Polaris*** E5 6a
[New stake above Polaris - walk straight downhill from corner fence post until you reach the bushes, then ten paces right, 3 kb]70m, 3 pitches.

Rockfax Description
A Swanage classic. The climbing on the upper pitches is steep and exposed, but the protection is reasonable.
1) 5b, 30m. Climb the left-hand crack past an overhang to the fault-line and traverse rightwards to the arete (or better, traverse rightwards at a slightly lower level). Continue the traverse to a belay below a large open groove.
2) 6a, 15m. A very exposed pitch. Move down onto the main arete and climb a steep thin crack to a hand-traverse line across a leaning wall. Follow this right to a final tough move onto a belay ledge above the huge roof.
3) 5c, 25m. Climb the wall 2m right of the corner to a hidden peg. Move left and follow a slanting crack to a rest at the bottom of the big upper corner. Climb the sustained corner past a bulge to a slab and finish up steep grass to a stake belay. © ROCKFAX

FA. Arni Strapcans, Gordon Jenkin, Frank Farrell 13/Aug/1978

Ticklists: West Country Climbs, Swanage wild pumpfests, Ultimate E5 ticklist.

Photo: New stake above Polaris - walk straight downhill from corner fence post until you reach the bushes, then ten paces right © Ed Babs
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This climb is in 12 logbooks, and on 7 wishlists.

What a route - wild!!! One of the best adventure routes I've done. Reminiscent of Dreadnought but a fair bit harder. Abbed off the top stake (good scaffold pole per photo on here) with a 110m rope, loads left - 80m would do. The stake in the thorny hollow is fairly old and rusty. Tide in so took a low hanging belay. Mark led P1 - we thought it was E1 5b up the crack (the HVS 4c in the CC guide is a joke), then easy but sandy and birdy traverse (watch out for loose holds, we removed one each but there are more waiting to go if you pull hard enough!). I did the crux pitch, which starts with an innocuous shuffle out to the arÍte (good for photos). The crack above is steep but has good holds and gear. After arranging gear (good green cam overhead), spent absolutely ages depumping (semi-rest on side pull type things and better rests in various contorted positions which are hard to maintain) and psyching up to tackle the crux, which is out of sight round a small arÍte, just to add to the commitment overdrive. Shuffled out onto the traverse line a few times to investigate holds (handholds ok or better, feet poor or worse) and gear (very rusty peg and a nut 4 as per guide book). With the inevitable slack in the system given the complex line, falling off even with the gear in on the traverse is likely to require prussicking back up... Finally went for it and it turned out to be ok, the crux final move to bridge out onto the hanging slab felt 5c, guess I got the sequence right for once! Hanging around before the traverse contemplating my fate was much worse than doing it! The 6b in the CC guide is a joke (that's twice on the same route!). Hard E4 5c if I were being mean but the mind blowing position and commitment merit an easy E5 and it might be easy 6a after all, but above all you've got to be fit and be able to recover before the traverse. Standing bridged out across the corner before the belay slab was pretty cool. Also handy to stick a red cam in the slanting fault to protect the second from above. The belay is great, hanging on the edge of the slab 20 metres above the sea. Mark followed quickly, deploying heel hooks on the traverse. He took over on P3 and got to the old pegs at the first bulge but didn't fancy it so I got to lead the top pitch as well :-) This featured powerful pulls past the initial bulge followed by a burly crack and sustained bridging up the finishing corner. There are various rests along the way but it's a solid E3 5c in its own right. We preplaced a rope off the thin pipe stake (15-20m East of the abseil stake) but there is gear available for a belay and the top out above is not too bad by Swanage standards. About five hours on the route and a nine hour round trip from the parking - a full day of polar exploration. One to remember!
Misha - AltLd O/S - 01/Aug/15 with Mark S

Totally mega! P1 + 3. The first pitch is mediocre, but the second and third are absolutely superb. Access: We couldn't find the stake described as 40m downslope of the corner fence post, but the grass is long so it could be there. We abbed off the corner fence post instead to the grassy hollow (less than 50m) where we found two stakes to the east. Abseil from these to to the base of the route (less than 50m). We did the second ab on the climbing ropes and pulled them. We set up another rope for the top out and I was glad we did.
Ed Babs - AltLd O/S - 21/Sep/14 with Iain Moodie

dan gibson - Lead O/S - 07/Sep/14 with michael porter

Hidden - 2nd O/S - 07/Sep/14

The guidebook is only 3 years old but none of the ab stakes are there. We accessed with a very diagonal 70m ab from the corner fence post to the lip, then pulled the lead ropes. In situ rope for the escape wasn't essential as the final pitch is solid until it is v easy. Steady pitch 1, exciting crux pitch 2- short and sharp. Great overhanging pitch 3, prob decent E3/4 in itself. Fun route!
morganator - AltLd O/S - 22/Aug/14 with Dan Arkle

malx - AltLd O/S - Aug/13

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 14/Oct/11

If the tides aren't right, starting from hanging belay.
pezzerrr - AltLd O/S - 14/Oct/11

Hidden - Lead O/S - 31/Aug/09

feilx - AltLd O/S - 10/Jan/09 with Andy L

Briefly held draw to clip rusty peg on crux...
ellis - AltLd - Sep/02 with Pete Collins

seconded the crux pitch
Tim M - AltLd O/S - 2000

Users with this climb on their wishlist are:
paulpitcher, Ropeboy, Ed Babs, Mark Warnett, quiffhanger
Total votes cast 34
hard E60 of 12
E60 of 12
easy E60 of 12
hard E50 of 12
E54 of 12
easy E55 of 12
hard E43 of 12
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hard 6b0 of 12
6b0 of 12
easy 6b0 of 12
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easy 6a1 of 12
hard 5c0 of 12
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