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Bolton Quarry

Cliff Steward: 
Guidebook: Tough Schist
Mountain Project: 
Bolton Quarry
Access Beta & Closures page

The Climbing: The Bolton Quarry takes the prize for Vermont’s most accessible climbing, with a hike of 90 seconds from car to rock. The Cat’s Ass wall is among the first in the state to dry with the Dwarf Wall coming in a close second. The main Quarry routes stay cool and shady, making them excellent mid-summer options when everything at The Dome and 82-Crag are charred. In the winter The Quarry holds excellent ice climbing, both for beginners looking to toprope and for WI5 climbers looking for an accessible pump just a short drive from Burlington. 

Don’t Miss: Wandering the Halls (5.7), Happy (5.9), Junior’s First Bolt (5.9+), Sweet Sweet Choss (10a), Collateral Daveage (11a), Cat’s Ass (11d)

Access Beta: 

  • Be sure to check our Access Beta & Closures page for COVID-19 advisory, current closures, reopening or changed operations.
  • If you have a vehicle with 4WD or winter tires, you can park in the CRAG-VT parking lot at the top of Green Mountain Drive, just below the climbing! Note that during snow storms, the drive will be plowed later in the day. Please plan accordingly and don’t get stuck if it is not yet cleared.
  • Do not park anywhere on Green Mountain Drive, and please do not exceed 10 mph on your way to the parking lot. Speeding will threaten access to this area.
  • If your car get’s stuck, please help us maintain good relations with our neighbors and DO NOT disturb them. Instead, please call a tow company. (Bee There Towing: (802) 434-4580)
  • If your car isn’t suitable for Green Mountain Drive, use the pull-off at the bottom of the Bolton Valley Access Road. From here, walk South along Route 2 until Green Mountain Drive, and then turn left and walk up to The Quarry.
  • No parking at Smilie School
  • CRAG-VT is plowing and sanding the road and lot for the 2021/2022 ice season; if you climb here regularly, consider donating to support this expense.
  • The CRAG-VT parking lot will be closed briefly during mud season to prevent damage. During this time, park at the pull-off at the bottom of the Bolton Valley Access Road.

Access Story:  In 2004, CRAG-VT purchased the Bolton Quarry, a 30-acre parcel that includes stunning vertical ice pillars and some classic rock climbs. CRAG-VT then worked with the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) and Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) to establish a conservation easement that ensures permanent protection for future climbing and recreation.

Thank You to Our Partners: Funding for the Bolton Quarry acquisition was provided by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), the Vermont Recreation Trails Grant Program, The Access Fund, and Climb High/Mammut. The donations from 125 CRAG-VT members were also critical to the project’s success.

Historical Context: CRAG-VT’s acquisition of the Quarry was the first land conservation purchase specifically for rock and ice climbing in Vermont.  The Quarry acquisition project received a fair amount of local media attention including articles in the Burlington Free Press, Seven Days, and NE Cable News; as well as nationally in Rock & Ice, Climbing Online, and Access Fund Vertical Times. While the publicity was important to the project’s success, it also brought attention to CRAG-VT’s mission and was an important foundation for future projects.

Ricky Ortiz, Happy 5.9 at the Quarry