Lisa & Bob in Purgatory Chasm, MA, Sept 2001

Purgatory Chasm is sort of one of those dualities to me. A demonstration of the conflict between man and nature.

On one hand, it's fascinating and gorgeous. A deep glacial rift that gouges through Massachusetts forest. You have the rocky depths while high above, trees grow, birds sing, the sun shines. You can climb deep into dark caves, and come out into beautiful, quiet forest. I love being there just about any time of year.

On the other hand, the people who visit it are often so completely *unthinking*. Apparently they grow up with giant fences around anything dangerous, so they figure, "Hey, they let us climb on it, it must be safe!" I've seen fathers dragging kids across the rocks, where one slip could be seriously injurious. I've seen new mothers with babies in chest-holders, climbing rocks that people fall on constantly! Don't these people think?? And just what are they teaching their children about respecting nature?

It's definitely something to visit. But if you go, please use some common sense :) PLEASE wear real shoes with rubber soles, not sandals or slick shoes. And be careful! People DO get hurt here, mostly because they treat it like an amuseument park instead of a relatively dangerous climbing area.

You can click on some pictures to see a larger version of them.

Rock Sign Points the Way


Entry Sign


Hole we almost lost my son into once

Don't Climb

His Majesty


Outcrop from the front

Looking Up

Lover's Leap

Devil's Pulpit

Looking Back

The High Road along the top

Looking Down

Shadows Along the Path

Purgatory Photos from December 2001

Lisa's Trip Pages