UKC

Climbs 154
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 71m a.s.l
Faces SE

Leer of beethoven © James O'Neil

Crag features

The Cuttings is an excellent and popular inland crag that holds some of Portland's most well-travelled lines. Its easy access, broad spread of grades and sheltered position ensure that there are few days in the year where there won't be someone climbing here. It is an old railway cutting that has left several walls rising directly from a flat quarried base. The walls yield climbing that is mostly sustained and technical in nature, on clean vertical rock. Many of the climbs need lots of finger strength and tenacity, although the profusion of cracks, corners and grooves that bisect the blanker walls give pitches requiring a full range of techniques. There is also a very well-used beginners' wall set up for groups and individuals to cut their teeth on, which has an array of short, bolted easier routes. Over the last few years, a number of new sections of cliff have been opened up - The Bower, Sunlovers Slab and the outlying Nicodemus Knob have all become popular with their cache of routes between grades 3 and 6. In front of The Cuttings is a massive area of boulders, scree and dense vegetation that runs down to the sea - this is the The Cuttings Boulderfield which is fully covered in the Rockfax book Dorset Bouldering.

Approach notes

Drive through Easton towards Southwell to the Church Ope car park. Walk back up the road for 50m, and at the tiny Portland Museum, turn right onto Church Ope Road. Follow the road under an arch to a viewpoint - a flat area with some benches directly under Rufus Castle. From here, take the coast path (not the path down steps to Church Ope Cove) to a wide track which leads to The Cuttings in a couple of minutes. The New Cuttings is the first cliff reached, quickly followed by The Cuttings cliff itself. The Bower is well hidden only metres from The Cuttings. The Sunlovers Slab is down by the sea.

An alternative and popular approach is to use the often muddy track to the right of Mermaid House - this leads directly to the coast path.

Rockfax App

Available in the Rockfax App

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Guidebooks

Dorset Bouldering

Dorset has emerged as a major bouldering area in recent years thanks to the hard work of a bunch of diligent locals who have combed the coastline seeking out every block, problem and traverse. In addition to the well known areas of the Cuttings, the Boulderfield and the Neddyfields, the book has extensive information on the West Coast of Portland, many more areas on the East Coast, plus Swanage and Lulworth. It describes over 1500 boulder problems on over 350 pages.
More info

Dorset

The latest edition of the Dorset Rockfax features the now widely acclaimed full-page colour topos, and includes all the new lines in the areas previously covered, as well as many entirely new sectors. The crags are illustrated using bigger topos and there is a complete new set of action photos. This new Rockfax guide will concentrate on Portland, Swanage and Lulworth, covering all the sport routes in these areas, and also the bulk of the quality trad climbing at Swanage and Lulworth. Coverage of bouldering and deep water soloing, along with all the routes in Devon have migrated from this book.
More info

West Country Climbs

West Country Climbs is a major Rockfax guide to one of the UK’s most celebrated, sunny and diverse climbing regions. The book is fashioned in Rockfax’s award-winning layout and design, and copiously illustrated with action photographs of the climbs and cliffs that reflect the quality and variety of climbing experiences to be had on offer in the UK’s most popular holiday destination - the West Country. This is a selected route and buttress guidebook which covers the best 900 routes from the crags listed below.
More info
More Guidebooks:
Portland (2008)
Dorset Route Database (2000)
Swanage and Portland (1995)

