Mormon Hollow Rock Climbing
Chris laying back the crux of the unnamed crack.
Home to some classic climbs on excellent gneiss, Mormon Hollow is a fine complement to other nearby popular crags (Farley and Rose Ledges) of western Massachusetts. There is a nice smattering of moderate routes, good cracks, and a handful of steep, hard sport climbs. All of the routes here can be top roped off trees or bolted anchors, except those on the central boulder which requires a short boulder problem to reach the anchors. Access the top of the main cliff is via a stone staircase in the middle of the cliff.
The cliffs face southwest and get sun from late morning until sunset, though trees obscure the sun during the summer months.
I don't know the names of most of the routes, but here is a list of difficulties and descriptions from left to right. These will be amended if I get additional FA information. Left Side
1. 5.10 Top Rope -- A slab and face climb that pulls a roof on the far left of the crag.
2. 5.10+ Top Rope -- the next route right
3, 4, & 5. These three sport routes all pull the 15' roof. All are 5.13.
6. 5.6 Trad/TR -- The wide zigzag crack just left of the Chimney. Africa Buttress
This formation features the righthand of the two huge roofs and slightly resembles the outline of Africa.
7. The Chimney
-- 5.7 Trad -- the clean cut chimney
8. 5.10+ TR -- The obvious rounded arete on the rightside of the Africa Buttress roof. One start up this and finish on #9 to make a 5.11a TR.
9. 5.11+ TR -- The deceptively easy looking, but hard slab climb on the clean face just left of the staircase.
10. 5.12a sport -- This overhanging arete leans over the staircase. Original Sin Buttress
11. Original Sin
-- 5.10a trad
12. 5.11- -- a thin line just right of Original Sin Central Buttress
This buttress lies just above a rotting tree lying on the ground.
13, 14, 15. Three 5.8 climbs ascending a face with a right facing corner system. Top rope or runout leads.
16. Tree Crack
17. 5.9+ trad/TR -- A fun thin crack with a pumpy crux at the end.
18. 5.8 trad/TR -- Start up #17, but move right at the top following a crack to a separate anchor. Priaprism Buttress
19. 5.7 sport -- The warm-up. Follow four bolts up a clean slab to an anchor above the roof. A small cam (green alien) between the 3rd and 4th bolts makes it less runout.
20. Priaprism 5.12a -- A beautifully steep sport route. Do it.
21. 5.11- Trad -- The obvious crack just right of Priaprism.
22. ? -- The next crack to the right that leads to a bird's nest. At 2/3 height one can go left up a Y crack or through a handcrack in the roof past the nest. Far Right End
23, 24, 25. 5.8/9 -- Three top ropes on the next boulder to the right. Entry Boulder
The first rock encountered when walking up to Mormon. Reach the top by bouldering up the backside to bolted anchors.
26. 5.13R/X or TR -- This route faces the approach trail on the left side of the overhanging face.
27. ?? TR -- The left arete of the big boulder. Upper Tier
Just above the stone staircase lie these routes.
28. Boulder traverse on the left about 50' above the top of the Africa Buttress.
29. 5.11+ -- follow the trail straight up to find this sport climb.
30. ?? -- another set of TR anchors.
From I-91, turn east onto Route 2 towards Boston & Turners Falls. Drive 7.1 miles to a left turn onto Gateway Drive at a large, family entertainment center. Go about 100m, and turn right/south at the first stop sign onto Route 63. Stay on Route 63 as it crosses the river then goes through downtown Miller's Falls. The road continues straight, over a green metal bridge. Veer left onto Wendell Road. Go left after 0.8 miles onto Mormon Hollow Road. Drive 0.7 miles, and turn right onto Davis Road. Continue a quarter mile to a "T" intersection. Park on the right shoulder here.
From the parking area, turn right at the "T" intersection. Walk about 100 meters to an old road on the left marked with a "No Parking" sign. Hike uphill on this overgrown road for about 200 meters, until it makes a sharp right turn at a flat spot. A spur trail on the left marked with a cairn leads another 100 meters or so to the crag, 10 minutes. Per losbill: when parking at the T-intersection, be sure not to block the entrance to the two fields on either side of Davis Road.
Weather station 3.1 miles from here
18 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Mormon Hollow
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Mormon Hollow
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Mormon Hollow:
Tree Crack 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
15. 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, 1 pitch, 50'
Priapism 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport, 1 pitch, 40'
Arrhythmia 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Sport, 30'
Featured Route For Mormon Hollow
Original Sin 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Massachusetts
: Mormon Hollow
This excellent face climb is the first route to the right of the stone staircase. It is best identified by a lone bolt (the "original sin" at the Hollow) about 15' up. Saunter up a right trending ramp (easier) or boulder in from the right (harder) to the bolt. Climb the face above past a punchy crux into fun reaches between horizontals (gear in each horizontal crack). Continue to the bolted rap station at the top....[more] Browse More Classics in Massachusetts
CW climbing the 5.7 bolted sport route.
AK seconding the unnamed crack.
BETA PHOTO: Africa Buttress, Mormon Hollow, Massachusetts.
This route is great. CW leading a fun crack. We ...
CW slammed one last piece of pro, just before maki...
Chris working up the thin face.
I love CW's facial expression when he realizes tha...
AK climbing on a fun 5.10.
CW on one of the easier trad leads @ Mormon Hollow...
BETA PHOTO: Original Sin Buttress (left), Central Buttress (ce...
Chris on a bolted sport route @ MH.
BETA PHOTO: An overview of the crags at Mormon Hollow.
By Jeffrey Daub
From: Athol, MA
Mar 22, 2012
A note about the directions - it is Route 63 from Route 2, not Route 68.
By Max Shaffer
Nov 3, 2013
I don't believe that Route #21 actually exists. The obvious crack just right of Priapism is 5.8, not 5.11.
Aug 10, 2014
When parking at the T-intersection, be sure not to block the entrance to the two fields on either side of Davis Road. If I had been the farmer yesterday, I would have thrown a chain around the axle of the offending vehicle and "moved" it with the tractor to a more "convenient" location. Fortunately the farmer is a bit more laid back than me.
From: Newton, MA
Nov 17, 2015
#10 is Arrhythmia by the way, and it was rebolted fairly recently to reduce the risk of injury if you fell mid-route.
By will ar
From: San Antonio, TX
Nov 22, 2015
Was at MH the other day and routes 1&2 have had the bolts replaced. They are both fun routes and worth doing. There is an additional route that was put up to the right of 2, but it was wet and we didn't get on it. Additionally, #8 is now bolted, there is a partially bolted line to the left of original sin, and routes 14/15 have a couple of bolts (not sure it these had previously chopped bolts replaced or were retrobolted).
By Ben A
Aug 6, 2016
About the directions- When hiking from the T intersection, the overgrown road which you follow that cuts off to the left does not have a "no parking" sign. This also feels like a trail rather than an overgrown road. Hike up this trail till you reach a the first fork, with the main trail going uphill to the right and a smaller trail going straight. Take the main trail to the right till you reach another intersection with two separate trails going to the left, the second having a cairn. Take the second and the crag is straight ahead. Also, you can park and hike in from a lot inside the state forest, as the WMCC explains at their site climbgneiss.com