Rumney is one of the premier sport climbing destinations in the country. This area has become a focal point of hard sport climbing, with climbers from all over the world visiting during the fall season.
Numerous crags dot the hillside of Rattlesnake Mountain above the sleepy town of Rumney, New Hampshire. Each crag is distinct in character but similar in rock type: schist. It is the rock that sets Rumney apart. The schist is reminiscent to wood, as the rock crystals form a definite "grain."
While many sport climbing areas climb walls, the routes at Rumney climb features, be they aretes, grooves, dikes, corners, or cracks. Therefore, the lines feel more defined than at other climbing areas.
Also, unlike many other sport climbing areas, Rumney offers quality climbs at all grades. From 5.3 to 5.15a, the visiting climber can surely find a challenging and engaging route. Add a supportive and positive local scene, incredible fall colors, and well-equipped routes, and Rumney ranks among the best sport crags on earth.
For more information including the current management plan, new route moratorium areas, where to eat and stay, guides etc. check out the Rumney Climbers Association web site www.climbrumney.com/
Interstate 93 is the main north/south artery in New Hampshire. From all points north or south. Take 93 to exit 26. Follow Rt 25 West for a few miles following signs for the town of Rumney. You will go through a couple sets of lights, then a rotary, and finally 2 blinking yellow lights. At the second blinking light turn right on to Main st. In less than a mile you will be in "downtown" Rumney (a few old white buildings) here you turn left on to Buffalo Rd. The "Rumney Rocks" parking area will be on your right in about a mile.
From points west, take Interstate 91 to highway 25. Head east on this and follow signs to Rumney. From points east, get yourself to 93 and refer to above directions from there.
The parking lot for the cliffs is about one mile west of town, on Buffalo Road.
Attention! DO NOT PARK ON THE ROAD. Locals do not take kindly to cars clogging up this narrow road and your parking there could jeopardize access for everyone. There is also a very good chance your car will be towed. Please try to car pool when ever possible, even if it is from a nearby public lot. If the Rumney lots are full, drive back into the village and you will find free parking behind the library. It is a quick jog back. Of equal importance is DO NOT WALK OR HANG OUT IN THE ROAD! There have been numerous near misses, with cars having to swerve violently out of the way. There are trails from the lots that have been made that get you to all the crags and bouldering areas. If you really must walk along the road, it is imperative that you walk alertly, in single file, on the left and get off the pavement quickly when cars come.
Also note - The Black Jack boulders west of and including the Moat Boulder, North West Territories crag and part of Prudential crag are on private property. The owner is climber friendly, but obviously visitors should be on their best guest behavior. Keep your voices down, don't leave trash, old tarps or wood pallets under the boulders. Particularly, do not bellow profanities. The noise carries right down to his house which is below and can be quite tiresome. This is his property and you are on it at his discretion. Please keep him and his family happy at your presence
The cliffs are complex and many. Ward Smith's guidebook for Rumney is a must.
Lonesome Dove climbs the blunt arete on the right side of the cliff. It is a fairly sustained slab route. I thought the crux was right around the second or third bolt. Above this, the climbing remains sustained, working up small edges and small holds. The last moves getting to the anchors are interesting. You can either go the right and undercling a large flake or use an easy crack system to the left. Fun route that is worth the wait. ...[more]Browse More Classics in NH
By lee hansche Administrator From: goffstown, nh Jul 1, 2007
Today I was outraged to watch as an ignorant redneck threw a half-full Redbull can from his pickup truck at a climber's face....the climber was a nice, unsuspecting dude walking well off the road.... He only sustained a cut on his chin, but WTF? I never thought I'd see that on Buffalo Rd.... We were unable to get the plate number on the truck...bummer....
By Jay Knower Administrator From: Plymouth, NH Feb 15, 2009
Basilisk has scanned Schist Another Hangout, the old guidebook for Rumney. You can download it here.
By lee hansche Administrator From: goffstown, nh Mar 29, 2009
These days id say Mountainproject is a must since this is the best guide to rumney!!! :)
We climbed Rumney last month and loved it! I have to say that the best part of the weekend stay (other than climbing) was camping at Mountain Pine's Campground. It's only about a mile away from the climbs and the owners are amazing. We were there Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday's weather was beautiful, as was Saturday until it started to pour Saturday night. We would have been soaked if the owners hadn't stopped by and put up a canopy so that we could finish cooking dinner. They also wheeled down a whole bunch of fire wood to keep us warm. That's unheard of where I come from. Cheers to the owners!
