At the cross-roads of many of Rumney's upper crags, the compact upper and lower walls of Darth Vader offer routes ranging from 5.4 to 5.12. This crag is a popular destination for intermediate climbers and a heavily traveled warm up area.
The main attraction to this crag are arguably THE two best 5.9s at Rumney: Yoda (5.9) and Obi-Won-Ryobi (5.9+). These side-by-side climbs at "Lower 'Vader" offer stellar moves and are literally right off of the trail en route to Waimea and the other upper crags. If there is not a line for these climbs, it is hard to find excuse not to run up them! Lower Vader is also home the crag's only 5.12s, which are seldom done and often overlooked.
Upper Vader is a good choice for intermediates and groups, as there is a 5.4, 5.6, 5.7, and 5.8 next to each other on the far right end of the wall. The left end of Upper Vader offers two short and pumpy climbs: Three Easy Pieces (5.11a) and Easter Squal (5.10d).
this video has most of the routes at Darth Vadar on it.
Park in the far lot, walk down the road, start hiking at the woods at utility pole #37. Follow engraved wooden signs for "Waimea" or "Darth Vader." Hike up the progressively steepening trail while passing a few large boulders on the left side of the trail. The first crag you get to will be Lower Vader. To get to Upper Vader, walk to climber's right of Lower Vader and take a left up a steep trail. Take the next Left possible, which may or may not be obscured by a fallen tree.
Yoda is what I look for in a 5.9 sport climb, and is one of my favorite warm-ups... Also a very popular first 5.9 lead....For a relatively short climb, you will get a great variety of movements and techniques out of it....A steep, strong start leads to a great foot hold out right where you rest a minute and figure out this cruxy section (jamming and fingerlocking will help) as you get over the bulge, but most people just keep pulling till the angle eases up a bit.... A short slab leads to a crac...[more]Browse More Classics in NH