Climbs 34
Rocktype Limestone
Altitude 103m a.s.l
Faces SW

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My pal and I after a couple of good climbs. © Skorchio

Crag features

Set well away from the main climbing areas on Portland is this curious feature named in honour of a local man, Nick O'Demus, and his outstanding appendage (perhaps). The Nicodemus Knob is a squat pinnacle set high above the sea on the rim of the Isle's plateau. It has a beautiful outlook, as well as a quiet setting. Although only home to a small bunch of climbs 'The Knob' is an interesting spot and worth a visit.

Knob Head, The Shaft and Knob End crags are set above a quarry close to Nicodemus Knob. They are the remains of a naturally weathered inland crag with mostly quality, well featured rock. Be aware that in some sections natural rifts have weathered to leave the rock with dubious stability, do not attempt to climb on these. Many of the routes here arise from a grassy bay or ledges above a 15m drop into the quarry requiring an abseil approach. Care should be taken belaying and moving around the base, make sure you are equipped to exit the particular crag.

The 1959 Wall is an easily accessible bouldering wall of well featured rock. Although the grades are in the lower range be aware that some of the top-outs are quite high.

Update: The Quarry floor below the cliffs is now being filled in and most of the 15m drop has gone, although currently still exists below Knob End.


Approach notes

Follow the road to the top of the hill on Portland. Nicodemus Knob is best accessed by taking the left turn at the roundabout and follow the road past the side of The Heights hotel and the view point car parks, until a right turn, just before it goes down hill leads to The Verne prison. Go past this and follow the track to a rusty gate, park here. Follow the fence eastwards until the pinnacle comes into view and an obvious footpath leads down towards it (5 mins).

The 1959 Wall, Knob Head, The Shaft and Knob End crags are accessed by following the track south from the gate until you come to a rock wall where the track turns to the left, this is The 1959 Wall (5 mins). A pair of staples on the right side of the wall allow a rope to be fixed to abseil (about 6 metres) into the small grassy bay of Knob Head. Escape back up this rope or top out any of the first three routes. The Shaft can be found by scrambling up the bank to the left of the wall and following a grassy gulley about two thirds of the way along the top of the crag. A pair of staples at the top of the crag allow an abseil rope to be placed to access the start of the routes, escape back up this. Knob End can be found by going left at the end of the gulley to where a path descends rightwards through bushes at the edge of the crag. The quarry below the crag is currently being used for stone crushing operations. Please use these climbs only when work is not going on, ie after 5.00pm Monday to Friday and at weekends.

Update: The Quarry floor below the cliffs is now being filled in and most of the 15m drop has gone, although currently still exists below Knob End. This means many of the routes can be accessed from the quarry floor if the initial track is followed until a right turn leads into the quarry.

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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.
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Great crag of rock this here, Loads of space to park and not too far away to walk. Nice open almost exposed feel to the climbs, very nice collection and easy enough to climb up round the side to get a top rope in,but when top roping I advise using a rope protector. I agree with some of the other comments, in places it does need a bit of a dust off, I may do some time.
underitall - 26/Mar/15
Tough but very enjoyable. Easy to get round the side to put a rope up. Fancys Farm next door for cheap refreshments etc.
Paul Hicks - 27/May/14
These climbs are not getting much traffic so it would be well worth scrambling to the top, clipping the loweroffs and abseiling down to give them a dust off and a check for any lose stuff in the top break first. It is a better summer crag as it catches the breeze when elsewhere is too hot, very exposed to the wind in winter.
johnl - 24/Jul/10
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  Nicodemus Knob
2 Nick's Bulge 6b * 79
3 Big Wall Dreams 6a+ * 84
4 Nick O'Demus 6a * 120
5 Wild Rover 6a * 160
  1959 Wall
7 Perrêtte f4+ 2
8 Skip to the Good Bit f4+ 1
9 Coast Path Crack f4+ 1
10 The Coast Path f3+ 1
11 Staying Alive f5+ 2
12 This Way, Takanawa f4 1
13 Snail Relocation Co. f5 1
Climb name Grade
14 Route 59 f4 1
15 Bugloss f5 1
16 Death Arête f5 1
17 Centrifugal Bumble-puppy f5 1
  Knob Head
19 The Prow 5a 9
20 Less is More 6b 2
21 The Wharncliffe Boys 4b 12
22 If a Great Wave Shall Fall 6b 2
23 Nebbin the Knob 6b 6
24 Himmelsweg 6b 6
25 A Belly Full of Bad Apples 6a 4
26 Honorary Boy 3c 9
Climb name Grade
27 The Clitheroe Kid 4a 9
  The Shaft
29 Piss in Peace 5c 3
30 Farval 5c 5
31 To the Moon and Back 6a 4
32 Crystal Tipps 6b+  
33 The Weymouth Girls 5b 1
34 Nowhereisland 5a 5
  Knob End
36 High Above the Mucky Muck 5b 2
37 Bloodline 6a 5
38 Rosie the Riveter 4b 5
39 Beautifully Bolted by the Portland Psychos 3c 5

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