There is now a small climbing shop at the Tenney mountain Ski Area, they carry petzl, harness, helmets, ropes, biners, draws etc and they have climbing shoes and helmets for rent. There is also a cool zipline canopy tour and mountainside yurts for rent! 888-289-1020 whitemountainexploration.com
By lee hansche Administrator From: goffstown, nh Sep 8, 2009
Until the guide comes out the maps ive been posting can serve as a "Ghetto Guide"... Here is a link to a forum where ive posted the 30+ maps ive put up so far... Print em out and at least you will know most of what is there and how hard it is...
I thing the best thing to put woud be rap rings so people dont top rope of them as much so they wont wear out as fast. it will be very appreciaed if you do change/fix the worn gear we need more people like you.
Hell ive left 4 binders up there already to lower off. Would a 1/2 screw link and a new hanger be sufficient? Although i think quick clips would be a bit easier on some of the harder clips.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Sep 11, 2009
Half inch quicklinks work great. 3/8" is fine for the top ones if you want to save a little. The 1/2" ones take the wear much better. I wouldn't bother with stainless steel quicklinks unless they are on stainless hanger type anchors or spots that stay wet a lot. Just make sure to put 2 on each hanger so the rope will run correctly. Spray them with some grey or black rustolium to take the shine off while you have them at home. I like them better than quickclips for the reason mentioned before; less of an urge to directly TR through them.
I have always been under the impression that 3/8 or bigger and steel is the best bet, i did a little reading and it didn't say anything about stainless vs plated, so I am not sure about that. Anyone else have anything to add? JComeau thank you for the effort you are putting into this, we need more people in the climbing community who are willing to help out.
For me its simple. I climb there. I enjoy the place. I may not climb the hardest routes, but part of its mine and ito me its part of climbing there. Take care of it and it will last. No free rides for me. I dont mind putting in a little effort to pay back the oppurtunity to cimb there.
So as to dispel any rumors about the Firetrucks and Sirens around pole 37 two Saturdays ago: A climber broke his leg while trying to make a ropeless ascent of Supernova. He is fine and expected to make a full recovery. Luckily he had friends with him to aid with the rescue.
Im wondering about climbing at Rumney mid-winter. I would guess there are some cliffs that are better than others, in terms of like sunshine and snowmelt, etc. Does anyone have any advice on this? Probably main cliff and jimmy cliff are good destinations, any others?
Prudential, Waimea, and Monsters are all good winter destinations.
By lee hansche Administrator From: goffstown, nh Jan 14, 2010
Main cliff, prudential and Waimea are the most consistent... yellow knife can be good too as well as darth vader and a couple others
By Jay Knower Administrator From: Plymouth, NH Mar 17, 2010
ATTENTION: In March, 2010, there was a massive rockfall at Main Cliff. It probably originated above Iron Man, Gold Digger, or Rock du Jours. Be extremely careful when hanging out at the base near these routes. This area is very unstable. The possibility of another rockfall appears significant.
Please consider alternate cliffs until this area stabilizes.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Mar 21, 2010
Repost from NEClimbs: I went up last night and early this morning and cleaned off most of the sketchy stuff that I could see. Any of you who were climbing or hanging out below since the avalanche would have been horrified if you had been able to see the stuff above you. A bunch of car hood size chunks slid off with hardly a nudge along with a ton of dinner plate size and smaller.
What originally fell out was a 40 foot wide by 20 plus foot high chunk of stone, from the top pitch of Iron Man all the way over to next to Rock Du Jours at the level of The Thang anchors. It was basically a humongous flake situated in a corner and sitting on a steeply down sloping ledge. It looked like a solid wall from below, the way most saw it, but from the top one could see that it was already detached and had a 9 inch crack behind it. The resulting ledge, once it is cleaned up more and the Thang anchor is replaced, looks like it would be a stunning place for a lunch or safety briefing. You could reach it by traversing in from Rock du Jours easily with some small cams for pro or by climbing the Thang.
Some bad news: I did notice a broken egg that looked like a peregrine's to me and was fresh enough that it had to be from this year. It was probably originally about the size of a hen's egg, browny red with speckles. I don't know much about Peregrines, but hopefully if they aren't disturbed, they will lay another.
