The Aquatic Ape

3 Stars
 E6 6b

Adjacent Routes
<< Weapons of Sound < Enter the Void  |  The Schwarzechild Radius > Laughing Arthur >>

The awesome undercut pillar and roof left of The Schwarzchild Radius provides one of the most outrageous trad routes at Swanage; a Polaris for the twenty-first century. The line cannot be realistically approached by abseil due to its extreme steepness (it overhangs around 18 metres) nor by traversing in. Approach by boat to a hanging belay. A pre-placed rope at the second belay may be a preferable exit to the route rather than climbing pitch 3 (pitch 4 of Laughing Arthur).
1) 6b, 25m. Contort up the chimney (very large cam useful at the top) and make wild moves out to good holds on the wall above. Move up and right across straightforward terrain (thread) to gain an overhung, guano-coated ledge (peg). Make steep moves up on guano and slime-covered holds to gain a severely-overhanging diagonal crack that leads directly to the roof (thread). Take a hanging belay here on the thread and a selection of cams in one of the wildest positions at Swanage.
2) 6b, 15m. Hand traverse out left from the belay (good small and medium cams) until level with the insitu thread hanging from the lip of the 2m ceiling. Make an ape-like span (crux) out to jugs on the lip, then cut loose and fly up the overhanging wall above (2 more threads) to gain a ledge. Belay here on a pre-placed rope and two threads, or traverse right to the third belay of Laughing Arthur.
3) 5b, 20m. Climb Pitch 4 of Laughing Arthur, or jumar up the chossy slab on the pre-placed rope.
FA. Bob Hickish, Dave Pickford 2.9.2011


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