Swanage Meet 7/8th October 2023

Do you like your climbing exciting, by the seaside, and often alarmingly steep for the grade? Swanage! (Thanks Sarah for your great post last year that I am shamelessly stealing)

The Climbing
Lovely limestone sea cliff trad, mostly tidal and with abseil approaches. Loads of great VS/HVS routes if you’re gym fit and like steep juggy climbing, but there’s other stuff there as well. And also some sport.

Just to note - while there are routes in the lower grades they can often still be quite serious, with loose rock (especially at the top outs) and tidal belay ledges. So maybe not ideal for a new leader unless you’re used to dealing with adventurous conditions - the sport climbing, while still featuring the typical looseness of British quarries, is a bit more approachable!

The Logistics
The long range forecast is so far alright so suggest we go for camping at Tom’s Field (£12/night). I’ll call to book once there’s a sense of numbers.

Also looking for a pub for dinner on the Saturday, so if you have any local favourites speak up now.

Sign up here:

For pubs I recommended the Scott Arms in Kingston last year and will happily recommend it again.

I’ve also eaten at the Kings Arms in Langton before and that’s also been ok.

I will hopefully join you on Saturday, assuming there’s someone who would like to climb something fun with me.

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Thanks for organising Ben!! Hope you all have a great trip :muscle:

And a huge thank you for all your help and organising as ‘trip organiser’ Tilly. Good luck on your new adventure to the USA

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Hi there,

I’m not a member yet and haven’t managed to meet the club yet - I tried the week before last at Mile End but it seems like nobody was there.

I’d be interested in coming along for this trip - would that be possible? I’d be happy to come along to the castle on the 25th in order to meet some of you.

I’m not the worlds strongest climber but I do have a lot of experience across all forms of climbing, having just spent four years living in the Alps. Here’s a link to my camptocamp profile:



Hi Rufus,

You would be very welcome to join on a meet.
As you say, best to come on the 25th at the Castle- both to find a climbing partner for Swanage, and also to get sign off for belaying.
I think the Mile End Wednesday Happening is dormant, if not defunct.

Hi - thanks for getting back to me.

I’ll be at the castle on Monday (25th). What’s the best way to find you all?

Shall I fill in the sign up sheet already? I can probably get a car with two spaces (three at a push) but will need to confirm…

All best,


Hey Rufus,

Just to add to George’s message –

For insurance purposes, to join on meets you do need to be a member or a ‘provisional member’. To be registered as a provisional member, we’d need your name (guessing we have that already!), DOB, and to have someone sign off on your lead belaying ability.

However, I would just mention that Swanage is all about the sea cliffs (woop woop), and as such it may not be the best for new members. It looks like you’ve got a lot of experience, which is great, but for sea cliff meets, it is better to try and sort out a person to climb with before the trip (which may be harder if you’re new to the club). As George said though, please come along to our Monday meets at the Castle and hopefully you’ll be able to get this all sorted!


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Hi Jess - thanks for getting back to me. I’ll be at the Castle on Monday.

I’ve been to Swanage/Portland before and had a great time but haven’t climbed at any of the tidal sectors.

Looking forward to meeting you all on Monday,



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PS second vote for the Scott Arms in Kingston - beautiful views over Corfe Castle :european_castle:

Hello all,

I am also a newbie to the club and will be joining on Monday. Although I don’t have near as much experience as Rufus! Hopefully one day :slight_smile:

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Hi - sorry to no not make it to the Castle this evening… Two separate family medical emergencies saw me making trips to two different hospitals (all fine now…)

I presume next week is too late to get signed off for belaying?



I should be at Mile End tomorrow if that helps?

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That would be great - what sort of time?

Just in case people aren’t aware there’s currently a tube strike scheduled for Friday 6th - it may or may not go ahead (TfL strikes have often got resolved ahead of time) but might be worth having a backup plan for getting to cars!

I’m really sorry I’m not actually feeling particularly well today, not sure I will make it to climbing tonight. As long as I’m better should be there next week, there most Wednesdays

Alright no problem - hope you feel better soon!

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Hey folks. The meet is just over a week away!

:woman_climbing: :man_climbing: :woman_climbing: Partners :man_climbing: :woman_climbing: :man_climbing:
Since sea cliff climbing has a few more hazards than roadside cragging, and can require more skills, it’d be good to make sure ahead of time that everyone has a partner with enough experience and gear between them for everyone to safely climb.

If you need a partner who has sea cliff experience, ask around or post here. Putting your leading and seconding grades in the sheet makes it easier to work out who would be a good match. If you’re not comfortable leading yet, find someone who wants more lead milage! Want to lead all day? Pop it in the sheet!

I’ve added a partner column to the spreadsheet to fill in once you’ve worked out who you’re climbing with.

:knot: :knot: :knot: Skills :knot: :knot: :knot:
It may be worth noting that you can’t just lower off a sea cliff if you realise you can’t finish the climb. Especially if you’re climbing in a tidal area, and/or and area without any nice easy climbs to escape, it is more important than usual to have at least some basic self-rescue skills. You should carry a pair of prussics (a spare is not a bad idea) and know how to ascend a rope with them.

:red_car: :red_car: :red_car: Drivers :red_car: :red_car: :red_car:
I’ve also added a cars section to the bottom of the sheet to help coordinate lifts. Drivers, please fill in your details. Lift-seekers, coordinate with drivers. Hope the possibility of a tube strike isn’t making anyone’s lives too difficult :crossed_fingers:

Assuming the weather stays good, I’m looking forward to jugging up some steep limestone :grinning:


Gosh. How did we ever manage to go climbing before spreadsheets etc.


Interestingly, the tides are looking almost non-existent, hovering between 0.7m and 1m above sea level during daylight hours:

I’m not sure exactly what that means for the tidal areas at swanage. Hopefully that they’ll be accessible most of the time? Or will some of them be inaccessible all the time because the water isn’t dropping low enough? :person_shrugging: Does anyone have any insight?