The boulders at Reservoir Rocks in Great Barrington is comprised of compact and finely textured Gneiss which lends itself to technical and aesthetic climbing. Although there does exist a large main face home to some great top roping routes the spotlight belongs on the fantastic bouldering at “the Res.” From easy warm-ups to cutting edge projects the Res., has a little of everything in a beautiful quiet setting…close by to a wonderful small New England town. Currently there are approximately 250 boulder problems on the existing boulders and new ones being discovered in the surrounding areas.
Parking is along the shoulder of the road at Pine and Quarry Street . DO NOT park at the hairpin itself as this is private property and the homeowners do not need us parking on their property. If there are no parking spots available, there is plenty of parking at the Searles School parking lot (adds about 5 minutes of extra walking) just down the street from the trail proper. Please respect the homeowners and abutters as they have embraced the climbers and we need to maintain a good relationship with the people who are directly next to Reservoir Rocks.
Click here for a link to the interactive map above of all the Western Mass crags discussed on this site.
From the parking area on Pine and Quarry continue walking up the street to the end of the paved road onto to the dirt road (which has a chain across it) and onto the old dirt/grass road which heads straight past the Reservoir (“the Res”…get it!). Continue on for 5-10 minutes to where the trail breaks left and begins a gradual uphill climb. The trail forks again (bear right) and keep heading uphill until it begins to level out. Look to your left and you will begin to see the boulders. The first big boulder you encounter is the Erkanan boulder with the classic “Crystal Problem” (V3) on the front side. The boulders in the main area are scattered all over the hillside with landings varying from dead flat to ankle breakers…climb wisely.
Currently Reservoir Rocks is “officially” closed to climbing as there is no written Memorandum of Understanding which exists between the climbers (and other user groups) and the Town of Great Barrington. Members of the WMCC and the Friends of East Mountain have been working on preserving access to the area for over 4 years now and meetings continue on a regular basis. The long term goal is to preserve the open space in perpetuity for all user groups to enjoy this beautiful and unique parcel of land and to allow climbers and non-climbers access.
Reservoir Rocks and East Mountain was the site of the 2005 Access Fund’s Adopt-A-Crag initiative which was hosted by the WMCC and the Friends of East Mountain. Approximately 20 volunteers spent a beautiful Fall day helping to build water channels on the existing trail and installed a beautifully made Kiosk (built by Jon LaValley). In addition, the volunteers hauled out two huge truckloads of trash out of the woods. We are hoping to continue our work this year by working on installing a ladder on the upper tiers and to do further trail maintenance and clean up this Fall for the Adopt-A-Crag.