/ Portland - noob kit list
I'm hoping to get down to portland for a few of my first outdoor sport leads
(I have done some easy trad in the peaks before, and mainly climb southern sandstone on top rope)
Can anyone give me few tips or pointers please?
I'm feeling slightly under equipped, I have only five 10cm quickdraws, a lot of slings of varying length and the other potential snag could be my rope as its only a 30m dynamic rope.
Is there many easier routes I can have at with my limited equipment, If not where is money best placed, more draws and a longer rope?
I do have a boulder matt and wouldn't mind an area that had a few short easier routes(4b-6b) and some could bouldering around font 6a would be good too if anyone has suggestions. I also don't have a helmet, I assume this is pretty essential!
Buy a guidebook for the area - All the answers you need will be in it.
I have a guidebook on order but as its payday if I'm going to need a longer rope I'd like to order today to stand a chance of getting it in time!
You should get a guidebook, several more quickdraws and a 50 or 60m rope (there's almost no routes you can top-out on at Portland in case that was your plan). If you can't afford any of that just go down to the Cuttings. There's always people there to share a book with and plenty of short routes, bouldering too.
Downside is all the easy routes have been meticulously polished with a can of Mr Sheen and a fine chamois.
I'm surprised nobody mentioned helmets. Personally I always take one; arguably the belayer needs protecting more than the climber, especially at places like Blacknor North. That said, at some other less tall sectors where there's not much choss at the top of the routes, you should be safe enough without one.
Could look at Neddyfields - some nice (though slightly samey) bouldering, above a nice sport cliff. I reckon you'll need at least 10 QDs though; 1 per bolt, 1 spare to drop whilst faffing and two to top-rope/second from.
ALso, if this is your first proper outdoor leading, take some Humble Pie and prepare to drop grades ;)
(Also, the route at Battleship which it says is "Ideal for first lead" really isn't)
There are some short crags about...
Bits of the Cuttings (LBS, New Cuttings, Bower, etc.)
Cheyne Wears area (Lost Valley, quarry above the Road Rage wall)
Battleship Block and the Terrace/Veranda
But a dozen quickdraw and a 50m would be better and allow you to do some much better routes...
Even at the venues mentioned above you may benefit from a couple more Quickdraws, especially if you are intending to top-rope anything - it is good practice to equip the lower off anchors with your own draws to avoid unnecessary wear shortening their lifespan.
You'd also need a strimmer / machette to get to Lost valley. its a bit, er... lost at the moment
If you live close enough to a shop that has it in stock, then you won't do better than this price for a rope...
That is a great price - I paid that much for mine about three or four years ago and that was a 50. I can thoroughly recommend the Edlinger ropes too; I'm on my second; they're cheap, they handle quite nicely, they're reassuringly fat when you're working routes, etc.
To the OP, if it's your first trip, probably anything will be fun, even if you stick to short routes at the Cuttings for example. You might need to try and borrow or buy another few quickdraws though. From what I remember 30 mtrs of rope might be enough there - and just tie a bloody big knot in the end so that you can't lower your mate off the end of the rope if its not!
Brilliant replies, Thank you everyone! My 30m is an Edlinger & I think at that price I would be wise to invest as mine is a few years old and perfect condition still. I like the look of the Cheyne Wears area too, Looking through this site there is a lot more than I thought.
I am prepared to drop grades, my first trad leads were VDIFF's. I don't care what the grades are too much anyway just use them as an indication as to how badly beaten I will get! Equipment wise I think we will have to chip together a get more draws if I'm buying the rope I may aswell. I think we may have to have the belayer wear a pro-tec skate helemt or something as we can't shell out all the extra cash on top of fuel!
The only other option is to all buy helmets and enjoy the shorter routes and bouldering (3 of the people I'm meeting will only boulder anyway!)
I'm just trawling though the crag's map and weighing it all up now!
Thanks Again for the replies, Max
You might want to have a think about using a sling and krab to make yourself safe when at the top of climbs (if you've not got that much experience at it yet - soz if I'm teach to suck eggs).
Also, threading ropes through the belay bolts will wear them quickly. Thread rope through QD's and only thread the bolts when you are finished on the route and ab down.
Might be worth a look.
The Cuttings boulderfield would provide plenty of suitable bouldering and is adjacent to the Bower, there is a Rockfax mini guide you can download for it.
The Dell (next to the Bower) which is not in the Dorset 2012 guidebook also has a few extra short routes (and I think pigs tails?), and you can top rope at least one of the trad routes easily enough.
Personally I enjoyed the Dell and the Bower much more than Battleship Block which I found harder and/or (slightly) polished? But I might be imagining it. The Veranda and Dungecroft were also good, although some routes at Dungecroft are hilariously short!
Best plan is to get 10 quick draws and a 60m rope. Then you can do pretty much everything (apart from the odd route on blacknor where you'd run out of QDs)
Helmets, quick draws, 60m rope and guidebook have all been purchased.
I hope the weather holds!
Thanks every one
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