The Sunbowl is a small craglett in Sunderland, MA. The cliff is composed of what is known as Mt. Toby Conglomerate which is a pockety hodge-podge of medium quality rock, a stark contrast to the gneiss in the region but a pleasant change. The Sunbowl hosts less than a dozen routes overall, but they range from approximately 5.6 to 5.11 as well as a boulder traverse of the base of the cliff (~V2).
The crag stands at about 35 feet tall overall. A slabby section on the far left gives way to a slightly overhanging buttress which then leads to a steep center face and moderate right side face. All routes are well-protected sport lines with installed rappel anchors (any climb here can be climbed with 6 or fewer draws). Due to the nature of the rock here, it is best to inspect each bolt for security upon using it. Top access at the Sunbowl is poor, so the best option is to simply lead a climb then hang a top-rope.
The Sunbowl is generally southwest- facing and receives sun from at least noon onwards (hence the name). In the fall, winter, and early spring, the crag gets nice sun for warmth and in the summer is shaded well enough under the canopy of trees. A large flat rock is situated at the center of the crag and is a great staging area for gear. Remember to bring bug spray, sun screen, and sunglasses.
Located in Sunderland, MA, the Sunbowl is relatively easy to find. Heading north on Rte. 116 from Amherst or south on Rte. 116 from Deerfield/Sunderland turn onto Clark Mountain Road (a Subway restaurant is located at the corner and a Dunkin Donuts is across the street for landmark reference). Follow Clark Mountain Rd. for about 0.2 miles where it then becomes an unimproved, single lane gravel road. Be cautious and courteous here as the road is narrow, rough, and sports a sharp drop to a gully below on the right side. The road will soon reach a T-intersection. Turn to the right here and the first parking spaces will be immediately ahead. With a 4x4 vehicle, you can continue around the next right turn to the final parking spaces located on the left near a fire pit.
The approach begins at the last parking spot/fire pit heading up a secondary dirt road that branches off to the left. A few minutes walk will cross a shallow creek and up to a small cairn on the left side marking the turn onto the climber's trail. A couple hundred more yards up a steepening trail will place you right at the crag.
Climbing Season For the All Locations area.
Weather station 0.4 miles from here
9 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Sunbowl
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sunbowl
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Sunbowl:
Featured Route For Sunbowl
Bills in my Pockets 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Massachusetts
This climb has variations from 5.9 to 5.11. Begin just right of a distinct crack at the base of a block. Climb up and over the crack, then trend left for the easier 5.9 variation. A pocket (or two) about 2/3 of the way up can fill with water and mud after a good rain storm, so be prepared. As Richard once said, "The dirty ones are more fun."...[more] Browse More Classics in Massachusetts
By Joe M.
Apr 19, 2016
Old hand drawn topo from back in the day. I'm told the ratings are way off, but they are the ones the Smith Bros. gave me....
Old hand drawn topo from long ago. I'm told the ratings are way off but those were what was told to me when I went out there in the mid 90s...