Steep, wild, and loose - Polaris © Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing
Blackers Hole contains some of the greatest challenges available to climbers along Britain's south coast, and for most, the view of the Great Cave's twenty five metre roof comes as a shock to the system on first acquaintance. This vast cavern provides the setting for cutting edge routes such as Infinite Gravity and Endeavour. Further east the cave gives way to slightly less-steep territory on its left-hand side, but the base changes from boulders to sea, making access difficult and the climbs even more adventurous. It is here that a number of long and difficult trad adventures wend their way, with the likes of Polaris and The Aquatic Ape being amongst Swanage's most serious undertakings. However, there is more on offer here, in the shape of roof-based sport routes in the quarry, and some secluded (though accessible) trad routes on the shorter walls to the east of the Great Cave.
The shortest approach is from the Durlston car park (fee). Walk west past the lighthouse and turn right (looking out) on to the coast path. Pass the distinctive mile pylons and continue around a wide bay, crossing over two stone walls. 200m past the second stone wall, locate a hidden descent ramp leading down to the left (looking out) side of the quarry.
Finding the access can be tricky but once the short climb down to the upper ledge is located the rest is straight forward. Due to in isolated nature the cliff top stakes that are essential for belays and abseils are often in a poor state or miss, it is good practice to check before you start climbing. Also Rockfall has effected some climbs.
Bolting is only really allowed in the main cave and quarry wall with many harder route still having rotting fixed gear in place. Any route will need cleaning after a nesting season.
Dates: 1 March to 31 July
Reason: Nesting Birds
The restriction includes all routes west of Frontiersman (including the sea caves). all the way to Cormorant Ledge. This is an extremely sensitive area with an easily flushed kittiwake colony - please don't go into this area for any reason, especially bolting or climbing. The NT carefuly monitor ths area and have been unhappy to fine visitoring climber, cleaning and installing fix gear during the restricted season.
|This crag around Tobacco Road is an accident waiting to happen. The top out is dangerously loose. Belayers beware.
Pero - 15/Oct/17
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