Affected routes: The third pitch of Iron Man looks like it will be a lot harder, but still very doable and when it is cleaned up and a new top anchor put in, a nice, exposed, mostly trad test piece. The Thang needs new anchors and a good sweeping of the top. The anchors were in the bottom of the giant missing flake. Rock du Jours seems unaffected. Gold Member and the Goldbug finish need their tops swept off.
I think most of the worst stuff has been removed, but it is probably a good idea to be especially careful where you hang out at the Main Cliff for a while.
The Common Cafe in Rumney New Hampshire has lodging 1/2 mile from The Rocks parking.Small medium and large groups with 28 beds,5 full bathrooms and 4 full kitchens.Check out our websight at thecommoncafeandantiques.com for more info. Its been a great climbing season so come on in and say hello.
By E thatcher From: Plymouth/ North Conway (NH) Oct 20, 2010
Brian and the Commons Cafe provided the climbing community with some awesome coffee for the Nor'easters ACC pancake breakfast. Thanks a lot Brian, I hope visiting climbers recognize your support.
Does anyone know what the official deal is with the expansion of the main cliff parking lot as well the apparent rec path being installed along the road? Will definatly be nice to have a safe walk up to the rest of the mountain.
Relevant info posted at another site - Rumney Rocks Climbing Area is about to get a makeover. Rumney Rocks is a popular Recreation Area located on the White Mountain National Forest in Rumney, NH. Construction crews will be starting the week of October 18th to redesign the Main Cliff Parking Lot and build a section of trail from the lot to the 5.8 Crag. The redesign of the parking lot will seek to improve safety and better define the parking spaces that are available. According to Assistant District Ranger Tom Giles, "We're really excited to get this project started. Improving the safety of our climbers by establishing a trail that parallels Buffalo Road and keeps them from having to walk on Buffalo Road was a key part of this." Giles also pointed out that the funding for this project is coming entirely from the sale of Recreation Passes on the Forest. The Recreation Pass program allows us to keep at least 80% of the fees collected here to invest back onto the White Mountain National Forest. Redesigning Main Cliff Parking Lot is Phase 1 of a more comprehensive project which will eventually establish a trail that parallels Buffalo to connect the Main Parking Lot to the Main Cliff Parking Lot. The Main Parking Lot will also receive a face-lift. The entire project is planned to be completed within the next few years. The Main Cliff Parking Lot will be closed starting October 18 and will remain closed for about four weeks during redesign construction. However, the Main Parking Lot will remain open.
Had the priveledge of being Brian's first guests at the Common Cafe this weekend. Gotta say it was a pleasure, you basically get an apartment 2 minutes from the rocks for $25/night, it simply can't be beat. Great hospitality and equally great grub, thank you Brian!
We have just begun offering space for visiting climbers. We have a 2 floor, 3 BR apartment with a full kitchen, porch, grill, living room & bathroom. It is a 3 minute drive or 15 minute walk to the Rumney Climbing Area. Bed linens are changed after every stay. Rates: 1 person=$60/night, 2p=$80/n, 3p=$100/n,4-6p=$120/n.
We also have tent space and/or a "shack down by the river" with a porch overlooking a tributary to the Baker. The shack doesn't have hot water, but does have an outhouse, grill and running water! River Shack $50/n. Tentspace negotiable.
Just give me a call and we'll talk about what you need and how to accommodate. We are not trying to gouge visitors or anything; just in the process of trying to sell the house and can't take on any long-term tenants at the moment. We would love to have you consider staying with us! Call (603)-731-5733 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info/pictures.
Living room and kitchen! Submitted By: Filip J.M.T. on May 25, 2011
Camping at Mountain Pines Campground. Prices for all rock climbers all year is only $10.00 pp per night. Each site is private, picnic table and fire pit. Hot shower! No Reservations needed! We are open until the snow falls. Located just 2 miles from Rumney Rocks. Camp sites on Baker River.
Address is: 2759 Rte 25 Rumney NH 03266 any questions call 603-786-9955.
Some cool video footage of David Graham, Luke Parady and Joey Kinder from back in the day.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Dec 20, 2011
I added a Southern White Mountains:Rumney conditions section to the www.neclimbs.com/forum.php so you can post up and check current conditions without cluttering it up too much here. If you post conditions there (please do), try to keep it on topic to keep it uncluttered and useful for finding quick information. Thanks.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Jul 9, 2012
A 70 m rope is not required for most of the climbs, but it adds a safety margin to quite a number which are right at the limit of a 60 m and allow linking of some pitches. I would recommend the 70 for the Orange Crush, Main Cliff and a few routes at the Hinterlands/Yellowknife areas.
