Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
New Hampshire
Select Area...
* Ice and Mixed Climbing 
*Cannon Cliff  
*Cathedral Ledge 
*Pawtuckaway 
*Rumney 
*Whitehorse Ledge 
Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee 
Great North Woods Region 
Lakes Region 
Southern NH and Seacoast 
WM: Albany Area 
WM: Bartlett / Jackson Area 
WM: Crawford Notch 
WM: Evans Notch 
WM: Franconia Notch 
WM: Kancamagus (Central) 
WM: Kancamagus (Eastern) 
WM: Kinsman Notch 
WM: Lincoln Area 
WM: North Conway 
WM: Oliverian Notch 
WM: Pinkham / Presidentials 
WM: Waterville Valley 
WM: Zealand Road / Notch  
Ze Indoor Climbing Gyms 
ZZ Temporary AREA for holding routes  

New Hampshire Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 43.5804, -71.7188 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,277,520
Administrators: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey.LeCours, Robert Hall, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jay Knower on Oct 11, 2006
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [12 people like this page.]
Remember your first time in the mountains? Franco...

Description 

New Hampshire is the Granite State. The state motto is "Live Free or Die." Need more be said?
Rock Climbing Photo: Overview of the regions  Map modified from origina...

Overview of the regions
Map modified from original in visitnh.gov/information/about-...

Actually though, the rock in this state comes in many forms, from the rounded boulders of *Pawtuckaway in the South to the clean fractured granite of *Cannon Cliff in the North. We even have a world class sport climbing area, though the cliffs at *Rumney are mostly schist. On the other side of the mountains, North Conway has its own scene and two of the best trad cliffs around. Cathedral and *Whitehorse Ledges are just minutes from town. All of this within a state that is small enough to fit into some of your National Parks out West.

Whether you consider yourself a hard core traditionalist or a sport climbing wunderkind, there is a wealth of climbing to be found in this small state. Plus, there's some die-hard Libertarian blood around here, so don't expect to pay any taxes. And fall around these parts can be pretty close to heaven.

New Hampshire's Regions 

The Monadnock Region, Merrimack Valley, and the Seacoast have been grouped into a single subarea: Southern NH and Seacoast. *Pawtuckaway is a premiere bouldering destination in southern NH and is listed on the main page

The Lakes Region has undergone some major development in the New Durham Area, specifically at Longstack Precipice and Devil's Den by the Chinos Mountain Club. *Rumney is located within the Lakes Region map but is such a popular destination we've kept it on the main page.

The White Mountains region holds the majority of New Hampshire's climbing with a true mix of sport, traditional, and outback alpine experiences. We've broken this region into subareas (prefixed with WM) based on pockets of climbing areas, frequently named after the notch or town they are near. A rough overview map of the White Mountain region is here The most popular areas (*Cannon Cliff , *Cathedral Ledge, and *Whitehorse Ledge) are currently listed on the main page.

The Great North Woods region may be better documented by areas in the * Ice and Mixed Climbing section. This region has yet to be documented as well as the White Mountains but there is certainly plenty to explore here.

Getting There 

Despite its diminutive size, New Hampshire should be found on most maps of the U.S.

Manchester hosts a major regional airport and would be the airport of choice for areas in the western part of the state (Rumney, Cannon etc. about 1 1/4 hr drive).

Portland, Maine has a good airport, and is only about 1 1/4 - 1/2 hr drive to areas like Cathedral and Whitehorse in the eastern part of the state. [Take Maine Rt 22W to Rt 114N to Rt 25W to Rt 113N to Rt 302W in Fryeburg ME, then 302W into North Conway; do NOT take Rt 302 all the way, esp. in summer)

The Boston airport is less than a three hour drive from most points in the state.

Ethics 

The climbing areas in New Hampshire display diverse ethics, though some common threads can be found. No chipping, drilling of holds, or modifying of existed routes. Beyond that, consider the local area's specific ethics. What's acceptable at Rumney might not be acceptable at Cathedral, for example. If you have any questions, ask a local, get a consensus (no small feat, to be sure), and think before you act.

