Climbs 317
Rocktype Sandstone (hard)
Altitude 100m a.s.l
Faces NW

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Committing time © A Crook

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.

Access Advice

It is worth avoiding the crag after rain as the porous rock absorbs water - this causes the holds to become brittle...

Seasonal Restrictions

Dates: 1 March to 30 June

Reason: Nesting Birds

Peregrines nest left of Clashhooks Gully, please avoid all routes on Upper & Lower Central Buttresses during this period. Raven have also been sighted around the route 'The Notch' - climbers are advised to avoid this area if the birds are in residence.

Rockfax App

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Guidebooks

Western Grit

The 2009 edition of the award-winning guidebook to Staffordshire, Kinder, Bleaklow, Chew, Lancashire and Cheshire areas covered with photo-topos and descriptions.
More info
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
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  ----------- East Buttress -----------
  Far-East Buttress
3 Wrinkled Slab M 4
4 Halfway Ledge D 3
5 Far Eastern Traverse VD 3
6 Cobweb Crack HVS 5b 1
7 Torsion Crack VS 5a 3
8 Millwall F.C. HVS 5b  
9 Jericho Wall HVS 5c * 1
10 Philistine's Prowl HVS 5a  
11 Wall and Slab VD 5
12 2001 none 6c **  
13 Space Odyssey none 6b **  
  Undertaker's Buttress
15 Groove and Slab D 4
16 Quarry Buttress Direct VS 5a 1
17 Quarry Buttress Superdirect
-
E2 5c  
18 Tyburn Wall E3 6a  
19 Gallows E2 5c ** 1
20 Lynch Mob Mentality E3 6b  
21 Corpse's Walk S 5
22 Night of The Living Dead none 5c * 1
23 Undertaker's Buttress S 4b ** 16
  The Nose
25 Stoic's Corner
-
VD 4
26 Upper Lip HVS 5b 2
27 Upper Lip Direct E3 5c  
28 Napoleon Complex
-
E5 6a **  
29 The Nose VD * 5
30 Nose Gully VD 2
31 Cinderella HVS 5b 1
32 Omega VS 5a * 3
  ----------- Central Buttress -----------
  Central Area and Marshall's Tower
35 Marshall's Climb HVS 4c *** 10
36 Marshall's Tower Eliminate E1 5b * 3
37 Slanting Chimney
-
VD 10
38 Coffin Buttress
-
VS 5a 1
39 Eliminate II VS 5a 3
40 Cemetery Wall
-
HS 3
41 The Coffin HS 4b 4
42 Tombstone Wall HVS 5b 1
43 Lookout Climb
-
HS 4b * 1
44 Zig Zag Climb
-
VD 10
45 The Thingummy
-
VS 5a 1
46 Spider Crack
-
E1 5b 2
47 Green Chimney
-
S 4a 2
48 Greenshield
-
none 5c  
49 Strength Through Joy
-
XS 6b *  
  Central Buttress - Middle Tier
51 Sculptor's Climb HS 4b 5
52 The Beetler E2 5b * 1
53 The Beetler Arete E7 6c * 1
54 Chimney and Traverse HS 4b * 8
55 Superdirect
-
HS 4b 2
56 Direct Route S 4a 11
57 Super Duper Direct VS 4c * 3
58 Central Climb VD * 32
59 Easy Buttress D * 35
60 The Illegitimate E3 5c ** 14
