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Bolt Line 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c PG13

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Bradley White, 1985
Page Views: 4,417
Submitted By: Steve Marr on Feb 26, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (157)
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Dave finishing a long and fun day on Bolt Line!

Note: New route moratorium area MORE INFO >>>


Bolt Line is one of the longer climbs at the Meadows and offers approximately 70 feet of fairly sustained climbing at the grade. The common start (5.8) is right of the bolt line and works back left to the first bolt. There are a couple of alternative direct starts in the 5.10 or 5.11 range. Climb the face past seven bolts to the anchors. There is a bit of a runout between the seventh bolt and the anchor (protectable with a #4 RP). Fun route.


Located on the face just to the left of the prominent left-leaning flake on Beginner’s Route. Starts behind a large tree.


7 bolts to Quick Clip anchors.

Photos of Bolt Line Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: A climber starting out on the some what bouldery s...
A climber starting out on the some what bouldery s...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber leading Bolt Line.
Climber leading Bolt Line.
Rock Climbing Photo: Bolt Line (5.8, center), Cold Turkey (5.10c, left)...
BETA PHOTO: Bolt Line (5.8, center), Cold Turkey (5.10c, left)...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bolt Line in its original state (circa 1992) - 5.7...
Bolt Line in its original state (circa 1992) - 5.7...
Rock Climbing Photo: Kristen finishing a TR on Bolt Line - Loving the s...
Kristen finishing a TR on Bolt Line - Loving the s...
Rock Climbing Photo: Dave on Bolt Line and another climber in the back ...
Dave on Bolt Line and another climber in the back ...

Comments on Bolt Line Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 12, 2015
By ri.
Oct 26, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Personally one of my favorites at the Meadows and an awesome intro into run out slab.
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Nov 1, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Who says that sport climbers can't climb slabs?

This was my one and only solo climb at Rumney. Never again...never again.
By BTodd
May 26, 2008

I felt it was a little difficult for the grade, but maybe because I don't love slab climb as much as other types...
By matthewWallace
From: plymouth, nh
Mar 22, 2009
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

this was my first 5.8 lead... that run out at the top sure was exciting its not so bad now but having never been on the sharp end on a 5.8 it was scary to say the route though
Apr 16, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Run out slab!! the first move is the only interesting one! If you like slab climb somewhere else! Rumney rocks because it avoid slab you find everywhere!!!!
By matthewWallace
From: plymouth, nh
Apr 16, 2009
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

BiRD i agree this sint the best route in rumney but a no star rating dont know if it deserves that? IMHO
By Pal Pocsi
From: Budapest, Hungary
Oct 18, 2009

I climbed this yesterday and really enjoyed it. The runout at the end is not too bad either, it's definitely the easiest section of the route. Good slab practice. Whenever you think hand holds have run out, just work your feet higher and trust that hand holds will appear for you as you get higher. Sure enough, they do!
By Glenn Cilley
From: Laconia, NH
Mar 19, 2010

I use to put a very small nut in between the last bolt and the top of the cliff, when there was only 3 bolts, don't know if it would of held a fall but it looked good.
By Barrett Stetson
Jul 16, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

It's a fun slabby climb, if you like those, I would do it. I found it scarier trying to get to the first bolt than I did that bit of run out at the top, much worse stuff to fall on before that first bolt is clipped imo.
By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Jul 27, 2010

Bolt Line felt a bit like a Tuolumne Mdws slab climb. A great slab climb, with excellent protection. It must have been great fun with just the three bolts. IMHO, getting to the 1st bolt was more traumatic than the runout to the anchors.
By S. Neoh
Jul 28, 2010

I led this route back in the summer of 1993 or '94.
I remember using 2 or 3 trad pieces in addition to the bolts. It also seems to me that there were more than 3 bolts on this climb back then. Perhaps I was just bolder! :) The start (before the 1st bolt) got my attention, so did the ending (easy but runout and I did not place a trad piece). I should repeat the route one of these days.
By Matt Wilson
From: Vermont, USA
Apr 4, 2012

Talk about run out. This route got me thinking several times. It felt a tad harder than the slab section of Cold Turkey (or maybe the slab section of Cold Turkey just feels easy after doing the bottom?) Either way, a good practice for beginning leaders looking to improve their lead head (me being on of them).
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Apr 4, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Very fun, featured slab climbing. I'm not sure why folks are calling this runout, because it is quite safely bolted.
By Matt Wilson
From: Vermont, USA
May 9, 2012

Oh it is certainly safely bolted. However, I think a combination of the consistent 5.8 climbing combined with the fact that most Rumney climbs are not slab and are more frequently bolted because of that, makes this one feel run out in comparison. Still, if it were up to me, I would not add any bolts. This is an excellent climb for the aspiring leader to work on their lead head.
By Jeffrey.LeCours
From: New Hampshire
Jul 20, 2012

