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Crags

Chapel Ledge

Chapel Ledge is tucked away in the quiet hills of Ashfield, MA. Chapel has strong roots to the climbing history in western Mass and has evolved into one of the area's premier beginner crags offering up some spectacular settings. The rock at Chapel is boldly featured granite reminiscent of crags in the White Mountains or Yosemite. Slabs dominate the climbing style here, however more difficult test pieces such as Ken Nichols' Forget-Me-Knot (5.11+) pepper the walls. Expect to usually find people or groups here but the climbing should not be missed. The small bouldering wall at the base may help to pass the time as well.
 

Farley Ledges

The rock at Farley, like much of rock in the area, is gneiss. It is characterized by big sloping horizontals, small edges and sweeping features. The climbing at Farley is powerful so bring your guns when you show up. The climbing is best when friction is the highest. This translates generally into ideal spring and fall conditions though the heavily forested area provides ample shade for those hot summer days.

As part of the WMCC land acquisition, an environmental management plan has been assembled. Please click here to download the management plan.

 

 

Happy Valley & Hide Away

These two areas represent some of the finer bouldering in the Pioneer Valley. While these are technically two distinct areas, they are located from the same access point and are within a 10 minute hike of one another if you know where you are going. Like the majority of the rock around these parts, the boulders and mini-cliffs are gneiss with some outstanding features and quality. There are roughly 50 problems of all grades though these areas are noted for the more difficult problems in the V7 and up range.

 

Mormon Hollow

Mormon Hollow represents another of the more popular crags in the Pioneer Valley. Located in Wendell just south of the Millers River, this crag offers a fine selection of climbs of all grades with about 30 routes in all ranging from 5.6-5.13 in all shapes and forms including slabs, technical face climbs, powerful roofs and splitter cracks. The rock is gneiss and of the highest quality. Many of the routes were previously bolted as sport climbs however were chopped back in the early 90's. While some of these routes are beginning to be restored, Mormon remains an area where top roping, traditional leads and mixed climbs prevail.
 

Rattlesnake Gutter

The Main Cliff, a 70 foot overhanging wall, is located on private property and is currently closed.   This cliff contains some of the first 5.11+ and 5.12 trad routes that were established in New England, and is second only to Farley in importance.   The Gutter itself, a deep boulder-strewn ravine located north of the gated road, contains an interesting boulderfield and  broken cliffbands where climbing is neither prohibited nor actively managed.

 

 

Reservoir Rocks

The boulders at Reservoir Rocks in Great Barrington is comprised of compact and finely textured Gneiss which lends itself to technical and aesthetic climbing. Although there does exist a large main face home to some great top roping routes the spotlight belongs on the fantastic bouldering at “the Res.”. From easy warm-ups to cutting edge projects the Res., has a little of everything in a beautiful quiet setting…close by to a wonderful small New England town. Currently there are approximately 250 boulder problems on the existing boulders and new ones being discovered in the surrounding areas.

 

Roadside

This small crag is popular with the after-work and after school crowds.   Located on Wendell Road in Montague, the crag faces east and is usually shady.  A range of steep, juggy boulder problems are complemented by three established short leads.

 

 

Rose Ledge

Rose Ledge represents one of the regions most popular climbing destinations and deservedly so. The 40’-60’ cliff line contains a plethora of climbs for all abilities (5.4-5.13) though excels in both number and quality of moderates climbs. Some of the classic include Guillotine (5.8), Solar Flare (5.11b), Tennessee Flake (5.9) and Beginners Corner (5.5). The rock, similar to nearby Farley Ledge, is gneiss with obvious horizontal cracks and features. Several climbs at Rose are leadable with traditional gear though the crag remains most popular as a toprope area as access to the top is easy and straight forward.

 

Skinner

The majority to the rock we enjoy in Western Mass tends to be gneiss, yet we are blessed with four other mediums: granite, schist, conglomerate sandstone, and basaltic traprock.  The Holyoke Range, an east-west trending mountain range, contains some of this Western Mass traprock. Toprope climbing can be found on the south side of Mount Skinner State Park (http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/skinner/), located at the western extent of the Holyoke Range.
 

Sunbowl

The Sunbowl has been growing in popularity recently due to its ease of access and number of moderate sport climbs. The Sunbowl lies in Sunderland, just off of route 116 and is convenient for climbers from both Amherst and Northampton. This rock outcrop is made of Mt. Toby Conglomerate, a loose stone containing many cobbles and pockets, which makes the climbing here unique and fingery. There are many variations of routes here ranging between ~ 5.6 through 5.11.