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Subluminal is the place everybody heads to for a first taste of Swanage steepness. The main reason for its popularity is the good selection of solid, short and amenably graded routes. Access is quick and there is a good ledge system running beneath the climbs that is well clear of the waves giving the place a friendly atmosphere. It lies just west of the lighthouse and the Black Zawn beneath open grass slopes. There is a clean-cut ledge above the climbs for gearing up and socialising, along with plentiful stakes for belays. Many of the climbs offer technical and fingery exercises as well as some bulging test-pieces in the Avernus Area.


Park at Durleston Country Park (£5 per day) and walk down the nearby path towards the lighthouse. Subliminal can be found by walking straight ahead towards the sea to the right of the lighthouse.


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Grade Route

FA: K. Cartwrite, 1 Apr

FA: Steve Taylor & Mike Robertson, 1992

FA: G. Foster & J. Ross, 1990

FA: Jim Titt & W. Wheeler, 1976

FA: Jim Titt, 1976

FA: Tony Wilmott, Jul 2065

FA: Tony Wilmott, Jul 2065

A fun route that swallows small nuts. Getting established on the wall takes a bit of effort. Once on follow the rightward trending ramp. Exit directly before the climbing gets too hard.

FA: A. Blakely, 1988

FA: Juggler, 1970

2 5c

FA: Kevin Turner, 1977

2 5a

A good route for first trad lead

FA: Jim Titt & Frank Farrell, 1976

Engaging, varied and well protected. Climb direct up the rounded rib to a prominent left-facing layback flake.

FA: Scott Titt & Nigel Coe, 1992

FA: Pete Oxley, Brian Tilley & Steve Williams, 1987

FA: M. Hunt & A. Gilbert, 1977

FA: R. C. White, Apr 2065

FA: Jim Titt & Scott Titt, 1976

FA: Tony Wilmott, Jul 2065

FA: Pete Oxley, 1984

1 4c
2 5a

FA: Tony Wilmott, Jul 2065

FA: Tim Dunsby, 1971

Eastern descent or escape route


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