Director's Groove

1 Stars
 HVS 5a

Adjacent Routes
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This rather worrying route starts up a wide groove in the wall just right of the abseil line (looking in).
1) 5a, 25m. Climb the groove, passing a roof on the right, then move left to gain an arete. Traverse diagonally right to belay below a wide crack. Awkward belays.
2) 4c, 15m. Follow the wide crack to the top. Poor gear.
FA. D.Hadlum, P.Grainger 10.4.1966


The bottom pitch is nice climbing but care must be taken to arrange adequate gear to protect the second on the traverse (move left then right). The belay is tricky to arrange as the pegs have rusted out completely. Go for safety in numbers! Maybe I'm just not very brave, but the top pitch is terrifying if you're not comfortable on off-widths. The gear on this pitch is poor to say the least. Try the ashes and diamonds finish instead.
John - 01/Mar/01

found this tough at 5a, the crux is traversing left to the arete and could be 5b - unless i missed something - also quite serious as not very well protected. the top off width is not easy either, i did it with a bit of a layback & thrutch.
did the route in one pitch but got no gear in on what the guide states is the second pitch.
ian - 14/Apr/02

I am quite tall and found it very tricky to establish my feet over the small roof (typical Swanage move, similar to crux on Baboon at Subluminal) made harder with damp holds, although this move is bomber protected. The next moves to the arete I didnt find so bad as I could reach it fairly easily. Great moves on the second pitch although the gear was much less in abundance that the first pitch - small wires required.
Richard Horn - 08/Nov/04

I think this is quite a dangerous route. The traverse is quite friable, the block on which you stand to belay is not 100%, and the anchors are okay rather than good. There is some gear on the top pitch but it's certainly not one to fall off and again the rock is not brilliant.
matt perks - 12/May/05

Glad to see the top pitch graded at 4c here - the 4b grade in the CC guidebook did not seem credible to me. The gear on the second pitch is worrying, I had two very tenuous small wires and a moderate small cam on setting off into the offwidth, however, not far above this I found a very solid camalot 0.5 / friend 1 placement in a slot to the left of the offwidth. That gave me the confidence to make the remaining moves to haul out of the top of the offwidth. I was pleased to have done this route - to those considering it: heed the caveats but give it a go.
Andy Cookson - 16/Aug/06

I've now done this with what I think is the Ashes and Diamonds finish. My partner has the Littlejohn guide and is confident that we did the route matching his description. It is a much better option than the upper part of Director's Groove. Climb Director's Groove as described (up the groove, pass the roof on the right, and then move left - with feet on the lip of the roof - to pull round the left arete onto a big slabby area). From the top of this slabby area, climb quite easily straight up the wall formed from a series of massive flakes to reach a little ledge just below the top of the wall. Make a couple of more difficult moves up the final bit of wall to big jugs and an easy top out. On the p.285 Rockfax topo the line goes underneath the word "pitch". Overall, about HVS 5a/5b 1*.
matt perks - 26/Jul/09

This is an ok route, the first pitch crux is hard - I ended up climbing to the right of the roof, but rather than step left (where I couldn't quite reach anything decent with my left hand) I ended up climbing straight up. Second pitch is a mare !!!!!! Didn't have any super large gear so it always felt a bit run out - really hard work to udge up the offwidth. Nice when it was over ;-)
Mark Reed - 26/Apr/15

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