Hey guys just as a heads up the fixed draws on the roof of man overboard at wieama are NO GOOD, they're groved and cut the sheaf on a French climbers rope yesterday, Luckly we were able to rescue belay him down, but PLEASE PLEASE get te word out, trying to spread the word as much as possible
By lee hansche Administrator From: goffstown, nh Jul 15, 2012
its great that no one was hurt... we knew this was happening but thanks to the never ending ethics war over fixed draws nothing has been done! lets do something before we hear a tragic story instead of a scary one...
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Jul 15, 2012
There is nothing to keep people from removing worn gear but a little effort. Please do so if you see any. The roof of Man Overboard is one place where it seems there is a pretty strong consensus for the need for fixed slings, so if they were replaced with good quality, low visual impact stuff, it would not be a problem. Again, please remove old crappy gear even if you can't replace it, and don't just leave it for the next person. It is much better for somebody to not be able to easily get their redpoint than to have their rope cut.
ClimbTech now offers PermaDraws that have grey (instead of bright blue) tubing covering the cable part of the all-steel draw in an attempt to offer a product that has less visual impact. A significant number of fixed draws at Rumney are past their useful life. My personal opinion is either replace the aluminum and nylon hardware with steel or remove the fixed draw(s) altogether ... before someone gets hurt or dies.
Here's more ethics war material - is the 'techno' ladder at Waimea gone for good or not?
Hey guys, it is really good to hear that the climber is fine and a tragedy was adverted. Up until now I have kept my opinion out of the fixed draw debate because I don't climb the routes with fixed draws, I'm not strong enough. However, I do not see the difference between fixed quickdraws and perma-draws. Quickdraws are fixed on many of the climbs in the .12 and up range. So why not equip them with a safer option? I have never seen anyone remove the draws on any of the routes that are currently fixed so they can hang their own gear. This is just my opinion and I hope it does not created a volatile discussion on the ethics, just seams to me that safety should take a priority. Cheers!
But, I'm having a very hard time seeing this as a battle in an "ethical war," rather than a case of someone who didn't take personal responsibility for his actions and safety and made a bad mistake.
Fortunately, he was very, very lucky.
The draws on "Man Overboard" have been there for a long time, too long... Was it responsible behavior to blindly trust a piece of gear that has been technically "abandoned" for years?
Obviously, there were other climbers at the cliff at the time: was it responsible behavior for the all knowledgeable "locals" not to point out that the draws are old and crappy? (After all, we're told in the above post that, "we knew this was happening....")
Did the climber have any responsibility to look at the gear and make an informed, personal decision as to his own safety?
Consider this: If you were going to try a route with the potential for a big whipper 70' off the ground and the "fixed" draws" were tatty, sun-bleached and worn would you:
a) Say "Wow, they look bad, I don't know if I can trust them, I could die, I guess I'll hang my own...."
b) Say "Wow, they look bad, I don't know if I can trust them, I could die, but I'll just go for it...."
c) Not even realize that a natural, outdoor climbing crag is NOT the same as a climbing gym (which are: for-profit, insurance regulated, micro-managed for safety,) and just assume that "someone else" is making it safe for me, and there is no need for me to have the faintest clue of how bad a mistake I could be making...
I believe it's dishonest to try to blame this near tragedy on a lack of support for putting perma-draws on every bolt of every hard route at Rumney.
It was human error that placed the fixed draws on the route, it was human error that didn't remove them when they got tatty, it was human error when no one warned the unfortunate climber of the bad condition of the draws, and it was human error when he clipped the draws....
Doesn't sound like there was any "ethics" involved...
If safety is the main concern, isn't it more safe for each individual climber be responsible for at least their own quick-draws?
It seems to me that instead of trying to play the blame game about something that has already happened it would be much more productive to come up with a solution so that an issue like this doesn't come up again. After all Rumney is an area of growing popularity, and I can only foresee more epics like this happening.
