Lantern Hill

Lantern Hill is located in Connecticut about 8 miles from the Rhode Island border. From Rhode Island take Interstate 95 south to exit 92 (North Stonington). On the exit stay straight for about a mile until you hit a light. At the light take a right on to Route 2 west. Follow this for about five miles. After clearing a hill the Foxwoods casino comes into sight. Look for Milltown road on the right. (At bike path sign). Take this and it will bring you back under the RT 2 overpass. Cross RT 2 and on to Wintechog Hill Road. After about a quarter of a mile there will be a prominent parking area and trail on the right. Park here and follow the trail. The trail forks and the left trail goes up a hill. Follow the trial on the right which follows along the bottom of the cliffs to get you to the main cliff.. Follow this until you are directly under a prominent clean white quartzite cliff. You have to continue beyond it and take the first trail on the left to get up to the top to set up a top rope.

Bring extra long webbing or a static rope to set up top rope anchors. There are a few routes that can be led with decent pro. Everything else is pretty run-out.

This is on private land owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. You climb there due to their good will. Please be respectful of that.


The cliffs are about 30 to 70 feet in height. Most of the climbing is concentrated on the cliffs on the southwest side of the hill. The white quartzite here offers clean, juggy, vertical to slightly overhanging routes. The rock quality on the east side is not as good and loose rock is abundant. There is no conclusive information as to who first climbed many of these routes. What route history is known is detailed at the end of the guide below.

Main Cliff (southwest side of hill)

Red - Starting Point 5.3, Green - Sharper Image 5.6, Orange - Blackbeard 5.7, Blue - Jolly Roger 5.8

Orange -Swan Dive, 5.9, Yellow- Zen Master, 5.10, Blue - Indian Wrestler, 5.10+, Red - Porcelain Arête, 5.9-

Red - Porcelain Arête, 5.9-, Yellow - Alabaster, 5.9+, Orange - Milky Way, 5.10+

Blue - Milky Way, 5.10, Red - Black Jack Crack, 5.9, Yellow - Skunk Dog, 5.8

Upper West Side

Yellow - Hard Wall, 5.10, Red - Layback Corner, 5.9+

Commitment, 5.8

Lower West Side

Yellow - Hunch, 5.8, Red - Guess What, 5.10-

North West Side

Ollie's Find 5.9+, Spider Veins 5.9, Yellow- Choss Corner - 5.4

Red - Cam-a-lot 5.6, Yellow - South Wind 5.9, Blue - Air Pockets 5.8, Green - Ugly Face 5.5

Red - Batman, 5.5, Yellow - Strictly From Somewhere, 5.8

Orange - Foxbite, 5.11+, Blue - Vulpes, 5.12-, Green - Borderline, 5.10-

East Side

Yellow - Black Vulture, 5.9+, Red - Stinger, 5.11, Green - Stung, 5.12-, Blue - Dyno-Might, 5.10


Route Descriptions and Known Route History

Main Cliff (Left to Right)
Starting Point 5.3.  A scramble up the broken left side of the cliff.  Sometimes used to practice leading.
Sharper Image 5.6.  A slightly easier and less interesting line than Blackbeard.
Blackbeard 5.7. A fun climb and one of the few good leads on the cliff, however, placing gear does require hanging off one arm near the top.  Finishes up the steep arête.  
Jolly Roger 5.8.  A fairly sustained line that stays just to the right of Blackbeard and finishes up the corner to the right.
Swan Dive, 5.9.  This is the long traversing diagonal crack that starts over on Jolly Roger and finishes on Indian Wrestler.  Spicy lead on small gear.
Zen Master, 5.10, FA (TR): Christopher Czapla 1992 or 93. FA (lead): Christopher Czapla, 1994.  Starts directly under a very thin crack about ten feet up.  Go to the crack wander right than back left heading for the crack on Swan Dive.  Surmount the bulges (crux) and on to the top.
Indian Wrestler, 5.10+.  Starts directly under the distinct hand crack just to the left of the corner.  Crimp your way up to the crack (crux) and then cruise the crack to the top.
Porcelain Arête, 5.9-.  The Lantern Hill classic route goes up the obvious arête to the top.
Alabaster, 5.9+. This line is around the corner from the main face and goes up just right of the Porcelain Arête corner.  Goes over the overhang at the top.
Milky Way, 5.10+.  Shares the start with Black Jack Crack then diagonals left up the thin crack to the top.
Black Jack Crack, 5.9.  A fun hand size crack that does not require hand jamming if you do it right.  From the “cave” diagonal up to the top on crack to the left.
Skunk Dog, 5.8.  What looks like it starts out to be a painful grunt in a chimney is actually a very fun layback.  Layback the chimney until it brings you to a “cave” then continue up the chimney at the top with one chimney move or stemming.

Upper West Side (Left to Right)
Hard Wall, 5.10.  Starts about in the middle of the wall.  Go up on crimpers weaving left on the path of least resistance until you can gain the diagonal crack.  Follow that to the top.  There is a 5.11 variation that goes straight up to the end of diagonal crack
Layback Corner, 5.9+.  Climb the outside corner to the top.
Commitment, 5.8, FA: Brian Phillips, Jen Reed, Jun 2006. Go up a large diagonal crack and pull the overhang to the left.  This is spicy lead because the crux is largely unprotected.  Almost impossible to top-rope without trashing your rope.

Lower West Side (Left to Right)
Hunch, 5.8, FA (TR): Brian Phillips, Dec 2009.  Scramble down an unobvious path below the main cliff to find this climb.   Goes up the middle of the wall on clean crimpers.
Guess What, 5.10-., FA (TR): Ken Nichols, Dec 2009.Just to the right of Hunch.

North West Side
(Left to Right)
Ollie's Find, 5.9.  Starts on the left corner and trends right to the top.
Spider Veins, 5.9. Goes up the middle of the face.
Choss Corner, 5.4.  Inside corner on left.  Not worth doing.
Cam-a-lot5.6. FA Brian Phillips, Jen Reed, Jun 2006. Starts on left corner.  Takes big cams.
South Wind 5.9. Starts to the right of Cam-a-lotand goes straight up to finish in the same crack.
Air Pockets 5.8.  Goes straight up the middle of the face.
Ugly Face 5.5.  Goes up the path of least resistance on the right side of the face.
Batman, 5.5,  Follows the inside diagonal corner on the cliff just to the right of the face.
Strictly From Somewhere, 5.8  Follows the arête.
Foxbite, 5.11-, FA (TR): Glenn Gello, August 2008. Biting hard crimpers following incipient crack.
Vulpes, 5.12- Goes straight up between the corner and Foxbite then weaves slightly left under a small overhang and on to top.
Borderline, 5.10-, FA Glenn Gello, May 2009.  Layback arête to the top.

East Side
(Left to Right)
Black Vulture, 5.9+, FA (TR): Brian Phillips, Oct 2009.  Goes up slightly overhanging blocks.  Beware of loose rock.
Stinger, 5.11, FA (TR): Ken Nichols, Dec 2009. Slightly overhanging crimpers in the middle of the face.
Stung, 5.12- FA (TR): Rob Werk, Nov 2012.  A harder line just to the right of Stinger.
Dyno-Might, 5.10, FA (TR): Brian Phillips, Oct 2009.  A few hard moves to a fun dyno to a crimp.  Then on to the top on easier rock.

Ollie Lebrea on Swan Dive - Main Cliff

Porcelain Arête - Main Cliff

Dave Curry on Jolly Roger - Main Cliff