Thunderball

3 Stars
Pumpy
 E1 5b

Adjacent Routes
<< Snowdrop < St Elmo's Firé  |  Jo > Relax and Swing >>


An incredibly intimidating line that requires good route finding on the second pitch, which snakes through the upper overhangs. Start 7m right of a large roof-capped corner.</br>1) 5a, 16m. Pull up through bulges to a rest above. Climb rightwards to an arete, then move around it to a corner that ends at the fault-line and a belay.</br>2) 5b, 19m. Climb the wall on the left, past a small overhang, then move right to below a roof. Pull strenuously through the roof at a break to a corner. Follow this to a final overhang which is passed on its left side. Stake belays in place above.
FA. P.Bell, T.Goodfellow 11.7.1963

USER COMMENTS

A great Swanage experience. THe first pitch is quite commiting and requires a bit of
ingenuity to protect well. THe second pitch traverses between two roofs,
therefore is, I think a little serious for HVS. THe crux on the second pitch
requires one to layback round a roof on a finger jam,
must be 5b.

I should add I've climbed quite a lot at Swanage and am used to the place!

Mike
Mike Raine - 16/May/00

E1 5b,5b - both pitches meaty, but very good. P1 1st roof is actually fine to protect with a bit of cunning.
rob kingston - 02/Jul/01

I think the previous comments are over the top. I would agree that its E1 but not 5b, think you must have missed something on the top roof Mike! A brilliant route though spoiled only by the epic trying to get through the prickly vegetation at the top. I intend going back with a scythe and secateurs to make a path!!!
Al Evans - 24/Sep/01

Forgot to mention, like Jo it has no stake in place, could do with one as the bushes only give a nominal belay.
Al Evans - 24/Sep/01

Brilliant route, but I think E1 5b, 5b is over the top I'd say dead on HVS 5a5a. Worse bit by far was traversing the cliff top to escape afterwards. Good quality rock (for Swanage)
james riggs - 01/Sep/03

Good route. Thought the top pitch was pretty hard going over the overhang - it requires a tough layback to get over. I would say E1 5a, 5b.

The route (and walk off at the top) would probably benefit from a bit more traffic which it deserves to get.

The mid-height belay smells of rotting fish due to a recently abandoned nest at the moment. Made me feel quite nauseous.
El Greyo - 01/Aug/05

Lovely climbing but dirty in parts (bird poo at the start and a belay in an old bird's nest that gives you a lovely long lasting stench of rotten fish)
Jane - 04/Aug/05

Oops - the above comment was meant to be written under Jo
Jane - 04/Aug/05

Sounds like 2nd pitch is only 5a if you go the right way (doh!). Pulling through the middle of the 1st roof in the 2nd pitch was 5b/5c finger jamming - my 2nd said 5a if you sensibly pull over to the left and then step back right.
Steve Culverhouse - 23/Apr/06

first pitch I found to be fairly straight forward and well protected - no idea where the friend 2/5 mentioned in the guidebook is suposed to go but I got in plenty of good protection. Found the second pitch to be disturbingly loose. I only seemed to be able to get cams and wires in behind hollow blocks. I'd give it a 5b and E1 for scariness on grounds of loose rock which it has plenty and tricky routefinding. fortunately the top has been tidied up this year so there are 2 stakes and a nice comfortable walk off. The top out is still horrendously loose though so be careful.
Mutt - 04/Jun/07

Really good route, and only marginally harder than Jo - the pull off the ground on P1 is on jugs and only short lived (with good gear).
The whole second pitch is superb (with big holds and great gear ) The final pull through the roof is on good holds but you need to get your feet up quick and not hang around.
The walk off is horrendous !!!!! Facing inland walk off right through the thorny bushes - and watch out for adders !!!
Mark Reed - 12/Apr/15

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