For those needing to study the Forest Management Plan 2005, last revised 2009, there is the link. The most climber relevant sections are (section-page) climbing: 1-14, 1-15, 2-22, 2-23, 3-15, 3-77>78 wilderness:1-22, 3-9>18, 3-47

Vegetation 

Rock Climbing Photo: This is a picture of a boy being eaten by a tree o...
This is a picture of a boy being eaten by a tree on a winter ascent of Rock Rimmon... the trees get hungry...

New Hampshire has no shortage of vegetation growing on the rock. While climbers should try to be respectful of the local flora, sometimes it feels like we are fighting a losing battle with the mosses, bushes, and trees that continually try to engulf the rock. It's not uncommon to find that a cleaned route has returned to its original scruffy state after only a year of neglect. The remedy? Get out and climb the routes!

Peregrines 

Please note that seasonal peregrine closures affect many cliffs in the state. Please check the information kiosks for more information. The closures are usually clearly marked.

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 5.6 miles from here

4,130 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',261],['3 Stars',1441],['2 Stars',1640],['1 Star',673],['Bomb',54]
['<=5.6',406],['5.7',280],['5.8',334],['5.9',340],['5.10',477],['5.11',369],['5.12',241],['5.13',80],['>=5.14',11],['',0],['<=V1',260],['V2-3',579],['V4-5',237],['V6-7',141],['V8-9',72],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',38],['>=V14',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in New Hampshire

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for New Hampshire:
Clip a Dee Doo Dah   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a     Sport, 2 pitches, 300'   *Rumney : Jimmy Cliff
Standard Route   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R     Trad, 9 pitches, 1100'   *Whitehorse Ledge : 7. The Slabs
Black Dike   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b WI4-5 M3     Mixed, Ice, 3 pitches, 400'   * Ice and Mixed Climbing : Cannon Ice Climbs
Thin Air   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 4 pitches, 300'   *Cathedral Ledge : Thin Air Face
Whitney Gilman Ridge   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 600'   *Cannon Cliff : 1. Whitney-Gilman Area
Moby Grape   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches   *Cannon Cliff : 4. Moby Grape Area
Metamorphosis   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch   *Rumney : Armed and Dangerous Area (M...
Junco   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   *Rumney : Jimmy Cliff
Recompense   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 400'   *Cathedral Ledge : The Prow Area
They Died Laughing   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   *Cathedral Ledge : The North End
Lonesome Dove   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport   *Rumney : Jimmy Cliff
Underdog   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   *Rumney : Main Cliff
Armed and Dangerous, and Off My Medication   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   *Rumney : Armed and Dangerous Area (M...
VMC Direct Direct   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 800'   *Cannon Cliff : 3. Big Wall
Peer Pressure   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   *Rumney : Bonsai
Waimea   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   *Rumney : Waimea
Flying Hawaiian   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   *Rumney : Waimea
The Prow   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, 6 pitches, 350'   *Cathedral Ledge : The Prow Area
Technosurfing   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   *Rumney : Waimea
Predator   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch   *Rumney : Orange Crush
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in New Hampshire

Featured Route For New Hampshire
Rock Climbing Photo: Percolate

Percolate WI3-4 M2 PG13  NH : * Ice and Mixed Climbing : West Rattlesnake Ice
rare but when it's in, its fun.Climb the narrow flow up to a crack. follow the crack. Crack may or may not be filed with ice. Optional second pitch, a short easy crack climb to the top of the cliffs or move left for walk off....[more]   Browse More Classics in NH

