1961 image of one of the Plainville radars
Nike Base is a small, seldom-visited traprock (basalt) crag just south of Pinnacle Rock on the Metacomet Trail. It has a lovely view of the suburbs and is delightfully free of the broken beer bottles that adorn Pinnacle. Most climbs are 40-50 ft. tall. The ratings are old-school and stiff.
The crag is named for a Cold War era surface-to-air missile radar site that was located here and operational from 1956-61. You can still see remnants of the concrete and fences, especially if you walk a bit south on the Metacomet Trail. Read more at coldwar-ct.com
Access the bottom by scrambling down a brushy gully on climber's right or rappelling down. Bring a long static or webbing to set top rope anchors from trees.
Follow the driving and parking directions for Pinnacle Rock
. As you head up the jeep trail from the road, continue past the large cement blocks another 100 yards to the top of the hill. Turn right onto the blue-blazed Metacomet Trail and walk 0.4 mile (about 20 minutes) to the top of the crag. You are 30 seconds from the crag top when the trail becomes a narrow rock ledge next to an old chainlink fence. When the trail opens up again, look for the distinctive jutting block on your right about 40 feet off the trail.
You can also get there by hiking north on the Metacomet Trail from New Britain Ave., but it's a much longer walk.
Climbing Season For the Pinnacle Rock area.
Weather station 2.7 miles from here
10 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Nike Base
Counterforce 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
: Central Valley
: ... : Nike Base
Probably the most obvious line on right side of the crag, it follows the inside corner on the south side of the prominent jutting block. An interesting combination of stemming on the left and so-so holds on the right.The first crux is right off the deck. A damp area complicates matters. The next crux is the center section. Use the finger crack and whatever you can find on the right. Stem carefully on the smooth left face. You dried your shoes, didn't you? Pull up on the delightfully juggy ...[more] Browse More Classics in Connecticut
BETA PHOTO: Fallen blocks at base. Scramble over to reach the...
The view north. Two people on top of Pinnacle dead...
BETA PHOTO: To downclimb to bottom (class 4), bushwhack a bit ...
BETA PHOTO: The distinctive jutting block at the top of the cr...
Oct 18, 2012
Since the crag is rarely visited, be prepared to do a little gardening and route cleaning. Watch for loose rock.