Climbs 153
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 74m a.s.l
Faces SE

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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.

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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)
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 455
3 We're Only Placing Bolts for Nigel 3a 537
4 Choose Your Own Adventure 5c * 36
5 Cheese and Pickle 4c 290
6 Parsnip Soup 5a 210
7 Corporal Punishment 5a 372
8 On Manoeuvres 3a 463
9 Arc Angel 2c 368
10 Charity Work Mate 3a 391
11 Magical Misty Tour 3c 413
12 Bonsai 3c 462
13 Sting in the Tail 5c 412
14 Baron's Revenge 3c 270
15 Chicken Boy 3c 204
16 Tantrums and Tiaras 3c 269
17 Sean 4c 23
18 100 Sunny Days 3a 497
19 Juggernaut 5a 571
20 Rock Lobster 4c 568
21 Amazonia 4c * 1014
22 The Great Hamburger Disaster 4c * 1088
23 Definitely Maybe 6a+ * 556
24 Little Chef 5c * 874
25 Little Sod 6b * 344
26 The Sod 5c * 903
27 Lup Dup 6a+ * 105
28 Mindmeld 7a+ * 342
29 Sign of the Vulcan 7b+ ** 110
30 Hillman the Hunter 6b+ * 187
31 Hole in the Wall E1 5c 3
32 Flying Peach 6b * 53
33 Grapefruit takes a Whipper 6a+ * 84
34 Princess and the Pea 6b+ 27
35 Pillow Talk 6c 27
36 Died in Your Arms 6c ** 25
37 The Cutting Edge 6c+ *** 634
38 Dumbfounded 7b * 235
39 The Mermaid 7a 4
40 Chalkie and the Hex 5 5c ** 1114
41 The Ramp 5a * 921
42 Lusty Wedlock Needs Coil of Prevention 7b 5
43 Rusty Chubblock Needs Oil of Lubrication 7c * 24
44 Evening Mistress 6b * 296
45 Men Behaving Badly 7a+ * 42
46 Amen Corner 5a ** 963
47 Mousefolk 6c * 317
48 Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth 6b ** 939
49 Jam 4c ** 1268
50 The Mantelist 6b 33
51 Chips with Everything 5a * 1214
52 Quality Family Day 4c ** 1146
53 Dignity 5c 61
Climb name Grade
54 True Love 6b+ 64
55 Bridget Riley 6b+ ** 41
56 The Mind Terrorist 7c+ ** 12
57 Knockout Punch 7b+ * 15
58 Spicer E2 5c * 5
59 Levitation By Proxy 6c * 99
60 That Chill Divine E2 6a 1
61 Finesse 7a 56
62 Hidden Treasure 6a * 377
63 Kestrel VS 4c 6
64 Looking for Love 6b * 41
65 Bob Hunkhouse f7A+ * 12
66 Blowing the Gimp 7a+ * 67
67 The Sears Tower 7b+ * 17
68 The Holy Hand Grenade 7a ** 303
69 Brief Encounter 6b ** 661
70 Infernal Din 7b+ *** 108
71 European Flavour 6b ** 481
72 Gourmet 6a 12
73 Europe Endless 6b+ ** 159
74 The Breathing Method 8a *** 55
75 Hall of Mirrors 7c *** 240
76 Want Out 7b *** 204
77 New Saladin 6c ** 458
78 Hurricane on a Millpond 7c+ ** 8
79 Consommé 6a+ ** 1282
80 Marti Chef 7b * 11
81 Haute Cuisine 7a ** 346
82 The Mouth Waters 7a+ ** 157
83 Two Fingers 6a ** 1027
84 Three Fingers 6a * 879
85 So Long, Marianne 6c 16
86 Opus 5a * 964
87 Rusty the Red Neck TakesOne for the Team 6a+ * 508
88 Perihelion 6b ** 368
89 Disobedience Contest 6b ** 239
90 The Potting Shed 6a * 432
91 Rules is Rules 6b+ 65
92 Live is Life 6b * 122
93 Old Buffer 6b * 246
94 Live by the Sword 7a+ ** 331
95 Another Notch in the Gun 6b ** 674
96 Figgy Dropwise 6c+ * 88
97 For Michèle 6a 74
98 Dusty Fred's Winter Collection 6c 40
99 Ectomorph 6a * 265
100 Aperitif 5c 178
101 Hors d'Oeuvres
-
E1 5c 3
102 Unknown Arête 7a+ 34
103 The Bournemouth Flyer 6b * 190
104 Nightmare Scenario 7c ** 123
105 Modern Nightmare 7a ** 225
106 Bad Dream
-
E4 6a 2
Climb name Grade
107 Fighting Torque 8a ** 93
108 Under Duress 7c+ ** 31
109 Shiver Me Timbers 7a * 90
110 Weird Shit, Keep Drilling 6b+ ** 168
  The Dell
112 Sjambok the Skelem 4c 55
113 The Naughty Corner 4a 69
114 West of Vanity Fare 6b 31
115 Hot Flush E1 5c 10
116 Xerdna VS 4c 19
117 Hot Fuzz 5c 36
118 Don't Bring Your Mum 2a 24
  Rain Shadow Wall
120 Rain Shadow 1 f5+ * 23
121 Rain Shadow 2 f4 31
122 Rain Shadow 3 f4 31
123 Rain Shadow 4 f5+ * 29
124 Rain Shadow 5 f6A * 25
125 Rain Shadow 6 f3 * 27
126 Rain Shadow 7 f5+ * 28
127 Rain Shadow 8 f4 28
128 Rain Shadow 9 f5 * 26
  The Bower
130 All Bowered Out 6a * 22
131 Whispering Gallery 2a 348
132 Queen of the New Year 2c 382
133 Sun Trap 3a 502
134 The Bumper Fun Book 4a * 530
135 Tinkerbell 6a * 447
136 Far From The Madding Crowd 5c * 377
137 Six Finger Exercise 6b+ * 266
138 Godbeams 4a * 585
139 Ladybower 3a * 257
140 Voices in the Bower 3a 508
141 Up the Junction 6b * 192
142 Round the Bend 6b * 203
143 Winter Sun 6a * 580
144 Time Out of Mind 5a 623
145 Voices in the Mind 5c * 101
  Sunlovers Slab
147 Come on Eileen 6a+ * 50
148 Grand Tour 6a+ * 20
149 Boys Will Be Girls 6c+ * 32
150 Shockwave 5c * 68
151 Sunlover 5a * 68
152 The Portland Crowd 5a * 89
  The Ditch
154 Rock Logs 6b+ 3
155 Gold Dust 7b 2
156 Ditch the Bitch 7a 4
157 Pitch in the Ditch 6a+ 3
158 The Dump Pump 6a 6
159 This Shit's Something 6c+ 1

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