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Areas in Connecticut

CT Bouldering 1 / 0 / 8 / 784 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 785
CT Ice Climbing 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 3
Central Valley 294 / 23 / 221 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 379
Eastern Coastal Slope 42 / 22 / 29 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 71
Eastern Highlands 36 / 1 / 38 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 47
Western Coastal Slope 61 / 29 / 53 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 111
Western Highlands 84 / 0 / 111 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 130
Elevation: 149 ft
GPS: 41.509, -72.861 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 619,632 total, 4,335/month
Shared By: Jim O'Brien on Mar 17, 2006 with updates
Admins: Morgan Patterson

Description

Climbing in Connecticut dates back before the 1930’s when college outing clubs such as the Yale Mountaineering Club and the Appalachian Mountain Club were the on the edge with exploring these wild places to climb. The state is rich with classics, put up by legends such as Fritz Wiessner, John Reppy, Sam Streibert, Layton Kor, Henry Barber, and many other local heroes pushing the limits of free climbing.

The Central region of the state boasts the Traprock Ridge which contains gems like Ragged Mountain Main Cliff, East Peak, Pinnacle, CatHole and tons of smaller areas. This area also has great potential for bouldering near the climbing areas. The rock is basalt, a volcanic rock from eons ago. The texture is somewhat smooth similar to bullet sandstone, but the sharp edges and unique features offer a distinct feel to the rock. There are as many face climbs as there are crack systems to climb in the area, perfect splitters are few and usually rounded off making for some interesting climbing.

The South Central region of Connecticut along the shoreline offers plenty of climbing opportunities. Most notable is Chatfield Hollow in Killingworth. The short approach, easy parking located on state land and a wide range of climbs, although few in comparison to the mid state traprock, make this a favorite quick fix destination for area climbers. You are treated to some high quality granitic gneiss here, overhanging faces and great cracks, well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Bouldering can be found everywhere in Connecticut, there are glacial erratic boulders strewn across the state thanks to the second ice age. Mystic, Haddam, West Hartford, New Haven, and even Fairfield County, offer notable bouldering areas. Hammonasset State Park even has camping with facilities in a state beach park with some bouldering on the shore.

Climbing in Connecticut is awesome, even though we do not have the sweeping ridge lines of some of our western neighbors, the character of the climbing makes up for any lack of height. Crag height ranges from about 110 feet to 30 foot power climbs. The grading here seems to be stiff to some (aka Sandbagged); many classics have been up since the 1930’s when a 5.7 was cutting edge! Many climbers find that the trad leads can be quite exhilarating, be warned that fixed protection is not always a given due to a tumultuous history in the state so be ready for some surprises and don't trust any descriptions listing fixed gear in guidebooks.

Currently there is only one guide book in print; The Falcon Guide- Rock Climbing Connecticut by David Fasulo, although there have been several other guide books published by the American Alpine Club and the Ragged Mountain Foundation and past climbers which are out of print.

Connecticut Climbing

This state has tons of climbing, strong ethics and a long and wild history of access issues. There are several organizations associated with climbing in CT...

Check out Appalachian Mountain Club, Connecticut Climbers and Mountaineers and The Ragged Mountain Foundation

Please contribute your experiences and knowledge to MP and a few dollars if you can spare to any one of the above organizations, contributions are greatly appreciated.

Tread lightly and climb on!

Conneticut Geologic Regions

Below is a map showing the geographic regions of CT.



Source: http://www.wesleyan.edu/ctgeology/CtLandscapes/RalphsSlide2.jpg

1,526 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Connecticut Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Connecticut

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Wiessner Slab
Trad
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
First Crack
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Wiessner's Rib
2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Wet Wall
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Carey Corner
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Broadway
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Pegasus
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Wiessner Crack
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Emerald City
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Zambezi Hatchet Head
Trad
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Vector
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
YMC Route
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Unconquerable Crack
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Subline
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Forearm Frenzy
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Wiessner Slab Central Valley > Ragged Mtn > Main Cliff 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a Trad
First Crack Central Valley > Pinnacle Rock > Cracked Wall 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad
Wiessner's Rib Western Coastal S… > Sleeping Giant SP > Chin 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b 2 pitches
Wet Wall Central Valley > Ragged Mtn > Main Cliff 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Carey Corner Central Valley > Ragged Mtn > Main Cliff 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Broadway Central Valley > Ragged Mtn > Main Cliff 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Pegasus Central Valley > Cathole Mtn > Main Walls 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Wiessner Crack Central Valley > Ragged Mtn > Main Cliff 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Emerald City Central Valley > Pinnacle Rock > Emerald City Slab 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Zambezi Hatchet Head Central Valley > Pinnacle Rock > Right Wing Wall 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Vector Central Valley > Ragged Mtn > Main Cliff 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
YMC Route Central Valley > Ragged Mtn > Main Cliff 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Unconquerable Crack Central Valley > Ragged Mtn > Main Cliff 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Subline Central Valley > Ragged Mtn > Main Cliff 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Forearm Frenzy Eastern Coastal S… > Chatfield Hollow Main Wall 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
More Classic Climbs in Connecticut »

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Ben
Ben  
Has anyone bouldered Indian Council Caves area in Barkhamsted? It looks like it could be a good spot. How is it actually? Sep 11, 2017
guy bon  
I climbed there about 9 years ago. My first outdoor climbing experience, actually. We just drove across. I remember pulling many fist sized pieces off the face. It's a better rockhounding site than a crag.
mindat.org/loc-230337.html
Jul 2, 2016
be warned. loose rock. its like all the other side of the road/highway cutouts. however, maybe some serious trundling could help clean it up Jun 22, 2016
Looks good from bing maps Jun 21, 2016
Brian
North Kingstown, RI
Brian   North Kingstown, RI
Anyone ever climb at the abandoned RT 11 road cut in Salem? Access? Jun 21, 2016
Morgan Patterson   CT  
Perfect thanks Brian! Do you have a link for that map so I can cite it and use it on the CT page?

I made the change from N/S/E/W to the geographic regions for various reasons, one being to educate people who climb in our state. I switched to this language and to educate folks but also provide a different perspective on our state, one which includes its unique geological history. It provides a better perspective of the landscapes of CT.

I figured if I got enough complaints I would revert back to the generic compass references rather than the geographic ones but I think the terms really bring about a better sense of identity or understanding of the land and state as you peruse the state on MP and even drive through it in person. I took a few courses back in college about language, nature and culture... one of the things we look at was how the different uses of language link cultures and people to the land. N/S/E/W is a white wash of the uniqueness of our state and provides little understanding of our land, it's bland and provides no connection to the state. The current breakdown identifies with our land, provides perspective, and I think might educate a few people along the way.

Clearly I put too much time into this one... Aug 26, 2015
Brian
North Kingstown, RI
Brian   North Kingstown, RI
I think including a map help would help? I have to agree with Mike that most people don't know what/where a coastal slope is. I found this map via a search for Connecticut coastal slope.

Aug 25, 2015
T Roper
DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA
T Roper   DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA
if there is a map of the state showing regions why not list the areas as those regions instead of this coastal slope confusion? Apr 16, 2015
Morgan Patterson   CT  
They show up that way because you rated them only one star, but appear based on community ratings... so says Nick. Aug 26, 2014

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