Altitude 103m a.s.l
My pal and I after a couple of good climbs. © Skorchio
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.
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 6m) 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.
The Dorset Rockfax covers the superb sport and trad climbing in Portland, Swanage and Lulworth on the Dorset coast. This amazing area is one of the most popular sport climbing areas in the country with a huge number of routes across the grades and great appeal to climbers of all abilities. Thousands of brilliant routes and a relatively friendly climate mean that the area is always busy with climbers.
The 2021 edition of the Dorset Rockfax is the biggest Rockfax to date with 2700 routes on over 600 pages. It is a complete update of previous guides and released in print and digital at the same time. All the crags have been re-photographed using aerial photography and a new set of detailed maps created to make finding and choosing your chosen route even easier than ever.
|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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