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<text class="heading1">Northern Buttress</text>
new="false" number="null." src="NorthernButtressPrint.jpg"
width="800">null</image><text class="text" new="false"
number="null.">This is the first major buttress at the RH end of the Pipes. Routes here are shorter, less serious and often sunnier. If you are not familiar with the Pipes then climbing routes on this buttress is less likely to end in an epic encounter. Access to Northern Buttress is via the track from the LH end of the parking bay which crosses the Organ Pipes Track and continues on up the hill. Where the track meets the base of the buttress, go up R where the best routes are found on the sunny-side of the Lower Cliff. The LH side or dark-side is more broken and is bounded on the L by Chockstone Gully, which leads up to rear of the Notch.
The ridgeline of the buttress is split halfway along by a gap in the ridge known as the Notch. The pinnacle immediately L (east) of the Notch is Buttress Pinnacle (rap station). The cliffs R (west) of the Notch comprise the Upper Cliff area. The pinnacles along the Upper Cliff skyline form Sentinel Ridge (14). Descriptions begin with climbs on smaller buttresses on the R and uphill of the main Buttress and are described R to L.
Descent: Check each separate crag for details.
number="null.">Northern Buttress Upper Cliff
number="null.">Routes on this section of Northern Buttress are reached either by scrambling R from the Lower Cliff or driving to the summit, walking down and rapping in (See Descent below). The top of the routes between The Numbwaiter and Teddy Bears Picnic are located near the top of Sentinel Ridge. Abseil in from the top of Sentinel Ridge.
Hand Jive, Cascade Crack and Drunks Dilemma are best accessed by scrambling R from Plomat (a Lower Cliff route).
Descent: Either downclimb Exit Entry (see below) and descend gully to the Shipwreck (prominent viewing point under the Columns) or abseil from the Amphitheatre rap station. The rap station was replaced in 2007. Marked by a cairn and blue spot on the rock. 30m to Amphitheatre Ledge and Upper Cliff routes, or 50m to the Gully floor.
extra="" grade="19" length="45m" name="The Numbwaiter "
stars="">Wide but reputedly interesting. 10m R of Kakapo Corner, at the far RH side of Northern Buttress, two facing corners form a shallow wide chimney. Climb the RH crack until forced to chimney, then follow the L hand crack to the top. N. Deka, D. Stephenson, J. Otlowski, May 1989.
extra="" grade="17" length="35m" name="The Nongs Are On Next "
stars="">Nongs beware. The third line R of Kakapo corner, best accessed by abseil. (1) 17m. Up the wide crack to a big vegetated ledge with large tea tree. (2) 18m. Up the clean hand crack to the top. A. Adams, G. Cooper, Jan. 1991.
extra="" grade="21" length="20m" name="Kakapo Corner "
stars="**">Follows a shallow corner that meets the final pitch of Sentinel Ridge. Abseil to the ledge and jam the flake to the base of the corner. Jam past a short thin crux move to the top. Finish as for Sentinel Ridge. D. Bowman, L. McLeod, Dec. 1977. M. Law, D. Bowman, Feb. 1978.
extra="" grade="19" length="20m" name="Teddy Bears Picnic "
stars="">Just L of Kakapo Corner is an obvious corner crack.
extra="" grade="18" length="8m" name="Hand Jive "
stars="">Not just a pleasant crack, but a nice face as well. Directly below Kakapo Corner, a small east facing buttress is split by a clean hand crack which can be reached by scrambling R from Plomat. Climb the crack past a bulge to the top of the flake, and then up the short wall to the top. D. Stephenson, N. Deka, J. Otlowski, May 1989.
extra="" grade="25" length="70m" name="Cascade Crack "
stars="**">So named as a whiskered gentleman taunted the climbers with cans of beer throughout the first ascent. The last pitch now goes free and can also be reached by a scramble from the R. Start in the gully R of Plomat. (1) 25m 14. Scramble up the gully, trending R, to a small ledge. (2) 25m 14. Climb the gully/chimney, which develops into a series of wide cracks, to a large ledge. (3) 20m 25. Traverse L to a crack. Up the crack, then move R and up the corner past the overhang. Three U's protect the first third (technical crux) then a #2 Friend or #2 Camalot, small rocks and cams protect the very sustained upper crack. A. Keller, J. Veasey, Apr. 1969 FFA: E. Peacock, Jan. 1994.
extra="" grade="" length="" name="" new="false" number=""
stars="">A climb, Drunks Dilemma, was put up around here by S.Peeny, R. Lidstone and J Peterson in 1962 but can't be located from the original description</climb><text
class="heading2">Climbs from the Notch
number="null.">These routes are on the Upper Cliff and are usually done after a climb on the Lower Cliff. Access either by rapping from the Buttress Pinnacle rap station for 8m into the notch or by climbing up Chockstone Gully.
