Elevation: 233 ft
GPS: 41.332, -72.96 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 43,469 total · 687/month
Shared By: Morgan Patterson on Oct 4, 2013 with updates from Jesse Bryant
Admins: Morgan Patterson
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Description

West Rock Ridge State Park is located across several towns in CT, New Haven, Hamden, and Woodbridge. The cliffs are part of the West Rock Dolerite formation, created 140-205 mya during the Jurassic period. While it is similar to the central basalt Traprock, it is not actually the same. The 400-to-700-foot West Rock Ridge is part of is known as the Metacomet Ridge, extending from Long Island Sound to the Vermont border. Climbing has occurred at West Rock State Park for many decades though recently, has had a bit of a resurgence in popularity due to some recent sport and mixed route development on the South End.

The climbing has traditionally occurred in two places along the ridge, the south end and the large quarry north of the Merritt Parkway. Both areas face West and heat up quite a bit on sunny days making for great winter/cold weather climbing destination.

The south end hosts the majority of the recent development, route-wise with the largest documented sport and mixed lead climbs in the state. The south end is slightly off angle making most of the routes slab with exception of some potential lines in the old quarry on the southern tip.

It is recommended any climbing in the quarry on the north be belayed from the top and any climber wear multiple helmets and even shoulder pads. Your rope can easily dislodge large flakes and blocks and recent visitors have found this out the hard way. While the cliffs soar almost 300ft and cause the mind to wander it's a sketchy area, and take all precautions you can but understand that might not be enough if some punk kids decide to trundle some boulders off the top. There are reportedly some trad lines in this area but we have no record of them as of now. A local Martin, who works with the town of New Haven has been the leading figure in securing climbing and access at West Rock over the years and supposedly has most of the historical info for the area.

WEAR YOUR HELMET AT ALL TIMES, FROM FIELD TO CLIFFS!

LOOSE ROCK AND PEOPLE THROWING ROCKS OFF THE TOP ARE COMMON.


DEEP Enforcement Cops will be called for large rockfall in the area. You could be ticketed for disorderly conduct for creating a hazards situation, as has been experienced by one fine New Haven resident, even though he wasn't even man with his hand on the trigger.

Getting There

From the Merritt Parkway take exit 59 and travel south on Whalley Ave (rt 69). Take a left onto Emerson St and then a right onto Valley St. As you drive down valley take notice of the cliffs above the houses...from here you can see the paint stripe which ruined an otherwise great climb. As the road turns away from the cliffs a large parking lot on your left should be visible. Park at the back left of the lot near the foot bridge. Cross the bridge, cross the baseball field and follow trails up towards the cliff. The trail heads uphill and right then along the second tier follow a trail that traverses under the cliffs. Look for a cairn or two headed up to some 4th class scramble. Negotiate your way up the ledge to whatever climb you want.

35 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at West Rock State Park

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
 27
Tax Evasion Haven
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 34
Nickel And Dime
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 7
That 70 Show
Trad, Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 26
Crackrock Corner
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 22
Psychonautics
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 29
Happiness Is a Warm Drill
Sport
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 15
30 Seconds to All Night
Sport
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 3
Amalgamator
Sport
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 10
Cloud Surfing
Sport
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 25
The People's Rock
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 3
Kinesthesis
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 7
West Rock Crack
Trad
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 18
Slightly Removed
Sport
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 11
The Tree of Life
Sport
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 3
Winning and Losing
Sport, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Tax Evasion Haven S Buttress > Old Quarry Walls
 27
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Sport
Nickel And Dime S Buttress > Ball Field Slabs
 34
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
That 70 Show S Buttress > Ball Field Slabs
 7
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Sport
Crackrock Corner S Buttress > Old Quarry Walls
 26
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Psychonautics S Buttress > Old Quarry Walls
 22
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Happiness Is a Warm Drill S Buttress > Old Quarry Walls
 29
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
30 Seconds to All Night S Buttress > Ball Field Slabs
 15
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Amalgamator S Buttress > Ball Field Slabs
 3
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Cloud Surfing S Buttress > Old Quarry Walls
 10
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
The People's Rock S Buttress > Old Quarry Walls
 25
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Kinesthesis S Buttress > Ball Field Slabs
 3
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
West Rock Crack S Buttress > Ball Field Slabs
 7
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
Slightly Removed S Buttress > Old Quarry Walls
 18
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
The Tree of Life S Buttress > Old Quarry Walls
 11
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Sport
Winning and Losing S Buttress > Old Quarry Walls
 3
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Sport, TR
More Classic Climbs in West Rock State Park »

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Can we get an access notice on West Rock's main page (this page), and the South Buttress sub-page as well? There's a lot of pressure on this crag as of April 9th, 2018 because of the peregrine falcon nests. It would be a good idea for climbers to stay away from the entire area (not just the Slabs) until further notice. Apr 10, 2018
Alicia Sokolowski
Brooklyn, NY
Alicia Sokolowski   Brooklyn, NY
From the description - "It is recommended any climbing in the quarry on the north be belayed from the top and any climber wear multiple helmets and even shoulder pads."

Exactly how many helmets are recommended per climber? Jul 24, 2018
Brian
North Kingstown, RI
Brian   North Kingstown, RI
Alicia, If you climbed here you would understand. I would recommend at least five helmets. ;-) If you want to climb sport in the area and not get rained on by rocks message me. There is sport climbing in CT. Jul 24, 2018
The old quarry to the north is a complete choss pile filled with 50m top ropes and some really adventurous gear leads. The South quarry and the ball field slabs are where it's at, at least in the winter or at night. Probably the second most popular climbing area in CT behind the main cliff. Jul 25, 2018