Dizzy Heights would like to provide a useful rock climbing information service on this page of the website. I have gathered together some links specifically for climbers heading for the Dorset Coast, as well as some of more general interest.
Dorset Coast Rock Climbing
For tide times visit the Admiralty EasyTide site.
For the best rock climbing information on Portland use the definitive Climbers Club guide. The new, comprehensive CC guide for Swanage will be a major event when it happens. Slated for - oooh maybe check the CC website - but there has been talk and no definitive action since about 2005 so I'll believe it when I see it. Meanwhile there are a few gaps left...
At the moment the Rockfax guide has very clear maps and photodiagrams of the Swanage cliffs, although only for selected areas, and covers Portland sport climbing very well too.
The Rockfax database allows you to access information about all the routes in the guide and read other climbers' comments - or add your own. This is a very useful resource but for up-to-date new route information and some articles from the Dorset scene go to the Dorset Climbing Web.
Coaching and Guiding Services
Although I no longer offer guiding, instructional or coaching services (unless I get a really good offer) I do have some good contacts locally and further afield so I thought these links might be useful.
For local rock climbing instruction and guiding, try Dorset Adventures.
For summer Alpine mountaineering and off-piste ski-ing and ski touring, Scottish winter and UK rock, get in touch with Owen and Rocio at Ibex guides. A fully qualified UIAGM Alpine guide, Owen has been a great partner in the past and I wouldn't hesitate to trust him with my life. Rocio is now on the guides training scheme as well (no mean feat) and we did the Walker Spur in Chamonix as a threesome a few years ago. If these two are doing other things then they'll know someone else reliable who can help you out.
Rock Climbing Destinations
I'm completely sold on the idea of exploring the massive amount of rock in Europe these days rather than upping my carbon-footprint with trans-continental flights. But I've already climbed in Australia, Thailand, and the USA (three trips) and am tied to family and work anyway so that's not really any kind of sacrifice. However, there's a lot of Europe that is neither well-known nor well-documented in English (i.e. isn't Chamonix or Font and doesn't have a Rockfax guide yet) so for those of you already planning your own trips, I am trying to put together a collection of useful links that might help. If you have any suggestions, let me know.
First a few general links. Try choosing to search for "travel" entries on the "articles" page on PlanetFear. There are a lot of European destinations covered
France is stuffed full of brilliant sport climbing and more than its fair share of big stuff too. Rockfax have taken another step to world domination by cobbling together a guide to major Haute-Provence crags like Ceuse, Buoux etc. but for some other spots the following links may be helpful
Here is a searchable database for French crags - in French though and not that user-friendly
More Ecrin and various Pre-Alp stuff
Not far from Dorset really, climbing on Jersey
The Dolomites is well-known but route information is limited. The Alpine Club guide is massively out-of-date; the Classic Dolomites Climbs guide, is excellent but very selective and only goes up to about E2. Try Planet Mountain for good information and topos for some modern classics, with new routes being added all the time.
While on the subject of Alpine Club guides, why, oh why, don't they move to some sort of updateable online resource. I don't think anyone can hope to produce a semi-comprehensive guidebook to an alpine area, certainly not a UK-based amateur as has been the case in the past.
A campsite in Finale (not checked)
Val Pennavaire - inland from Finale
Long legged Italy, kicked poor Sicily...
Amazing mountains and a really good variety of climbing.
Online topos to loads of Czech and other European venues including Ceuse
Far, far away
And if you do go to the States, Cochise Stronghold is the best place I've ever been