Descent: As for Upper Cliff
extra="" grade="17" length="25m" name="Rosey Specs Crack "
stars="">This climb on the north side of the Tombstone was the scene of some early epics. Start as for Sentinel Ridge, a couple of metres above The Notch. Small holds lead 3m R to a chimney on the north side of the Tombstone. Follow the chimney past a ledge until a crack can be reached on the L. Jam a couple of metres up the crack and then follow a line R to another crack that continues to the top. L. Closs, B. Kennedy, Oct. 1970.
extra="" grade="16" length="30m" name="No Longer Champions "
stars="">A quaint pitch. Start in the crack immediately R of Teenage Rockstars, and about 15m lower down in some bushes. Climb the jam crack through a bulge and over a bush to a roof. Traverse L under the roof to make an airy step onto a lichenous sloping ledge. Continue to top. E. Peacock, S. Ford, Nov. 1991.
extra="" grade="19" length="15m" name="Teenage Rockstars "
stars="">Start as for Sentinel Ridge, at The Notch. Move up and R to the north side of the Tombstone. Climb the steep widening crack between Rosey Specs Crack and Tombstone Direct. M. Law, D. Bowman, Feb. 1978.
extra="" grade="15" length="15m" name="Tombstone Direct "
stars="">Start as for Sentinel Ridge, at The Notch. Up the crack on the east face of the Tombstone, the first gendarme on Sentinel Ridge. M. McHugh, R. McMahon, C. Viney, Mar. 1970.
extra="" grade="14" length="70m" name="Sentinel Ridge "
stars="**">An alpine style adventure that follows the pinnacle skyline of Northern Buttress. From the Notch, scramble across the chockstone and belay opposite. (1) 15m. Climb up 2m to a ledge. Hand traverse 4m L to the base of a hidden corner. Up the corner, exiting awkwardly onto a platform. (2) 16m. Climb through the squeeze on the R then up to gain the sunny side of the ridge. Cross the chockstones and mantle onto a broad ledge on the RH side. (3) 12m. (a) Chimney around the chockstone wedged between the next two pinnacles and continue up to exit R onto ledge. Easier than it looks. (b) Climb the zigzag crack (17)
number="null.">Northern Buttress Lower Cliff</text><text
number="null.">This section contains the majority of routes on Northern Buttress. The sunny (RH) aspect consists of crack lines up a steep wall, whereas the LH side is more broken.
Descent: A memorable 45m abseil from the rap station (backed up 2007) at the top of Buttress Pinnacle descends in devious fashion through some large chockstones and directly down the Chasm. Alternatively (and much less appealing) is a 25m abseil down to the southern side of the Buttress from the rap station and scramble down into Chock stone Gully: a notorious place to get your ropes jammed.
extra="" grade="16" length="40m" name="Plomat "
stars="">The chimney line 10m R of Little Chasm. (1) 24m. Follow the chimney to a good ledge. (2) 9m. Continue up the chimney behind the big dangerously loose block and out around the top one. (3) 7m. Up to join Sentinel Ridge. R. McMahon, L. Closs, Sept. 1973.
extra="" grade="10" length="22m" name="Little Chasm Buttress "
stars="">Three small introductory routes, which can be used to bypass the first pitch of the Labyrinth. Start at the base of the buttress below the Little Chasm. Three alternatives: (a) Opossum Crack: From the R hand side of the entrance to the Chasm, climb the crack/chimney between the buttress and the main cliff. (b) Little Chasm Wall: Start at the L of two large semi-detached boulders at the front of the buttress. Ascend the boulders and continue, first L then R, to the top. (c) The crack to the R of the detached boulders. Little Chasm Wall: R. Bennett, T. Christie, Oct. 1965. Opossum Crack: T. Christie, F. Morley, May 1966.
