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Bone Mountain

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Satellite Wall 
the Main Cliff 

Bone Mountain Rock Climbing 

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Location: 44.38995, -72.84965 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 2,734
Administrators: Luc, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Chris Duca on Sep 26, 2011
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  • Description 

    Perched high above the eastern side of interstate 89 is Bolton Valley's most remote cliff band, Bone Mountain.

    With an approach time of roughly 1.5 hours, and mandatory bush-whacking (though, not heinous), it is no wonder this cliffline sees very little traffic. Sadly, this enormous (widest/tallest in Bolton Valley) expanse of rock also has some of the very best routes AND rock Bolton Valley has to offer.

    There are two sectors here: The Main Cliff (routes up to 2 pitches), and the Satellite Wall (single pitch routes). Many of the routes require both face and crack-climbing skills, and rely on a mixture of natural gear and bolts, a common trait of most routes in Bolton Valley. The two areas are split by a massive gully/flush that is also used as one of the approaches to the cliff (the other being through the Moose Bog left of the Satellite Cliff).

    Routes on the Main Cliff are guarded by a somewhat complex maze of talus. Most of the routes on this section of cliff follow obvious weaknesses up the available corners/cracks littering the wall. But that is it. As a result, there is still a TON of untapped rock up on the Main Cliff, though dedication, perseverance, and patience are obligatory for route development. Classic lines include "Family Picnic" (5.7; 2 pitches), and "Eye in the Sky" (5.10; 2 pitches).

    The Satellite Wall is more developed, and it is very small compared to it's bigger brother. The base area and clifftop are more manageable, thus descending routes/setting up TRs is possible without breaking too much of a sweat. Classic routes are "Dawson's Corner" (5.7), and "Gemini Dream" (5.8).

    Visiting Bone Mountain is a climbing treat, and your experience will be very unique one (similar to the 82, but considerable more remote) for a day scaling rocks in Vermont. Expect to sweat on the approach and possibly get a little turned around in spots (but never dreadfully lost). However, once at the cliffs, you will understand why this is one of the best little-known crags in Vermont.

    Getting There 

    Take the Bolton Valley Access Road to the UVM sugar shack. Park here, head across/up the road a hundred yards or so to the gated logging road. Follow this until it seems logical to head south into the woods following a semi-blazed (sun-bleached flagging tape) "trail" straight up hill for about 35 minutes. Once at the top, follow a dried-up wash until you come to a narrow passage through a boggy area (Moose Bog). Continue through this until it drops you onto a flat area above and climber's left of the Satellite cliff. Follow the faint trail down until you are the base of the Satellite.

    Alternatively, park at the Timberline parking lot for Bolton Valley Ski Resort, and follow the blazed (blazed with old bottle caps) "trail" all the way to the big gully/flush between the Satellite and Main Cliff.

    Climbing Season

    For the Bolton Area area.

    Weather station 7.3 miles from here

    14 Total Climbing Routes

    ['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

    Classic Climbing Routes in Bone Mountain

    Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Bone Mountain:
    Family Picnic   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Sport, 2 pitches, 150'   the Main Cliff : Middle Cliff Routes
    Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Bone Mountain

    Featured Route For Bone Mountain
    Rock Climbing Photo: Nearing the top of a route on one of the more remo...

    Family Picnic 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13  VT : Bolton Area : ... : Middle Cliff Routes
    On par with any of the multi-pitch routes at the 82. Long, steep and thoughtful characterize this fun romp up a nice exposed buttress. start on the left side of a 70/80 foot buttress/pillar of rock in the center of the Main Cliff. The route is unmistakeable, as bolts mark the way. Pitch one is tricky little number with some balance and faith required at the crux. Finish on a nice ledge with a 2-bolt anchor.The 2nd pitch climbs steep rock up past an insecure block (step around it gingerly!!)...[more]   Browse More Classics in VT

    Photos of Bone Mountain Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Kris and Dylan almost there
    Kris and Dylan almost there

    Comments on Bone Mountain Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Ryan A. Williams
    From: Burlington, VT
    Sep 26, 2011
    Is this the cliff band I have seen looking North off of the ridge of Camel's Hump?
    By Chris Duca
    From: Havertown, PA
    Sep 27, 2011
    If you are looking North in the general direction of Bolton Ski Resort, then "yes", this is the cliff line.
    By Derek Doucet
    Sep 30, 2011
    Paul Hansen, Dave Furman, Travis Peckham and I did a few fun routes at the Satellite Crag years ago (maybe 02' or so?). At the left end of the crag is a nice blunt arete with a few bolts which is reached by starting up a short, easy handcrack (this crack is also the start of a Mark Poulin route called "North Corner"). This is "Capybara Love", 5.9+. Just right of and below this is a steep face that shares the "Capybara Love" anchors. This is "Capybara Lust", 5.11.

    At the far right end of the cliff is an obvious, very steep blade-like arete. This is "Chainsaw Reaction", 5.12, mentioned in Chris's description of the cliff. He's correct that it awaits a lead ascent. The reason is that it really needs another bolt and double ropes to make it a reasonable lead. At present, the rope runs directly over the very sharp, rope slicing edge of the arete at the crux, which is disconcerting to say the least. An additional bolt on the other side of the arete, which could be clipped with a second rope, would be a huge improvement. If I recall correctly, Dave intended to add this bolt, but life intruded, and he never got back up there to do so. In any case, it's an incredible feature, and climbs well.
    By Conor Mark
    Jul 15, 2014
    We found the approach to be ~45min-1hour, and with minimal bush wacking (though there is some walking around the base of the cliff). Don't deviate from the main logging road (ignore all side roads). It took us ~30min. to reach the short plank bridge where the approach follows the road up and left. Up to the plank bridge, the road has many pvc pipes laying in thankyoumam's.
    By KrisFiore
    From: Burlington, Vermont
    Nov 2, 2014
    I thought everyone would appreciate some info on the approach. I don't know when this was last updated but the approach isn't quite as daunting as what is described here. Maybe it has cleaned up.

    Basically, stay on the main logging road until a stone cairn at which point you take a left up a steep section. After the steep section is the slot canyon and from there it's pretty obvious to the cliff...

    I took a GPS tracker and made some KML/KMZ files that I'd love to share with anyone who would like them. They include photographs of each turn/split in the trail.

    The KML File for Google Earth

    The KMZ File for Google Earth

    For those who'd like the route with no pictures here is a link to the trail mapped out on Google Maps... Trail to Bone Mountain,,

    This ends at the clearing about 5 minutes from the base of the cliff. The tracker mapped out 2.12 miles and it took just over an hour with decent trail conditions.

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