Climbs 287 – Rocktype Sandstone (hard) – Altitude 100m a.s.l – Faces NW

Crag features
A fine sandstone cliff overlooking the River Mersey and the motorway. It is often driven past at speed and scorned by uninformed climbers travelling to North Wales. One day they should take the time to have a look at the place since most will be pleasantly surprised by the compact and clean walls offering some superb routes on great rock.

In winter the rock does turn green and slimey but after a spell of dry weather it cleans up nicely.

It should be mentioned that this crag was very 'unfashionable' for many years and the grading system left unchallenged for decades. Many climbs are poorly protected and dubious rock is ubiquitous. Therefore the grades may well be inaccurate. Feedback on grades and qualitative ratings would be welcome.

Approach notes
Lies directly above the town of Helsby: park there and make an "exhausting" scramble up the hillside.

Read more... Regional Access notes are available from the BMC.

Cheshire & Merseyside Sandstone (2012), Western Grit (2009),
Out of print: Western Grit (2003), Sandstone Climbing in Cheshire and Merseyside (1998)

Climbs at this crag

Sort climbs
 Climb nameGrade
 ----------- EAST BUTTRESS -----------  
3Wrinkled SlabM 2
4Halfway LedgeD 1
5Far Eastern TraverseVD 2
6Cobweb CrackHVS 5b  
7Torsion CrackVS 5a 1
8Millwall F.C.HVS 5b  
9Jericho WallHVS 5c * 
10Philistine's ProwlHVS 5a  
11Wall and SlabVD 3
122001none 6c ** 
13Space Odysseynone 6b ** 
15Groove and SlabD 2
16Quarry Buttress DirectVS 5a 1
17Quarry Buttress SuperdirectE2 5c  
18Tyburn WallE3 6a  
19GallowsE2 5c **1
20Lynch Mob MentalityE3 6b  
21Corpse's WalkS 4
22Night of The Living Deadnone 5c *1
23Undertaker's ButtressS 4b **8
25Stoic's CornerVD 2
26Upper LipHVS 5b 1
27Upper Lip DirectE3 5c  
28Napoleon ComplexE5 6a ** 
29The NoseVD *4
30Nose GullyVD 1
31CinderellaHVS 5b 1
32OmegaVS 5a *1
 ----------- CENTRAL BUTTRESS -----------  
35Marshall's ClimbHVS 4c ***5
36Marshall's Tower EliminateE1 5b *1
37Slanting ChimneyVD 7
38Coffin ButtressVS 5a 1
39Eliminate IIVS 5a 1
40Cemetery WallHS 3
41The CoffinHS 4b 2
42Tombstone WallHVS 5b 1
43Lookout ClimbHS 4b *1
44Zig Zag ClimbVD 6
45The ThingummyVS 5a 1
46Spider CrackE1 5b 1
47Green ChimneyS 4a 1
48Greenshieldnone 5c  
49The BeetlerE2 5b *1
50Strength Through JoyXS 6b * 
52Sculptor's ClimbHS 4b 4
53Chimney and TraverseS *6
54SuperdirectHS 4b 2
55Direct RouteS 4a 9
56Central ClimbVD *21
57Easy ButtressD 28
58The IllegitimateE3 5c ***11
59Carsten's AbortionE2 5b **11
60Brown's BastardE2 5b 3
61Downe's DoddleE2 5b *9
62Clockwork OrangeE3 5c ***11
63Technicolour YawnE5 6a **4
64The CorniceVD **56
65The Cornice IndirectS *21
66DeceptionHVS 5a *23
67Mossy SlabVD *25
68Gather No MossE3 6b 1
71Grooved Wall Route 1 Direct FinishE1 5a  
72Grooved Wall Route 1VS 4b **2
73Grooved Wall Route 2VS 4b *1
74Grooved Wall Route 3E2 5b  
75Fat Man's CrackVD 1
77Clashooks SlabVD 1
78Limpet WallVS 4b **6
79Mussel WallVS 5a **4
81Little LightMS 4a 6
82Blue LightE1 5c 7
83In the PieE1 6a 1
84Pigeonhole WallVS 5a *47
85Pigeonhole AreteE1 5c *15
86Crack of DoomVD 39
87WhimperE2 5c 11
88Wafer WallE1 5b **23
89Z RouteVD *23
90Z Route DirectS 4a 15
91Oblique CrackVD *39
92Muffin CrackHVS 5b *23
93Crumpet CrackE3 6a ***21
94Hades CrackHS 4b *15
95Wild Oat WallHVS 5b 4
96Two Step CrackVD 36
97Honeycomb WallVS 4c *20
98Nameless WallVS 5a 7
99Nameless CrackS 4a 15
 ----------- WEST BUTTRESS -----------  
102Celerity CrackHS 4b 1
103West Wall ClimbD  
104West Wall MantelshelfS 4b *2
105The West WallE1 5c 1