extra="Þ" grade="22" length="30m" name="Boys Games "
stars="*">A popular climb on the front of the buttress R of Excellence. Some natural gear can be placed after the first bolt (a half friend, a #2 friend and then a wire). The climbing gets harder after the second bolt. The fourth bolt is best clipped when at chest height as it is pretty strenuous otherwise. The run-out is not excessive. Six bolts in all (largish heads, take regular RP hangers), the top two with fixed hangers. R. Parkyn, 1992.
extra="Þ" grade="22" length="35m" name="Excellence "
stars="**">An exciting climb up the steep buttress to the R of The Chasm. Scramble to the top of a blocky pillar below a short R facing corner on the R side of the buttress. Start up the corner but step around L and climb the face (little protection) to the small roof. Undercling L on the horizontal break and climb the steep finger crack to easier ground. S. Parsons, A. Herington, Dec. 1982.
extra="Þ" grade="25" length="35m" name="Vanity "
stars="**">A sustained route up the Excellence buttress with 4 BRs. Start up the easy line just R of the Chasm to gain the L end of the blocky pillar. Move straight up the thin wall to the horizontal break, traverse R (reversing the Excellence undercling), and climb the R side of the face past the bolts to the top. C. Shepherd, 1984.
extra="Þ" grade="12" length="56m" name="The Labyrinth "
stars="">An amusing excursion with many variants that leads to the top of Buttress Pinnacle. Start at the very back of The Chasm in the dark chimney on the R. (1) 16m. The Stripper: Energetic body-width manoeuvring in the dark, not suited to the portly. A narrow exit leads to the northern face at the foot of The Little Chasm. Climbs on Little Chasm Buttress arrive at the same point. (2) (a) The Little Chasm 8: Climb the chimney to the next cave. (b) The Stripper Direct 12: Continue up the original chimney to a chockstone and then back to a stance in the Little Chasm, Godiva's Cavern. (3) (a) The Little Chasm (cont): An interesting pitch onto the suspended chockstone. (b) Stripper Direct (cont): A diagonal chimneying traverse leads across the top of the Chasm to the base of Chockstone Slab. (4) (a) Climb easily up the slab to the Notch. (b) Killer Crack: This strenuous crack lies on the R above the suspended chockstone. Above the crack a short wall leads to the Notch. (c) Chockstone Crack: Under the chockstone, on the north wall of the gully, overlooking the Chasm, a steep crack leads up towards the Notch. (5) Balcony Traverse: A short traverse across the N.W. face of the summit block of Buttress Pinnacle to The Balcony, a large ledge 6m below the summit of the Pinnacle. (6) (a) Balcony Crack: A stiff crack leads directly from The Balcony to the skyline a few metres from the summit of Buttress Pinnacle. (b) The Chicken Run: Traverse along The Balcony and back along the skyline. Various stages due to T. Christie, R. Cox, R. Lawson, B. Potter, B. Proudlock, T. Terry, G. Wyatt, 1962-64. Stripper Direct: T. Christie, A. Keller, Feb. 1966.
extra="Þ" grade="11" length="48m" name="The Chasm "
stars="">The cavernous chimney which splits the RH side of the Lower Cliff into which the abseil from Buttress Pinnacle descends. Start at the back of the Chasm at the chimney on the L. (1) 30m 11. Chasm Chimney: A fine chimney pitch giving access to the southern side of the buttress towards the top of Chockstone Gully. (2) 18m. (a) Continue as from pitch (4) of the Labyrinth. (b) Direct Finish 18: This pitch follows the continuation of the Chasm fracture to the top of the Buttress Pinnacle. From the base of Chockstone Slab climb to the top of a semi-detached flake on the R wall. Step L into the main V-chimney and continue up the crack to the top. P. Sands, J. Spinks, 1960. Direct Finish: A. Bush, P. Robinson, Apr. 1975.
extra="" grade="li" length="The" name="Project: "
stars="">With little protection on the loose crux, the boys must have been feeling bold when they led this one.
extra="Þ" grade="19" length="12" name="Sideshow " new="false"
stars="*">Companion line to Crasm Chack. The hand crack on the LH side near the front of the Chasm, which provides a good alternative start to Centaur. Climb the steep hand crack to a small ledge on the arête. . Either abseil from the chain or continue up the R facing corner, past the scary flakes (as in Crasm Chack), then traverse L to join Centaur and so to the top. D. Fife, A. Adams, Phil Steane, Nov. 1982.
