Lightning Wall Top 50

3 Stars
 HVS 5a

Adjacent Routes
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An intimidating, but essential tick of the Boulder Ruckle which can be climbed in two pitches. Start below a groove, just left of a deep corner 25m from the base of the abseil. Enter the groove and follow it to the fault-line. Move right and up through a bulge into a short corner (possible belay). Move right onto the wall above the roof and traverse this up rightwards on good holds to the arete. Follow the arete to a niche, old peg, move up and then head right to an easier corner that leads to the top.
FA. George Smith, A.Webster 10.4.1966


The hardest move is gaining the traverse from the fault line.
ben stokes - 06/Jun/00

This was my first route at Swanage and now I have done it 3 times. NO WAY IS IT 4c, I always nearly fall off laughing at how undergraded it is. Gerri thought it could be worth E1 if done in the normal way as 1 pitch!!
Al Evans - 24/Sep/01

I agree that gaining the traverse is one of the hardest moves on the route but i also found surmounting the bulge before the traverse pretty intimidating. Did it in one pitch but don't agree that it's E1, but it should be 5a not 4c.
ian - 18/Feb/02

Excellent and graded correctly. Good gear. Had to lasso the stake with slings at the top as I ran out of rope!! Communication with second difficult (as ever!).
Graham Ad - 02/Sep/02

I think I'm with Graham on the grade, but the thing I remember most is the exposure on the traverse - a fantastic, gravity-defying journey across the wall above the surf, demanding careful footwork and anticipation on small but positive holds!
Will Judge - 04/Nov/02

Thought it was pretty fair at the grade.

Exposure is great, traversing above the roof. Second the fact that communication is difficult.

Don't try and do the second pitch on a single rope.... it works, but isn't pretty.
Oli - 20/Jul/05

Classic first ruckle experience will be back for more, nice and exposed all the way up!
Alex More - 29/Jul/05

This is an awesome and exposed easy HVS, and is probably best to split at the mid-height fault, because of rope drag. A good introduction to boulder ruckle
steve - 13/Nov/05

Who knows- 4c certainly feels like 5a when your in a position like that (and totally gripped)! Better climbed in two pitches?
Rob Greenwood - 22/Dec/05

Fantastic route in awesome position. Glad I did it in one pitch, even though rope drag became a problem. Thought the moves going past the bulge were 5a, but it's possible I went too high before starting the traverse
chris_moor - 17/Sep/07

A brilliant route but not a good one for unexperienced seconds - you cannot see them whilst belaying and a fall tends to mean they end up below the roof.
GrahamD - 27/Sep/10

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