John Pullin climbing a classic problem (Font 4) at Hidden Cove, Portland © Ben Thorne
On the east coast of the southern tip of the isle are two small areas nestling under the lighthouses. Barrel Zawn is a pleasant little bouldering area with some intense and powerful problems on slopers and tiny crimps or pockets above a shingle beach. The beach can vary in height and the problems are at their best when the beach is low. Sector Pom Pom offers a similar style of power-packed routes situated in another delightful little bay with a a frozen wave of gritstone pitted with infrequent pockets.**SEE BELOW** Sadly neither place holds anything for beginners but both are great for a spot of sunbathing or a picnic and are only 300m from the car park. Irate landowner causes problems in summer. No legal reason for denying access but it is still best to keep away. A few metres south of Barrel Zawn is the excellent low/mid-grade bouldering area of Hidden Cove, with several quality problems in the range V1 to V6 above sandy landings.
January 2014: Pom Pom rock has been totally demolished by storm waves. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Xhlx9wbs-0c [Stuart Morris]
Barrel Zawn and Hidden Cove - Park at the main Portland Bill car park (or for free back at the layby). From the lighthouse, walk behind the cafe. The north-facing zawn is found 100m left (looking out) up the coast path just before a large quarried rock platform. Hidden Cove is directly behind the white "building" by the Lobster Pot Cafe. Sector Pom Pom - Park as for Coastguard, in the layby before the Pulpit Inn. Walk down the road past the Pulpit Inn then, at the bend, head left down a private track with the open field on the right. Follow the track around past the beach huts to the cliff-top. Turn left then after 20m follow natural rock steps down into an open cove with a prominent pinnacle. To the left is a fine wave of rock.
|R.I.P Sector Pom Pom, we had a good run. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-25634199|
Joe W-O - 08/Jan/14
|There are a handful of good problems on the wall on the 'back' of the Hidden Cove (south side), below the Lobster Pot. Low tide required.
See black and white photo of John in the gallery below. Think there's a B+W photo of Alex on one of them in my gallery too.
All about V0/1/2, all climbed around the same time as Hidden Cove was developed (2001 ish), but never reported.
Also a few extra problems on the left of Hidden Cove (south) that aren't in the CC guide - all sit/crouch start under the sharp bulge and power through to the ledge. See B+W photo of Jimbo in gallery.|
Ben Thorne - 21/Apr/11