106Un-namednone 6b  
108Hemingway's WallE3 5c **3
109Late-nite GreenhalghE3 6a **1
110The Missing FontE3 5c *2
111Senile SaunterE1 5b *4
112West Wall ChimneyVD *21
113Windy CornerVD *15
114Windy Corner - The Nose FinishHS 4b *11
115DioperaHVS 5a *8
116EroicaHVS 5a 3
117Eroticanone 6b  
118Coward of the CountyE4 6a * 
119SpookyE5 6b * 
120Brandenburg WallE4 5c ***7
121Brandenburg Wall DirectE6 6c * 
122StingrayE4 6a *** 
123The ManglerE3 6a ***13
124Gorilla WallE3 5c *7
125Gorilla Wall DirectE4 5c *2
126Double TroubleE4 5c **1
127Sandynone 6b * 
128Evil Uncle Quentinnone 5c  
129Shoie McFeenone 5c  
130Overleaning wallE1 5a 4
131The NotchD *86
132Tree wallE1 5b 5
133Once Upon a Time (Arcograph)E2 5c *2
134ArcoVS 4c *4
135Terrace WallD 9
136DelilahHVS 5b *1
137Why, Why, Why?none 6a  
138Betrayed by a WomenE3 5c 2
139Short Back and Sidesnone 5c 2
140Samson's WallE1 5b 4
141Greenteeth GrooveHS 4a 1
142Black WallS 4b *8
143C.B. CrackVD **22
144C.B. WallVD 17
145The SquirmVD 9
146Spare MomentS 2
148Cloister TraverseS 4a 16
149Chromium CrackE2 5c *37
150Golden PillarE1 5b **126
151The Overhanging CrackVS 4c *83
152AgagVS 4c **59
153The Mersey RunnelE2 5c *3
154Cadaver Eyesnone 6c * 
155Hope StreetE5 6a *** 
156Magical CharmE5 6a *3
157CFKE4 6a **17
158Morgue SlabE2 5b ***56
159Mogadon's Good for YouE3 5c *2
160NecrophiliacE5 6a *7
161Time RegainedE7 6c *7
162BeatnikE5 6a ***20
163DesperationE5 6b *1
164240 Volt ShockerE5 6c *9
165Twin ScoopsE1 5c **76
166The GangwayVS 4b *51
167Grooved SlabVS 4a ***184
168The Anvil IntergraleE1 5b ***6
169The Brush OffE4 5c ***36
170The Brush Off DirectE4 6a *20
171It'd Be Alright If It Was ColdE5 6b **3
172Jim's ChimneyE3 6a **21
173Little by LittleS 4a *206
174Oyster Slab Super DirectHS 5a *32
175Oyster SlabS 4a 6
176Oyster Slab DirectVS 4b *39
177Oyster Slab Route IIIVS 5b *23
178Trojan CrackS 4a 24
179Trojan NoseS 4a 8
180Waterloo WallE2 6a *1
181Fragile Wall DirectE3 6a 4
182Fragile Wall LeftE3 5c *1
183Fragile WallE3 5c **22
184DanielE2 5c **34
185Wood's ClimbHVS 5a ***160
186The ResidueE5 6a **4
187Party BluesE4 6b *5
188Liverpool Lady BoysE6 6c **6
189Greenteeth GullyM 61
190Hard Rock TraverseV0 5a ** 
191Twinkletoes TraverseV4 6a ** 
192SwingsVS 4c 9
193Greenteeth CrackHS 4b 61
194Dinnerplate CrackS 4b **141
195Ho Ho HoE3 6a 5
196Twin Caves CrackS 4b **183
197PathfinderE3 6a *10
198Flake InnominateE2 5c *13
199Flake CrackVS 4c ***369
200Flake WallE5 6a ***31
201Foolish FinishE4 5c *14
202Licentious JugE5 6a *9
203Black Hole AreteE5 6b **3
204Calcutta WallE4 5c *2
205Eliminate 1E1 5b ***144
206CinemascopeE4 6a ***12
207Easy ChimneyM 56
208The WendigoE3 5c **17
209Shoe-inE2 5b 6
210End CrackS 4b 89
211The ParasolVS 5a 12
212The UmbrellaE2 5c *17
213The ParapluieE1 5b *8
214The WartE3 5c 8
215Angel's FaceE1 5b **21
216Ape's CrackHVS 5b 11
217Gabriel's Garter / Ape's AmbleVS 5a **5
 ----------- HELSBY BOULDERING -----------  
220Western RollV2 5c 1
221Right ShelfV2 5c **1
223PillarV0 5b 3
224Roof DirectV2 5c 5
225Roof Right-handV2 5c 5
227Left AreteV0 4b 15
228Steep WallV0 4c 10
229Thin CrackV0 4b *16
230Diagonal CrackV0- 4a 14
231Ledge RouteV0 5a 6
232Another Ledge RouteV0 5a 4
233The Nose (Jay's Buttress)V0 5a 5
234The Nose (sit start)V1 5b *8
235Cave WallV0 5a 5
236The PinchV0 4c 12
237The MantleVB *10
239Left EdgeV0 4a 9
240The ScoopV0- 4a 11
241Arete and MantelV3 6a 7
242Long PullV2 5c 4
243Easy PullV1 5b 10
244Flaky WallV0 5a 8
245Green WallVB *13
246Sandy WallV0 5a 8
247Black HoleV1 5a 8
248GrasperV2 5c 4
250The Nose (Pocket Wall)V1 5b ***9
251The AreteV3 6a 1
252Pocket WallV3 6a ***3