61 Carsten's Variant E2 5b  
62 Carsten's Abortion E2 5b ** 15
63 Brown's Bastard E2 5b 5
64 Downe's Doddle E2 5b * 13
65 Clockwork Orange E4 5c * 13
66 Technicolour Yawn E5 6a ** 4
67 The Cornice VD * 71
68 The Cornice Indirect S 3c 23
69 Mafia Bear HVS 5a * 2
70 Deception HVS 5b * 28
71 Mossy Slab VD * 32
72 Gather No Moss E3 6b 1
  Central Buttress - Upper Tier
  Grooved wall
75 Grooved Wall Route 1 Direct Finish
-
E1 5a  
76 Grooved Wall Route 1
-
VS 4b ** 6
77 Grooved Wall Route 2
-
VS 4b * 2
78 Grooved Wall Route 3
-
E2 5b  
79 Fat Man's Crack
-
VD 5
80 Jugged Forest E2 5c  
  Clashook Slab and Limpet Wall
82 Clashooks Slab
-
VD 5
83 Crimpier V2 5c * 2
84 Crimpiest V3 6a 2
85 Limpet Wall
-
VS 4b ** 7
86 Mussel Wall
-
VS 5a ** 5
87 Hidden V1 1
88 The pillar
-
V1 1
  Central Buttress - Lower Tier - Honeycomb Wall
90 Little Light MS 4a 12
91 Blue Light HVS 5b * 11
92 In the Pie E2 6a * 2
93 Pigeonhole Wall HVS 5a ** 66
94 Pigeonhole Arete E1 5c * 21
95 Crack of Doom S 3c * 47
96 Whimper E2 5c 14
97 Wafer Wall E2 5b ** 34
98 Z Route VD * 31
99 Z Route Direct S 4a 19
100 Oblique Crack VD 45
101 Muffin Crack HVS 5b * 32
102 Crumpet Crack E4 6b *** 29
103 Hades Crack HS 4b * 19
104 Wild Oat Wall
-
HVS 5b 4
105 Two Step Crack VD 41
106 Honeycomb Wall VS 4c * 29
107 Nameless Wall
-
VS 5a 12
108 Nameless Crack
-
S 4a 21
  ----------- West Buttress -----------
  Clashook Gully - West Wall
111 Celerity Crack
-
HS 4b 2
112 West Wall Climb
-
D 1
113 West Wall Mantelshelf
-
S 4b * 2
114 The West Wall
-
E1 5c 1
115 Un-named
-
none 6b  
Climb name Grade
  West Buttress - Upper Tier
117 Hemingway's Wall E3 5c ** 4
118 Late-nite Greenhalgh E3 6a ** 1
119 The Missing Font E3 5c * 3
120 Senile Saunter E1 5b * 6
121 West Wall Chimney VD * 26
122 Windy Corner VD * 17
123 Windy Corner - The Nose Finish HS 4b * 12
124 Diopera HVS 5a * 11
125 Eroica HVS 5a 3
126 Erotica
-
none 6b  
127 Coward of the County E4 6a *  
128 Spooky E5 6b *  
129 Brandenburg Gate E5 6c *  
130 Brandenburg Wall E4 5c *** 12
131 Stingray E4 6a *** 2
132 The Mangler E3 6a *** 20
133 Gorilla Wall E3 5c * 12
134 Gorilla Wall Direct E4 5c * 2
135 Double Trouble E4 5c ** 1
136 Sandy none 6b *  
137 Evil Uncle Quentin none 5c  
138 Shoie McFee none 5c  
139 Overleaning wall
-
E1 5a 4
140 The Notch D * 127
141 Tree wall
-
E1 5b 7
142 Once Upon a Time (Arcograph) E2 5c * 2
143 Arco
-
VS 4c * 11
144 Terrace Wall D 17
145 Delilah
-
HVS 5b * 2
146 Why, Why, Why? none 6a  
147 Betrayed by a Women E3 5c 2
148 Short Back and Sides none 5c 2
149 Samson's Wall
-
E1 5b 5
150 Greenteeth Groove HS 4a 2
151 Tyro's wall E3 5b 3
152 Black Wall
-
S 4b * 16
153 C.B. Crack
-
