REI Community
Main Cliff
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
A Guide to Ragged (1964) T,TR 
Aid Crack T 
Ancient Way T 
Angle of the Dangle TR 
Animal Crack T 
Ashtray TR 
Bald Face Hornet T,TR 
Birdman TR 
Black Orchid TR 
Bombay T 
Bombay Direct T,TR 
Broadway T 
Bushy Groove T 
Cage, The T,TR 
Carey Corner T 
Caroline TR 
Cemetary Vault T 
Chopper flakes T 
Crag Rat TR 
Crisis T 
Cutting Edge T,TR 
Cygnus X-1 TR 
Deception T 
Double Crux T 
Double Vision TR 
Duck Soup TR 
Easy Rider TR 
End Run T 
Eternity TR 
Faceout T 
Fall Of The House Of Monticello, The TR 
For Madmen Only T,TR 
Golden Age TR 
Green Gutter T 
Hangnail T,TR 
Hangover TR 
Hemlock Groove T 
Hot Rocks T,TR 
Hurricane Gloria T,TR 
Jam Corner T,TR 
Juniper Wall T 
Knight's Gambit T 
Knight's Move T 
Kor Crack T 
Lavaredo Corner T,TR 
Left Edge T 
Leftover T 
Main Street T 
Marlinspike T 
May's Way T 
NCS Route T 
Netherlands TR 
North by North West T 
North End T 
Nux Vomica TR 
Obsession T,TR 
Out Of Orbit T 
Owl Perch T 
Poison and Passion TR 
Pork Barrel Project T,TR 
Ragged Edge TR 
Right Edge T,TR 
Sandbag TR 
Side Entry T 
Sisu T 
Skull and Bones T,TR 
Subline T 
Sunday Bulge T 
Swan Song TR 
Sweat Slot T,TR 
Terminal Velocity T,TR 
Tower Crack T 
Trojan Horse T 
Un Petit Peu TR 
Unconquerable Crack T 
Vajolet Corner T,TR 
Vanishing Point T,TR 
Vector T 
Visions TR 
Visitor's Reception Center TR 
War Eagle T 
Wet Wall T 
Wetwall Wetlock Variation T 
Wiessner Crack T 
Wiessner Slab T 
Wishbone T 
YMC Route T 
Unsorted Routes:

Main Cliff Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 761'
Location: 41.6175, -72.82342 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 62,700
Administrators: Morgan Patterson, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: John Peterson on Feb 21, 2006
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
John Reppy, age 80, 66 years after his first FA at...


This is the largest and most fractured of the central Connecticut crags.

This west-facing cliff is more popular in the summer and can be quite cold during the winter. Routes are up to 100 feet, and anchors are often set far from the edge. Bring your long climbing rope and anchor rope.

Many of the Connecticut's finest routes are at Ragged Mountain, including Wiessner Slab, Wiessner Crack, Unconquerable Crack, Broadway, the YMC Route, Carey Corner, and Subline. Climbers of all abilities will find high-quality routes at Ragged.

Ragged has a long climbing history - many famous climbers have put up routes there, including Fritz Wiessner, Henry Barber, and Layton Kor.

Descend from all climbs using the trails at either end of the crag.

Ragged Mountain is owned by a group of climbers, the Ragged Mountain Foundation. For directions to the crag and parking, please see their website at Please respect the neighbors and avoid trespassing or parking in the many no-parking zones.

Although the RMF does not charge admission to their property, they rely on donations and memberships to survive. They have constructed trails, fought for parking, and advocated for climbers all through Connecticut. If you climb there you should become a member - an annual membership is cheaper than a single day in the Gunks.

A Historic Guide to Ragged Mountain (1964)

John Reppy and Sam Streibert have generously allowed a copy of the original Ragged Mountain guidebook to be hosted on the Internet. I've attached this as a comment below. This is an interesting historical document and also a very good guide to many of the classic climbs at Ragged.A Guide to Ragged (1964) Please note that the 1964 guide lists routes on the Small Cliff. This cliff is on private land and not currently open to climbers.


This property is governed by a very strict conservation agreement. Adding new fixed protection is forbidden. Protection that existed when the cliff was transferred to the RMF can be replaced or upgraded but this is best done by locals.

Commercial use of Ragged Mountain is strictly regulated. Groups of more that 6 cannot use this area if participants are paying. If you have any questions about whether your group is commercial, please contact the RMF. Any large groups should contact the RMF before they use the crag.

There is absolutely no camping allowed on Ragged Mountain or anywhere nearby.

Please check the RMF website and the kiosk below the cliff for additional regulations.

Getting There 

See this map:

Parking is available on Sheldon (downhill side) and Moore Hill. Be nice. Don't block mailboxes or driveways. Don't cut through yards.

