Leicestershire Climbs

climbing in Leicestershire

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Craig Buddon

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Situated on the edge of Swithland reservoir Craig Buddon’s pink granite walls are home to 29 routes ranging in grade from Diff through to E5. The majority of the routes are no more than HVS making the crag an ideal venue for lower grade climbers. The climbing can feel quite bold as the compact walls of the crag do not tend to offer much in the way of protection.


The approach is from the Quorn-Thurcaston road. Turn off the old A6 south of Quorn. After 2 miles turn right down Kinchley Lane. Follow this for about a mile and park up where the road crosses the dam. Walk back along the road to a gated track which leads to the crag.


Craig Buddon is part of a SSSI; the heather slope to the left side (north) of the crag is of special interest.

Access to the entire SSSI may be restricted during prolonged dry spells because of the fire risk and a notice will be posted to this effect.

Avoid using the small trees on top of the crag as the roots are shallow and surprisingly weak. Belay from the trees situated behind the wall.


From the top of the crag hop over the wall and follow it back down to the approach track.

The extreme left-hand corner gives the first route (which is also a useful descent route).

1 Dandy 10m Diff.

Climb a ramp behind a tree to the base of a wide groove. Climb the left side of the groove up to a tree.

The wall behind the tree is climbed to the top.

2 Cull 10m VD **

Climb a ramp behind a tree to the base of a wide groove. Climb the right side of the groove up to a tree. The wall behind the tree is climbed to the top.

3 Straight and Narrow 20m E1 5a **

Start below the left-hand arête behind the tree. Climb the steep wall to the bottom of the

arête. Follow the arête via good committing moves to a ledge. From the ledge follow the left side of the continuation arête to the top.

Ken Vickers and Dave Draper, 1961.

4 Blade 20m HVS 5b**

Starts at the base of the obvious rising traverse line gained by scrambling up behind a tree on the left hand side of the buttress. Traverse right for 3m and climb the centre of the slab to a ledge. Climb the right side of the continuation arête above.

5 Go Slow 20m HVS 4c *

As for Blade but continue the traverse via a tricky, serious feeling move into the groove. Finish up this.

6 Sunshine on a Rainy Day! 19m E3 6b *

A hard boulder problem start to Blade. Start 2m right if Blade. Move up to a good side pull and make a long move (crux) to good holds on the lip. Swing right and rock onto the slab to finish as for Blade.

FA Robin Richmond 4.9.08 (solo)

7 Scabbard 14m E4 5c***

A hard direct start to Blade. Start 2m down and left of the corner of Starco, Climbs the blank wall via small crimps to a good hold at the base of the slab, careful mantling brings you to a standing position and relief, finish as for Blade.

Dave Hughes, 1999. (Solo)

8 Starco 15m HVS 5b*

A good route that climbs the obvious black overhanging corner right of Scabbard. Climb the lower slabby wall until beneath the crack of Gamekeepers Refusal. Move left and up into the corner and make a good move to gain a flat ledge above. Exit the corner leftwards and continue up the arête above.

Martyn Riley and Roger Withers, Nov. 1960.

9 Gamekeepers Refusal 15m E1 5b**

A good route taking the steep crack right of Starco. Start as for Starco, where the wall steepens follow the thin crack past a peg runner. The final moves onto the ledge are easily fluffable, be warned!

S. Gutteridge and P. Wells, 1978; J. Moulding, R. Conley and F. Stevenson, 1977/8.

10 Brothers In Arms 17m E5 6b*

Climbs the steep wall right of Gamekeepers Refusal. Climb the centre of the slab as for Soft and Hard until underneath the centre of the upper wall. From here the angle of rock alters alarmingly and bold hard moves on undercuts and crimps lead to good holds on the lip. Mantle the lip and follow good holds to the top. Small opposing wires go in the crack where the “old off line peg” of Gamekeepers used to be; might protect a fall. Can be lead with side runners in Gamekeepers Refusal at E2 6b.

Dave Hughes, Oct 1998.

11 Soft and Hard 17m VS 5a **

A good route, starting 3m left of Virago. Climb easily up the pleasant slab trending rightwards to a break (Friends). Move right and make a tricky move up the slab to good holds which lead to the top.

12 Virago 17m E1 5b ***

Start below a clean cut groove at the foot of the right-hand side of the buttress. Climb the groove to the bulge above which is taken on its right side. From here easy moves lead up to the break (friends). Climb direct to the top with a hard move round the lip of the steep wall above. A good route.

Ken Vickers and Dave Draper, May 1960.

13 Trepidation 17m HVS 5b **

To the right of Virago is a crack, climb up to, and layback the crack until good holds on the left can be reached. Finish as for Soft and Hard.

Ken Vickers and Stephen George, 1964.

