Climbs 291 – 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 4
122001none 6c ** 
13Space Odysseynone 6b ** 
15Groove and SlabD 3
16Quarry Buttress DirectVS 5a 1
17Quarry Buttress SuperdirectE2 5c  
18Tyburn WallE3 6a  
19GallowsE2 5c **1
20Lynch Mob MentalityE3 6b  
21Corpse's WalkS 5
22Night of The Living Deadnone 5c *1
23Undertaker's ButtressS 4b **9
25Stoic's CornerVD 3
26Upper LipHVS 5b 1
27Upper Lip DirectE3 5c  
28Napoleon ComplexE5 6a ** 
29The NoseVD *5
30Nose GullyVD 1
31CinderellaHVS 5b 1
32OmegaVS 5a *1
 ----------- CENTRAL BUTTRESS -----------  
35Marshall's ClimbHVS 4c ***6
36Marshall's Tower EliminateE1 5b *1
37Slanting ChimneyVD 8
38Coffin ButtressVS 5a 1
39Eliminate IIVS 5a 1
40Cemetery WallHS 3
41The CoffinHS 4b 3
42Tombstone WallHVS 5b 1
43Lookout ClimbHS 4b *1
44Zig Zag ClimbVD 8
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 *7
54SuperdirectHS 4b 2
55Direct RouteS 4a 10
56Super Duper DirectVS 4c *2
57Central ClimbVD *28
58Easy ButtressD 28
59The IllegitimateE3 5c ***11
60Carsten's AbortionE2 5b **11
61Brown's BastardE2 5b 3
62Downe's DoddleE2 5b *9
63Clockwork OrangeE3 5c ***11
64Technicolour YawnE5 6a **4
65The CorniceVD **58
66The Cornice IndirectS *22
67Mafia BearHVS 5a *1
68DeceptionHVS 5a *26
69Mossy SlabVD *26
70Gather No MossE3 6b 1
73Grooved Wall Route 1 Direct FinishE1 5a  
74Grooved Wall Route 1VS 4b **4
75Grooved Wall Route 2VS 4b *1
76Grooved Wall Route 3E2 5b  
77Fat Man's CrackVD 3
79Clashooks SlabVD 3
80CrimpierV2 5c *2
81CrimpiestV3 6a 1
82Limpet WallVS 4b **7
83Mussel WallVS 5a **5
85Little LightMS 4a 7
86Blue LightE1 5c 7
87In the PieE1 6a 1
88Pigeonhole WallVS 5a *48
89Pigeonhole AreteE1 5c *15
90Crack of DoomVD 40
91WhimperE2 5c 11
92Wafer WallE1 5b **23
93Z RouteVD *25
94Z Route DirectS 4a 16
95Oblique CrackVD *40
96Muffin CrackHVS 5b *23
97Crumpet CrackE3 6a ***22
98Hades CrackHS 4b *16
99Wild Oat WallHVS 5b 4
100Two Step CrackVD 37
101Honeycomb WallVS 4c *20
102Nameless WallVS 5a 9
103Nameless CrackS 4a 17
 ----------- WEST BUTTRESS -----------  
106Celerity CrackHS 4b 2
107West Wall ClimbD  
108West Wall MantelshelfS 4b *2
109The West WallE1 5c 1
110Un-namednone 6b  
112Hemingway's WallE3 5c **3
113Late-nite GreenhalghE3 6a **1
114The Missing FontE3 5c *2
115Senile SaunterE1 5b *4
116West Wall ChimneyVD *22
117Windy CornerVD *16
118Windy Corner - The Nose FinishHS 4b *11
119DioperaHVS 5a *8
120EroicaHVS 5a 3
121Eroticanone 6b  
122Coward of the CountyE4 6a * 
123SpookyE5 6b * 
124Brandenburg WallE4 5c ***7
125Brandenburg Wall DirectE6 6c * 
126StingrayE4 6a *** 
127The ManglerE3 6a ***13
128Gorilla WallE3 5c *7
129Gorilla Wall DirectE4 5c *2
130Double TroubleE4 5c **1
131Sandynone 6b * 
132Evil Uncle Quentinnone 5c  
133Shoie McFeenone 5c  
134Overleaning wallE1 5a 4
135The NotchD *87
136Tree wallE1 5b 5
137Once Upon a Time (Arcograph)E2 5c *2
138ArcoVS 4c *6
139Terrace WallD 9
140DelilahHVS 5b *1
141Why, Why, Why?none 6a  
142Betrayed by a WomenE3 5c 2
143Short Back and Sidesnone 5c 2
144Samson's WallE1 5b 4
145Greenteeth GrooveHS 4a 1
146Black WallS 4b *9
147C.B. CrackVD **23
148C.B. WallVD 17
149The SquirmVD 9
150Spare MomentS 2
152Cloister TraverseS 4a 17
153Chromium CrackE2 5c *37
154Golden PillarE1 5b **126
155The Overhanging CrackVS 4c *84
156AgagVS 4c **61
157The Mersey RunnelE2 5c *3
158Cadaver Eyesnone 6c * 
159Hope StreetE5 6a *** 
160Magical CharmE5 6a *3
161CFKE4 6a **17
162Morgue SlabE2 5b ***57
163Mogadon's Good for YouE3 5c *2
164NecrophiliacE5 6a *7
165Time RegainedE7 6c *7
166BeatnikE5 6a ***20
167DesperationE5 6b *1
168240 Volt ShockerE5 6c *9
169Twin ScoopsE1 5c **77