Walk north on Andrews, look for a trail on the right just past the last house on the right.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.3 miles from here

87 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',25],['2 Stars',38],['1 Star',16],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Main Cliff

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Main Cliff:
A Guide to Ragged (1964)   5.0 2- 4 I 6 MM 1c     Trad, TR   
Wiessner Slab   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a     Trad, 60'   
Main Street   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 100'   
Knight's Move   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 60'   
Ancient Way   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 60'   
Wet Wall   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 100'   
Cemetary Vault   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 60'   
Carey Corner   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 100'   
Wiessner Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 40'   
Broadway   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   
Vector   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 100'   
Bombay   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 100'   
Kor Crack   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, 100'   
YMC Route   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 100'   
Vanishing Point   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 85'   
Unconquerable Crack   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 80'   
Aid Crack   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 40'   
Ragged Edge   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     TR, 1 pitch, 100'   
Subline   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad   
Golden Age   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     TR, 1 pitch, 60'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Main Cliff

Featured Route For Main Cliff
Rock Climbing Photo: Ragged Arete

Golden Age 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b  Connecticut : Central Valley : ... : Main Cliff

Photos of Main Cliff Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: 180 degree panorama from the top of Ragged
180 degree panorama from the top of Ragged
Rock Climbing Photo: Ragged from Hart Pond
Ragged from Hart Pond
Rock Climbing Photo: Ragged in early fall
Ragged in early fall
Rock Climbing Photo: Main Cliff (Bing maps)
Main Cliff (Bing maps)
Rock Climbing Photo: The RMF map of the Ragged Mountain property
The RMF map of the Ragged Mountain property
Rock Climbing Photo: Hike in to Ragged Main Cliff from road.
BETA PHOTO: Hike in to Ragged Main Cliff from road.
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo from top of main cliff at sunset (January 20...
Photo from top of main cliff at sunset (January 20...
Rock Climbing Photo: Floundering on "Angle of the Dangle."  I...
Floundering on "Angle of the Dangle." I...
Rock Climbing Photo: Main Cliff at sunset
Main Cliff at sunset

Comments on Main Cliff Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 3, 2015
By T Roper
Mar 18, 2008
This place could use some anchors, ALL of the anchor trees are dying slowly from over use. It seems like a strange strange management policy for a place owned by climbers. Bring about 1000 ft of anchor webbing and sling away before all of the trees are dead.
By John Peterson
Feb 14, 2009
Come on now, things aren't that bad. The parking over on Sheldon is legal and gives you good access to the cliff. There's plenty to climb there even without fixed anchors. It's definitely the best place for a lead climber in the state.

Placing anchors at the top of the cliff is allowed under the conservation agreement. The real issue is the continued vandalism at the cliff - the few bolts that are there getting repeatedly chopped. I can't speak for the current situation, but the foremost problem was being able to maintain the status quo in the face of people that wanted to enforce their ethical views by attacking the fixed gear that was permitted with in the conservation agreement or by threatening the RMF for bogus violations of the agreement.
By John Peterson
Jun 4, 2009
Copied from the RMF message board.

Author: Dave Boiano
Date: 6/1/2009 8:18 am EDT

I've spoken with three local home owners over the last two months, and they have all expressed a growing concern with the parking on Sheldon and Moore Hill Dr.

The most significant issue they raised was access for fire trucks and other emergency vehicles. Basically, park on one side of the road only. Litter and parking in front of mail boxes were the other things they mentioned. This may sound trivial and nit picky, but they live there and it's important to them, so lets make it important to us.

It is up to us, as a responsible, self policing community, to make sure that the local homeowners don't get up in arms and make enough noise that we lose the only workable parking available.

Although these are public roads, I think we are all aware that the locals could make it difficult, if not impossible, for us to park within walking distance to the crag. Please, if you see a homeowner, thank them for letting us park in their neighborhood, spread the word at the crag and at the gym, pick up trash on the roads, and don't be afraid to take responsibility and tell your peers when they are doing something wrong.
By Jim O'Brien
From: Branford, CT
Jun 8, 2009
Thanks John- I placed it on the CT front page news section.
By Tradiban
May 19, 2010
Kinda ugly cliff but better climbing than it looks.

We parked at the Timberlin Trail head which you get to by driving through a golf course parking lot. After driving through the lot there is a sharp curve left and a small parking area. The trail is directly across the road from this parking.

I almost got lost here so I hope this helps the next people. Follow the trail up, over and down ridge. Take the trail to the left and over a green bridge. Follow this trail staying right at the intersections. You will go up a rocky drainage and then down in a ravine with a stream going through it. Eventually you will see a wood bridge on your right. Take the bridge and follow light blue paint dots on trees until you reach some houses in a cul da sac. Take their drive way to the main road (Carey St) make a left on the road for a few hundred feet and there is a gravel road on the right. Follow this road until you see a trail on the right that parralls the road marked with light blue paint marks. Following this up the hill and then left will take you to "Main Wall". Enjoy!
By Matt Z
From: Missoula, MT
Sep 6, 2010
Found gear left at ragged mtn on Sunday 9/5. contact me if it belongs to you!
By Morgan Patterson
From: CT
Oct 27, 2010
You can't place rap anchors on the top of popular routes to preserve the veg up top at this point as the RMF is under a legal binding not to improve the property in any way even if it means saving the ecology of the property. It is very sad but the reality is this is an example of a failed management strategy that others should consider in future projects.

