Climbs 121 – Rocktype Limestone – Altitude Tidal – Faces S

Crag features

Subluminal is the place everybody heads to for a first taste of Swanage steepness. The main reason for its popularity is the good selection of solid, short and amenably graded routes. Access is quick and there is a good ledge system running beneath the climbs that is well clear of the waves giving the place a friendly atmosphere. It lies just west of the lighthouse and the Black Zawn beneath open grass slopes. There is a clean-cut ledge above the climbs for gearing up and socialising, along with plentiful stakes for belays. Many of the climbs offer technical and fingery exercises as well as some bulging test-pieces in the Avernus Area.

Approach notes

Walk down the tarmac road from Durlston Car Park. From the lighthouse, a track leads diagonally right (looking out) down the grass slope to cliff-top ledges situated 100m west of the Black Zawn. It is only a 10 minute walk from the car park and all the climbs are approached by a short abseil from stakes above. The best abseil line is down High Street which also doubles as a good escape route.

Access notes
Restrictions apply from  1 March - 31 July. Reason - Nesting Birds


The restriction applies east of Scotsman Chimney to the start of Traverse of the Gods.

Read more... Regional Access notes are available from the BMC.

Swanage (2015), Dorset (2012), South West Climbs - Volume 1 (2012), West Country Climbs (2010), Deep Water (2007), Dorset Route Database (2000), Swanage and Portland (1995),
Out of print: Dorset 2005 - Fax19 (2005), Dorset 2000 - Fax11 (2000)

Climbs at this crag

Sort climbs
 Climb nameGrade
2Nutcracker TraverseS *14
3SubnutcrackerS *13
4Subluminal TraverseHVS 5b 8
5Via ChristinaHVS 5a **64
6Dead GoodE5 6b 4
7Greasy ChimneyVD 192
8SuspensionS 4a *387
9WhynotHS 4b *105
10DolphinVS 4b 113
11Curving CrackS 4a *524
12Face LeftVS 4b *14
13FaceS 4a *497
14Face CentralVS 4c *144
15Face AwayVS 4c *135
16TittsworthHVS 5a *73
17Dead Man HuntE1 5b *24
18BaboonHVS 5b *154
19The GrobblerE1 5b *32
20Transcript DirectHVS 5a *195
21ParalysisE2 5c 76
22BalconyHS 4b **886
23GangwayS *872
24JokerVS 5a 99
25JugglerE1 5b *76
26StroofE1 5c **311
27Graunchy GrippersE1 5b *77
28SpreadeagleVS 5a *620
29Back StreetVS 4c *398
30High StreetD *1120
31Station Road VariationE1 6a 10
32Station RoadHS 4b 173
33BypassS *822
34Slip RoadVS 4c *416
35RepublicE2 6a 9
37Thompson's ChimneyHS 4b *181
38Straits of HormuzE3 6a 1
39Botany BayVS 4c *185
40Battleship BowHVS 4c *39
41Double ChockstoneHVD *364
42SkinheadHVS 5a 73
43Bird's NestS 4a 238
44PuffinVS 5a *144
45The Indirect RouteE1 12
46First CornerS 4b **617
47PhilatusE3 5c **148
48Poetry in MotionE3 6a *64
49Second CornerS 4a **707
50FredaVS 5a ***655
51Grandma's GrooveE2 5c **128
52Grandpa's GropeVS 4c *144
53Pedestal CrackD 313
54InterludeHS 4a 3
55Pedestal FaceVS 4b *91
56Pedestal ChimneyVD 192
58StyxS 26
59CerberusS 4a 12
60StrenuosityHVS 4c 4
61Graduation DayE2 5c *7
62The Ferryman WaitsE3 6a 2
63AvernusS 4a ***290
64CrepitusHVS 4c 2
65Rainy Day, Dream AwayE2 5c 2
66Chance EncounterE4 6a  
67All the ShakespearoesE3 5c *6
68The Great Rock 'n' Dole SwindleE3 6a * 
69Tangerine DreamE1 5b *7
70A Subtle Shade of EmptinessE5 6b ** 
71Close to the SunE4 6b * 
72Gentle TouchHVS 4c 2
73VaselineVS 5a 3
75Grooved AreteVS 4b 15
76Deaf Boy HugE3 5c * 
77Sweet SixteenE5 6a *1
78The PeccaryE2 5b **46
79AstridHVS 5a **140
80Morbid OrbitE2 5b 1
81MelpomeneE4 5c ***13
82MarsE2 5b ***77
83TritonE3 5c 1
84AchelousE5 6a * 
85IoVS 5a *20
86Last Great InnocentE5 6b * 
88Mellow YellowVS 4c **109
89Catch the WindE3 5c 2
90Ray of SunshineE2 5c **40
91Magic MountainE5 6a *2
92Magic MushroomE4 6a **3
93Fraggle RockHVS 5a **41
94Live at the Witch TrialsE2 5b *16
95Hard Nose the HighwayHVS 5a *35
96Harvest GoldHVS 4c *48
97Yellow Brick RoadVS 5a *36
98Shakin' Off the GhostsHVS 5a 4
99ZoeVS 5a 14
100RoutHVS 5b 10
101Surface HippyVS 4c *6
102Under ToadS 4a 9
103Stone DoubtVD 3
104Mother DuckHVS 5a 2
105Drop in the OceanHVS 4c *4
106HeathcliffeE1 5b 1
107Withering HeightsE1 5b 6
108No Great ShakesVS 4c 4
109Accidents Never HappenVS 4c 3
110Dreamboat AnnieVS 4c 4
111Scotsman ChimneyVD 5
112Rhodesian's RetreatVD 5
113UDIS 2
115ZANUS 3
116Traverse of the GodsHVS 5a ***26
118Stir Crazy6a+ *8
119The Puzzle6c+ *4
120Bathtubb6b *5
121Bird's Nest Arete5c *12
122Sweet Surrender6b **11
123White Flag5c *9
124Gid's Landing5a *12
125The Scotty Dog Traverse6a+ *15
126LizzieHVS 5a 2
127Babes in ToylandHVS 5a 1
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