Vermont's Bolton Dome Purchased

The Climbing Resource Access Group of Vermont (CRAG-VT) and Access Fund are pleased to announce the acquisition of Bolton Dome, a schist climbing area featuring dozens of high-quality crack and sport climbs, including the region’s only 5.13 trad climb. Now protected, there is abundant potential for additional sport and moderate slab climbs for all climbers to enjoy.

Historically known as Trailer Park Crag, Bolton Dome was once the area’s most popular cliff in the 70s and 80s. However, it was closed to climbing in 1990 due to the private landowners’ concerns about public use of their property.

© Photo courtesy of Andrea Charest

“The climbing area’s closure in 1990 was a driving factor for the formation of CRAG-VT,” says Kris Fiore, CRAG-VT Board President. “Local climbers recognized the need to ensure climbing areas like this one were not lost to the community in the future.”

Over the years, local climbing advocate Richard Katzman stayed in contact with the landowners. In the summer of 2017, they agreed to consider an offer from CRAG-VT before listing the property on the open market. To save Bolton Dome, CRAG-VT purchased the entire 48-acre parcel, including the 2-acre house site that will be subdivided and resold.

Access Fund provided a Climbing Conservation Loan of $358,750 toward the purchase, marking this project CRAG-VT’s biggest climbing area acquisition to date and the largest Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan in history. The climbing area is now protected for permanent conservation and recreation, but CRAG–VT needs further support from the climbing community to complete fundraising and subsequent subdivision and resale of the home site.

“It is gratifying to know that our collaborative effort means that Bolton Dome will be open for people to enjoy and treasure in years to come,” says Katzman. “It has been 30 years since I last climbed there, and I am excited to return.”

“Conservation opportunities like this are the reason Access Fund created the Climbing Conservation Loan Program in 2009,” says Access Fund Northeast Regional Director Mike Morin. “Thanks to CRAG-VT’s strong track record of success in land conservation, we knew we could team up to make this acquisition happen.” Over the past 16 years, CRAG-VT has worked alongside partners to successfully protected climbing access to seven different crags in the Bolton area.

CRAG-VT entered into a purchase and sale agreement and kicked off fundraising in the fall, receiving early support from local climbers. While a majority of loan funds will be repaid upon sale of the home site, CRAG-VT needs the climbing community to help raise an additional $80,000 to cover the remaining purchase price, transaction, subdivision, and improvement costs. Please donate today at cragvt.org/boltondomeproject.

Access Details

The area will remain closed while CRAG-VT formalizes access down Champ Lane, creates parking and trails, constructs a kiosk, inspects fixed hardware, and finalizes insurance details. Please respect this initial closure and stay tuned for an official opening date and access details which CRAG-VT hopes will be finalized in time for the peak season this fall.