VD ** 37
154 C.B. Wall
-
VD 28
155 The Squirm
-
VD 14
156 Spare Moment
-
S 6
  West Buttress - Lower Tier
158 Cloister Traverse S 4a 21
159 Chromium Crack E1 5b ** 55
160 Golden Pillar HVS 5b ** 162
161 The Overhanging Crack VS 4c * 110
162 Agag VS 4c ** 86
163 The Mersey Runnel
-
E2 5c * 3
164 Cadaver Eyes none 6b *  
165 Hope Street
-
E5 6a ***  
166 Magical Charm E5 6a * 4
167 CFK E4 6a ** 25
168 Morgue Slab E2 5b *** 93
169 Mogadon's Good for You E3 5c * 2
170 Necrophiliac E5 6a * 7
171 Time Regained E8 6c * 6
172 Beatnik E5 6a *** 24
173 Desperation
-
E5 6b * 1
174 240 Volt Shocker E5 6c * 9
175 Twin Scoops E1 5c ** 108
176 The Gangway VS 4b * 65
177 Grooved Slab VS 4a *** 252
178 The Anvil Intergrale E1 5b *** 14
179 The Brush Off E4 5c *** 53
180 The Brush Off Direct E4 6b * 20
181 The Brush Off Direct Finish E6 6a *  
182 It'd Be Alright If It Was Cold E5 6b ** 3
183 Jim's Chimney E2 5c * 24
184 Little by Little VS 4b ** 288
185 Oyster Slab Super Direct VS 5a * 42
186 Oyster Slab S 4a 15
187 Oyster Slab Direct VS 4b * 51
188 Oyster Slab Route III VS 5b * 28
189 Trojan Crack S 4a 29
190 Trojan Nose S 4a * 8
191 Waterloo Wall E2 5c 1
192 Fragile Wall Direct E3 6a 4
193 Fragile Wall Left
-
E3 5c * 2
194 Fragile Wall E3 5c ** 33
195 Daniel E2 5c ** 51
196 Wood's Climb HVS 5a *** 216
197 The Unknown Quantity E4 6b  
198 The Residue E5 6a ** 5
199 Lipalongago E4 6b * 5
200 Liverpool Lady Boys E5 6b ** 7
201 Greenteeth Gully M * 79
202 Hard Rock Traverse
-
V0 5a ** 2
203 Twinkletoes Traverse
-
V4 6a ** 1
204 Swings
-
VS 4c 11
205 Greenteeth Crack HS 4b * 89
206 Dinnerplate Crack VS 4c ** 257
207 Ho Ho Ho E3 6a 6
208 Twin Caves Crack HS 4b ** 353
209 Pathfinder E3 6a * 14
210 Flake Innominate E2 5c * 25
211 Flake Crack VS 4c *** 629
212 Flake Wall E5 6a ** 41
213 Foolish Finish E4 5c * 19
214 Licentious Jug E5 6a ** 16
215 Black Hole Arete E5 6b ** 5
216 Calcutta Wall E4 5c * 56
217 Eliminate 1 E1 5b *** 274
218 Pratabout E5 6b *** 24
219 Easy Chimney M 70
220 The Wendigo E3 5c ** 22
221 Shoe-in E2 5b 11
222 End Crack S 4b 126
223 The Parasol
-
VS 5a 18
224 The Umbrella E2 5c * 24
225 The Parapluie E1 5b * 11
226 The Wart
-
E3 5c 11
227 Angel's Face
-
E1 5b ** 43
228 Ape's Crack
-
HVS 5b 18
229 Gabriel's Garter / Ape's Amble VS 5a ** 8
Climb name Grade
  ----------- Helsby Bouldering -----------
231 Gaz's Gapeing Girdle V2 5
  Cashooks Wall
233 The Prow V0+ 3
234 Western Roll
-
V2 5c 6
235 Right Shelf
-
V2 5c ** 4
  Overhang Buttress
237 Pillar
-
V0 5b 16
238 Roof Direct
-
V2 5c 13
239 Roof Right-hand
-
V2 5c 18
  Jay'sButtress
241 Left Arete V0 4b 55
242 Steep Wall V0 49
243 Thin Crack V0 4b * 60
244 Diagonal Crack V0- 4a 53
