Contributed by C Witter Dec/16 - This public hilllist has been seen 3,630 times

Bill Birkett's list, 'Lakeland's Great Routes', cribbed from his enjoyable history of Lake District climbing, 'Lakeland's Greatest Pioneers: A Hundred Years of Rock Climbing' (London: Robert Hale, 1983).


Birkett picked 11 figures to represent the history of the Lakes:

- W. P. Haskett-Smith
- O. G. Jones
- F. W. Botterill
- S. Herford
- H. M. Kelly
- A. T. Hargreaves
- R. J. Birkett
- W. Peascod
- A. R. Dolphin
- A. Austin
- P. Livesley


What follows is Birkett's selection of the 'most significant and historically important' routes these pioneers put up between 1882 and 1978, plus others he deems to represent 'the very best climbing' they achieved. I've added in a couple too.

Dates are given for some key routes, and refer to the route immediately below. I've not added many, as the dates begin to overlap in the postwar period and become confusing.

p.s. Note that some UKC names are inaccurate, e.g. 'Dry Grasp' should be 'Dry Gasp'.

(ED: In progress - not quite finished yet...)

Dave Clark cruising the nice traverse  © eldre070
Dave Clark cruising the nice traverse
© eldre070, May 2021

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Map of routes in this ticklist

Least routes Most routes

Note: Only showing summits, scrambles, winter routes, and low grade climbs

Distribution of grades - Trad

Top 12 photos of this hilllist

Gimmer String

Gimmer String
© Nadir khan

Jade making her way up Botterill's Slab in the cloud.

Botterill's Slab
Jade making her way up Botterill's Slab in the cloud.
© JohnHartley

great night on napes needle

The Wasdale Crack
great night on napes needle
© tjmillen

Unknown climber on Slip Knot

Slip Knot
Unknown climber on Slip Knot
© Skyfall

Summer days at Gimmer

North West Arete
Summer days at Gimmer
© davelongbottom

The first 'climb to BASE' exit of Tophet Wall.

Tophet Wall
The first 'climb to BASE' exit of Tophet Wall.
© Tom McNally

Evening Light on Gimmer. Sean B sneaks one last route in.

North West Arete
Evening Light on Gimmer. Sean B sneaks one last route in.
© neil the weak

Jade emerging from the mist on Botterill's Slab

Botterill's Slab
Jade emerging from the mist on Botterill's Slab
© JohnHartley

Matt pulling into the crux groove on an attempt at Das Kapital

Das Kapital
Matt pulling into the crux groove on an attempt at Das Kapital
© JohnHartley

Eliza and Matt moving together on the upper section of Needle Ridge.

Needle Ridge
Eliza and Matt moving together on the upper section of Needle Ridge.
© Tom McNally

