Boston Chapter Mountaineering Committee (BCMC) Supports Protection of Farley Ledges

In 2007, the Western Massachusetts Climbers’ Coalition (WMCC) successfully raised over $65,000 and purchased a 9 acre parcel at the base of Farley Ledge, in part due to a $6000 contribution from the BCMC and $5,000 from the Boston Chapter Executive Committee. This will allowed the WMCC to restrict non-climbing development at the base of the crag and provided the climbing community with sustainable access to the greatest climbing and bouldering resource in New England outside of the White Mountains or Rumney, NH.

Farley Ledge is largely owned by Northeast Utilities, but their site license contains a recreational stipulation requiring that they provide recreational opportunities. As a result, access issues were over the parking and approach trails.

Only 1.5 hours from downtown Boston, the rock quality is unrivaled, comparable to English grit in its best moments, and offers the only true multi-pitch experience in Massachusetts. Farley Ledge contains some of the states best traditional leads as well as many previously bolted sport climbs up to 5.13b. The recent bouldering explosion yielded some of the most impressive and hardest problems in the state (V12/V13). While being riddled with several test pieces, Farley Ledge also contains several moderate climbs and problems that are well worth the visit.

The rock at Farley, like much of rock in the area, is gneiss. It is characterized by big sloping horizontals, small edges and sweeping features. The climbing is best when friction is the highest. This translates generally into ideal spring and fall conditions though the heavily forested area provides ample shade for those hot summer days.

In the year’s following 2007 Farley Ledge has become a primary rock-climbing destination in New England, and it includes one of the most impressive sections of the nationally recognized Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, maintained by the AMC Berkshire Chapter. The area is used by hikers, hunters, bird watchers, bikers, rock-climbers, spelunkers, cross-country skiers, outdoor education groups, schools, and other outdoor enthusiasts.