Gary Gibson on the first ascent of Stung (7b+), Nettle Buttress. Photo Nadim Siddiqui.
In 1998 they said it could never happen and that all the Chee Dale buttresses had been developed. How little they knew for whilst the rain poured down in late May and early June of that year development was underway on this superb buttress with the thorough reassessment of its walls and a number of excellent routes underway.
Up until that time and subsequent to the forays of the early Eighties by Dave Lee and Dougie Halls impressive mistake in climbing General Incompetence, little had happened. Chris Gore nipped in in the early Nineties for Toys for the Boys but in reality the crag was left untouched.
Then in 1998 Gary Gibson came in to cast an eye over the remaining blank spaces on the face and came up with a host of excellent pitches and the recleaning/regearing of a number of his old routes which had fallen into disrepair. Such climbs as Stung (7b **), Long Dead Train (7b **), Fishlock (6b+ *) and Light Ideas (6c *) became instantly popular.
How to get there.
From Topley Pike, follow the old railway track along through two tunnels until you reach the closed tunnel. Turn right and follow the path back upstream to a wooden bridge crossing the river - the same point can be reach by following the riverside path below the Embankment, Riverside Buttress and the Nook and crossing the bridge or indeed upstream from the Cornice. Now follow a vague path upstream for 200m to reach the crag.
When Should I go there?
This crag takes little seepage and dries out relatively quickly in the spring but even in the rain a number of its routes remain climbable. The sun glints the crag about 3pm but when humid the midges come out in droves.