Swanage Rock Climbing
|GPS:||50.592, -1.976 Google Map · Climbing Map|
|Shared By:||Martin Bagshaw on Dec 19, 2016|
|Admins:||Chris Owen, Euan Cameron, Nick Russell|
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DescriptionMainly Sea Cliff trad climbing on limestone, with routes ranging from 10 metres/ 30 feet to around 50 metres/ 150 feet, with a few longer, harder and scarier traversing routes.
Care should be taken on many of the routes, especially the top outs at the showpiece crag, Boulder Ruckle, which can be quite earthy and crumbly. A 50 metre+ abseil rope is required to access this cliff and many of the cliffs at Swanage, most of which are non- tidal, but can be wave washed in rough seas. Abseil/ rappel from stakes driven into the ground on the cliff top.
Though many find much of the climbing to be quite intimidating, there are more moderate (and shorter) routes at the easternmost crag, Subliminal, along with sport climbing at three inland quarries: Winspit, Hedbury, and Dancing Ledge.
There are also a selection of atmospheric bolted routes right next to the sea at The Promenade and Blacker's Hole. The latter of which boasts a 40 metre 45 degree overhanging arete thing that goes at 8a+, or 13c, aptly named 'Infinite Gravity'.
A selection of mid grade Swanage classics include:
- Benny - VS 4c/ A1. Three pitch route that goes to the back of a cave (with some easy aid), up a blowhole, then out to the cliff top.
- Troubled Waters - HVS 5a. Usually done as a safe deep water solo. A great face climb on compact rock, with a crux that isn't too high and clean fall into the sea. Just don't fall off (or even bother with it) if the sea is at all rough.
- Elysium - E1 5b. Two pitch route that can be run into one 45m pitch. First pitch follows a crack in a face, second pitch a big corner.
- The Conger - E2 5c. Another deep water solo, taking a rising traverse around a rib/ blunt arete, then up a chimney to finish.
- Ocean Boulevard - E3 5b. Originally a two pitch route, now done as one 45m pitch. Follows an overhanging broken crack line at the west end of Boulder Ruckle crag.
Guidebooks for the area include the climbers club book for Swanage and rockfax Dorset select guidebook.
Getting TherePark at Durlston Country Park in Swanage for Eastern Crags such as Subliminal and Boulder Ruckle, and the villages of Langton Matravers and Worth Matravers for the more central and western crags. Durlston Country Park currently (2016) has a £5 a day car parking charge.
Approach times from parking range from around 20 minutes to 45 minutes or maybe an hour if you are slow, for more remote crags such as Fisherman's Ledge.
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