170The GangwayVS 4b *52
171Grooved SlabVS 4a ***186
172The Anvil IntergraleE1 5b ***6
173The Brush OffE4 5c ***37
174The Brush Off DirectE4 6a *20
175It'd Be Alright If It Was ColdE5 6b **3
176Jim's ChimneyE3 6a **21
177Little by LittleS 4a *208
178Oyster Slab Super DirectHS 5a *33
179Oyster SlabS 4a 7
180Oyster Slab DirectVS 4b *41
181Oyster Slab Route IIIVS 5b *24
182Trojan CrackS 4a 24
183Trojan NoseS 4a 8
184Waterloo WallE2 6a *1
185Fragile Wall DirectE3 6a 4
186Fragile Wall LeftE3 5c *1
187Fragile WallE3 5c **23
188DanielE2 5c **35
189Wood's ClimbHVS 5a ***162
190The ResidueE5 6a **4
191Party BluesE4 6b *5
192Liverpool Lady BoysE6 6c **6
193Greenteeth GullyM 62
194Hard Rock TraverseV0 5a ** 
195Twinkletoes TraverseV4 6a ** 
196SwingsVS 4c 9
197Greenteeth CrackHS 4b 61
198Dinnerplate CrackS 4b **143
199Ho Ho HoE3 6a 5
200Twin Caves CrackS 4b **188
201PathfinderE3 6a *10
202Flake InnominateE2 5c *13
203Flake CrackVS 4c ***372
204Flake WallE5 6a ***31
205Foolish FinishE4 5c *14
206Licentious JugE5 6a *9
207Black Hole AreteE5 6b **3
208Calcutta WallE4 5c *2
209Eliminate 1E1 5b ***145
210CinemascopeE4 6a ***13
211Easy ChimneyM 57
212The WendigoE3 5c **17
213Shoe-inE2 5b 6
214End CrackS 4b 92
215The ParasolVS 5a 12
216The UmbrellaE2 5c *17
217The ParapluieE1 5b *8
218The WartE3 5c 8
219Angel's FaceE1 5b **21
220Ape's CrackHVS 5b 13
221Gabriel's Garter / Ape's AmbleVS 5a **7
 ----------- HELSBY BOULDERING -----------  
223Gaz's Gapeing GirdleV2 1
225Western RollV2 5c 1
226Right ShelfV2 5c **1
228PillarV0 5b 3
229Roof DirectV2 5c 5
230Roof Right-handV2 5c 5
232Left AreteV0 4b 18
233Steep WallV0 4c 13
234Thin CrackV0 4b *19
235Diagonal CrackV0- 4a 16
236Ledge RouteV0 5a 8
237Another Ledge RouteV0 5a 5
238The Nose (Jay's Buttress)V0 5a 6
239The Nose (sit start)V1 5b *8
240Cave WallV0 5a 5
241The PinchV0 4c 13
242The MantleVB *11
244Left EdgeV0 4a 12
245The ScoopV0- 4a 12
246Arete and MantelV3 6a 8
247Long PullV2 5c 5
248Easy PullV1 5b 13
249Flaky WallV0 5a 9
250Green WallVB *14
251Sandy WallV0 5a 9
252Black HoleV1 5a 9
253GrasperV2 5c 5
255The Nose (Pocket Wall)V1 5b ***12
256The AreteV3 6a 1
257Pocket WallV3 6a ***4
258Centre RouteV1 5b *9
259Right routeV0 5a 5
260The StepV1 5a *8
261Green StepV1 5b 5
262Green WallV1 5a  
263JugsV0 5a **3
264Ho-HoV0 5a 1
265Lew's TraverseV0 5b 5
267Helter SkelterV2 5b  
268Roll Out the BarrelV3 5c **2
269Speckled HenV1 5b 2
270Ron Burgundy's MustacheV8 6c **1
271The GrooveV1 5a *8
272The BeakV0+ 5a 4
273The NicheV1 5a 6
274BitterV0 4c 9
275Crank ItV1 5a 9
276Harold's WallV3 6a 3
277Left OversV1 5a 3
279Left GrooveV0 4c 5
280Left WallV0 4c 4
281Two EgyptainsV2 5b 3
282PopeyeV2 5b *4
283Martin's EyesV2 5c 2
284Central NoseV1 5a 3
285Hot FuzzV1 5a 1
286Three Left HandsV2 5b **6
287Right NoseV2 5c *2
288OliverV3 6s **6
289ShuffleV0 5a 4
290Right GrooveV0- 4b 3
291Zig-Zag TraverseV1 5a *2
292Artful DodgerV4 6b ***2
293Atful DodgingV6 6b ***2
295The ArchV1 5b *5
296Green SlabV0 4c 1
297ArchibaldV4 6b 3
298The GrimaceV4 5c 1
299High BrowV3 5c *1
300Stiff Upper LipV3 5c 1
302Problem 65V3 6b 1
303Problen 66V2 6a 1
304Problem 67V1 5b 1
305Problem 68V1 5b 1
306Problem 69V1 5b 1
307Problem 70V0 5a 1
308Ramp EliminateV6 6b **1
309Problem 71V0 5a 1
310Upper TraverseV1 5b *1
311Lower TraverseV4 6b * 
312Left PocketV1 5b 1
313FlyV2 5c  
314Right PocketV0 5a 1
316Hidden *V1 5c 1
317The pillar *V1 5c 1
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.
Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer Graeme Hammond

USER FEEDBACKLogin as Existing User to add your comments
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