extra="Þ" grade="17" length="48m" name="Centaur "
stars="***">A Pipes classic. This fine direct line starts midway between Pegasus and The Chasm. Climb up on face holds to foot of a black groove, and continue straight up the ever steepening crack past chockstone (crux) just below the belay at top. Some bits: A. Cross, R. Lawson, et al, Nov. 1965. Other bits: J. Ewbank, V. Kennedy, Mar. 1968.
extra="Þ" grade="14" length="48m" name="Pegasus " new="false"
stars="**">A quality route on steep clean rock. The direct finish is recommended. Start 4m to the R of Pulpit Chimney at a squeeze chimney with two chockstones. (1) 33m. 11 Follow the chimney directly and climb to the top of the huge detached flake. Belay (2) Either climb the short crack and traverse L to join Skyline Minor (11) or continue, up the steep crack on the R, and finish just short of the Buttress Pinnacle (15m 14). Original finish Unknown, probably first climbed about 1961 Direct finish T. Terry, A. Cross, Nov. 1965.
extra="Þ" grade="20" length="45m" name="Subterfuge "
stars="***">A great test for self-doubters. The line up the arête between Pegasus and Pulpit Chimney. Climb up to the thin crack which splits the bulge. Move up to a rest below a small overhang. Veer L past this and climb the spectacular arête to the top of the Great Flake. Continue up the face above to the Pegasus ledge and belay. D. Fife, A. Adams, Phil Steane, Nov. 1982.
extra="Þ" grade="20" length="45m" name="Conflict In The Cabal "
stars="**">Follow Subterfuge to the vee under the roof then continue straight up, instead of stepping around the arête. Continue straight up the face of the Great Flake. Runners are fairly spaced on the top section. E. Peacock, L. Bottomley, Nov. 1991.
extra="Þ" grade="18" length="50m" name="Tearaway "
stars="**">Worthwhile and rewarding. The crack up the R hand side of Pulpit Chimney offers an excellent sustained pitch. (1) 38m. Climb the crack and follow a weakness up and around onto the nose. Make a few moves up and then step back L and up to the base of the L side of the Great Flake. Continue straight up the arête to join Pegasus, belaying at the base of the final corner. (2) 12m. Continue as for Pegasus Direct. D. Hain, K. Kiernan, Jan. 1975.
extra="Þ" grade="20" length="40m" name="Pulpit Crack "
stars="">Slightly contrived as it is possible to step L into the chimney at the crux. (1) Climb straight up obvious crack on RH wall of the Pulpit chimney to belay on top of chockstone. (2) Climb the finger crack in a corner on R wall. S. Parsons, A. Adams, 1982.
extra="Þ" grade="12" length="75m" name="Pulpit Chimney "
stars="**">One of the best beginner's routes on the Pipes. Start up the major chimney L of Pegasus. (1) 32m. Climb directly up the chimney past the detached chockstones to a comfortable stance below the Canopy Chockstone. (2) 8m. Move R onto the face and mantelshelf onto a ledge from where the chockstone can be surmounted. (3) 35m. Continue as for Skyline Minor, pitches 4 and 5. T. Christie, G. Wyatt, 1964.
extra="Þ" grade="13" length="10m" name="The Pulpit "
stars="">The large rectangular flake to the L of Pulpit Chimney. (1a) 8. Start up the crack on the L side of the flake, then traverse across the face of the Pulpit and into the crack on the R. Climb this and belay on top. (1b) 13. Climb the crack on the L to the top of the Pulpit. (2) Either descend or climb the wall above via a dog-legged crack onto a ledge which leads into Pulpit Chimney. Continue up the chimney. Unknown circa 1960.
extra="Þ" grade="19" length="36m" name="Reluctance "
stars="*">The wall directly above the Pulpit. Climb to the top of the Pulpit and then continue up the wall above following the finger crack. Step L to a ledge and either bail out easily up All Systems Go or better, continue up crack and wall to the R. N. Deka, J. Richardson, Apr. 1980. Direct Finish: N. Deka, F. Moon, Jan. 1989.