14 Trepidation Direct 17m E2 5b*

A direct finish to the original line. From the first good finger lock in the crack reach out right and then climb the wall direct to join the original route at the jug on Soft & Hard. Only the purist will resist the temptation to bridge across the corner. Those who resist will be rewarded; the climbing is superb. Bridging out reduces the grade to HVS.

15 Dusty Desire 10m HS 4b

Climb the deceptively easy-looking corner to the right of Trepidation.

16 Future Times 10m HVS 5a *

The right arête of Dusty Desire would be a real classic if it weren’t for a ledge at half height which provides a bail out point if needed or at least a very good foot hold on an otherwise perfect slabby arête.

Steve Gutteridge 1979(ish)

17 Halcyon 10m D

Follow the shallow groove in the slab immediately to the right of Future Times.

18 Harpy 10m D

The crack to the right of the slab.

19 Girdle Traverse 30m HVS 5a *

Start up Harpy for 6m and move left to Future Times. Continue to the break on Virago. Move down and left beneath Gamekeepers Refusal to the groove of Starco. Up this and traverse across the slab to finish up Straight and Narrow.


1. Dandy VD
2. Cull VD
3. Straight and Narrow E1 5a
4. Blade HVS 5b
5. Go Slow HVS 4c
6. Sunshine on a Rainy Day! E3 6b
7. Scabbard E4 5c
8. Starco HVS 5b
9. Gamekeepers Refusal E1 5b
10. Brothers in Arms E5 6b
11. Soft and Hard VS 5a
12. Virago E1 5b
13. Trepidation indirect HVS 5b
14. Trepidation E1 5b
15. Dusty desire HS 4b
16. Future Times HVS 5a
17. Halcyon
18. Harpy
GT. Girdle Traverse





The next seven routes are to the right of the main crag. Care should be taken when climbing these routes, in particular Pigeon Street and House of Cards. The rock quality on this section is not as good as that on the main buttress, however the climbing is good.  The routes are shorter, those in the end bay make good solos.

20 Pigeon Street 12m HVS 4b

Start just right of an obvious column of rotten rock. Climb the blocky groove to the top.  Take care not to disturb the pigeons. Take care not to dislodge the crag.

FA Robin Richmond 1/6/08 (solo)

21 House of Cards 12m HVS 4c

Start directly below a tree at the top of the crag. Climb the groove above to the top.

FA Robin Richmond 1/6/08 (solo)

22 The Bowline Cycling Club 12m VD

Right of House of Cards is an arête. Climb the left side of the arête; passing a small tree, for 5m. Step right into a corner which is climbed to finish.

FA Robin Richmond 1/6/08 (solo)

23 Bumbly 10m HVS 5a

From the start of Bowline Cycling Club climb the right side of the arête. Where it steepens, keep right and make a good pull to gain and use a large block to pull into and finish up the top corner.

FA Robin Richmond 1/6/08 (solo)

24 Crumbly 10m HVS 5b *

Starts 2m right of Bumbly at the left arête of the wall. Pull on and make moves up the wall to gain and climb the right side of the top arête.

FA Robin Richmond 1/6/08 (solo)

25 Rain 10m VS 5a *

From the start of Crumbly move right onto the centre of the face which is climbed direct.

FA Robin Richmond 1/6/08 (solo)

26 More Rain 10m HVS 5b

Squeezed in and totally eliminate but some good moves make this a worthwhile proposition. Start just right of Rain by the rotten corner. Climb the wall direct avoiding all but the last ledge on Rain when one is forced back left for the final few metres of the wall.

FA Robin Richmond 3/9/08 (solo)

27 Washout 10m HVS 5b

Climbs the left side of the right wall of the bay. Climb direct to the final break where protection can be placed to protect the final moves out right to the top.

FA Robin Richmond 3/9/08 (solo)

28 Festival of Pain 10m VS 4c

The second easiest route on the Crumbly sector behind Bowline Cycling Club. Both routes make good warm ups. Start down the slope at the toe of the buttress. Move onto the arête and climb the wall above. Take care on the final few metres up the sandy bank to the top.

FA Robin Richmond 3/9/08 (solo)

29 Drizzle 15m HVS 5b

Follow Festival of Pain until a horizontal break on the left can be reached. Follow this to the corner, make a move back down the wall and then continue leftwards across the rotten corner and onto the left wall of the bay. Finish up the top arête as for Crumbly.

FA Robin Richmond (solo)

20 Pigeon Street HVS 4b
21. House of Cards HVS 4c
22. The Bowline Cycling Club VD
23. Bumbly HVS 5a
24. Crumbly HVS 5b
25. Rain VS 5a
26. More Rain VS 5a
27. Washout HVS 5b
28. Festival of Pain VS 4c
29. Drizzle HVS 5b