Cormorant Buttress West Top 50

2 Stars
 S 4a

Adjacent Routes
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The best route of its grade in the area. A remote setting and the need for the right combination of tide and calm seas make this a serious undertaking. It is not a good route for the inexperienced. Start from a massive block below the large undercut buttress.
1) 4a, 16m. From the block, make a tough step-up onto the wall - crux. Good holds lead up left into a shallow groove. The groove provides steeper climbing to gain a large ledge and good belays.
2) 4a, 15m. Climb up rightwards to a huge flake-crack. Large nuts or cams protect the moves up the flake-crack. From the top of the flake-crack, move right to an easy-angled but unstable slope which, with great care leads to the top.
FA. J.Yaldren, Richard Crewe 11.10.1969


Good epic potential here! We traversed over from Quality Street and it's further than we though - almost went up a VS! The CC guide gives this route high end Severe, and I'd agree with that. The flake on the second pitch makes for nice easy climbing (convenient notch footholds in it), but getting established on top of it certianly isn't easy. I recommend jamming your left leg in the flake crag, getting a toe hook in the horizontal break and beaching like a whale forwards across the muddy triangle until you can get enough purchase to palm off and stand up.

I was chatting to some locals and they said they've never seen so much traffic here as this weekend, they put it down to the new book coming out, but there's going to be a lot of worried VDiff leaders on it!

The Dorset guide also fails to mention that there are two ab stakes (handy to know) - I've never been so glad to see metal stakes in my life, there was no way I'd reverse back down those ball bearings to get to the cliff top with my gear so far below.
cider nut - 30/Aug/05

Just read that through, and should have put some exclamation marks to lighten it up a bit - it was still a nice outing, even though with all the route finding and other problems (wading through the sea as the tide wasn't fully out), it took us 5 hours from leaving our bags at the ab station to returning to them. Make sure you go armed with enough water (we took none)!
cider nut - 30/Aug/05

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