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Elevation: 148 ft 45 m
GPS: 41.50858, -72.86129
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Shared By: Jim O'Brien on Mar 17, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Morgan Patterson

Description Suggest change

Climbing in Connecticut dates back before the 1930s when college outing clubs such as the Yale Mountaineering Club and the Appalachian Mountain Club were on the edge of 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 state's Central region boasts the Traprock Ridge, which contains gems like Ragged Mountain Main Cliff, East Peak, Pinnacle, Cat Hole, and many 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 limited 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 on state land, and a wide range of climbs, although few compared 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; glacial erratic boulders are strewn across the state thanks to the second ice age. Mystic, Haddam, West Hartford, New Haven, and Fairfield County offer notable bouldering areas. Hammonasset State Park even has camping facilities in a state beach park with some bouldering on the shore.  The best bouldering in the state is found in the North West corner around New Milford, Kent, and Torrington. However, much of this is extremely access sensitive, leaving it unpublished and undocumented.

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 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.

There is only one guidebook in print, The Falcon Guide- Rock Climbing Connecticut by David Fasulo. However, several other guidebooks have been published by the American Alpine Club, the Ragged Mountain Foundation, and past Climbers, which are out of print.

If anything, remember that climbing is a time to enjoy the outdoors and nature.  Always be stewards of the land that we share.  Pick up any trash you see, respect wildlife, and encourage others to do the same.

Connecticut Climbing Suggest change

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!

Connecticut Geologic Regions

Suggest change

Below is an interactive map showing the geographic regions of CT.

Source: https://mrdata.usgs.gov/geology/state/map-us.html#home

2,627 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.
V6 7A
 32
Feel the Bern
Boulder
V7 7A+
 29
Frankenstein's Lab
Boulder
V8 7B
 22
Big Bad Wolf
Boulder
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 79
Wiessner's Rib
2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 107
Pegasus
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 99
YMC Route
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 38
Thor's Hammer
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 64
Nickel And Dime
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 120
Unconquerable Crack
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 43
Cat Crack
Trad
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 60
The People's Rock
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 45
Subline
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 74
Forearm Frenzy
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 41
Slightly Removed
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 43
Shape Shifter
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Feel the Bern CT Bouldering > Naugatuck State… > Clinton Rd Boulder
 32
V6 7A Boulder
Frankenstein's Lab CT Bouldering > Woodbridge Land… > Frankenrock
 29
V7 7A+ Boulder
Big Bad Wolf CT Bouldering > Mashamoquet Bro… > Big Bad Wolf Boulder
 22
V8 7B Boulder
Wiessner's Rib Western Coastal… > Sleeping Giant SP > Chin
 79
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b 2 pitches
Pegasus Central Valley > Cathole Mountain > Main Walls
 107
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
YMC Route Central Valley > Ragged Mountain > Main Cliff
 99
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Thor's Hammer Central Valley > E Peak > Merimere Face
 38
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Nickel And Dime Western Coastal… > … > S Buttress > Ball Field Slabs
 64
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Unconquerable Crack Central Valley > Ragged Mountain > Main Cliff
 120
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Cat Crack Central Valley > E Peak > Amphitheater
 43
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
The People's Rock Western Coastal… > … > S Buttress > Old Quarry Walls
 60
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Subline Central Valley > Ragged Mountain > Main Cliff
 45
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
Forearm Frenzy Eastern Coastal… > Chatfield Hollow Main…
 74
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Slightly Removed Western Coastal… > … > S Buttress > Old Quarry Walls
 41
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
Shape Shifter Eastern Coastal… > Chatfield Hollow Main…
 43
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Connecticut »

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