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First Winter Ascent of Butterknife

On a high from our new route in Glencoe Jamie and I scanned the guide books for gaps to climb. We decided to take the ferry over to Garbh Bheinn with the aim of climbing an existing summer line. The short walk in took just over an hour, a welcome change to the long slog to Lost Valley Buttress!

The obvious choice was Butterknife, the summer classic of the crag. The day was characterised by strong winds that buffeted the belayer. The lower 2 pitches provided some very enjoyable climbing. The crux second pitch in particular had fantastic steep pulls on solid hooks, which Jamie quickly polished off. However as the angle eased off on the second half of the route so too did the quality of the climbing. One would be forgiven for walking off along the terrace. We followed the summer route throughout and settled for tough VI 6 and 2 stars.

Gusts of hail stung the eyes so that we had to walk sideways. Bullied by the wind we stumbled back to the car.

Simon Richardson's article on can be found here.


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