Elevation: 149 ft
GPS: 41.509, -72.861 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 1,764,440 total · 10,141/month
Shared By: Jim O'Brien on Mar 17, 2006 with improvements by Ryanagregory and 1 other
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 an interactive map showing the geographic regions of CT.
Source: https://mrdata.usgs.gov/geology/state/map-us.html#home

2,015 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

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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
 97
Wiessner Slab
Trad
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 76
First Crack
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 50
Wiessner's Rib
2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 88
Wet Wall
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 90
Carey Corner
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 135
Broadway
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 90
Pegasus
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 70
Wiessner Crack
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 64
Emerald City
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 62
Zambezi Hatchet Head
Trad
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 76
Vector
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 84
YMC Route
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 52
Happiness Is a Warm Drill
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 105
Unconquerable Crack
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 58
Forearm Frenzy
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Wiessner Slab Central Valley > Ragged Mountain > Main Cliff
 97
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a Trad
First Crack Central Valley > Pinnacle Rock > Cracked Wall
 76
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad
Wiessner's Rib Western Coastal… > Sleeping Giant SP > Chin
 50
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b 2 pitches
Wet Wall Central Valley > Ragged Mountain > Main Cliff
 88
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Carey Corner Central Valley > Ragged Mountain > Main Cliff
 90
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Broadway Central Valley > Ragged Mountain > Main Cliff
 135
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Pegasus Central Valley > Cathole Mountain > Main Walls
 90
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Wiessner Crack Central Valley > Ragged Mountain > Main Cliff
 70
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Emerald City Central Valley > Pinnacle Rock > Emerald City Slab
 64
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Zambezi Hatchet Head Central Valley > Pinnacle Rock > Right Wing Wall
 62
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Vector Central Valley > Ragged Mountain > Main Cliff
 76
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
YMC Route Central Valley > Ragged Mountain > Main Cliff
 84
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Happiness Is a Warm Drill Western Coastal… > … > S Buttress > Old Quarry Walls
 52
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Unconquerable Crack Central Valley > Ragged Mountain > Main Cliff
 105
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Forearm Frenzy Eastern Coastal… > Chatfield Hollow Main…
 58
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
More Classic Climbs in Connecticut »

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