Photos of New Hampshire Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Kayte Knower making the clip at the start of the c...
Kayte Knower making the clip at the start of the c...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chistopher Denver, getting ready to crank a new ro...
Chistopher Denver, getting ready to crank a new ro...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bouldering in NH.  photo: Ryan Nicholson
Bouldering in NH. photo: Ryan Nicholson
Rock Climbing Photo: The Presidentials from South Twin Mountain
The Presidentials from South Twin Mountain
Rock Climbing Photo: Just a few photos of NH climbing I put into a coll...
Just a few photos of NH climbing I put into a coll...
Rock Climbing Photo: Acworth
Acworth
Rock Climbing Photo: Hikers on top of Middle Sugarloaf
Hikers on top of Middle Sugarloaf
Rock Climbing Photo: Sugar High project ****
Sugar High project ****
Rock Climbing Photo: Bondcliff (4,698 ft.) - Pemigewasset Wilderness
Bondcliff (4,698 ft.) - Pemigewasset Wilderness
Rock Climbing Photo: Olga Mirkina starting up a TR run of "Fat and...
Olga Mirkina starting up a TR run of "Fat and...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cannon Mtn/Cliff and Mt. Lincoln
Cannon Mtn/Cliff and Mt. Lincoln
Rock Climbing Photo: Stairs Mtn
Stairs Mtn
Rock Climbing Photo: If you've trad climbed a lot in NH, you will find ...
If you've trad climbed a lot in NH, you will find ...
Rock Climbing Photo: heading into crawford notch for another climbing a...
heading into crawford notch for another climbing a...
Rock Climbing Photo: Overview of the WM: areas original map from visitn...
Overview of the WM: areas original map from visitn...
Rock Climbing Photo: In Days of Old
In Days of Old
Rock Climbing Photo: The Guides Wall,Cathedral and Humphrey's seen from...
The Guides Wall,Cathedral and Humphrey's seen from...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cannon Cliff while driving north on interstate 93.
Cannon Cliff while driving north on interstate 93.
Rock Climbing Photo: Really fun boulder problem in the Hanover area.
Really fun boulder problem in the Hanover area.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tim getting the beta right.
Tim getting the beta right.
Rock Climbing Photo: A night bouldering session in the woods of NH.
A night bouldering session in the woods of NH.
Rock Climbing Photo: 40 foot monster at the Sugar Maple Grove Boulders,...
40 foot monster at the Sugar Maple Grove Boulders,...
Rock Climbing Photo: chinos mt club,watch out here we come!
chinos mt club,watch out here we come!
Rock Climbing Photo: East flank of Mt. Washington and the Presidentials
East flank of Mt. Washington and the Presidentials

Show All 50 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on New Hampshire Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 10, 2016
By Jay Knower
Administrator
From: Campton, NH
Feb 1, 2008
All of New Hampshire's ice and alpine climbs have been moved so that they can be found under a single heading. If you are looking for (or planning on adding to) the ice routes in the database, then click on "NH Ice and Alpine Climbing" above.
By john strand
From: southern colo
May 22, 2008
I do not climb in the area anymore since I live in southern colo now, but I would really like to contribute some routes and/or comments.
I have about 25 years climbing in NH as well as the rest of New England including about 50 F/A,s

Big question- most of my photos are slides, can these be scanned and put on the site ?\\

talk soon ,

john
By jason seaver
From: Estes Park, CO
May 27, 2008
Hi John, I'd love to see some of your photos on this site. It would be great to have some contributions / stories from your days around NE. I know your slides can be scanned but you need a slide scanner which might be expensive, I don't know. Maybe you know someone with one?

Anyone else have better advice?

Cheers, Jason
By jason seaver
From: Estes Park, CO
May 27, 2008
Nice..... Thanks Bob.

John, I'll look forward to seeing your photos and contributions.

I love that photo in Webster's guidebook of you on Unwanted Guests. I've rapped past those non-existent footholds, and have always wondered what the hell you were standing on in that photo.

Good luck, Jason
By john strand
From: southern colo
Jun 24, 2008
Please check for seasonal Peregrine closures throughout the state
By matthewWallace
From: plymouth, nh
Jan 7, 2009
I have a question, I hiked Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness NH this is the mountain that looks over Squam Lake, not the one in Rumney, while doing this I walked down infront of the slabs there and found three short sport routes four or five bolts a piece, does anybody know anyting about these routes, before I get on them? Also does anybody know Trad routes that are there.