Out of print:
Great climbs, However do agree with other comments, grades are slightly lower than I feel they should be. Best climb of the year so far, (it is only the first of January 2014). Great day though, great fun.
TerryHoward - 01/Jan/14
Great crag and boulder field, drys out super quick so makes the perfect winter bouldering location! :-)
Beastly Squirrel - 01/Jan/13
The Ditch no longer exists.
Richard Horn - 15/Dec/08
Excellent crag. Lots and lots of reachy, technical test pieces. However, not really worth visiting if you can't climb F7a or harder. Fred
FredMead - 06/Mar/06
The guide is fantastic - congratulations! One point on the Cuttings though. Page 165, route 17 "Three Fingers" is surely not a grade 4. Two of us climbed it and thought it a polished 5+. The third finger has of course fallen off as your photo shows and I wonder if it has been regraded since then. In your 2003 miniguide you put it at 6A rather than 4 which may be mistake (or is it?) but its certainly not 4, - which might cause problems where people are trying to up their grade in an area where except at the short worn out left hand end, there are few lower grades to try out. Hope this is useful.
marcus - 22/Aug/05
Agree, Blacknor is much better for novices, some of these routes are so pollished as to be at least a grade harder. My girlfriend thinks 2 grades!
Russ - 21/Aug/04
I was taken down to the Cuttings for my first bit of sport climbing and was pointed to the \'easy\' grades up one end (2 to 4+). Unfortunately these routes are now highly polished and I\'m sure that most people are likely to find them a great deal more difficult than their grade may suggest.
John Wellbelove - 22/Jul/02
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  Cuttings Main Cliff
2 Eat, Stick and Die 2a 416
3 We're Only Placing Bolts for Nigel 3a 478
4 Choose Your Own Adventure 5c * 24
5 Cheese and Pickle 4c 243
6 Parsnip Soup 5a 175
7 Corporal Punishment 5a 334
8 On Manoeuvres 3a 426
9 Arc Angel 2c 336
10 Charity Work Mate 3a 367
11 Magical Misty Tour 3c 381
12 Bonsai 3c 430
13 Sting in the Tail 5c 381
14 Baron's Revenge 3c 226
15 Chicken Boy 3c 174
16 Tantrums and Tiaras 3c 235
17 Sean 4c 21
18 100 Sunny Days 3a 424
19 Juggernaut 5a 528
20 Rock Lobster 4c 528
21 Amazonia 4c * 915
22 The Great Hamburger Disaster 4c * 1002
23 Definitely Maybe 6a+ * 503
24 Little Chef 5c * 808
25 Little Sod 6b * 307
26 The Sod 5c * 837
27 Lup Dup 6a+ * 90
28 Mindmeld 7a+ * 310
29 Sign of the Vulcan 7b+ ** 105
30 Hillman the Hunter 6b+ * 175
31 Hole in the Wall E1 5c 2
32 Flying Peach 6b * 48
33 Grapefruit takes a Whipper 6a+ * 77
34 Princess and the Pea 6b+ 23
35 Pillow Talk 6c 24
36 Died in Your Arms 6c ** 12
37 The Cutting Edge 6c+ *** 538
38 Dumbfounded 7b * 212
39 Chalkie and the Hex 5 5c ** 1006
40 The Ramp 5a * 834
41 Lusty Wedlock Needs Coil of Prevention 7b 5
42 Rusty Chubblock Needs Oil of Lubrication 7c * 24
43 Evening Mistress 6b * 268
44 Men Behaving Badly 7a+ * 36
45 Amen Corner 5a ** 868
46 Mousefolk 6c * 297
47 Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth 6b ** 840