Unfortunately, the RMF does little to educate climbers on it's Kiosk about proper anchor building in ecologically sensitive areas and the need to use non-vegitative anchor points to attempt to help preserve the ecology of the area.

EDIT (March 2012): In recent conversations with RMF board members, current and past, there does appear to be the ability to place fixed anchors @ Main Cliff however the 'bolt wars' of the past have hindered any actual actions being taken to save the ecology of the top of the cliff. Pretty sad actual... and unfortunately, even some of the older generation climbers who still frequent the cliff are ardently against ANY fixed gear being placed, period.

Take a look at the top of the cliff - the sat image really shows how much effect we've had on the cliff top:

Rock Climbing Photo: bing maps photo
bing maps photo
By guy bon
Feb 23, 2012
This place suffers greatly from a lack of fixed anchors.
By David Friend
Apr 22, 2012
Standard rack for Ragged:

- Single set of nuts
- Single set of cams .5 through 3
- #4 and #5 useful on some routes
- 10 trad draws
- Cordelette
- 60m rope
By Morgan Patterson
From: CT
May 18, 2012
David - I think you forgot about the 100 ft of static line to build your anchors off the shrubs and trees on top of the cliff.

EDIT: TO those reading this though... gear anchors should be tried for most climbs before resorting to trees.
By micah richard
From: Litchfield, Connecticut
May 4, 2013
Be advised, 100 feet of static rope may not be enough for setting T.R. off trees on many routes. Assuming you are rigging the standard redundant double set up. Also good gear on cliff top is sparse to not available. Most of the rock on top is shattered and of very questionable integrity.
By CTdave
From: Victor, Id.
Aug 22, 2013
Gear anchors could be had at the top of almost any climb, you just need to be creative. A great place to practice and build skills.
By Morgan Patterson
From: CT
Oct 23, 2013
Found out this past weekend... There are 0 cracks or gear anchor options above Cemetery Value or any climb in this area. U must walk up a washed out eroded (1.5' deep)trail into and through small bush, trample some mosses and other delicate lifeforms to get to the one decent tree so you can noose it with your static rope, only to lead that line back through all the brush where it can then be broken and mangled from your TR anchor.

Sorry CT Dave - I disagree with your comment - It's not true at all on the North End, but then again it isn't even RMF property.
By micah richard
From: Litchfield, Connecticut
May 17, 2015
Why not install anchors that cannot be chopped so easily. Like what they did at otter cliffs in Acadia? They have those great big stainless staples. Short of packing up a demo saw and grinding away at it for 20 minutes, I doubt those could be vandalized at all.
By Morgan Patterson
From: CT
May 18, 2015
The RMF board doesnt care about environmental impact of climbing, at least not enough to do anything about it. A few idiots and a broken ethic.
By John Peterson
May 18, 2015
If you think that the RMF board isn't doing its job you're welcome to get elected to the board and do something about it. The board is composed of a bunch of climbers that care about Ragged - they do the best they can with the resources they have. The board is also bound by a conservation agreement that makes it very difficult to do some things.
By Morgan Patterson
From: CT
May 18, 2015
Thanks John... been there done that. And I totally and respectfully disagree with you, as someone who served on the board. There is zero interest in managing the property from an ecological perspective. And the bylaws could be interpreted and even amended if the will was there in order to provision the use of climbing equipment for conservation purposes. As you said... by laws could make some things difficult, but not out of question or impossible. The problem is you have a few bad apples holding onto a broken ethic. Might have been a great group when you were around and a few good folks left but none the less overrun by the idiots. There are a few select hard working great people on that Board and I wouldn't want to disparage them but the others, idiots.

Is it not telling that when they do crag day at Ragged that they don't ever do anything to mitigate ANY issues on the top of the crag? When was the last time they closed a section of the cliff to help some of the trampled plants regain ground? What are they doing to route hiker traffic and contain them so they don't trample the fragile vegetation and create dozens of little trails across the top? When was their last baseline study of the property? What sort of quantitative measurments or evaluations do they perfom? Need I go on? Only thing I ever heard in meeting was how it was all the hikers that destroy the top of the cliff. Not climber traffic... who cares? they own the land they need to manage ALL user groups. How about Boyd's evaluation of the state of the property, "the top looks great better then in the past?" Is that sort of subjective observation acceptable in today's land management standards. My opinion is it's not and its a joke that they call themselves land managers.
By Gabe Schwartz
Sep 3, 2015
A question and a comment. First the question... what the hell is the deal with the trampoline on top of the cliff? For the comment... I do not climb there often, but I have always tied off of trees. I felt dumb while I was doing it today now that I have gear though and in the future will look for gear anchors. People definitely should look at that as the first option and not the trees.

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