View from the bottom - Boulder Ruckle, looking west © ChrisBrooke
The white and yellow striped walls of the Boulder Ruckle make up the showpiece crag of Swanage. The Ruckle, as it is affectionately known, runs westwards from Subluminal, unbroken for over a kilometre and, at over forty metres in height, it offers fear, exhilaration and many sensationally-positioned routes. The grade range of Severe to E6 means that it will appeal to most, however, with the seriousness of the free-hanging approach abseils, the awkward escape routes and the broken finishes, it becomes a less attractive option for inexperienced teams. Nevertheless, for those in search of an adventurous mission, don a helmet, dust off the prusik loops and prepare to do battle on some fine atmospheric classics with little liklihood of having to queue.
The walls of The Ruckle are especially good for those operating in the HVS to E3 range. Fortunately, protection possibilities are usually in good supply with the unrelenting steepness of the rock accounting for the grade on most climbs, rather than any great technical difficulty or terrifying bold run-outs.
Walk down the tarmac road from Durlston car park, then head west along the coast path (right - looking out). A cliff-top track runs below this and the abseil stakes are found near this lower path. The first area arrived at is a 10 minute walk, and the furthest area takes around 20 minutes.
The coast has unfortunately been used as a suicide spot and loose kit, clothing etc. lying around has resulted in the coastguard being called out. To avoid this, climbers are requested to ensure loose equipment and clothing is kept in rucksacks on the cliff top and preferably hidden from public view. You could also consider attaching a note to your sacks saying something like, 'Equipment being used by climbers - do not remove'.
Dates: 1 March to 31 July
Reason: Nesting Birds
No climbing between The Tool and Marmolata Arete inclusive to prevent disturbance of nesting birds. If using the Marmolata abseil point, please stay in the corner, spend as little time on top as possible and don't bring dogs to the top of the crag. Restrictions also apply from Sardine Special to Hard Day's Night, Andycap to Raindrop and Quasimodo to Insectitude inclusive.
The Dorset Rockfax covers the superb sport and trad climbing in Portland, Swanage and Lulworth on the Dorset coast. This amazing area is one of the most popular sport climbing areas in the country with a huge number of routes across the grades and great appeal to climbers of all abilities. Thousands of brilliant routes and a relatively friendly climate mean that the area is always busy with climbers.
The 2021 edition of the Dorset Rockfax is the biggest Rockfax to date with 2700 routes on over 600 pages. It is a complete update of previous guides and released in print and digital at the same time. All the crags have been re-photographed using aerial photography and a new set of detailed maps created to make finding and choosing your chosen route even easier than ever.
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