48 Jam 4c ** 1106
49 The Mantelist 6b 22
50 Chips with Everything 5a * 1039
51 Quality Family Day 4c ** 969
52 Dignity 5c 34
53 True Love 6b+ 50
Climb name Grade
54 Bridget Riley 6b+ ** 30
55 The Mind Terrorist 7c+ ** 10
56 Knockout Punch 7b+ * 11
57 Spicer E2 5c * 5
58 Levitation By Proxy 6c * 83
59 That Chill Divine E2 6a 1
60 Finesse 7a 38
61 Hidden Treasure 6a * 278
62 Kestrel VS 4c 6
63 Looking for Love 6b * 22
64 Bob Hunkhouse f7A+ * 12
65 Blowing the Gimp 7a+ * 60
66 The Sears Tower 7b+ * 17
67 The Holy Hand Grenade 7a ** 273
68 Brief Encounter 6b ** 607
69 Infernal Din 7b+ *** 98
70 European Flavour 6b ** 444
71 Gourmet 6a 12
72 Europe Endless 6b+ ** 132
73 The Breathing Method 8a *** 53
74 Hall of Mirrors 7c *** 228
75 Want Out 7b *** 177
76 New Saladin 6c ** 406
77 Hurricane on a Millpond 7c+ ** 7
78 Consommé 6a+ ** 1150
79 Marti Chef 7b * 6
80 Haute Cuisine 7a ** 305
81 The Mouth Waters 7a+ ** 142
82 Two Fingers 6a ** 900
83 Three Fingers 6a * 777
84 So Long, Marianne 6c 10
85 Opus 5a * 855
86 Rusty the Red Neck TakesOne for the Team 6a+ * 454
87 Perihelion 6b ** 319
88 Disobedience Contest 6b ** 224
89 The Potting Shed 6a * 364
90 Rules is Rules 6b+ 55
91 Live is Life 6b * 91
92 Old Buffer 6b * 198
93 Live by the Sword 7a+ ** 306
94 Another Notch in the Gun 6b ** 605
95 Figgy Dropwise 6c+ * 81
96 For Michèle 6a 61
97 Dusty Fred's Winter Collection 6c 37
98 Ectomorph 6a * 237
99 Aperitif 5c 153
100 Unknown Arête 7a+ 30
101 The Bournemouth Flyer 6b * 177
102 Hors d'Oeuvres
-
E1 5c 3
103 Nightmare Scenario 7c ** 103
104 Modern Nightmare 7a ** 202
105 Bad Dream
-
E4 6a 2
106 Fighting Torque 8a ** 91
Climb name Grade
107 Under Duress 7c+ ** 30
108 Shiver Me Timbers 7a * 85
109 Weird Shit, Keep Drilling 6b+ ** 160
  The Dell
111 Sjambok the Skelem 4c 53
112 The Naughty Corner 4a 68
113 West of Vanity Fare 6b 31
114 Hot Flush E1 5c 10
115 Xerdna VS 4c 19
116 Hot Fuzz 5c 36
117 Don't Bring Your Mum 2a 23
  Rain Shadow Wall
119 Rain Shadow 1 f5+ * 21
120 Rain Shadow 2 f4 29
121 Rain Shadow 3 f4 29
122 Rain Shadow 4 f5+ * 29
123 Rain Shadow 5 f6A * 22
124 Rain Shadow 6 f3 * 27
125 Rain Shadow 7 f5+ * 26
126 Rain Shadow 8 f4 25
127 Rain Shadow 9 f5 * 24
  The Bower
129 All Bowered Out 6a * 20
130 Whispering Gallery 2a 308
131 Queen of the New Year 2c 326
132 Sun Trap 3a 437
133 The Bumper Fun Book 4a * 465
134 Tinkerbell 6a * 399
135 Far From The Madding Crowd 5c * 335
136 Six Finger Exercise 6b+ * 244
137 Godbeams 4a * 503
138 Ladybower 3a * 229
139 Voices in the Bower 3a 418
140 Up the Junction 6b * 161
141 Round the Bend 6b * 171
142 Winter Sun 6a * 498
143 Time Out of Mind 5a 533
144 Voices in the Mind 5c * 83
  Sunlovers Slab
146 Come on Eileen 6a+ * 46
147 Grand Tour 6a+ * 18
148 Boys Will Be Girls 6c+ * 28
149 Shockwave 5c * 63
150 Sunlover 5a * 65
151 The Portland Crowd 5a * 77
  The Ditch
153 Rock Logs 6b+ 3
154 Gold Dust 7b 2
155 Ditch the Bitch 7a 4
156 Pitch in the Ditch 6a+ 3
157 The Dump Pump 6a 6
158 This Shit's Something 6c+ 1

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