Home to some classic climbs on excellent gneiss, Mormon Hollow is a fine complement to other nearby popular crags (Farley and Rose Ledges) of western Massachusetts. There is a nice smattering of moderate routes, good cracks, and a handful of steep, hard sport climbs. All of the routes here can be top roped off trees or bolted anchors, except those on the central boulder which requires a short boulder problem to reach the anchors. Access the top of the main cliff is via a stone staircase in the middle of the cliff.
The cliffs face southwest and get sun from late morning until sunset, though trees obscure the sun during the summer months.
I don't know the names of most of the routes, but here is a list of difficulties and descriptions from left to right. These will be amended if I get additional FA information.
Left Side 1. 5.10 Top Rope -- A slab and face climb that pulls a roof on the far left of the crag. 2. 5.10+ Top Rope -- the next route right 3, 4, & 5. These three sport routes all pull the 15' roof. All are 5.13. 6. 5.6 Trad/TR -- The wide zigzag crack just left of the Chimney.
Africa Buttress This formation features the righthand of the two huge roofs and slightly resembles the outline of Africa. 7. The Chimney -- 5.7 Trad -- the clean cut chimney 8. 5.10+ TR -- The obvious rounded arete on the rightside of the Africa Buttress roof. One start up this and finish on #9 to make a 5.11a TR. 9. 5.11+ TR -- The deceptively easy looking, but hard slab climb on the clean face just left of the staircase. 10. 5.12a sport -- This overhanging arete leans over the staircase.
Original Sin Buttress 11. Original Sin -- 5.10a trad 12. 5.11- -- a thin line just right of Original Sin
Central Buttress This buttress lies just above a rotting tree lying on the ground. 13, 14, 15. Three 5.8 climbs ascending a face with a right facing corner system. Top rope or runout leads. 16. Tree Crack -- 5.8 17. 5.9+ trad/TR -- A fun thin crack with a pumpy crux at the end. 18. 5.8 trad/TR -- Start up #17, but move right at the top following a crack to a separate anchor.
Priaprism Buttress 19. 5.7 sport -- The warm-up. Follow four bolts up a clean slab to an anchor above the roof. A small cam (green alien) between the 3rd and 4th bolts makes it less runout. 20. Priaprism 5.12a -- A beautifully steep sport route. Do it. 21. 5.11- Trad -- The obvious crack just right of Priaprism. 22. ? -- The next crack to the right that leads to a bird's nest. At 2/3 height one can go left up a Y crack or through a handcrack in the roof past the nest.
Far Right End 23, 24, 25. 5.8/9 -- Three top ropes on the next boulder to the right.
Entry Boulder The first rock encountered when walking up to Mormon. Reach the top by bouldering up the backside to bolted anchors. 26. 5.13R/X or TR -- This route faces the approach trail on the left side of the overhanging face. 27. ?? TR -- The left arete of the big boulder.
Upper Tier Just above the stone staircase lie these routes. 28. Boulder traverse on the left about 50' above the top of the Africa Buttress. 29. 5.11+ -- follow the trail straight up to find this sport climb. 30. ?? -- another set of TR anchors.
From I-91, turn east onto Route 2 towards Boston & Turners Falls. Drive 7.1 miles to a left turn onto Gateway Drive at a large family entertainment center. Go about 100m and turn right/south at the first stop sign onto Route 63. Stay on Route 63 as it crosses the river, then goes through downtown Miller's Falls. The road continues straight, over a green metal bridge. Veer left onto Wendell Road. Go left after 0.8 miles onto Mormon Hollow Road. Drive 0.7 miles and turn right onto Davis Road. Continue a quarter mile to a "T" intersection. Park on the right shoulder here.
From the parking area, turn right at the "T" intersection. Walk about 100 meters to an old road on the left marked with a "No Parking" sign. Hike uphill on this overgrown road for about 200 meters, until it makes a sharp right turn at a flat spot. A spur trail on the left marked with a cairn leads another 100 meters or so to the crag. 10 minutes.
This excellent face climb is the first route to the right of the stone staircase. It is best identified by a lone bolt (the "original sin" at the Hollow) about 15' up. Saunter up a right trending ramp (easier) or boulder in from the right (harder) to the bolt. Climb the face above past a punchy crux into fun reaches between horizontals (gear in each horizontal crack). Continue to the bolted rap station at the top....[more]Browse More Classics in MA
When parking at the T-intersection, be sure not to block the entrance to the two fields on either side of Davis Road. If I had been the farmer yesterday, I would have thrown a chain around the axle of the offending vehicle and "moved" it with the tractor to a more "convenient" location. Fortunately the farmer is a bit more laid back than me.