"85 for the date so they tell me. A face climbing slab started out with three hardware store bolts. I didn't realize at the time what a trend rappel bolting would become. The old timers then seeing what I had done to the practice slab said, "well, there goes the neighborhood". According to Ed Webster's 2nd Edition Climbing Guide, 1985 is the date. I'll have to believe that's the date. Also this date makes it the second rappel anchored route because 'Buried Treasure' was the first recorded route with a anchored bolt by rappel by Ted Hammond and Bob Pike in 1984.
'Bolt Line' was the first route entirely bolt protected though. In 2006 at the top of the Monolith Crag on the western side, there is a 2 bolt anchor that had to be done on rappel. The rest of the bolts could have been placed on the lead using radical hooking aid techniques or were also placed on rappel. The bolts are made from galvanized steel, have no hangers and are still body weight strong or stronger. The same bolts without hangers are on the 'Lone Ranger'. So the first rappel bolting was done by him or her way back when, then?"

Comment by bradley white on July 13th, 2008 4:46 am
By Hans Weber
From: Hudson, NH
Aug 4, 2015

Sunday afternoon I witnessed a kid take a 40 foot tumbling whipper while attempting to clip the anchors. He was knocked out cold for several minutes and suffered 2 gashes on his head along with a concussion, dislocated shoulder and broken collarbone. I had previously read comments about the lengthy run-out before the chains and wondered why an 8th bolt wasn't installed for safety reasons, especially considering this is a novice route. Maybe this kid and his belayer were a little too inexperienced to be lead climbing outdoors, but nonetheless, I feel like this was an accident waiting to happen. What's the protocol with adding bolts at Rumney? Any feedback would be much appreciated, thanks!

By Matt Levine
From: Concord, NH
Aug 4, 2015

Hans, that's a shame you had to see that happen and I wish the climber a speedy recovery but I wouldn't necessarily call Bolt Line a "novice" route.

Was the fall actually 40 feet? I've unfortunately taken that exact fall by accident and it was lengthy but definitely not 40 feet.
By Hans Weber
From: Hudson, NH
Aug 5, 2015

Sorry Matt I didn't have my tape measure with me. Do you know who I can talk to about possibly adding another bolt or were you just trolling around the comments section?
By M Sprague
From: New England
Aug 5, 2015

The route was already retrobolted and is fine. The kids were in over their heads. It is impossible to make a climb completely safe for everyone.
By Matt Levine
From: Concord, NH
Aug 5, 2015

Hans, not trolling at all....not sure why you think that. It was an honest question.

Have a good one. Again, sorry you had to witness that as I'm sure it wasn't pretty. Glad the kid didn't end up any worse.
By Hans Weber
From: Hudson, NH
Aug 5, 2015

Sorry for being a jerk Matt, I apologize. I'm not sure if it was 40 feet, but it sure looked like it to me. He was at the anchors and when the rope caught him he was hanging below the 4th bolt. I see a lot of nasty stuff in my profession so it didn't bother me much, but the other witnesses were quite shaken up to say the least.

And M Sprague, the kids probably were a little over their heads, you're right. I just thought that I could help make this moderate line at a very popular crag a little safer, that's all.
By M Sprague
From: New England
Aug 5, 2015

I understand Hans. Once you start placing fixed gear it makes sense to have them bolted reasonably safely, and I have been a party to upgrading many routes at Rumney. There is a point though.. Sometimes at Rumney it is necessary to have quite close bolts to keep leaders from hitting a ledge, but if you try to make it so safe that even somebody completely over their head and with a bad belayer can't hurt themselves, it ends up detracting from the enjoyment of the rest of the climbers.
If it was a brand new route I was putting up, I might use one more bolt, but it is a Bradley White route put up in the '80s, and has already had some bolts added to get it out of the R rating. I don't think it needs to be completely neutered. Bradley seems to be around, so it ultimately is up to him, being his route.
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Aug 5, 2015

Again, with empathy to the injured climber, my mind goes directly to how to better educate new climbers rather than how to dumb down the climbs to better suit unprepared parties.
I try to do my part to teach safe climbing practices which is what i personally do for a living but it is something the entire community should be united in. I don't see it as much as i once did... or perhaps its the sheer mass of new climbers out there that makes it hard to reach people.
By Dale K
Aug 10, 2015

We were there to help, it was a party of 3, one was not a climber, they only climbed 3 other climbs ever, is what one of them told me unless I miss-understood them. The belayer was really shook up bad and as stated above the climber didn't fair so well. At least there was plenty of good help around, guides and emt's just happened to be near. Best wishes to all of them for a quick recovery.
By Hans Weber
From: Hudson, NH
Aug 12, 2015

I don't think they were very experienced and maybe operator error played a part, I just hope people are aware of the run-out and properly prepare themselves before attempting this route (and all routes for that matter!).

And I agree Lee, the overall focus should be on teaching necessary skills and educating ourselves about the dangers of the sport, rather than making climbs fool proof. However this particular route just seems a liiittle too spicy for a bolted moderate... but we can agree to disagree i guess :)

Glad the PG-13 rating was added, thanks Mark! And a speedy recovery to the injured climber!

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