245 Ledge Route
-
V0 5a 33
246 Another Ledge Route
-
V0 5a 26
247 The Nose (Jay's Buttress)
-
V0 5a 19
248 The Nose (sit start) V1 5b * 11
249 Cave Wall
-
V0 5a 17
250 The Pinch V0 4c 40
251 The Mantle VB * 39
  Scoop Buttress
253 Left Edge V0 4a 42
254 The Scoop V0- 4a 51
255 Arete and Mantel
-
V3 6a 35
256 Long Pull
-
V2 5c 34
257 Easy Pull
-
V1 5b 40
258 Flaky Wall V0 5a 36
259 Green Wall VB * 37
260 Sandy Wall V0 5a 34
261 Black Hole V1 5a 28
262 Grasper
-
V2 5c 14
  Pocket Wall
264 The Nose (Pocket Wall)
-
V1 5b *** 49
265 The Nose - sitting start V2 *** 18
266 The Nose (sit start, no ledge) f7A 1
267 The Arete
-
V3 6a 12
268 The Arete (sit start) f6C  
269 Pocket Wall
-
V3 6a *** 20
270 Pocket wall sit start f7A 1
271 Swedish Fish V6 1
272 Centre Route
-
V1 5b * 31
273 Right route
-
V0 5a 21
274 The Step V1 5a * 25
275 Green Step V1 5b 10
276 Green Wall
-
V1 5a 7
277 Jugs V0 5a ** 15
278 Ho-Ho
-
V0 5a 9
279 Lew's Traverse
-
V0 5b 15
280 Tears in Rain V8+ 2
  Barrel Buttress
282 Helter Skelter
-
V2 5b  
283 Roll Out the Barrel
-
V3 5c ** 4
284 Speckled Hen V1 5b 4
285 Ron Burgundy's Mustache
-
V8 6c ** 3
286 Veronica Corningstones Jugs V3 ** 2
287 Will Farrell V11  
288 The Groove V1 5a * 18
289 The Beak V0+ 5a 15
290 The Niche V1 5a 16
291 Bitter V0 4c 23
292 Crank It V1 5a 20
293 Crank it - SDS V1 2
294 Harold's Wall V3 6a 6
295 Harolds Wall Sit Start f7A 2
296 Left Overs
-
V1 5a 6
  Long Wall
298 Greener Traverse f5 * 3
299 First Left V0 18
300 Spiked Wall V0 12
301 Left Groove V0 4c 52
302 Left Wall
-
V0 4c 50
303 Elca V1 7
304 Two Egyptains
-
V2 5b 24
305 Popeye
-
V2 * 9
306 Low traverse f5+ 8
307 Martin's Eyes
-
V2 5c 6
308 Central Nose V1 5a 21
309 Hot Fuzz
-
V1 5a 14
310 Three Left Hands
-
V2 5b ** 21
311 Right Nose
-
V2 5c * 9
312 Oliver
-
V3 6s ** 10
313 Shuffle V0 5a 16
314 Right Groove V0- 4b 19
315 Right Wall V1 4
316 Long Traverse V1 67
317 Zig-Zag Traverse
-
V1 5a * 21
318 Artful Dodger
-
V4 6b *** 2
319 Atful Dodging
-
V6 6b *** 3
  Cave Buttress
321 The Arch
-
V1 5b * 22
322 Green Slab
-
V0 4c 6
323 Archibald
-
V4 6b 3
324 The Grimace
-
V4 5c 1
325 High Brow
-
V3 5c * 1
326 Stiff Upper Lip
-
V3 5c 1
  Traverse Buttress
328 Problem 65
-
V3 6b 2
329 Problen 66
-
V2 6a 3
330 Problem 67 V1 5
331 Problem 68
-
V1 5b 6
332 Problem 69
-
V1 5b 6
333 Problem 70
-
V0 5a 6
334 Ramp Eliminate
-
V6 6b ** 2
335 Problem 71
-
V0 5a 5
336 Upper Traverse
-
V1 5b * 3
337 Lower Traverse
-
V4 6b * 1
338 Left Pocket
-
V1 5b 1
339 Fly
-
V2 5c 1
340 Flying Low V4 1
341 Right Pocket
-
V0 5a 2
342 Right Pocket Sit Start V2 1
  Unknown / New / Awaiting Moderation

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