Why Connecticut Has a Unique Climbing Experience

Rock Climbing in CT is good.   In fact, it is awesome.  There are so many crags to explore within an hour of where ever you live in the state.  Expand your travel radius by a couple of hours and you encompass the Gunks, Western Mass, and Rumney.  Go get it.

We have a unique brand of stone, traprock, that is an incredible medium for the sport.  Cracks, slopers, crimps, dinosaur skin textured plates give us unique and improbable lines.  Fritz Wiessner knew Ragged Mt was something special when he went on his Sharmaesque visionary rampage in the 1930’s.

We even have a bizarre aversion to fixed protection.  Forcing young climber to learn first how to equalize a three point anchor from bunches of mountain laurel, breeding  climbers who inherently feel at home in the worlds greater ranges where anchor building on long alpine routes requires resourcefulness and often blind faith in sketchy pro.

But the best thing about CT climbing is Chatfield Hollow State Park.  The Gneiss there is excellent.  The routes, short and stout, are technical and pumpy.  Hit the main wall and work Forearm Frenzy, a world class 5.11 (truthfully, WORLD CLASS!).  Then grab a six pack and wander across RT 80 and search out the little bouldering gems in the state forest (bring a brush…).

CT is where I cut my teeth as a climber 13 years ago.  Since then I have climbed all over North America and SE Asia.  Now, I am back in New Haven.  Climbing every week (thank you Spr-inter  ’12) and appreciating what this little state has to offer all over again.

Go get it.  Bring a brush and scrub a boulder.  Buy a rack and start leading.  Dig deeper.  CT still has climbing gems to be discovered, I am sure of it.


Denali and Trailblazer have formed a family of independent outdoor stores located in New Haven, Trumbull, Branford, CT, at Mohegan Sun and in Wakefield, RI. Our stores feature clothing, footwear and gear from The North Face, Patagonia, Marmot, Horny Toad, Woolrich, UGG, Merrell, New Balance and more. We strive to fulfill all the outdoor needs of our customers with premier product selections as well as offering vast knowledge of the industry. Visit Trailblazer or Denali today and find everything you need for your adventures.

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