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The tree above the Middlefell Buttress descent has now fallen: early November 21. It is lodged in the gully below. The remaining timber has been cleared. The blocks behind the tree  are used as an abseil point into the gully. They may be weakened by the demise of the tree. Caution advised in using the blocks. It is possible to scamble down this descent, but it is loose and serious.

A significant rockfall from the split block on the normal descent has meant that a large block and oak tree which formed part of the descent route through its trickiest section are now gone. The descent (which was already awkward and had resulted in several bad accidents over the years) is now significantly more difficult and exposed. A great deal of care will be needed if attempting this descent now and alternative descents are probably better either by abseil or walking to the top of the crag, heading right and coming down around the side of East Raven Crag.  2018

2019 Update: Due to rockfall the traditional Split Blocks descent route can no longer be recommended. An abseil descent has been established. Details are as follows, guidebook references are to the definitive Langdale (2013) and Lake District Rock (2015).

The Langdale guide has photodiagrams on pages 153 and 160 that show the traditional Split Blocks descent. In Lake District Rock this descent is shown on the photodiagrams on pages 69 and 70. On the Revelation Area view in the definitive guide (page 160), a skull and crossbones symbol will be seen above the finish of Kneewrecker Chimney (route 24). In Lake District Rock (page 70) the symbol is an exclamation mark and Kneewrecker Chimney is route 11. These symbols mark the start of the even more unsafe scrambling descent warned about in these guides and it is now exactly where the abseil station is located. Likewise on the main frontal view of the crag, these symbols will be seen above the line marking the traditional descent route. To find the abseil station the general instruction is; From the top of the main buttress head up and generally rightwards for a few metres (vague path) and the abseil strop/station will be seen around a huge flake-block. A 30m abseil takes you to easy ground. However, this abseil can be done on a single 50m rope to reach ledges at 25m but care is required not to go past these and run off the end of the rope – tie knots in the ends of your rope!

43m, 2 pitches.

Rockfax Description
A charming route with continually interesting moves. Start just left of an arete as for Elevation.
1) 12m. Climb the open grooves for 4m then head slightly rightwards across short corners to a ledge and belay.
2) 4b, 23m. Take the short steep wall and crack above to a rest on the left at a ledge. Move up to an overlap and traverse right to clear it. Take the corner above and finish direct. Walk off to the left (looking out). © Rockfax

Ticklists

50 Best HS Routes in the UK. , Climbing with kids , Preston Mountaineering Club First Ascents , Select VS Climbs in the Lake District , Lakeland's Best Multi-pitch Routes up to HVS , Langdale 3* Severes , The best the lakes has to offer for mere mortals (because it's not always as wet as kez thinks) , A Lakeland Apprenticeship , Turbo-Punter's Tradification , Lake District Multipitch Climbing , Ash and Krisz's September Adventure , Chasing Stars across the UK

Feedback

User Date Notes
robsway 14 Aug, 2022 Show βeta
βeta: Dave kindly let me lead second pitch - such great climbing at the grade
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: Dave kindly let me lead second pitch - such great climbing at the grade
PeteY 11 Jul, 2022 Show βeta
βeta: Wired guide has this listed as a 31m second pitch. Also, the parallel line Elevation to the left is listed as a 43m single pitch both here and in Wired, so something doesn't add up. Belayed at the ledge as a precaution rather than running them together - probably would have made it in one.
βeta?
Show beta
βeta: Wired guide has this listed as a 31m second pitch. Also, the parallel line Elevation to the left is listed as a 43m single pitch both here and in Wired, so something doesn't add up. Belayed at the ledge as a precaution rather than running them together - probably would have made it in one.
FrankieMac 18 Jan, 2020 Show βeta
βeta: Pleasant climb with good gear and straightforward descent.
Show beta
βeta: Pleasant climb with good gear and straightforward descent.

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Route of Interest
Slabs West Route

Grade: HS 4a ***
(Grey Crag (Buttermere))

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