253Centre RouteV1 5b *7
254Right routeV0 5a 4
255The StepV1 5a *7
256Green StepV1 5b 5
257Green WallV1 5a  
258JugsV0 5a **3
259Ho-HoV0 5a 1
260Lew's TraverseV0 5b 4
262Helter SkelterV2 5b  
263Roll Out the BarrelV3 5c **2
264Speckled HenV1 5b 2
265Ron Burgundy's MustacheV8 6c **1
266The GrooveV1 5a *7
267The BeakV0+ 5a 4
268The NicheV1 5a 5
269BitterV0 4c 7
270Crank ItV1 5a 8
271Harold's WallV3 6a 3
272Left OversV1 5a 1
274Left GrooveV0 4c 5
275Left WallV0 4c 4
276Two EgyptainsV2 5b 3
277PopeyeV2 5b *4
278Martin's EyesV2 5c 2
279Central NoseV1 5a 3
280Hot FuzzV1 5a 1
281Three Left HandsV2 5b **6
282Right NoseV2 5c *2
283OliverV3 6s **6
284ShuffleV0 5a 4
285Right GrooveV0- 4b 3
286Zig-Zag TraverseV1 5a *2
287Artful DodgerV4 6b ***2
288Atful DodgingV6 6b ***2
290The ArchV1 5b *5
291Green SlabV0 4c 1
292ArchibaldV4 6b 3
293The GrimaceV4 5c 1
294High BrowV3 5c *1
295Stiff Upper LipV3 5c 1
297Problem 65V3 6b 1
298Problen 66V2 6a 1
299Problem 67V1 5b 1
300Problem 68V1 5b 1
301Problem 69V1 5b 1
302Problem 70V0 5a 1
303Ramp EliminateV6 6b **1
304Problem 71V0 5a 1
305Upper TraverseV1 5b *1
306Lower TraverseV4 6b * 
307Left PocketV1 5b 1
308FlyV2 5c  
309Right PocketV0 5a 1
311Central RibVD *5
312Gaz's Gapeing GirdleV2 1
313Super Duper DirectVS 4c * 
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Are you a troll or a moron?
Alex Winter - 12/Jul/13
Get it bolted!!
m88ulv - 07/Jul/13
such a waisted crag, so much to be done here and no 1 to climb with... loads fo protection up the top for those workin routes or intending top ropes.. i actually like helsby although its quite green
phil_freeman - 19/Feb/10
flake crack was my second lead getting off the pillar at the bottom is hard but once done the route is fab allan
ashaw - 19/Jun/06
Agree with above comments, but as Alan Rouse said in his 1976 guide, top roping is acceptable here on the longer and harder routes because of 'the general lack of suitable protection and the occasionally unreliable nature of the rock'. However, he also said that when you get to know the place 'you can derive great pleasure from soloing'. So be careful but have fun!
Pekkie - 17/Jul/05
Yes, a really excellent place to climb but be aware that the rock can be quite brittle and at times, holds do break - I know. Good place to learn footwork.
Paul H - 13/Jun/05
The crag boasts some endless classics with all difficulties of climbing. Many people forget that there is a pretty good low level bouldering above the crag. They are no more than 2.5 metres tall but there are some really technical routes, there are enough to make a short film about (which is what we are doing!). Its also a great place to learn the basics of bouldering seeing as you aren't going to get hurt if you fall from any height. check it out.
Michael Gee - 03/Apr/04
Since the last guidebook, with more modern descriptions and E grades, there has been a resurgence of interest in the crag as a whole and in particular in leading. With careful consideration many of the routes can be adequately protected and can be of as good a quality as found on more popular crags
Mark Hounslea - 13/Feb/03
A fine crag to develop finger strength
alan edmonds - 11/Feb/03
What about Colin Kirkus
Andy Clare - 23/Jan/03
An absolutely fantastic place to climb, and really doesn\'t get the attention it deserves. Climbs are of all difficulties Severe-E6/7. I mean, look at the people that climbed there - Alan Rouse, Hugh Banner, Chris Bonington. Timelessly classic. A great place to build up confidence and very easily accessible
Jon Cooke - 17/Jul/02