Black Sunshine

2 Stars
 HVS 4c

Adjacent Routes
<< Queen of Carp < Jericho Groove  |  Dark Side of the Sun > Nassty Spider >>

A well-travelled and solid route. Upgraded from VS.
1) 4c, 20m. Climb a scoop, just left of the big boulder, then move leftwards around a roof. Traverse 8m back right to a corner and slab. The slab leads to a belay on the left at the fault-line.
2) 4b, 18m. Climb to an overhang, traverse 3m right and pull over. Continue to the top and an earthy finish.
FA. Jim Titt, J.Thornby 24.10.1971


Attempting this route led to quite a major epic, we abseiled in and located the big boulder however we started at the right of the boulder rather than the left by mistake. Quite strangely the route we climbed was identical to the description of black sunshine and at about the same grade. First a scoop then moved left to round a roof, then 8m traverse right to follow a slab and corner to the fault. I then moved left at the fault to a poor belay in a corner. My mate took a fall when a hold snapped while seconding the pitch and he arrived at the stance pissing blood from a deep cut on two of his fingers. More problems arose on the second pitch, i climbed up to the roof and then moved 3m right to get round it, the rock was horrendous not one piece of pro would have held if I had fallen and every thing was majorly loose. I would not liked to have taken a factor two onto the belay anchors either. The most dangerous part of the pitch was the loose rubble and grass at the top, I had a 10m runout at this point. I arrived at the top and rather thankfully hugged a gorse bush. It was only when I began to look for the belay stakes that I realise I had just pioneered a new route up the ruckle. The stakes were located about 10m further west and so I had clearly not been on the right route at all. I made myself safe and brought up my partner who was still leaking claret. He arrived somewhat in shock and proceeded to describe how as he tried to pass the roof a block about the size of a shoe box had come out in his hand causing him to fall again. However the real shock came when a huge block about 1m x 0.5m which the small block had been supporting came crashing down as well and narrowly missed him. I think the lesson here is to take the bloody guide down to the base of the climb and so avoid this situation.

I know this has not got much to do with Black Sunshine but I would not like anyone else to make the same mistake. I hope to return soon and have a go at the real line. Incidently my new route is called 'Filth'.
Toby Haughey - 22/Feb/04

Possible to traverse in from the left (at a slightly higher grade - or was that just me?) and join the route below the roof, if the sea makes access impossible. Great Route
Budge - 18/Oct/04

We found this a bit of a sandbag, mostly because of the rising left traverse at bottom, and then rh traverse on first pitch. But then it was our first lead / first swanage of the year!
Simon Duncan - 14/Apr/07

Excellent route. Take care on the traverse but it is not difficult to protect it for yourself and second.
ianb - 19/Apr/09

A tremendous route. Gets 3*s from me. The first pitch has sustained interested, excellent positions and moves. Never hard, always interesting. Very well protected - just watch your rope work on the first pitch with it's big dog-leg. Second pitch easier and with perfect holds through the steep bit. Usual Swanage frightener top-out on grass and loose blocks, but not as steep as some.
christopher brooke - 07/Sep/09

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