Rumney Rocks is a sport climbing area in New Hampshire located at the bottom of the White Mountains.  There are tons of quality routes there, of all grades, and my two visits just scratched the surface.  The rock is mostly schist, with some granite. Rumney Climbers Association is the non-profit responsible for protecting access to the area and maintaining it as well.  Right now their main project is raising money to purchase the northwest crags for permanent conservation.

The US Forest Service manages the area and there is a $3 fee for day use, your typical self pay in an envelope at the trailhead setup.  Cheap camping is available across the street.  The guidebook is out of print and used copies online are ridiculously priced.  My friends happened to have a copy, which they got for cover price at a store in Utah.  Go figure.  There is plenty of beta online though.

Decent crag overview, a little outdated

Decent crag overview, a little outdated

I met Sean, Grace, and Rob at the trailhead on a cool, sunny day and we headed out to Jimmy Cliff.  I’m out of practice climbing and I never lead any way so they would lead and then I’d top rope.  We warmed up on Piece of Cake, a short 5.5 route.  It went up and over a ledge and then it was easy climbing to the top.

Next, we moved to the Junco, a 5.8+ route.  I got stuck about halfway up because I wasn’t able to smear well enough to keep my footing while working my hands up a crack.  That was the level I was at when I used to climb a lot so I’m not surprised I had a hard time with it after not climbing regularly in forever.

My favorite route was the Nuthatch, a 5.7 chimney.  It called for some stemming, but mostly just awkwardly maneuvering.

Rumney Rocks

Me on the Nuthatch

Rumney Rocks

Rob on the Nuthatch

Then I sat in my hammock watching the rest of them work on Lonesome Dove, a 5.10a route up an arete.  The crux was close to the bottom of the route so I wouldn’t have been able to get far any way.

Rumney Rocks

Sean on Lonesome Dove

Rumney Rocks

Grace on Lonesome Dove

I met Sean another day at the Parking Lot Wall.  It was cloudy and threatening rain the whole time but we still got several climbs in.  Listening to the wind from the top of the climbs made it seem like a storm would be on us at any moment but nothing ever showed up.

We did Easily Amused (5.6), Glory Jean’s (5.7), and Rise and Shine (5.7).  Two of them were pretty standard, but Glory Jean’s was a little different.  It consisted of a climb to the top of a large flake, stepping  over a gap to another wall, climbing up that to a ledge, traversing left, then heading back up to the right to top out.  I fell at the last part but swung straight back onto my feet on the ledge.   I went for it again and made it.

Rumney Rocks

The Parking Lot Wall

We headed over to the left end of Meadows for one last climb: False Modesty, a 45′ 5.7 route.  I had a hard time at the flake at the bottom but otherwise it was easy.

I hope to get back to Rumney Rocks to climb more soon.  I’ve been collecting gear so I have everything I need except the rope.  Climbing is definitely something I’ll be focusing on again in the near future.

Written by Siren

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