Mountain Pines Campground has plenty of sites available for Labor Day Weekend! No Reservations needed! Private sites, fire pit, picnic table, waterfront, bath house free hot showers. 2759 Rte 25, Rumney NH 603-786-9955.
someonre wrote: "We were climbing on Orangahang at Orange Crush on August 30th and another climber pointed out to us that one of the hanging draws had a really sharp carabiner on it. In view of the July incident, seems like it would be a good idea to watch for that draw and not use it."
i'm sorry if i sound like a "jerk" but a better idea would be to simply replace the "really sharp carabiner" with one of your own.
after all, someone else: cleaned the route for you, bolted the route, for you, built the trail to it, for you, squabbled with the forest service so you can climb there, for you... built the original parking lot, for you.
perhaps the least you could do to pay back some of the effort that others have done is to think: "wow, that biners worn out and dangerous... maybe i'll replace with one of my own...."
now is the time for YOU to do something to give back. it'd would be a "karma thing..."
if you climb there and something looks like it needs fixing, step up, do the right thing, and just fix it...
you don't have to coordinate with anyone, you don't have to be a member of the RCA, you don't have to spray on the internet, just fix the problem.
posting about it on the internet is not fixing it.
if the biner is worn, take it down and replace it....
Great place to stay is Mountain Pines Campground. Not a far drive from Rumney and the owners are pretty chill. I believe the address is 2759 New Hampshire 25, Rumney, NH. It's a little further down the road than where the GPS will take you.
This is a question at large. What is the ethics with replacing worn out perma gear on routes? if i decide to zone in to a project and feel like the gear on the route is dangerously worn, can i go ahead and replace it? if i decide to discard the worn out aluminum biners and replace them by long lasting steel ones, is that cool?
Thanks in advance for the opinions guys and gals.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England May 11, 2013
I assume you mean fixed draws and maybe the rings/clippies at the anchor. As far as worn fixed draws, there is no ethical quandary. Remove them. Better to have nothing there than warn out stuff. As far as replacing them, the last time the RCA had a vote on fixed draws it was decided in order to keep the numbers in control and not push against the Forest Service’s strictures against them too much, to limit them to crags further from the road (primarily Waimea and parts of Orange Crush and a few individual routes or bolts where they were really needed). A further cut off of 5.12 and up was decided on (again to keep the numbers down and various other reasons like use patterns etc.) The RCA is currently working (verry sloowly)on formulating an updated plan for fixed draws, so in the mean time, I think if the route you have in mind follows the guidelines above and you really think it needs them, go ahead and replace them. Just use good quality gear that isn’t garishly colored. I think a good balance for those replacing or putting up fixed draws to reign in the fixed draw creep is at the same time find a route with fixed draws that isn’t really being used much and remove them. It is a good way for people to make more effort to inspect the stuff that is already up more. As far as replacing worn anchors, if you can exchange them for some nice fat ½” quicklinks or heavy stainless rings, everybody will appreciate that.
Contact the RCA for more information. Here on MP I know smithbro is one of the board members and might have more detailed info.
Phil, I, for one, applaud your willingness to switch out manky aluminum biners for steel ones. On high traffic'ed route, I believe the move from al to steel is the right way to go as long as we are going to let the fixed draws remain on the route. I have climbed many of the moderate, most popular routes this Spring and I have yet to see anything too worn at the top anchors. Granted I have not been on Masterpiece this year yet.
twellman-- I've always used my national parks pass and I've never had an issue (in terms of getting a ticket). I believe that somewhere (perhaps on the parking lot signs) it says that the pass is accepted. I simply leave the card on my dash.
Cool, thanks for the update Lee. I should of checked the monsters page thread. I will say the cliff looks noticebly cleaner, glad it was part of a clean up effort and not some random act of a hyper opinionated individual. Do you think other cliffs will also see a stripping of old fixed gear? Waiema?
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Jul 1, 2013
It was great seeing so many individuals and groups show up for all the trail work, route maintenance etc.
We were thinking to cycle through the crags, not all at once, but frequently enough to try to keep old and worn gear from building up. I high percentage of the fixed gear at Monsters was in a sorry state. If we can, we will try to post up a warning here and/ or on the RCA website so people can get any personal project draws off beforehand, but do remember that the 14 day rule of the Forest Service is still in place. They have been patient with us and are cognizant of the need for some of them, but they are not blind to the proliferation. It may not be possible to give prior warning since it is volunteer and a lot of work.
Everyone can help by not leaving gear up on routes that aren't being actively used or which is easily placed and removed such as with a stickclip (like ones at hip height at Monsters). Don't be absolutely completely lazy please. Remove old worn gear when you see it too, instead of expecting somebody else to do it. Lots of people put effort and time into placing fixed gear and dragging tarps and other things into the crags, but not so many into removing it all when it becomes trash.