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Routes in Abbey Pond Bouldering

Elevation: 698 ft
GPS: 44.032, -73.085 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 3,490 total, 147/month
Shared By: Ethan Y on Dec 24, 2015 with updates
Admins: Luc-514, Kris Fiore
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Description

Shady, wet, buggy, and beautiful. This area is secluded, although it sees light travel from hikers. In my time in the Middlebury area, I explored the area extensively and did at least 100 boulder first ascents, and bolted/opened a handful of sport/trad routes. Most were 2 star classics, unworthy of mentioning on this forum. If you are hiking in Brandon Gap and you see some rogue chalk on a pile of brittle, chunky schist or a 90 foot route with two bolts, that was very likely me (the good boulder problems, however, were largely already cleaned chalked prior to my time). Throughout this time, I returned time and time again to Abbey Pond because, although there is only a handful of problems here and they are mostly difficult, the schist(high-grade, almost gneiss) here is of the highest quality I found within a 30-mile radius. Flooding and/or past fluvial activity rounded the sharp schist features of these rocks, leaving the atypical features of these boulders, consisting of rounded crimps, slopers, and pinches out severely-to-gently overhung, smooth walls. Problems range from 5-15 feet in height. It's no-Font, but there are 3-4 problems here worth some attention. A great walk all the way to the pond if you are looking for a quintessential Vermont hike! After finally having nailed down my 3 year project in December, 2015, it is time to share this area with the world. Pictures will be up later this week when I head back out.

It is worth mentioning some ethics for this place that I would like people to respect for future consideration. I have, in general, aimed for minimal impact in this area. Topouts were cleaned when I felt the climber was in danger of a bad fall because of the vegetation at the top. Hence, the wicked boulder was cleaned at the top. Other boulders however, I have refrained from extensively cleaning. I enjoy the natural mossiness of the rock, and I hope that this remains in place for the future. Clean holds, but let the rest of the rock stay natural. Clean your ticks! Typically the rainfall will take care of this for you, but I would prefer to avoid excessive chalking. The only time this place ever looks like it has been developed is when it has been excessively dry and climbed, lets keep it that way. And please, watch the noise. Pretty sure noone has ever noticed me there, even though it is right off the trail. Screaming is really not necessary or encouraged here. Respect nature, don't litter.

Getting There

Drive to trailhead for Abbey Pond. Take a right off route 116. Popular hiking destination, 5-10 minutes outside of the town of Middlebury. Park at the trailhead and hike for 2 minutes, obvious cluster of 5-6 boulders off the left side of the trail. If you hit the brook that cuts under the path, you've gone too far.
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