Swanage Grand Traverse

John Alcock and Frank Thompson completed the first recorded non-stop sea-level traverse of the Swanage cliffs on Saturday.The 5 mile route known as the Cormorant was first completed in 1971 in stages.It goes from Tilly Whim to St Aldhems Head.The pair, who were equipped with just wet suits and old rock shoes, climbed or boulder-hopped as much as possible and swam the rest.Their success in calm conditions follows an exciting failure last month when they (together with Gordon Jenkin, Sue Hazell and Ben Bransby) tried the route in a nasty swell.No move harder than 5c was climbed, but the stamina and commitment involved equated to an Alpine route. Climbing time was around 5 and a half hours. Total time taken including refreshment breaks was about 7 hours. Support team provided food and drink at Dancing Ledges and Winspit. The trip was brilliant fun and recommended to anyone who like a good adventurous day out. A number of falls were taken on slippery rock. John tore his rotator cuff with 2 miles to go. Frank head-butted an overhang, but the crag failed to fall down.