Tom quickly set his objective: The Roaring Boys (E6 6b). He opted for a flash attempt, as to our knowledge it hadn’t had any recent ascents. He abseiled down to replace an old thread and brush a few holds, though the steepness of the wall made it a difficult task. A moment later, armed with two sets of wires and a selection of cams, he set off.
About 60 minutes in, Tom was finally committed to leave his rest position and set off to climb the last five meters which looked to be the crux. I heard a distinctive ‘Watch me!’ as if my neck didn’t remind me what I’d been doing that for the past hour. Woosh! I felt the wind on my face as I flew effortlessly up the wall. He fell off, but thankfully the gear stayed in place.
The next day, we abseiled off again. This time we had company – there were a few familiar faces on the route next to us as well as a photographer friend at the top. It was a much hotter day, and not without worries, Tom tied in yet again. An hour later I could just about hear his voice ‘I’m safe, Lena!’ I tied in.
I felt about as rusty as the stake we were about to abseil from
This evening I couldn’t stop thinking about the route. I simply couldn’t leave Swanage without photographing it. We managed to convince a local friend, Ben Corbey, to join us next time for a photoshoot. As the wall doesn’t come into shade until late afternoon, we decided to start the day with some deep water soloing. Ben had unfinished business with the route called The Vanishing which, until that day, he’d never found dry. The route is graded at a 7a+ but it is said to be anything between 6c and 7c, depending on conditions and your ability to climb upside down.