Restricted Access

The crag is south facing for the most part and quick drying, especially with a bit of sea breeze. However, it's worth bearing in mind that traversing along the platform at the base of the crag (needed to get to most routes) can be exciting in anything other than calm seas. The traverse is generally accessible 3 hours either side of high tide for most of the crag and the base of Terrier's Tooth and Bishop's Buttress for slightly longer, although these times are significantly reduced during neap tides. During high tides or when big seas are running, it is also possible to abseil in to the upper pitches of several routes.

Seasonal Restrictions

Dates: 15 March to 30 June

Reason: Nesting Birds

The restriction applies to all routes on Bishop's Buttress - from Lacertion to The Mitre inclusive (route 82, page 153 to route 14, page 159 in the 2017 Climber's Club guidebook).

Routes within Zawn Rinny (Consolation Climb to Shark Alley) are also restricted during the same period, but the Zawn Rinny descent for the western end of Chair Ladder is fine to use. 

52m, 3 pitches.

Rockfax Description
Space-walking on its final pitch and with plenty of interesting climbing throughout. Quite tough at the grade. Start above the tidal pool at a deep, narrowing chimney.
1) 4b, 24m. Bridge up the chimney and move out onto its left rib where it narrows. This point can also be gained by climbing the corner-crack right of the chimney to a ledge and then moving left. Move up and then step right to a ledge on the main buttress. Climb to a small stance at the left end of the roof that comes in from the right. This pitch can be split above the initial chimney.
2) 4a, 17m. Traverse rightwards above the lip of the overhang and follow cracks up the centre of the wall in a fantastic position until a leftward line can be followed to a big ledge and belay on blocks.
3) 4b,11m. The line of steep thin cracks above the centre of the ledge provides an excellent but short-lived finish. © Rockfax


Connoisseur's Classic Rock , West Country Climbs , 50 Best HS Routes in the UK. , HS Climbs to do in Summer 2014 , Best Multi-pitch Severe and Hard Severe , South West VDiff-HVS , CUC Climbing Club, Part 1: The Classics , Paul's pre-Kendal Kernow ticklist , Ultimate HS ticklist , South West Climbs - Pat Littlejohn (1st Ed.) , Learning to Trad Climb: Cornwall , Cornwall , Kernow , Luke & Andy's Cornish Climbathon , Cornwall - October 2023


User Date Notes
Rhys Hughes 19 Apr, 2021 Show βeta
βeta: Fraser led P1, pretty serious for a HS, easy stemming but wouldnt want a foot slip! I led P2 and 3 together (took the direct line, as for Diocese). Great route
Show beta
βeta: Fraser led P1, pretty serious for a HS, easy stemming but wouldnt want a foot slip! I led P2 and 3 together (took the direct line, as for Diocese). Great route

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High VS
Mid VS
Low VS
High HS
Mid HS
Low HS
High S
Mid S
Low S
Votes cast 35
High 4c
Mid 4c
Low 4c
High 4b
Mid 4b
Low 4b
High 4a
Mid 4a
Low 4a
Votes cast 31
Votes cast 34
Style of Ascent
Alt Leads
Not Set
Flashed (β)
Not Set
Route of Interest
Right Angle

Grade: HS 4b ***
(Gurnard's Head)

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