/ Portland

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jadeevans692 on 13 Apr 2019

Thinking of climbing in Portland, I have never been so any advice would be appreciated. For sports climbing what length rope is recommended and also how many quick draws. Best guide book?  Also I have Never done any sports climbing outside.

Is camping good or any good spots near bye ? 

Thanks in advance 

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Pedro50 on 13 Apr 2019
In reply to jadeevans692:

I recommend the Rockfax guide. It will answer all your other questions. 

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Rob Kennard - on 14 Apr 2019
In reply to jadeevans692:

Hi Jade.

A 60m rope will allow you to climb every route on Portland, with 14 quickdraws. A 50m rope will allow you to climb about 80% of the routes.

The best guidebook is the Rockfax one(also available as an app on Iphone) - although it is 5 years old it covers the main areas really well (relatively little new stuff since then). One significant change since that book is the access to Blacknor Far South/ Battleship Cliff ,so do a bit of research if you want to go there.

There is no official camping on Portland, apart from a few pitches at the YHA. Here's a list of campsites, bunk houses etc:

https://portland-climbing.co.uk/accomodation.php#camping

Have fun,

Rob

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Paul Sagar - on 14 Apr 2019
In reply to jadeevans692:

There is a really nice campsite near Chisel Beach in Wyke Regis I would recommend staying at. 

If it’s your first time climbing outdoors, make sure you know how to strip a route on a variety of anchors. Routes at Portland range from chain belays with lower off rings to a pair of staples. The techniques for cleaning the latter are a little different (and potentially more risky) so make sure you know what to do if faced with minimal getting-down in situ gear. 

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Neil Williams - on 14 Apr 2019
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Yep, echo the Rockfax guide and that campsite (though it can be windy!)  And when you stay at that campsite, the Wyke Smugglers is a decent pub nearby.  Though if you want to eat in a pub on the island the Cove House is the one to go for, excellent food and a decent range of drinks, though it can be busy so you may want to book.

The campsite is called Martleaves Farm, it also has a B&B attached.

One thing of note - some of the approaches can be awkward, and so if you're "cack-footed" like me (is there such a thing? ) a hiking pole can be useful to avoid falling 50 feet into the sea.

Another thing of note is that travel by public transport is unusually feasible for a climbing area.  There are 4 buses per hour (number 1) onto the island from Weymouth (Kings Statue) at most times of day, including Sundays, and none of the climbing areas are a particularly long walk from it.

Finally, and I was looking for a thread to put it in, if you do find yourself there without a guidebook there is a small old-fashioned independent bookshop in Weymouth called Books Afloat that stocks it, this appears to be the only place in Portland/Weymouth that does, though give him a few days to get another one in as I bought it on Saturday!

All in all a great place to do some sport climbing (and routes for all abilities, too), on a hot summer's day you can easily forget you're not on Sicily or somewhere like that.

Post edited at 16:16
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derryclimbs - on 14 Apr 2019
In reply to jadeevans692:

Obviously the guide book question has been answered, but if you're still looking for accomodation, the Bunker bunkhouse is a great spot. Albeit at the bottom of Portland so you'd need to get a lift/bus to the top. But it's run by a couple who climb and dive on the Isle so can give you loads of recommendations for crags with easy access, classic routes etc.

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Emilio Bachini on 14 Apr 2019
In reply to jadeevans692:

Top tip, tie a knot in the end of your rope. 

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