A number of small crags of unusual rock have been developed along the coast between Church Ope Cove and Durdle Pier to the north, offering bouldering, trad and sport.
A highball (4-5 metre) steep slab of rock full of small pockets, incuts and rugosities almost immediately below the path as you leave the Church Ope steps. Very sheltered by trees but catches the sun for much of the day in winter and should be suitably shaded in the summer. A good flat landing for mats and most of the routes top out
Ope slab has slipped during the recent storms and is no longer in use as it has broken up and moved several meters closer to the sea.
Follow the coastal path for 300 metres until a large pit appears on the left. A path branches right from here; take this for 100 metres to a large ivy covered boss of rock on the cliff edge above the slab.
The crag is an 8 metre high slab of perfect rough limestone seamed with horizontal and vertical cracks, somewhat reminiscent of Little Tryfan (trad only please). The base is best accessed by scrambling down a short section in the middle broken by a wide crack. Take care moving along the narrow base.
A rocky headland 400 metres north consisting of three “stacks” with potential for short fun solos at low tide and possible DWS on the third stack at high. Immediately before reaching the stacks are a series of slabs
A large and improbably poised, undercut slab of rough limestone located just before the rocky headland. The large flat slabs of rock below make a perfect sunbathing and swimming spot at low tide and the grassy hollow above is perfect for a picnic. It is clear of high tide but beware of rough seas.
Crazy paving slabs:-
Left (S) of Sunlovers Slab is a cracked slab, about 8m high with a weird concrete like texture – the Crazy Paving Slab and further left is another slab with a small hanging slab of excellent rock at its top. This is Hourglass slab.
Hourglass Slab and it's three routes, Bumlovers, Hourglass Slab and Chockstone Crack have also been lost to the February 2014 storms.
The White Tower
About 200 metres further north. A boulder consisiting of a highball (4 metre) steep slab of perfect white limestone with excellent friction at the back of the rocky beach just before the cliff disappears to the north. With holds nothing more than ripples and dimples it has a reasonable landing with a couple of mats.
Park as for The Cuttings and walk down the lane to the Church Ope steps.
Directions: From one quarter of the way down the Church Ope steps take a path left through bushes into the Cuttings Boulderfield.
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|THE WHITE TOWER|
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|Ope Slab and Hourglass Slab have been lost to the February 2014 storms. That affects routes from Doris Does Trad to Chockstone Crack.|
johnl - 07/Feb/14