rock Type Natural Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Trad
Approach Time 30 minutes
Area Gower
Sub Area Shire Combe to Southgate
WGS-84 Location 51.565584, -4.102537
OS Grid Ref. SS 543 872
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.566835, -4.087865
GR Parking Location SS 553873
Parking Postcode SA3 2DH
Base Elevation 5 metres (Other)
General Info
Faces Direction South
Aspect Sunny
Wind Sheltered Seldomly
Climbing Type Normal
Before/After Low Tide 1.5 hours (See Note)
Crags Within 400m

Anemone Wall, Pobbles Quarries, Ravens Cliff Gully, Shire Combe Buttress, White Cove, White Edge

GR 544 874


1½ hours either side of low water.


No bolting.



The routes on the east side of Shire Combe Buttress are accessed by descending the easy ramp leading out to sea (East Face) and traversing in on low to mid-tide ledges. Routes on the west side can be accessed by the cave formed by the slab resting against the headland, or by climbing round the seaward face. A vegetated expedition - Shire Combe West Face (Unknown 1965) climbs somewhere up the broad slabby area to the west of Shire Combe proper, but the first routes are on the west side (left side of the crag facing back inland).


  1. Main Slab 12m HD
    Start about 12m left (west) of the cleft between the buttress and the rear slab at a large, square, sloping ledge. Climb a short recessed area of easy rock, then go directly up over the upper slab to the top and a good ledge.

  2. Il Bel Camino 27m HVS,5a **
    A superb route, excellent rock and a unique atmosphere. The route is approached by scrambling through the cleft. Start directly below a boulder choke formed where the slab rests against the headland. Climb the cleft to the choke then move right around the choke to a groove which is followed to the top.

  3. Vice Squad 25m HVS,5a
    Climbs the chimney to the right forming the west side of the main buttress.

    There are a couple of easy scrambles up the loose front face of the buttress, Recessed Slab and Fossil Slab (J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1959). The next routes are on the east (right) face of the buttress.

  4. East Face 36m D
    This climbs the seaward arête of the right (east) wall of the main buttress. Continue up right via short walls from the ledge at one-third height.

  5. The Jackal 27m HVS,5a
    Start at the foot of the overhanging corner on the east wall. Climb the corner and/or slab until able to move left across the overhanging wall at about 12m to gain a large ledge on the arête. Continue easily up the wall trending left to the top or, harder, finish up the twin cracks on Eastern Promise.

  6. Eastern Promise 27m E2,5c *
    A fine pitch. Start as for The Jackal but continue higher up the corner and or slab almost to the overhang where it is possible to step left onto the arête then immediately back right on twin cracks

  7. Cwyrt-Y-Bella 27m E4,6b
    Take the flake and thin crack to the right of Eastern Promise to gain the roof right of Eastern Promise. Finish over the roof. The original 2PRs are long gone.

    The next routes start inside the cleft formed by the buttress and the headland.

  8. Painter’s Paradise 27m HVS,4c
    This climbs the slab right of Il Bel Camino to join it at its top groove. Approach by scrambling in from the chimney to the east just above the barnacles.

  9. Great Slab Climb 60m HS
    Follow Painter’s Paradise to the junction with the top groove of Il Bel Camino (possible stance). Drop down and traverse under the arch to come out at the west side of the main buttress. Climb up the slab above to finish.


  1. J.Talbot, D.Thomas 00.00.1959
  2. A.Sharp, J.Harwood 03.12.1983
  3. A.Berry, J.Preece 00.00.1990
  4. J.Talbot, D.Thomas 1954/55
  5. N.Williams, P.Williams 00.00.1980
  6. E.Pardoe, P.Kokelaar – Gullimot A1 00.00.1965 -FFA A.Sharp, J.Harwood 03.12.1983
  7. M.Crocker, J.Harwood 31.01.1993
  8. C.Hebbelthwaite, J.Beynon 00.00.1988
  9. P.Hinder, V.Rees 00.00.1972