Chair Ladder is one of the UK's premier destinations for multi-pitch sea-cliff climbs. The rock, style of climbing and stupendous location are all unbeatable. All the climbs are worthwhile, and the harder routes are rarely busy. Perhaps the cliff's only flaw is that is can be a frustrating place to climb during high seas or when the tides are not convenient, although the non-tidal crags of Carn Barra and Porthgwarra Buttress are not too far away.
Chair Ladder is very exposed to the elements and big seas. Great care is needed when traversing the base of the cliff. The rock dries quickly and the cliff gets plenty of sun, although the Bulging Wall section of the cliff stays in the shade longer than the other buttresses. Seagulls can pose problems during the nesting season.
From the car park in Porthwarra, take the road to the right, up the hill and through a gate. At the first left bend, carry on up the hill on the road to the coastguard lookout, which is directly above the highest section of Chair Ladder. On a first visit, the location of the three main descents (Zawn Rinny, Ash Can Gully and Pinnacle Gully) to the base of the cliff are not immediately obvious, and it is worth taking time to check which gully is which. When standing facing out to sea from the coastguard lookout, the top of Ash Can Gully is 20m to the left, whilst the top of Pinnacle Gully is about 70m to the left. Zawn Rinny is around 150m to the right.
For 3 hours either side of low water, the base of Chair Ladder is easily traversed (in calm seas) however, each descent has its own merits in accessing the various buttresses.