extra="" grade="18" length="32m" name="All Systems Go "
stars="***">Go, go, go. Advanced route-finding up the wall L of the Pulpit. Climb up the crack on L of the Pulpit, moving L at 3m up the flakes. Directly up the centre of the smooth wall to the horizontal then traverse R to the top of the Pulpit. Two ways: up the thin crack before either (1) a step back L leads to a finger crack: follow crack through small roof to belay or (2) from the step L, cross to the dark streaked crack and climb to the roof. Traverse R to join the finger crack and so to the top. Scramble off back down easy chimney. R. Muhlen, B. Kennedy, 1976
extra="" grade="20" length="32m" name="Discipline "
stars="*">Contrived but surprisingly good climbing on the arête R of Andromeda. Climb straight up the arête past a small roof (crux), taking care not to stem across the Andromeda chimney. Climb the finger crack above and step R to continue up the wall just L of All Systems Go to its belay ledge. Descend as for All Systems Go. N. Deka, D. Stephenson, Dec. 1990.
extra="" grade="14" length="24m" name="Andromeda "
stars="*">The first major chimney past the toe of the Buttress, once regarded as "a serious and insecure climb". (1) Climb straight up from the base of the chimney. (2) Continue on either of the Skyline routes or scramble off the back or abseil from slings. Top roped by T. Christie, G. Wyatt, Feb. 1965. First led by R. Williams, Mar. 1967.
extra="" grade="20" length="25m" name="Frostbite's for Wusses "
stars="*">The arête L of Andromeda and R of Raspberry Jam and Crackers. Gear difficult to place on lead so pre-placed at crux on first ascent. Scramble off the back or abseil from slings. K. Robinson, Jul. 1997.
extra="" grade="17" length="25m"
name="Raspberry Jam and Crackers "
stars="***">Elegant face climbing on the wall L of Andromeda. Climb the newly exposed rock in the RH facing corner past a fixed pin (2006). One metre above this, hand-traverse L and up to a LH facing flake. Climb delicately up the thin face above (crux) to a small ledge at the base of a diagonal short corner. Climb the corner, then reach L and mantle onto a ledge. Layback onto a block and finish up the short crack above. Protection spaced but adequate. Scramble off the back. G. Body, B. Kennedy, L. Closs, Dec. 1972.
number="null.">The Darkside</text><text class="text" new="false"
number="null.">The next climbs start either at the toe of the buttress or round on the south (shaded) side.</text><climb
extra="Þ" grade="17" length="80m" name="Jump Ship "
stars="">A rising traverse that connects the lowest part of Northern Buttress to Centaur to make three colourful pitches. (1) 30m. Start at the layback option (d) of Skyline Major. Climb this, then traverse across Raspberry etc to the R arête and bridge across Andromeda to All Systems Go buttress. Traverse across, mantle up and keep traversing to belay in Pulpit. (2) 25m. Follow R-trending sickle crack of Reluctance to a prominent, protruding pedestal. Step on the very edge of this and bridge widely across Pulpit Chimney to Tearaway (crux). Continue up and around arête as for Tearaway, then traverse directly R across Conflict in the Cabal and Pegasus. From Pegasus go diagonally up and R to reach Centaur. Belay 2m beneath small roof below hand-crack of Centaur. (3) 25m. Finish up Centaur. Hamish Jackson, Simon Jarman (alt) Aug. 1997.
extra="Þ" grade="14" length="93m" name="Skyline Major "
stars="**">This climb is entwined with Skyline Minor, but follows the ridge crest more directly. Start at the lowest extremity of Northern Buttress. (1) 10m. Five alternatives lead to the first platform. (a) Nose: Directly up the edge of the buttress. (b) Southern Crack: The first crack on the south side of the buttress. (c) R Hook: Starts at the foot of Southern Crack but traverses around to the R. (d) Layback Crack: The first steep hand-crack on the northern side of the buttress. (e) Rockingstone Traverse: Traverse leftwards from the foot of Andromeda over a loose flake, then up. (2) 13m. Piton Crack: Up the vertical crack in the corner. (3) 10m. Curving Crack: Above the Second Platform where the ridge steepens is a conspicuous flaring chimney lying L of the crest. Up this awkwardly. (4) 20m. Traverse around R of the small tower above and pass through Bottleneck Chimney to the Third Platform on the southern side of the buttress. (5) 40m. (a) Deception Crack: Climb directly up the crack on the L from the Third Platform, then onto the summit of Buttress Pinnacle. (b) Bottleneck Chimney: Continue up the chimney (as for Skyline Minor) to the Buttress Pinnacle. (c) 16. Climb the crack immediately L of Bottleneck Chimney. Abseil from the rap station on the Buttress Pinnacle. M. Douglas, T. Terry, Mar. 1967. Piton Crack: R. Cox, R. Lidstone, 1962.
