The Real White Cliffs Experience (IV), Dover

After our loose grassy slope climbing exploits on Loose Living Kirill was surprisingly keen for some more chalk. I wanted to climb a route called 'The Real White Cliffs Experience' which I had spotted a month ago whilst reconnoitring the cliffs. The route is only a short distance North of the St. Margaret's Bay car park and appears largely unchanged since its first ascent in 1992. It is one of the easiest to locate on the cliffs due to it's distinctive upper runnel which also forms the upper section to Better than the real thing.

The Real White Cliffs Experience climbs directly up 1/3 from the left of the photo to gain the obvious traverse to the runnel
We initially tried a new route between the start of the Real White Cliffs Experience and Better than the real thing. I gave up a short distance above the ground upon realising the section of chalk I was on was semi-detached. The moral of the stay was stay away from cracks as where there are cracks there is loose sections of rock.

We started further left at what we presumed the normal starting point for the Real White Cliffs Experience. I surmounted the initial bulge, continued up the short pitch on good chalk, then smashed some warthogs in for the belay. With only a regular claw hammer Kirill had his work cut out removing the warthog runners on second.

Kirill seconding the first pitch
Removing a warthog
From here it was a long two pitch rightward traverse to the runnel crossing increasingly loose and grassy slopes. With few sections of quality chalk there was little in the way of sound protection, which included belays. The CC guidebook states the route is 118m however I think this route is at least 150m given the length of the traverse.

Kirill traversing grass
Kirill on the first pitch of the traverse
The runnel provided a grand finale, climbing easy stepped out chalk to the top. It felt easier than the Tube given no steep crux but equally adventurous. 

Kirill on the final runnel pitch
Kirill at the top of the runnel pitch
View down the runnel


  1. Glad to see someone is still chalk climbing at Dover - it's a long time since I did the first ascent of this route!

  2. Hi Dave, thanks for the post! I enjoyed this route. I also solo'ed the Verdent Tube earlier in the year, which I read is one of your routes. The start for the latter is pretty steep now. I'm hoping to try X Files at some point, which looks pretty adventurous. Also some new routes of my own with a bit of luck! Cheers, Lee


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