Mormon Hollow sits inside the beautiful Wendell State Forest in Wendell, MA, just a few miles south and across the Millers River from Farley Ledges. Although Mormon is smaller then Farley, its impeccable rock quality, high concentration of routes, and relative solitude – not to mention sun in the winter and shade in the summer – make this crag a very worthy destination.
This west-facing granitic gneiss ledge system offers approximately 30 routes on five tightly packed butresses. Locals know this “white” gneiss – like that of The Lost Crag or The Pinnacle at Farley – is especially dense and offers good gear placements, sound anchors and enjoyable climbing. Again, like Farley, Mormon offers a wide array of climbs including slabs, technical face climbs, powerful roofs and splitter cracks from 5.6 to 5.13. Unlike Farley, the tallest routes top out at 65 feet, yet this modest size make it possible for a climber to get a good sense of the area in a couple of visits. Additionally, most routes are equipped with bolted anchors and can be easily top-roped.
Two options exist for parking at Mormon Hollow.
Option A: The Wendell State Forest (WSF), together with the WMCC, created a trail from Jerusalem Road to the cliff tops at Mormon Hollow. This means the parking, approach, and rock are all on public property – a very rare and good thing in Western Mass!
Park at a small lot on the west side of Jerusalem Road across from some moderate bouldering and just south of spot where the New England Trail (M-M Trail) leaves this dirt road and heads west. Hike the NET west towards the trailhead. Dirt roads and parking area may be closed in spring, or ‘mud season.’
Option B: Parking for Mormon Hollow is also available roadside at the intersection of Davis Road and Coldbrook Road in Wendell. While the majority of Mormon Hollow falls within Wendell State Forest, the Davis Road parking area is not. Climbers must be VERY respectful of the private landowners who live at the end of Coldbrook Road: keep noise to a minimum and do not block the gates or vehicle access along any of the roads.
Park near the intersection of Davis and Coldbrook, and again, be sure all vehicles are parked well outside of the travel lanes. Hike south on Coldbrook Road towards the trailhead.
The WMCC encourages climbers to use the parking area within Wendell State Forest – Option A – to preserve access to this wonderful resource.
Click here for a link to the interactive map above of all the Western Mass crags discussed on this site.
Option A: From Jerusalem Road, hike the NET west towards the trailhead. Follow the NET for approximately 300 yards downhill to a line of large stones placed on the road to block car traffic. Turn right at this line of stones onto the trail. Follow blazes across the top of handful of cliff bands that offer moderate climbing. The blazed trail will gently descend and then climb into a small stand of pine, then drop again. Rock formations will soon appear and then the trail will descend into an impressive, medieval staircase built by the WMCC. Follow this to the base of the crag at Cardiac Arete. This hike from car to stone takes 20 to 25 minutes.
Option B: Hike south on Coldbrook Road for about 300 yards until an obvious road cut heads uphill on the eastern side of this dirt road. A strenuous five to ten minute climb on a wide, obvious trail levels off and leads to a fork. Head right at the fork and then take a quick left at a cairn. Follow this narrower trail for 35 yards: the base of the wall will be visible almost immediately. Climbers first encounter the Wayne’s World Butress, a free standing formation just left of the center line of the area and blocking the medieval staircase (built by the WMCC) leading to the cliff top.
The rock, approach trails and one of the two parking areas at Mormon Hollow lie on public land. This means that climber access to this crag is solid, perhaps the most secure crag of the ten the WMCC manages. Please help us keep it this way: park intelligently, climb responsibly and keep the noise down.