Thank you for any help in advance.
By matthewWallace
From: plymouth, nh
Jan 13, 2009
I am curious if anyone else thinks putting up indoor gyms on this site would be a good idea. I believe it would be because it would provided places for people to train and for people to go on bad outdoor days, also it will benefit the climbing community by developing newer climbers and it will benefit the gyms by bringing in new customers.

There would have to be regulations for this such as not posting routes it would just be a way to get the gyms more known and develop the climbing community.

What are your thoughts...
By Ladd
Administrator
Jan 14, 2009
We already invented the wheel on that one.

??
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Apr 30, 2009
jakob and i climbed cathedral, whitehorse, and cannon cliff within 17 hrs the other day (and night)... The idea was to do what we see as the 3 proudest cliffs in a day or so... now that we see how fun and easy it was taking the moderate routes we are thinking of doing some harder routes in the same style... here is a video of the adventure:
By Jay Knower
Administrator
From: Campton, NH
May 1, 2009
Nice video Lee. I especially like the Cannon footage. Wind blowing, getting lost. It really captures the Cannon experience.
By Peter Beal
From: Boulder Colorado
May 1, 2009
Agreed, though the Cathedral footage was a bit underexposed:) Thanks for posting it!
By matthewWallace
From: plymouth, nh
May 1, 2009
Lee cool video looks like a fun way to spend 17hrs...
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
May 1, 2009
Yeah peter i was bummed about how dark to night footage was... but it was an important part of the adventure... glad you liked it over all...
By Peter Beal
From: Boulder Colorado
May 2, 2009
Bombardment was my first 5.8 lead way way back and still stands as one of the great pitches of the grade in NH.
By matthewWallace
From: plymouth, nh
May 18, 2009
I heard a rumor of a multipitch slab climb in Crawford Notch (Willey Slide area?). The description I recieved was three maybe four pitches of 5.6ish slab climbing anyone know anything about this?
By nhclimber
From: Newmarket, NH
May 19, 2009
TONS of climbing in Crawford notch. Mt Webster slabs has old and new routes some documented (bore tide, lost in the sun), some not. Mt willard has a ton of classics. Lots of slab climbing with a traditional bolting ethic.
By Adam Wilcox
From: Candia, NH
May 19, 2009
Yeah, Lost in the Sun (5.5) and Bore Tide (5.6). Each is 6-8 pitches or so. You park at the Willey Slide turn out, cross the river and wander up to the Slabs on Mt. Webster. You can find directions and a topo at NEClimbs.

I climbed Lost in the Sun in October '07 as my first decent multipitch trad climb. It was a good experience, and with more efficiency than I had at the time you could bag both routes in a day easily. All the belays are bolted and you'll only need a light rack. You will need two ropes to rap, as the routes don't top out. I'd reccomend going during a dry spell, lots of the protection bolts were under running water and I had to trailblaze on easy runout ground a little.
By nhclimber
From: Newmarket, NH
Jul 20, 2009
I was going to add some routes on sundown's outback cliff, but I didn't think that they really belong in the same section. It would be like lumping painted walls and rainbow slab together. Actually those cliffs are closer together than sundown main cliff and the outback cliff. Any thoughts?
By Jay Knower
Administrator
From: Campton, NH
Aug 18, 2009
I combined all of the crags off the Kanc into the Kancamagus Crags area. This includes Sundown, Woodchuck, Painted Walls, etc.

