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The Central Buttress of Scafell

A collection of historic essays on a legendary route

Hardback (192pp)
  • Hardback £14.95
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Have any of you ever noticed a bayonet-shpaed crack descending from the skyline about midway between Moss Ghyll and Botterill's Crack on Scafell? No?

Has it never occured to you that between these two climbs there is a stretch of nearly two hundred feet or unscaled rock? No?
Ashley P. Abraham, 1907

Ten articles, reproduced by courtesy of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club and the Yorkshire Ramblers’ Club, chart the stages by which the Central Buttress of Scafell was besieged, conquered and finally, apparently, domesticated. Or was it?

In his introduction and commentary, Graham Wilson assesses the growth of the myth, the challenges of the climb and its status 90 years on. The articles range from Ashley Abraham’s call to action in 1907 and Sansom’s account of Herford’s first ascent in 1914 to Mabel Barker and Jack Carswell’s entertaining account of reversing the climb in the 1930s. And, as a coda, a twenty-first century account by a young woman climber reflects on the achievements of those who went before.

Available as an ebook:

Kindle (Amazon U.K. site)
Kindle (Amazon U.S. site)


Graham Wilson's climbing career began on the crags of the North East in the 1950s but it was not until he retired as Head of English at the King's School in Macclesfield that he started to write about his long acquaintance with the British hills. Since then, he has had seven 'outdoor' books published, as well as a collection of short stories, a study of Shakespeare and an appraisal of English rugby. His book A Rope of Writers was short-listed for the Boardman Tasker Prize.

He is an ardent Sunderland supporter and was also for many years an English Schools rugby selector. He has live in Macclesfield with his wife Trisha for over 40 years.

  • Title: The Central Buttress of Scafell
  • Sub-title: A collection of historic essays on a legendary route
  • Author: Edited by Graham Wilson
  • Imprint: Millrace Outdoor
  • ISBN: 9781902173160
  • Rights:
  • Publication date: 2004
  • Edition: First
    • Title: Chris Bonington Mountaineer
    • Sub-title: Thirty Years of Climbing on the World's Great Peaks
    • Author: Chris Bonington
    • Imprint: Bâton Wicks
    • ISBN: 978-1-898573-87-6
    • Rights: Worldwide (exc. North America)
    • Publication date: June 1995. This edition, Oct 1996.
    • Edition: Second
    • Format: Paperback
    • Size: 350mm x 235mm
    • Extent: 192 pages; B&W and colour images
    • Weight: 1,070g
    • Retail price: £20
    • - See more at:
  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 170mm x 120mm
  • Extent: 192pp, B&W text
  • Weight: 320g
  • Retail price: £14.95

Also available as an ebook:

  • Title: The Central Buttress of Scafell
  • Sub-title: A collection of essays selected and introduced by Graham Wilson
  • Compiled by: Graham Wilson
  • Imprint: Vertebrate Digital
  • ISBN: 9781910240243
  • Publication date: 08 December 2014
  • Price: £3.99

'The characters involved in the creation of the climb read like a Who’s Who of British climbing at the time. The sheer determination and teamwork shown by all concerned is indicative of a climbing scene that was competitive yet comradely. This collection is as taut as a good thriller, as beguiling as a love story and opens a window onto a singular climbing era.'
John Horscroft, Climber, March 2006

'There is a rich harvest of writing here that, when brought together, reveals a community sharing the gradual solving of entertaining problems in all its competitive detail… This little book demonstrates what ought also to be true today: how questions of style, imagination and personality are resolved into the changing meaning of a climb.'
Terry Gifford, Climb, April 2005

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