extra="" grade="23" length="18m" name="Great Pets "
stars="">Climb the thin face and cracks a few metres R of Sorrow. Scramble off L. D. Fife, Feb. 1996.
extra="" grade="23" length="15m" name="Sorrow "
stars="*">The steep black streaked wall between the Southern Crack and Bollard Chimney that is often wet. Climb the wall directly. Scramble off to L. M. Law, K. Carrigan, 1978.
extra="" grade="15" length="10m" name="Bollard Chimney "
stars="">The first chimney on the south side of Northern Buttress, distinguished by a group of prominent spikes at its foot. 10m Straight up the chimney, exiting L of the overhang. Walk off. FA: Unknown.
extra="" grade="20" length="10m" name="Pommy Slide "
stars="*">Shares the same start as Pelf. Climb Pelf to the 2.5 cam placement and step R. Climb the R side of the block to top. Run out. Walk off. D. Fife, Pete Steane, Dec. 1987.
extra="" grade="18" length="10m" name="Pelf "
stars="">The small buttress L of Bollard Chimney and just R of the Cruddy Chimney. Climb the thin line up the L side of the wall. Walk off. E. Peacock, solo Feb. 1983.
extra="Þ" grade="9 " length="120m" name="Skyline Minor "
stars="**">A climb that follows the crest of the Northern Buttress ridge to the summit of Buttress Pinnacle. The route has many variations. Start at either the second or third chimney on the south side of Northern Buttress. (1) 7m. (a) Cruddy Chimney: The RH chimney. (b) Easy Chimney: The L hand and less interesting chimney. (2) 40m. Scramble easily up to the R and join the skyline proper at the Second Platform. (3) 15m. Skyline Traverse: Continue easily up to the foot of the next prominent crack (Curving Crack) where the ridge steepens. R of this, climb up for 5m onto the top of a block on the ridge crest. An exposed traverse leads 4m across the north face to a stance on top of the Canopy Chockstone of Pulpit Chimney. (4) 15m. (a) Bottleneck Chimney: A narrow continuation of Pulpit Chimney. Belay above the constriction at the level of the Third Platform. (b) Bottleneck Passage: Squeeze through the tunnel behind the stance to the south side of the buttress, and climb 3m to the Third Platform. (c) Window Crack: Up the crack on the L wall of the chimney, continuing R through Bottleneck Chimney to the Third Platform. (d) Window Wall: The face to the L of Window Crack. (5) 20m. Bottleneck Chimney (continued): Straight up the wide chimney. At its top, cross over to the R of a large flake on the upper wall. Continue up airily on good holds until the angle eases. (6) 20m. Traverse easily up to the Buttress Pinnacle. Abseil from rap station on Buttress Pinnacle FA: Unknown 1958.
extra="" grade="7 " length="46m" name="Chockstone Gully "
stars="">This route gives access to The Notch and Buttress Pinnacle. Traverse south around base of Northern Buttress and walk uphill to bottom of gully containing some large chockstones. The huge rectangular chockstone bridging the top of the gully is Chockstone Slab. The first 30m are mainly a scramble ending at Chockstone Slab (also encountered on the Labyrinth and the Chasm routes). Climb up slab and continue to The Notch. FA: Unknown in the 1950s.
extra="" grade="24" length="11m" name="Jackson's Apprentices "
stars="">The short steep wall on the L at the foot of Chockstone Gully. Follow the crack system up the middle of the buttress. Abseil off. Phil Steane, solo Aug. 1982. FFA. S. Parsons, D. Fife, Oct. 1982.
extra="Þ" grade="23" length="12m"
name="Side Saddling Cheesecake " new="false" number="" stars="">L of Jackson's Apprentices. Five U-bolts with lower-off. N. Selby, 2001.</climb>