I also added Sundown's Outback Cliff under that area. Having never climbed there, I don't know much about it. Nhclimber, it would be great if you would add routes/info to that cliff.
By nhclimber
From: Newmarket, NH
Aug 18, 2009
I'll get some info up, thanks for adding it.
By Jay Knower
Administrator
From: Campton, NH
Apr 2, 2010
A Granite State of Mind:
By Mike C. Robinson
From: Rumney, NH
Jun 22, 2010
Please help me with the name aof the boulder at the rest stop off of 93 south between exit 20 and exit 18
By Jay Knower
Administrator
From: Campton, NH
Jun 23, 2010
Mike, I'm not sure of the name. It looks cool, though.
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Jun 23, 2010
i always called it the rest stop boulder... i dont know any names or grades but ive poked around on it... i know brett myers and company climbed some hard-ish highballs on the big boulder years ago...
By matthewWallace
From: plymouth, nh
Jun 23, 2010
Is it generally accepted to on the Rest Stop Boulder?I have seen it a few times from the highway and didnt know if it was ok to climb there.
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Jun 23, 2010
as far as i know climbing at the rest stop is legit...
By bradley white
From: Bend
Jul 19, 2010
The rest stop boulder was climbed in 1982? by Tom Bowker and Jay Golden. They may have actually led something up it, besides top roping on it.
By Mike C. Robinson
From: Rumney, NH
Aug 10, 2010
I spoke with a couple of the folks that work at this rest stop and no problems with climbing there, I cleaned a couple of (new?) lines on the right corner of the boulder as you are walking to it from the parking lot, V4ish and very good!
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Nov 7, 2012
This Friday Vertical Dreams Nashua will be hosting a Community Bouldering Fundraiser to support the Access Fund (the people who secured Rumney access for all of us)... Lets give back!
Friday the 9th from 7pm-10pm, $20 gets you all new boulder problems! Pizza! and we have a pile of prizes and swag for you!!!!!!!!
By James Otey
From: NH
Jan 2, 2013
Join us this Saturday January 5th for the Grand Opening of Evolution Rock + Fitness, New Hampshire's newest climbing gym. We will be holding tons of promotional events, and expect a high energy day among community locals. For details check out evolutionrock.com. We'd love to see you there!

Part of the proceeds will be going directly to the RCA.
By Jeffrey.LeCours
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Apr 20, 2014
Was Joe English Hill (New Boston AF tracking station) removed from the site recently? I vaguely recall it having a section at mentioning that access was uncertain but I at least remember their being a page of discussion. Is anyone certain?
By Glenn Cilley
From: Laconia, NH
Apr 22, 2014
I have a Joe English guide book
By Jeffrey.LeCours
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Apr 23, 2014
Glenn, a physical copy of the one from Paul Duval from the late 70's? As a collector, I'm super jealous! Shoot me an e-mail if you'd let me sneak a peak - first beer is on me! :D
By Glenn Cilley
From: Laconia, NH
Apr 24, 2014
Jeff I could only find Rock Rimmon and Pawtuckaway I will try to find it, I know I have it
By Charlie Boulanger
From: Tilton, New Hampshire
May 1, 2015
Has anyone picked this guide up? I cant find any references to it anywhere but their website.

pawtuckawayclimbing.us/
By M Sprague
Administrator
From: New England
May 4, 2015
I have it and generally like it. Some will be annoyed that the author used ski grades rather than V grades, doesn't give FA information and a couple of the areas were deliberately left light on details to keep the adventure. The book does have excellent photos with topos and maps though. It is by far the best for the area that I know of and should help you find a good time.
By M Sprague
Administrator
From: New England
May 22, 2015
It is kind of crazy that there is no entry for even the general Kinsmman Notch area yet except a little in the ice section. Anyone with some knowledge and a bit of writing skill to help us out? It doesn't seem like John is ever going to get a new edition of 'Secrets of the Notch' out;) (Come on, John!)
By Mike Thompson
From: Manchester NH
Aug 27, 2015
I agree with Mark, I would love to see some info on the climbing in kinsman!

also, I love the new set up of the NH page! dividing it up between the areas was quite smart.
By caesar.salad
From: earth
Sep 1, 2015
Ditto, I also love the new setup. Great job. Just FYI though Rattlesnake Mountain is part of the White Mountain National Forest (the parts that aren't privately owned, anyway).
By M Sprague
Administrator
From: New England
Mar 10, 2016
"Just FYI though Rattlesnake Mountain is part of the White Mountain National Forest"
It is, but map wise it is in the NW tongue of the blue "lakes region" of the visitNH.gov regional overview map, probably because of Stinson Lake, just north of Rumney Village.

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!