Monday, December 19, 2011

Quincy Quarries

You may have noticed a reference in the previous post to a certain crag near and dear to all Massachusetts climbers' hearts: Quincy Quarries (pronounced "fahkin' kwinzee kwaaries, kid"). A bit of obligatory history. Before it was drained, QQ was a granite quarry in scenic Quincy, a suburb of Boston where the accents flow as thickly and tragically as molasses. The abandoned quarry was filled with water to become a large pond, where Boston gangsters saw fit to dispose of their fallen foes' bodies. Later, this was drained to become a recreational area, where Boston highschool dropouts saw fit to dispose of their fallen forty oz bottles.

This picture is stolen from wikipedia. That spraypaint is stolen from Home Depot.
Almost every square inch of exposed rock is covered with at least one layer of graffiti. In some places, decades' worth of layered spraypaint penises alone reach depths that are greater than the size of the penises that put them there.

One leg of a typical QFQ anchor. Seriously.
The paint, traffic, and weathering has resulted in rock that has as much friction as if you were wearing wooden clogs dipped in astroglide. There are a few gems in there, of course. Grab some popcorn and head to "Outside Corner" to watch people epic on their first trad climbs. "5.6 Layback" is probably the best route in the world on which to sandbag gym rats. QQ is a fantastic place to teach people how to build top-rope anchors, both for the variety of types of protection and the plethora of examples of how NOT to do things.

Some of the greatest alpinists in the world got their start on this god forsaken stash of granite. The reason why is mathematically simple. By latitude and longitude, QQ is somewhere around 42,-71.  If you were to follow the longitudinal line, starting from QQ, all the way to the exact opposite side of the world, you'd roughly reach the Karakorums, home of K2, at roughly 36, 76. If you spent your early years climbing at QQ, you'd want to get as far away as possible too.


  1. That is fuckin funny. I was lucky enough to start climbing here as well. A veritable shithole, but one for which I will always hold a special place in my heart. thanks for making me laugh my ass off

  2. I used to climb here about ten years ago. I always loved it. Great way to get out of the city and perhaps the rock wasn't AS weathered back then (or maybe I'm just not a pussy. *wink*). I'd love to go back and see what kind of A-holes are hanging out there now. It was usually just us and a few boulderers scrambling over the spray-painted base. In the evenings you could watch the city lights glowing through the haze of pollution hovering above Boston. Quite a sight.

  3. I've finally finished pissing myself from laughter enough to write this. Wicked funny blog. Seriously.