The Back Cliff

Adjacent Areas
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Sport
Sun and Shade
18 mins
Downhill

This much-photographed wall features some brilliant climbs crossing the flint knobs and breaks that cut across the face. The climbing tends to involve technical moves on vertical rock - more sustained than cruxy. That being said, there are still some very hard moves! Many of the routes are more than 25m long, so take great care when lowering off.
Approach - Following a huge landslip in 2014 the old Battleship Edge approach is no longer possible. Instead the southern approach above the Veranda Cliff must be used. Drive through Weston to a small roundabout and turn right into Reap Lane. Park near the second traffic calming installation. Follow a wide track behind houses and go right at the crossroads. Follow the track past farm buildings to the cliff top path. At the cliff edge slightly to the left is a grassy gully. Descend this with care to a grassy terrace above the Veranda Cliff. Follow this north (right looking out) towards the distinctive and massive Battleship Block.

Route (click for voting and user comments) Symbols Grade
1
Pol Pot Had the Lot
Climb up dirty rock to the headwall.
 
Loose
6b
2
Sex Cauldron
Move left and climb the upper arete and wall on the left.
1 user comment
 
Reachy
7b
3
Even Better than the Beatles
Good climbing in the high groove with a very blind crux.
3 user comments
 
1 Stars
7b
4
Arc of a Fridge
A very technical crux pulling through the mid-height bulge.
1 user comment
 
1 Stars
Technical
Strong
7b
5
Dreams Burn Down
A direct assault on the left-hand side of the massive wall, finishing up the corner. An often-overlooked pitch with a tough...
3 user comments
 
2 Stars
Pumpy
7a+
6
Nihil
The well-defined rib in the upper wall has good climbing and plenty of exposure. Climb the lower wall past a bulge to a rest...
3 user comments
 
2 Stars
Strong
Pumpy
7b
7
No Man is an Island
A long-established Portland favourite. Climb to the narrow roof and pass it on the right before making some fingery moves back...
18 user comments
 
3 Stars
Pumpy
6c
8
Always Have the Edge
Another gem. Climb through the low overhangs with difficulty, then continue up the sustained wall above to a wide corner....
10 user comments
 
2 Stars
6c
9
Pump Hitler Top 50
Exciting situations combined with technical climbing. Climb up and stretch past the low roof. Continue up the sustained wall to...
7 user comments
 
3 Stars
Technical
Pumpy
7a+
10
Buoys Will Be Buoys Top 50
A long stamina-route that is one of the region's best grade 6 sport climbs. Move up to the overhang and negotiate it on the...
15 user comments
 
3 Stars
Pumpy
6b+
11
Shape Shifter
A hard upper wall. Climb easily to the mid-height ledge. Step left and climb direct up the wall via a powerful sequence to...
1 user comment
 
1 Stars
Strong
7c
12
Jurassic Shift
A well-positioned route. Climb easily to the mid-height ledge, as for Shape Shifter. Ascend the groove above to a steep finish.
13 user comments
 
2 Stars
Technical
7a
13
The Fun Factory
Excellent and varied groove climbing with an almost gritstone-like mid-section. Climb poor rock until above the wide chert...
6 user comments
 
2 Stars
Technical
Pumpy
7b
14
Rave Mission
30m. A counter-diagonal starting up Info Freako, reversing the traverse on Trance Mission and finishing up Racing Line giving...
 
2 Stars
Pumpy
7b+
15
Info Freako
Varied and technical moves up a thin crack in the impressive headwall. Climb the easy lower wall on poor rock to below the...
2 user comments
 
2 Stars
Reachy
Strong
Pumpy
7b+
16
The Racing Line
An excellent climb. Climb the lower wall past a flake to a shallow, left-facing groove. Make technical moves up this and then...
4 user comments
 
2 Stars
Technical
Pumpy
7b+
17
Trance Mission
A very technical hybrid. Start up The Racing Line and make a hard traverse to gain Info Freako below its crux. Rave...
 
2 Stars
Reachy
Technical
Pumpy
7c
18
Zinc Oxide Mountain Top 50
One of Portland's very best routes, ascending the white headwall via some exquisite moves. Low in the grade. Start at a...
8 user comments
 
3 Stars
Technical
Pumpy
7b+
19
Bending the Rules
A long rising-traverse that forges a diagonal line starting up Lost Army Expedition (next page) and finishing up Jurassic...
 
1 Stars
Technical
Pumpy
7b+
20
Lost Army Expedition
Tough in the top groove and a bit run-out to boot.
1 user comment
 
1 Stars
Fluttery
6c+
21
Scapa Flow
A technical test-piece. Precarious groove climbing with nowhere near enough footholds for the right foot.
4 user comments
 
2 Stars
Technical
Pumpy
6c+
22
Koenig Class
The prow just to the right of Scapa Flow is climbed via a wandering line, but has some good, hard moves.
 
