|The classic shot of Blacknor|
One of the biggest problems, with Portland and perhaps the reason why I've always had sporadic visits, is logistics. Back in the good ol'days when G-Man Glaister lived in Devon & I was going stir crazy on Uni holidays, we had some great day trips route checking for the Dorest Rockfax. The Mermaid Inn was also open back then, and you could camp in his field for a fiver. It's closure was a big loss as it left the only options as bivvying and camping at crammed campsited the other side of Weymouth for a tenner.
|Bygone days, bivvying with Alex Malins|
|Not to mention being mistaken for Gypos in the Transit|
|Route Checking with the Rockfax Master|
This changed considerably once we found out about Portland Bunkhouse. Perfectly located walking distance from the lighthouse, and all West facing crags (Wallsend, Battleship, Blacknor) it's ugly MoD barbed wire exterior and keep-out signs suggest a darker past. Nowadays the inside is very plush and clean, with a decent fitted kitchen, proper beds and bedsheets, hot showers. Usually full of climbing groups from London or Bristol it's a good & sociable place to stay.
|but suits the Beemer style, and very nice inside....|
|Awesome terrain walking distance from the bunkhouse|
I mentioned earlier that the climbing never ceases to amaze. It's sometimes badly bolted, inconsistently graded, usually dusty, flowstone-filled, technique-packed, well featured, pocketed, sustained, full of adventure, and almost always long, and all in all one of the best limestone sheets the UK has to offer.
|Total sandbags 'Reve en' something.....|
This weekend did not disappoint, repeating a number of the classic lower grade climbs; (Reptile Smile 6a+/6b and Cake Walk 6a, would both hold their own in Spain or Kalymnos), knocking back a project from a few years passed, the uber classic 'Pump Hitler' 7a+/7b, and a steady redpoint of AppleTurnoverload 7a/7a+.
|Skelhon flashing the classic Pump Hitler|
Everyone else was climbing well too, with an impressive flash of Pump Hitler from Tom Chavwin, a good recovery on redpoint with Jordano ticking his 2nd 7a+ (Appleturnoverload), Jenni cruising the same, and Jonny onsigting some 7b in his stealthy fashion that I never got to see.
I get the feeling this isn't the last trip to Portland for 2015....
Here's a list of all the routes I've sent over the past 9 years at this magical crag!
|England's Dreaming||7a+ ***||Tom Jordan, Jenni||14-Jun-14||Blacknor North|
|Pump Hitler||7a+ ***||Tom Jordan, Jenni, Tom, Jonny||21-Mar-15||Battleship Back Cliff|
|Appleturnoverload||7a+ **||Tom Jordan, Jenni, Tom, Jonny||22-Mar-15||Blacknor North|
|Medusa Falls||7a ***||Jonny||08-Jun-09||Blacknor South|
|Wolfgang Forever||7a **||Jonny||29-Aug-14||Blacknor North|
|New Saladin||6c **||Jonny||30-Aug-14||The Cuttings|
|Oblivion is Forever||6c *||Jonny||04-Sep-06||Blacknor South|
|Buoys will be Buoys||6b+ ***||Mark Glaister||02-Apr-09||Battleship Back Cliff|
|Inch Perfect, Inchworm||6b+ **||Tom||06-Jun-09||Battleship Main|
|Raise the Titanic||6b+ *||Mark Glaister||02-Apr-09||Battleship Back Cliff|
|Carlos Fandango Belay||6b **||Jenni||??/Sep/12||Blacknor Far South|
|Ocean Drive||6b **||Mark Glaister||29-Mar-09||Blacknor Far South|
|The Loneliness of the Long Distance Driller||6b **||Mark Glaister||29-Mar-09||Blacknor Far South|
|Very Sleepy River||6b **||Jonny||29-Aug-14||Blacknor North|
|Ghetto-Blaster Master||6b *||Jenni||??/Sep/12||Blacknor Far South|
|Reptile Smile||6a+ ***||Jenni||??/Sep/12||Blacknor North|
|Consommé||6a+ **||Tom||07-Jun-09||The Cuttings|
|Evening Falls||6a+ **||Mark Glaister||02-Apr-09||Battleship Main|
|Paying It Forward||6a+ **||Mark Glaister||29-Mar-09||Blacknor Far South|
|Punter's Way||6a+ **||Mark Glaister||29-Mar-09||Blacknor Far South|
|Aim High, Shoot Low||6a+ *||Tom Jordan, Jenni, Tom, Jonny||22-Mar-15||Blacknor North|
|Escape from the Dwaafee Room||6a **||Mark Glaister||29-Mar-09||Blacknor Far South|
|Fear's Younger Brother||6a **||Mark Glaister||29-Mar-09||Blacknor Far South|
|Margaret on the Guillotine||6a **||Tom Jordan, Jenni||15-Jun-14||Battleship Main|
|Pinch an Inch||6a **||Mark Glaister||02-Apr-09||Battleship Main|
|Cake Walk||6a *||Tom Jordan, Jenni, Tom, Jonny||22-Mar-15||Blacknor North|
|Crocadilia||6a *||Tom Jordan, Jenni, Tom, Jonny||22-Mar-15||Blacknor North|
|The Sod||5c *||Jonny||05-Sep-06||The Cuttings|
|A Dream of White Porsches||5a *||Tom||06-Jun-09||Battleship Back Cliff|
|It's My Life||5a *||Jonny||04-Sep-06||Blacknor South|
|Skating on Thin Ice||5a *||Jenni||??/Sep/12||Blacknor Far South|
|Do Ixtlan||4c *||Jonny||04-Sep-06||Blacknor South|
|Jasper||4c *||Jonny||06-Sep-06||Cheyne Wears Area|
|Jody Sunshine||4c||Jonny||06-Sep-06||Cheyne Wears Area|