Portland, the place in UK where the sunshine usually goes to hide throughout most of the year. Or that’s how it seems to me anyway. We’ve made the three or four hour drive down a few times this year, so I thought I’d write a little something about the place and share some of Beth’s photos.
We’ve been to Portland every year since we met, usually around Beths birthday in July. This year was no exception, although we did also go a bit earlier in the year with Another climbing couple. We always manage to have a good time, and almost always seem to get good weather, although sometimes in the middle of the summer it can get a little too good if you ask me, but a shady spot and a sea breeze is never too far away.
For those who don’t know Portland too well, or have never heard of it, it’s a small island of the Dorset coast, covered in limestone sport climbing and bouldering. A lot of this climbing is situated a stones throw from the sea, but isn’t tidal. Sounds impossible but I promise it really is as good as it sounds. There is one small issue. This amazing setting and good weather means a lot of the easier routes have seen a lot of traffic and are a little on the polished side. By a little I mean like a 5 star hotels silverware. The main place we found this to be an issue was the cuttings. It’s easy to see why, piles and piles of easy routes, in a great setting and with a really easy walk in. Although there is an easy section of the crag that seems to have escaped spit and shine treatment. The bower, a mini crag in itself within the cuttings has nice collection of relatively unpolished routes, and is well worth a look if you’re looking for something easy.
We also check out Blacknor and battleship, which are on the west side of the island, some amazing looking lines there. The walk in is a little easy to miss, and for those not too well versed in narrow coastal paths, perhaps a little scary. The east side of the island has just as much on offer, and all of the sport starts right down at sea level.
We never really go with any big projects in mind, for both of us this year it’s just been about doing as much climbing as possible, so during our two trips there I was working on ticking either a bunch of 6a/6b routes, and Beth’s been just leading everything.
This was probably for the best as both trips had their set backs, some rain during our first trip meant we only got about a day and half of climbing, second trip Beth was pretty unwell, so I ended up doing a bit of bouldering instead of the sport we were planning. Always manage to have an amazing time, such an awesome place to visit and one of our favorite places to climb in the UK
Here’s a few more pictures that Beth took on our most recent trip, enjoy!