Winter Storms Cause Damage to South Coast Cragsby Duncan Campbell - UKC Jan/2014
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The extreme winter storms that the UK endured at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 have caused some considerable damage to crags at both Portland and Swanage on the South Coast of the UK.
At Boulder Ruckle, Swanage, the classic VS 5a, Tatra, has suffered rockfall on its first pitch. Pete Finclaire, Andy Blakeley and Bob Mott headed down to Boulder Ruckle recently, to find that a 'caravan-sized' block had fallen out of the first pitch. They reclimbed the route, feeling that the first pitch was top-end E1 5b now. You can read more in the Forum Thread
Pete commented on the rockfall and the new first pitch:
"The new version climbs the obvious corner to about half its height, before traversing right to the hanging arete, then climbs up to the lip of the roof to take the diagonal groove to the fault line (which is the original first belay of the old Tatra).
The rock is remarkably clean considering how fresh the rock fall is. I think the grade is E1 5b and is very good climbing. The old route was an original Swanage classic and a great tour of Marmalata Buttress following an amenable line."
Further rockfall has occurred around the Lighthouse Area of Portland, specifically affecting two previously undocumented bouldering areas. Ben Stokes, author of the forthcoming Rockfax Dorset Bouldering Guide (Due Summer 2014), commented:
"The loss is a great shame since many of the established problems were two or three stars and of great character. As can be seen the venues were completely destroyed"