BETA PHOTO: A trail map with areas marked. Trail head to trail...
The true summit of Mt. Tom is north of Rt 165, but this area will describe the climbing south of the road, since it is more concentrated and traditionally know by that name. The new, more scattered areas to the north will be described in their own sections.
Many walls and a few boulders abound this area. Good access and a varying degree of difficulties. Bouldering, highball bouldering and top roping. There are plenty of trees at the top of the walls for anchors. Lead climbing is not really practical, with short routes and marginal gear. Forested with no crowds and bugs are average for RI in the summer.
The Rock is granite with much of it high quality, with interesting features. Some of it, particularly on the edges of the main wall and at the Fire Wall can be a bit chossy though. Many climbs haven't been done in a long time so some cleaning should be expected. (much is getting recleaned lately) Orange is needed during hunting seasons.
Mt. Tom is an area off of Rte 165 (between exits 4 and 5 on Rte 95), with a fairly high concentration of climbing spanning about 1 mile on the Mt. Tom Trail. There are two trailheads, one on rte 165 at the top of the hill west of Mt. Tom Rd and, further south, a 3-4 car parking spot next to a stream about a half mile down Mt. Tom Road, opposite the trailhead going North. The Mt. Tom rd parking is closest to Halloween and the Main Wall. Rte 165 is best for the other areas. Just make sure you are well off the road.
Traverse right on nifty slopes, edges, and pockets until you reach the bomber "handshake" jug with your right hand. Head up into the horizontal seams directly below the beautiful right-facing flake. Follow the flake up to the 5.5 topout. Don't traverse all the way into the grovelly runoff or you'll miss the puzzlement of the horizontal seams and the joy of the beautiful right-facing flake. ...[more]Browse More Classics in Rhode Island
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Nov 10, 2011
Fairly neglected because it is not near population centers, there is actually some pretty good climbing scattered throughout here and there would be more if it had some attention so things got scrubbed. There is a lot of rock within a five minute hike. The white dotted trail that accesses most of it is a nice little hike and on the right day, standing above the main cliff can make you feel a little like you are in the mountains, a rarity for RI. Since most of it is on small ledges rather than boulders, a lot of the bouldering can quickly get you into the solo range so be careful. For newly visiting boulderers, I would recommend starting a circuit by walking south on the white dot trail. First along the trail is the Roadside Wall just off Rt 165. There are good short and highball lines and on the far end even some steep juggy routes good for warming up or doing laps. It has been climbed on for decades, but still has a lot of good stuff that needs to be cleaned off. Next, if you get on the trail and head south a few minutes, just after a drop (and passing the Hideaway) it will run along the top of a trailside ledge (Pine Line area). Shortly after, the trail will wind up between two rocky little hills, crossing the top of the right hand one, where somebody made some cool stone thrones. Just before these hills you can turn off the trail to either side for two recommended areas. 3Walls is found to the left a few hundred yards and the Ivy Wall (13X35 on Jeff's map) is off trail and down the throne hill to the west (right) a few hundred feet, facing away (best reached by cutting off the trail earlier and circling the hill). The Fire Wall is down along the same hillside as the Ivy wall, closer to the main cliff, and will take some exploring to find the first time. It has some cool TR or highball problems, but watch for flakes breaking if going for it. It is a little raw. The main wall is best left for moderate top roping or soloing a few of the lines once you know them (Be careful. They are trickier than they look, and hardly worth dying for) There is some so-so tweaky highball bouldering on the far right end of the main cliff formation where there is a pretty flat landing, but it has gotten re-covered with lichen since the lines were first climbed and idiots throw their trash off here. Coming in from the southern parking, a couple minutes up the trail you will notice there is a green slab dropping off to your right. At the highest part of the slab, if you look out over it and to the left, you will see a small outcrop, which is the side of the Halloween area. Definitely bring a rope and slings and gear for an anchor if getting on Halloween (dreadful landing and weird tenuous dyno crux), or stick to the stuff on the lower portions for bouldering. If you are at Halloween and head around to its left side and up the gully, there are some overhanging bouldering routes of manageable height. Continuing up the gully that takes you above Halloween, the two ridge lines running NNW on either side of you will begin to form a rocky valley, most of which is very vegetated and not worth climbing on. For those who are into exploring though, on your left is the pretty high Grunge Wall (41.56867, -71.73185) that would be all right with a bunch of cleaning, and some more scattered stuff further on. If you keep going up the valley a few minutes and past a marshy spot, you will run right up to the Egg Boulder and 3Walls and just before that, the gully on your right that gets you down to the undeveloped Slim Boulder area.
The vertical crack to the left of Halloween could be written down as a route, probably 5.7 or 5.8, and the only vertical crack ive seen out there!
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Dec 31, 2011
There are a few cracks, though most of them climb more like flakes.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Jan 1, 2012
The trailhead on Rt 165 is unmarked aside from white trail blazes. The trail crosses the road at the first height of land just west of Mt. Tom Road. Just past where you park (driving west)is a driveway on the right that winds up a roadcut. Be careful making your U-turn. It is pretty blind on the hill, so it is best to continue on for a bit before doing so, and park well off the side of the road on the south side.