1 Stars
7a+
23
Raise the Titanic
The open groove is a tricky proposition, and has a number of blind moves. Finish at the lower-off of Scapa Flow.
1 user comment
 
1 Stars
Technical
6b+
24
The Price of Silence
A pleasing and very popular route. You need to search around a bit on the top section for the best finishing holds.
16 user comments
 
2 Stars
Pumpy
6a
25
Wave Dodging
This is a bold pitch if climbed direct - 6c+ indirect.
1 user comment
 
Technical
7a
26
Sink the Bismarck
Quality climbing. It is possible to finish on the ledge of Wave Dodging, but if you add the extra 5m it is probably worth 6c+....
2 user comments
 
1 Stars
Pumpy
6c
27
Big Fish
A tight line featuring three hard sections, though it has good rests in between. Finish to the right of a blank section.
2 user comments
 
Technical
7a
28
Wiggi and Mopoke's Excellent New Hilti
Climb the left side of the pillar and finish up the wall above.
9 user comments
 
1 Stars
5c
29
A Dream of White Porsches
A good route up the right-hand side of the pillar.
13 user comments
 
1 Stars
5a
30
The Sound of One Hold Snapping
A tough little number up the narrow groove.
5 user comments
 
1 Stars
Technical
6b+
31
Electrically-Injected Shed Head
One of this wall's better routes. Good pocket pulling.
3 user comments
 
1 Stars
Technical
Pumpy
6b+
32
Splat the Cat
The short scoop is a desperate problem, which has lost holds over time. Possibly harder.
1 user comment
 
Technical
6c+
33
Shallow End of the Gene Pool
An extended boulder problem followed by an easier finish.
 
1 Stars
6b+
34
Project 'A'
Greasy even on good days, but the climb is okay.
2 user comments
 
1 Stars
Technical
7a
35
Searing Tunnel of Re-injury
The groove is pleasant and the rebolted line now climbs direct to a lower-off above the capping overhangs.
2 user comments
 
1 Stars
6b
36
The Cones of Stress
A poor eliminate to an old lower-off.
 7a+
37
Psychic EMF
The best route on this wall. The fine white dome is finger-wrenchingly good.
3 user comments
 
2 Stars
Technical
Pumpy
7a+
38
God Told Me to Skin You Alive
Good climbing on very pocketed rock, but a touch snappy.
1 user comment
 
1 Stars
Technical
6c+
39
Roadkill on the Information Superhighway
The left-leaning groove is awkward low down.
3 user comments
 6b
40
Error 404
Very short and awkward.
5 user comments
 6a+
  • Access Issues for Dorset


  • Latest Comments

    For BATTLESHIP BACK CLIFF

    Tiny Goddess
    "Changed from to 5a, no votes" 26/Jun

    Pump Hitler
    "Hard to read crux because the bolt is too high, making you assume the line goes ..." 27/May top50

    Wiggi and Mopoke's Excellent New Hilti
    "26/5/2013 Lower section is covered in dried mud. Best avoided." 28/May

    Jurassic Shift
    "Quite soft compared to (for example) Portland Heights or Modern Nightmare? Great..." 29/Apr

    The Racing Line
    "Hard crux but easier and steady climbing either side. Overall difficulty is the ..." 24/Jun

    Nihil
    "photogenic route. good climbing, maybe not as good as i had hoped but still wort..." 17/Apr

    A Dream of White Porsches
    "Its easy at the end. If you have a clipstick!" 13/Apr

    Searing Tunnel of Re-injury
    "I've given this route two brand new lower-off staples, an extra bolt below these..." 09/Feb

    The Racing Line
    "we meet again paul! yer zinc should be first its MEGA!!!!!!" 15/Oct

    The Racing Line
    "I shall have a play once Z.O.M has been successfully despatched..." 14/Oct

    Pump Hitler
    "Superb climbing but seemed a lot harder than say Rhyme Intrinseca and pretty sca..." 21/Sep top50

    Dreams Burn Down
    "The clip in the middle of the crux is a bit annoying. Good moves though - quite ..." 02/Aug

    The Racing Line
    "Another good route on this wall! After a quick look today im keen for the point!..." 01/Aug

    Jurassic Shift
    "New route "Shape Shifter" feels solid 7b+ to me" 29/Jun

    No Man is an Island
    "Wouldn't give it top 50 but good route. Gets the grade for the first 4 bolts." 22/Jun

    Zinc Oxide Mountain
    "awesome! perfect holds exactly where your body wants to go! a full on stamina fe..." 16/Jun top50

    The Price of Silence
    "2nd bolt replaced with a new bolt." 11/Jun

    A Dream of White Porsches
    "Nice climb until the end - dirty at the top (at least when I did it) and difficu..." 01/Jun

    This is This
    "second ever lead and first outdoor trip and i think it was a very good route. li..." 22/Mar

    Jurassic Shift
    "A really good route! if your looking for a long line on portland with several di..." 15/Feb

    Info Freako
    "Similar grade to Hall of Mirrors at the Cuttings 7b+/7c, felt the hardest 7b+ on..." 22/Nov

    The Fun Factory
    "After the scrappy start, this is excellent. There is a bit of a reach just befor..." 14/Nov

    Jurassic Shift
    "New route that starts from the mid height ledge on "Jurassic Shift" is..." 03/Sep

    Sex Cauldron
    "A reachy version of Billy Winspit. The name is the best thing about this route...." 05/Aug

    Scapa Flow
    "Does anyone know the name of the new route to the right?" 04/Aug

    Hang Onto Your Ego
    "Couldn't reach second bolt, failed on rockover, bruises to foot, arm and ego!" 02/Aug

    Arc of a Fridge
    "Involves one of the hardest moves on this wall. Technique can be avoided with j..." 03/Jul

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