Ragged Mountain: Southington, CT

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Location

Ragged Mountain in Southington is situated south of Cooks Gap and north of West Peak and Castle Craig and is traversed by the Blue Trail (New England Scenic Trail).

History

There is a long and varied history of climbing at Ragged Mountain dating back into the 1930’s with first ascents by legendary climbers Fritz Wiessner, John Reppy, Sam Streibert, Hot Henry Barber and Layton Kor, among many others.  Vector, a suspiciously difficult 5.8 put up by Fritz Wiessner in 1935 is believed to have been the first 5.8 in the country.

Climbing at Ragged

Ragged Mountain is a unique climbing area, unparalleled in southern New England. The Main Face is a crag with routes for all abilities. It is Connecticut’s most popular traditional climbing area, and for good reason. However, it does require an expert skill set to lead many of these magnificent climbs.  New leaders are urged to use caution. For example, Broadway, a classic 5.8 pg13 has seen an improbable number of whippers by leaders who though 5.8 was no big deal. Anchoring may be challenging and requires a high level of skill with traditional climbing equipment. Top roping generally requires a high level of creativity, ingenuity and 150’ anchor statics.  There are no anchor bolts.  The Deed of Conservation Restriction, enforced by the Berlin Land Trust, forbids the placement of new fixed protection.

Access Issues

Access to Ragged Mountain’s Main Face is forever guaranteed.  It is owned by climbers and preserved for future generations.   This is not the case for the nearby outlying crags like the Small Cliff, Owl’s Lair, Outback, Outcrop, Junkyard and Shooting Gallery.  Tread lightly and be discrete on these outlying crags. There is no formal parking at Ragged. Please use established parking areas for the Blue Trail (New England Scenic Trail). If choosing to park in a nearby neighborhood be careful obey all posted signs and avoid parking on lawns or within 25 feet of driveways of stop signs.

Notes

Copper heads are a common occurrence at Ragged and especially enjoy sunning themselves on the undercliff trail. If you don’t see a copper head in the stones at the base of the Wiesner Slab it is probably because you aren’t looking hard enough. Do not attempt to more or disturb these, or any other of Raggeds native denizens. Be aware, give them space, and let nature be.