The Dark Side in Great Barrington
Intro | Parking | Map| Trails | Current Issues
The Dark Side is, in many ways, the antithesis to Reservoir Rocks. It spreads through an older, shadier part of the forest and the boulders here are less trafficked, harder to get to, and spread out. Already grabbing your shoes and chalk, right? Yet for the enthusiastic climber willing to hike a little, some of the best boulder problems in Great Barrington can be found here. From technical moderates (V3-V5) in different styles, to an established V13 waiting for the first ascent of its sit start, or a seemingly endless supply of projects; the Dark Side will keep many climbers busy for seasons to come.
Currently parking for the Dark Side is granted through a memorandum of understanding between climbers and the South Berkshire Friends Meeting. The large parking lot is on 280 State Road, and they have requested that any climbers using it send them an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org letting them know that you will be parking there to climb. Please note the Southern Berkshire Friends hold meetings on Sundays from 10:30-11:30am.
Click here for a link to the interactive map above of all the Western Mass crags discussed on this site.
The current access to the Dark Side is provided through a rough ‘climbers’ trail’ that runs about half a mile southeast from the South Berkshire Friends property to the Whale boulder. Heading from the parking lot towards the forest, you will walk through a marshy area with reeds and quickly bear left. Continue through the thicket and then duck under a bending tree to gain access to the forest. Once in the forest travel southeast towards the pin for the whale. You will travel uphill gradually, and after about 0.5 miles will start seeing boulders, the Whale being the biggest one around. The Whale has problems like Nostalgia V10, a sloper traverse on the far right of the block, or Tim’s Problem, a dynamic V5 on small holds. There is also a warm up traverse V3 climbing right using the slots to the left of Nostalgia. If you walk climbers left of the whale and around the hill is the Darkside Arete V13 and Moondance V8. Climbers right of the whale will take you to Commissioner of Adultery V5 and the Elyse Problem V6. Continue exploring to find some of the different projects waiting for a little wire brushing!
While the majority of boulders at the Dark Side are on East Mountain State Forest, this property abuts that of other landowners, including that of the generous South Berkshire Friends. Both with the approach and where you explore, please be respectful as you appreciate the excellent climbing.