Climbs 29
Rocktype Rhyolite
Altitude 245m a.s.l
Faces SE

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William Thompson on the Lower Buttress of Yew Crag, Gowbarrow © Thomas CarlPion

Crag features

Shown on various maps as Yew Crag.

Three main tiers.

The lower tier is commonly used by groups with easy to rig top ropes and bolts. The rock is polished but still presents enjoyable climbing.

The middle tier is home to the classic Whistler (MVS) alongside other good routes such as Whistle Away, Shamrock Crack (VD) and some harder lines around E3

The upper tier is up to 40m high with fantastic views over Ullswater. Susan (HVS) is a fantastic line that is well worth seeking out

Approach notes

5 minute gentle walk uphill to the lower tier. 10 minutes to the middle and upper

Parking is available directly under the crag in a layby, space for 5 cars. Other lay-bys are also available a few hundred metres either way along the road.

Access Advice

Gowbarrow is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is subject to a Code of Practice agreed between the National Trust, Natural England and the British Mountaineering Council. The Code of Practice is for groups of climbers (individuals are not affected) and states that:

  • Group use of the crag is confined to the Lower Buttress.
  • All belaying is to be from the bottom of the buttress
  • Group movement is confined to the immediate area at the bottom of the buttress.
  • A group booking system is operated by Ullswater Outward Bound School to prevent overcrowding. Following rockfall in December 2005, the National Trust strongly recommend leaders of groups arrange an on-site briefing with Ullswater Outward Bound who are willing to share their experience and site specific risk assessments.

Due care with the rock should be taken as there have been rock falls.

Seasonal Restrictions

Dates: 1 March to 30 June

Reason: Nesting Birds

Unsigned restriction for nesting peregrines. The restriction applies to The Upper Buttress only - the Middle and Lower Buttreses remain open.

Brilliant for an introduction as bolts are in place at the top of routes on the lower and middle tier. The best view of ullswater from the top of the main crag for the effort you have to put in and its always interesting trying to find your way around. One incredibly bad point about this crag is I never fail to come home with ticks, often 3 or 4, and everyone I know who has been there experienced the same. As long as blood sucking parasites dont bother u (and they dont me) this is a quality venue. Id recommend all the climbs on the bottom/middle tier.
martin_whitton - 02/Sep/06
Used to be very popular however when the large block fell out of the top crag and bounded down the fell side to rest near the gate at the bottom interest seem to drop. Such classics as Gowbarrow Buttress and Susan seemed to be forgotten and the crag became overgrown. Even so Susan is well worth finding and climbing - as well as The Whistler. Gowbarrow Corner is a bit polished. Gowbarrow Buttress is going back to nature. Haven't done the Girdle for year (not many have !) The view from the top of the Upper Crag is outstanding - looking over the upper section of Ullswater You will probably not have to queue on anything !
Ron Kenyon - 11/Aug/05
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