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UKClimbing Team

Climbs 159
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 463
3 We're Only Placing Bolts for Nigel 3a 538
4 Choose Your Own Adventure 5c * 36
5 Cheese and Pickle 4c 294
6 Parsnip Soup 5a 212
7 Corporal Punishment 5a 372
8 On Manoeuvres 3a 463
9 Arc Angel 2c 369
10 Charity Work Mate 3a 394
11 Magical Misty Tour 3c 415
12 Bonsai 3c 461
13 Sting in the Tail 5c 413
14 Baron's Revenge 3c 269
15 Chicken Boy 3c 205
16 Tantrums and Tiaras 3c 271
17 Sean 4c 24
18 100 Sunny Days 3a 500
19 Juggernaut 5a 577
20 Rock Lobster 4c 573
21 Amazonia 4c * 1035
22 The Great Hamburger Disaster 4c * 1102
23 Definitely Maybe 6a+ * 561
24 Little Chef 5c * 880
25 Little Sod 6b * 349
26 The Sod 5c * 911
27 Lup Dup 6a+ * 105
28 Mindmeld 7a+ * 347
29 Sign of the Vulcan 7b+ ** 108
30 Hillman the Hunter 6b+ * 186
31 Hole in the Wall E1 5c 3
32 Flying Peach 6b * 52
33 Grapefruit takes a Whipper 6a+ * 83
34 Princess and the Pea 6b+ 27
35 Pillow Talk 6c 27
36 Died in Your Arms 6c ** 25
37 The Cutting Edge 6c+ *** 660
38 Dumbfounded 7b * 242
39 The Mermaid 7a 9
40 Chalkie and the Hex 5 5c ** 1133
41 The Ramp 5a * 941
42 Lusty Wedlock Needs Coil of Prevention 7b 5
43 Rusty Chubblock Needs Oil of Lubrication 7c * 25
44 Evening Mistress 6b * 304
45 Men Behaving Badly 7a+ * 50
46 Amen Corner 5a ** 984
47 Mousefolk 6c * 323
48 Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth 6b ** 971
49 Jam 4c ** 1240
50 The Mantelist 6b 34
51 Chips with Everything 5a * 1191
52 Quality Family Day 4c ** 1125
53 Dignity 5c 72
54 True Love 6b+ 67
55 Bridget Riley 6b+ ** 46
Climb name Grade
56 The Mind Terrorist 7c+ ** 12
57 Knockout Punch 7b+ * 15
58 Spicer E2 5c * 5
59 Levitation By Proxy 6c * 102
60 That Chill Divine E2 6a 1
61 Finesse 7a 58
62 Hidden Treasure 6a * 403
63 Kestrel VS 4c 6
64 Looking for Love 6b * 49
65 Bob Hunkhouse f7A+ * 12
66 Blowing the Gimp 7a+ * 67
67 The Sears Tower 7b+ * 19
68 The Holy Hand Grenade 7a ** 318
69 Brief Encounter 6b ** 684
70 Chasing highs 7b+ ** 4
71 Infernal Din 7b+ *** 113
72 European Flavour 6b ** 501
73 Gourmet 6a 12
74 Europe Endless 6b+ ** 168
75 Uninformed Consent 7c+ ***  
76 The Breathing Method 8a *** 58
77 Hall of Mirrors 7c *** 246
78 Want Out 7b *** 214
79 New Saladin 6c ** 481
80 Hurricane on a Millpond 7c+ ** 12
81 Consommé 6a+ ** 1326
82 Marti Chef 7b * 15
83 Haute Cuisine 7a ** 365
84 The Mouth Waters 7a+ ** 167
85 Two Fingers 6a ** 1064
86 Three Fingers 6a * 907
87 So Long, Marianne 6c 17
88 Opus 5a * 987
89 Rusty the Red Neck TakesOne for the Team 6a+ * 525
90 Perihelion 6b ** 381
91 Disobedience Contest 6b ** 249
92 The Potting Shed 6a * 444
93 Rules is Rules 6b+ 66
94 Live is Life 6b * 130
95 Old Buffer 6b * 255
96 Live by the Sword 7a+ ** 343
97 Another Notch in the Gun 6b ** 699
98 Figgy Dropwise 6c+ * 89
99 For Michèle 6a 75
100 Dusty Fred's Winter Collection 6c 39
101 Ectomorph 6a * 268
102 Aperitif 5c 185
103 Hors d'Oeuvres
-
E1 5c 3
104 Unknown Arête 7a+ 37
105 The Bournemouth Flyer 6b * 192
106 Nightmare Scenario 7c ** 134
107 Modern Nightmare 7a ** 232
108 Bad Dream
-
E4 6a 2
109 Fighting Torque 8a ** 99
110 Under Duress 7c+ ** 31
Climb name Grade
111 Shiver Me Timbers 7a * 91
112 Weird Shit, Keep Drilling 6b+ ** 172
  The Dell
114 Sjambok the Skelem 4c 57
115 The Naughty Corner 4a 71
116 West of Vanity Fare 6b 31
117 Hot Flush E1 5c 10
118 Xerdna VS 4c 19
119 Hot Fuzz 5c 36
120 Don't Bring Your Mum 2a 24
  Rain Shadow Wall
122 Rain Shadow 1 f5+ * 26
123 Rain Shadow 2 f4 37
124 Rain Shadow 3 f4 36
125 Rain Shadow 4 f5+ * 34
126 Rain Shadow 5 f6A * 31
127 Rain Shadow 6 f3 * 32
128 Rain Shadow 7 f5+ * 33
129 Rain Shadow 8 f4 33
130 Rain Shadow 9 f5 * 29
  The Bower
132 All Bowered Out 6a * 22
133 Whispering Gallery 2a 358
134 Queen of the New Year 2c 395
135 Sun Trap 3a 519
136 The Bumper Fun Book 4a * 544
137 Tinkerbell 6a * 464
138 Far From The Madding Crowd 5c * 388
139 Six Finger Exercise 6b+ * 278
140 Godbeams 4a * 601
141 Ladybower 3a * 264
142 50! 3b 7
143 25! 4a 7
144 Underbower 5c 7
145 Like-minded Folk 6a 5
146 Voices in the Bower 3a 529
147 Up the Junction 6b * 209
148 Round the Bend 6b * 212
149 Winter Sun 6a * 603
150 Time Out of Mind 5a 646
151 Voices in the Mind 5c * 106
  Sunlovers Slab
153 Come on Eileen 6a+ * 52
154 Grand Tour 6a+ * 20
155 Boys Will Be Girls 6c+ * 32
156 Shockwave 5c * 72
157 Sunlover 5a * 74
158 The Portland Crowd 5a * 94
  The Ditch
160 Rock Logs 6b+ 3
161 Gold Dust 7b 2
162 Ditch the Bitch 7a 4
163 Pitch in the Ditch 6a+ 3
164 The Dump Pump 6a 6
165 This Shit's Something 6c+ 1

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