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Main Cliff
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
A Guide to Ragged (1964) 
Aid Crack 
Ancient Way 
Angle of the Dangle 
Animal Crack 
Ashtray 
Bald Face Hornet 
Birdman 
Black Orchid 
Bombay 
Bombay Direct 
Broadway 
Bushy Groove 
Cage, The 
Carey Corner 
Carolyn 
Cemetary Vault 
Chopper flakes 
Crag Rat 
Crisis 
Cutting Edge 
Cygnus X-1 
Deception 
Double Crux 
Double Vision 
Duck Soup 
Easy Rider 
End Run 
Eternity 
Faceout 
Fall Of The House Of Monticello, The 
For Madmen Only 
Golden Age 
Green Gutter 
Hemlock Groove 
Hot Rocks 
Hurricane Gloria 
Jam Corner 
Juniper Wall 
Knight's Gambit 
Knight's Move 
Kor Crack 
Lavaredo Corner 
Leftover 
Main Street 
Marlinspike 
May's Way 
NCS Route 
Netherlands 
North by North West 
North End 
Nux Vomica 
Obession 
Out Of Orbit 
Owl Perch 
Poison and Passion 
Pork Barrel Project 
Ragged Edge 
Right Edge 
Sandbag 
Side Entry 
Sisu 
Skull and Bones 
Subline 
Sunday Bulge 
Swan Song 
Sweat Slot 
Terminal Velocity 
Tower Crack 
Trojan Horse 
Un Petit Peu 
Unconquerable Crack 
Vajolet Corner 
Vanishing Point 
Vector 
Visions 
Visitor's Reception Center 
Wet Wall 
Wetwall Wetlock Variation 
Wiessner Crack 
Wiessner Slab 
Wishbone 
YMC Route 
Unsorted Routes:

Main Cliff 


Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 761'
Location: 41.6175, -72.8234 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 44,740
Administrators: Morgan Patterson, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: John Peterson on Feb 21, 2006
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Main Cliff (Bing maps)

Description 

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 www.raggedmtn.org. 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.

Restrictions


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: maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=New+Britain,+Har>>>

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.


83 Total Routes


['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',30],['2 Stars',34],['1 Star',15],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',16],['5.7',9],['5.8',14],['5.9',11],['5.10',13],['5.11',14],['5.12',6],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Main Cliff:
Wiessner Slab   5.3 3+ 10 III VD 3a     Trad, 60'   
Ancient Way   5.4 4a 12 IV VD 3c     Trad, 60'   
Knight's Move   5.4 4a 12 IV VD 3c     Trad, 60'   
Wet Wall   5.6 4c 14 V S 4b     Trad, 100'   
Cemetary Vault   5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Trad, 60'   
Knight's Gambit   5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Trad, 100'   
Carey Corner   5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Trad, 100'   
Broadway   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   
Wiessner Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 40'   
Bombay   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 100'   
Marlinspike   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   
North End   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 100'   
Vector   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 100'   
Kor Crack   5.9- 5c 17 VI HVS 4c     Trad, 100'   
YMC Route   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, 100'   
Vanishing Point   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 85'   
Unconquerable Crack   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Trad, 80'   
Aid Crack   5.10 6b 20 VII- E2 5b     Trad, 40'   
Ragged Edge   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     TR, 1 pitch, 100'   
Subline   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad   
Browse More Classics in Main Cliff

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Ragged Arete

Golden Age 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6b  CT : Central CT : ... : Main Cliff
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News and Events For Main Cliff
Photos of Main Cliff Slideshow Add Photo
Main Cliff at sunset
Main Cliff at sunset
Floundering on "Angle of the Dangle."  I think its a 5.11.
Floundering on "Angle of the Dangle." I think its...
Ragged from Hart Pond
Ragged from Hart Pond
Photo from top of main cliff at sunset (January 2005).
Photo from top of main cliff at sunset (January 20...
The RMF map of the Ragged Mountain property
The RMF map of the Ragged Mountain property
Hike in to Ragged Main Cliff from road.
BETA PHOTO: Hike in to Ragged Main Cliff from road.
Ragged in early fall
Ragged in early fall
John Reppy, age 80, 66 years after his first FA at Ragged
John Reppy, age 80, 66 years after his first FA at...
180 degree panorama from the top of Ragged
180 degree panorama from the top of Ragged
Comments on Main Cliff Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 23, 2013
By MJMobes
From: The land of steady habits
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 Tradoholic
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! mjzarif@gmail.com

By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
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:

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
Administrator
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
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: Wallingford, CT
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
Administrator
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.