Bolton Area Climbing
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Located just 30 minutes from downtown Burlington, Bolton has some of the most extensive options for climbing in the Green Mountain State. If you are new to the area, it is advisable to check with the locals and with CRAG-VT (www.cragvt.org) before embarking on your own. Also, check out the guidebook Tough Schist by Travis Peckham. A new edition is due to be released in 2022!
The stone is green schist and runs the gamut of being extremely sound to being fairly chossy. Know that new routes often take a few years to settle as it's nearly impossible to properly clean some sections of rock. There are tremendous crack routes located here, as well as some amazing gear and mixed routes on the more remote buttresses scattered throughout the valley. There are also plenty of sport routes at Bolton Quarry, Upper West, and 82 Crag and peppered throughout the hills of Bolton. Those who travel here sometimes find Bolton sandbagged, and while it might be a little hard for the Northeast, it's worth noting that our schist is very difficult to read which takes getting used.
If you are amped to climb here, get in touch with some of the locals at one of the climbing spots in Burlington (Outdoor Gear Exchange, Petra Cliffs, or MetroRock) to get the local beta. I've overheard climbers at the local gym say there is no reason to travel outside of Bolton (or Vermont) to climb. This may be a little bit of hyperbole, but there certainly is plenty of stone and adventure to at least entertain the idea for quite a while.
Bolton Crags in a nutshell:
Lower West: Excellent toproping options and 5.10 trad climbs, though some tend to be somewhat PG13 as leads. 5 minute walk.
Upper West: Home to the two best cracks in Bolton and a wide range of sport climbing options from 5.8 to 5.12c. 25 minute hike.
Upper Upper West: Moderate Mecca. Easy sport to moderate trad. 15/20 minute hike.
Bolton Quarry: Moderate to hard sport climbing on mostly quarried rock. 2-5 minute walk.
Carcass Crag: Excellent sport climbing, business starts at 5.11 and goes to 5.12+. 20 minute hike.
82 Crag: Some of the best face climbing in Vermont. Tall 5.10/5.11 climbing and a steep wall of sport climbing up to mid-5.13. 35 minute hike.
Revolution Wall: Backwater climbing in the 5.10/5.11 ranges. 1 hour hike.
Bolton Dome: Newly opened in 2019, the Dome has almost everything. Trad 5.3 to Sport up to 5.13. 10 minute walk.
Bone Mountain: It doesn't get much more remote than this. Excellent trad, mixed, and sport lines 5.7 to 5.12. 90+ minute hike. Good luck.
Pit Crag: A small but fun crag with some good 5.11/5.12 sport climbing. 15 minute hike.
Bog Wall: Its other name is 5.8 wall so you do the math. 10 minute hike.
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