Tophet wall pitch 1

Tophet Wall
Tophet wall pitch 1
© Brand

Gimmer String

Gimmer String
© Nadir khan


Add Climb name Grade Ticks? Height Crag name
W. P. HASKETT-SMITH (28 AUGUST 1859 – 11 MARCH 1946)
1882
Great Gully D * 43 ? Pavey Ark
Needle Ridge VD *** 1648 114m • 5 The Napes
1886
The Wasdale Crack HS 4c *** 1239 17m • 2 The Napes
North Climb S 4a *** 143 ? Pillar
O. G. JONES (2 NOVEMBER 1867 – 28 AUGUST 1899)
1896
Jones' Route from Deep Gill S 3 ? Scafell Crag
'C' Gully (Summer) VS - ? Wasdale Screes
Central Chimney S 4a ** 53 ? Dow Crag
Kern Knotts West Chimney VD * 37 32m • 2 Kern Knotts
Kern Knotts Crack HVS 4c ** 264 42m • 2 Kern Knotts
Jone's Route Direct from Lord's Rake HS 4b *** 310 ? Scafell Crag
Jones' Route VD * 6 ? Dow Crag
Walker's Gully MVS 4c *** 7 ? Pillar
F. W. BOTTERILL (D. 1920)
1903
Botterill's Slab VS 4c *** 792 87m • 3 Scafell Crag
North-West Climb VS 4b *** 155 ? Pillar
Crescent Climb M ** 614 ? Pavey Ark
Abbey Buttress S 4a *** 163 58m • 3 The Napes
S. W. HERFORD (29 JULY 1891 - 1916)
Kern Knotts West Buttress VS 4b *** 173 33m • 2 Kern Knotts
Direct from Lord's Rake to Hopkinson's Cairn S 4a *** 49 ? Scafell Crag
The Girdle Traverse MVS 5a ** 1 ? Scafell Crag
Wayfarer's Crack MS 2 12m Great End
1914
Central Buttress E1 5b *** 657 122m • 6 Scafell Crag
H. M. KELLY (20 MAY 1884 - MARCH 1980)
Tophet Bastion VD * 57 66m • 4 The Napes
Rib and Slab Climb HS 4b *** 339 ? Pillar
West Wall Climb HVD ** 54 ? Pillar
Sodom VS 4b * 2 ? Pillar
Gomorrah VS 4c ** 24 ? Pillar
Kern Knotts Buttress HVS 5b * 12 49m • 3 Kern Knotts
Central Climb South Face VS 4b ** 56 37m • 2 Kern Knotts
Flake Climb VS 4c 2 ? Kern Knotts
Upper Deep Gill Buttress MVS 4b * 1 ? Scafell Crag
Central Route - Deep Gill Slabs HS 4b * 5 ? Scafell Crag
Nook and Wall Climb S 4c ** 1 ? Pillar
The Appian Way HS 4b ** 55 ? Pillar
Tophet Wall HS 4b *** 1376 75m • 4 The Napes
The Tower Buttress HS * - 206m Scafell Shamrock
1926
Moss Ghyll Grooves VS 4c *** 670 79m • 4 Scafell Crag
Grooved Wall VS 5a ** 76 ? Pillar
A. T. HARGREAVES (1903-1952)
1930
Deer Bield Crack HVS 5a ** 31 ? Deer Bield Crag
Direct Route VS 4b *** 1243 ? Castle Rock of...
Nor'-Nor'-West Climb VS 4c * 17 ? Pillar
Overhanging Wall HVS 5a * 8 ? Scafell East...
JIM BIRKETT (22 APRIL 1914 - 30 DECEMBER 1993)
1938
May Day Climb HVS 5b 10 78m • 3 Scafell East...
East Buttress Girdle HVS 5a * - 210m • 12 Scafell East...
1939
Overhanging Bastion HVS 5a *** 1007 ? Castle Rock of...
North West Arete VS 4b *** 1335 ? Gimmer Crag
'F' Route VS 4c *** 1160 ? Gimmer Crag
Great Central Climb VS 5a * 17 ? Esk Buttress (Dow...
Hollin Groove HS 4b * 284 ? White Ghyll
White Ghyll Wall VS 4c *** 759 68m White Ghyll
Slip Knot VS 4b *** 1700 44m • 2 White Ghyll
Leopard's Crawl HVS 5a *** 520 ? Dow Crag
Haste Not VS 4c *** 865 ? White Ghyll
Slab and Groove Route HVS 4c ** 79 72m • 2 Scafell Crag
Perhaps Not HVS 5a ** 67 ? White Ghyll
Do Not E1 5b * 29 35m • 2 White Ghyll
Harlot Face E1 5b ** 346 ? Castle Rock of...
BILL PEASCOD (1920-1985))
1940
Eagle Front VS 4c *** 322 150m • 8 Eagle Crag...
Fifth Avenue VS 4c * 7 ? Eagle Crag...
Dexter Wall VS 5a *** 361 ? Grey Crag...
Suaviter S 3c *** 232 ? Grey Crag...
Fortiter VS 4b *** 185 ? Grey Crag...
Resurrection Route VS 4b ** 73 ? High Crag
Sinister Grooves VS 4c *** 376 ? Buckstone How
Honister Wall HS 4b ** 276 ? Buckstone How
Falconer's Crack VS 4c ** 49 ? Eagle Crag...
Dale Head Pillar MVS 4a * 5 80m • 4 Dale Head Crag
Cleopatra HVS 5a ** 251 ? Buckstone How
Jezebel VS 4c ** 28 42m • 2 Miners Crag
Eve VS 4c *** 1997 ? Shepherd’s Crag
Delilah VS 4c *** 376 ? High Crag
A. R. DOLPHIN (15 MARCH 1925 - 25TH JULY 1953)
Demon Wall VS 5a * 9 76m • 4 The Napes
Tophet Girdle VS 4c * 1 ? The Napes
Nocturne VS 4b ** 7 ? • 3 Gimmer Crag
Monkey Puzzle S 4a 1 ? Deer Bield Crag
Whit's End VS 4c ** 74 ? Gimmer Crag
Protus HVS 5a *** 250 ? Raven Crag...
Deuterus E1 5b 65 ? Raven Crag...
Hobson's Choice VS 4b * 24 ? Pavey Ark
Medusa Wall VS 4c 86 ? Esk Buttress (Dow...
1948
Kipling Groove HVS 5a *** 1239 ? Gimmer Crag
Rubicon Groove E1 5b * 1 ? Bowfell
Deer Bield Buttress E1 5a *** 96 ? Deer Bield Crag
Sword of Damocles E1 5b ** 63 ? North...
Dunmail Cracks HVS 5a 7 ? Deer Bield Crag
Perseus E3 * 8 ? Esk Buttress (Dow...
Hell's Groove E1 5b ** 86 ? Scafell East...
Trespasser Groove E1 5a *** 173 ? Esk Buttress (Dow...
Babylon E1 5b 16 ? Raven Crag...
Communist Convert VS 4c ** 152 ? Raven Crag,...
ALAN AUSTIN
Golden Slipper HVS 5a *** 1104 ? Pavey Ark
1960
Astra E2 5c *** 372 ? Pavey Ark
Arcturus E1 5b *** 495 ? Pavey Ark
Gimmer String E1 5b *** 460 ? Gimmer Crag
Man of Straw E1 5b ** 398 30m White Ghyll
Gandalf's Groove Direct E2 5b ** 183 ? Neckband Crag
Carnival E1 5b ** 34 ? Eagle Crag...
Chimney Variant E1 5b ** 108 ? • 3 White Ghyll
Razor Crack E1 5b *** 343 ? Neckband Crag
The Bracken-Clock E2 5c *** 335 ? • 5 Pavey Ark
Haste Not Direct E2 5c ** 62 ? White Ghyll
P. LIVESLEY
Raindrop E1 5b *** 916 ? • 4 Black Crag...
1974
Footless Crow E6 6c *** 32 ? Goat Crag,...
Bitter Oasis E4 5c *** 162 ? Goat Crag,...
Eastern Hammer E3 6a *** 213 ? Gimmer Crag
Dry Grasp E4 6a *** 84 ? Falcon Crag
Nagasaki Grooves E4 6b *** 37 ? Great End Crag
Bowfell Buttress Eliminate E2 5b ** 27 ? Bowfell
Lost Colonies E3 6a *** 50 ? High Crag
Lost Horizons E4 6b *** 52 ? Scafell East...
Peels of Laughter E5 6b *** 15 ? Raven Crag,...
Hiroshima E4 6b 1 45m Great End Crag
Das Kapital E6 6b *** 10 46m • 2 Raven Crag,...
73 e, 229 stars 30,955 2,005m 183
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