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Routes in Main Cliff

Ali Babbler S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
As The World Burns S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Beat Junkie S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Fat Man S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Fear of Abraham T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Gold Digger S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Goldbug S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Goldbug Finish S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Goldmember S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Gunboat Diplomacy S 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Iron Man S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Know Ethics S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Little Big Man S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Millenium Falcon S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Peanut Man S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Rap Echo S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Rock Du Jours Direct S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Rock de Jours T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c X
Rocket Man S 5.13d 8b 31 X 32 E8 7a
Shiskebob T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13
Simon Bar Sinister S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Skewer, The S 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Sky Lab (incomplete) T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A3 R
Soup to Nuts S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Space Shuttle T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Steel Curtain S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Supersize Me S 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Sweet Polly Purebred S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Thang, The S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Thin Man S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Thing, The S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Underdog S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Via Ferrata S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Working Man T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Description

Main Cliff is the tallest wall at Rumney and also home to some of the best routes. Whereas most of the other cliffs at Rumney are composed of schist, Main Cliff is distinguished by a band of quartzite stretching across it's middle. This rock has many of the characteristics of the best sandstone: fine grained, angular, and bullet hard.

Most climbs on the Main Cliff proper ascend distinct corners and aretes, and the climbing feels a bit more "trad" than at other cliffs. Though the routes can be long and pumpy, the different rock presents various technical challenges. Insecure stems, burly laybacks, and technical smearing can be found on almost all of the routes on the center of the cliff. Various outlying walls also comprise the Main Cliff area.

Main Cliff is large and complex. Ward Smith's guidebook is de rigueur for navigating this area.

It was brought to my attention that the rockfall warning on the Main Cliff Right description could do well here as well.
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. Routes such as Rock Du Jours, Gold digger and others in that vicinity are of greatest concern.

Getting There

From the second parkinglot, walk uphill into the woods. Follow the sign to Main Cliff. The large wall you come to is Main Cliff Center. Outlying areas to left and to the right.

  • Most of the Main Cliff is seasonally closed for peregrine nesting, usually April through July. Occasionally the cliff is reopened early if the birds nest elsewhere or the eggs don't hatch. Look for blaze-orange signs on the kiosk in the parking lot.

34 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Main Cliff

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
M Bageant
Cambridge, MA
M Bageant   Cambridge, MA
I saw your comment a while ago, but I hadn't been up Underdog or Polly since then. As of 8/16, the hold is definitely creaky. I and my partner noticed it squeaking and visibly moving. In this picture, it is the chunk directly in front of the climber, terminating in the chalky hold at the top of the photo.

Please be careful of rock fall at Main Cliff, as always! Aug 18, 2014
Matt Levine
Concord, NH
Matt Levine   Concord, NH
The word over at armed and dangerous today was that the block that creates the V shaped groove between underdog and Polly purebred (where people often rest up and shake out on Polly) is creaky...anyone know more about this? Apr 21, 2014
Jay Morse
Hooksett, New Hampshire
Jay Morse   Hooksett, New Hampshire
Still rockfalls happening at Iron Man... A microwave sized rock and a bunch of softball sized ones all came down Rock Du Jour today with about 15 people climbing and hanging at the base. Luckily the majority of it went down the charity case area where no one was, but a softball sized rock whizzed over towards the base of Fat Man and luckily missed everyone. Be careful, and if I were you I would stay off Rock Du Jour and Main Cliff Right for a while. Apr 6, 2014
There was another rockfall a few days ago at the right end of the Iron Man wall, a sizable boulder and a few other smaller rocks came down, probably because of weathering from freezing and thawing. Here is a link to the forum for more information mountainproject.com/v/rumne… .... be careful up there Feb 24, 2014
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
oh yeah. "I" before "E" except after i don't give a s*%t haha :)
jk matt jk Apr 26, 2013
Matt Levine
Concord, NH
Matt Levine   Concord, NH
you spelled brief wrong, Lee :D Apr 26, 2013
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
i have tried a few times to take the closure notice down with no luck... Main Cliff is 100% OPEN!
I just tried again to remove it and still no luck. I settled for rewording the note which worked... it should all be clear now... Apr 26, 2013
Matt Wilson
Vermont, USA
Matt Wilson   Vermont, USA
Lee- I take it main cliff is open then? Or did the falcons return? I am a bit confused between your post and the closure alert on this page. Apr 26, 2013
S. Neoh  
Only Smitty can answer that question. Feb 17, 2013
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
you watched the movie didn't you... Feb 17, 2013
Jeffrey.LeCours
New Hampshire
Jeffrey.LeCours   New Hampshire  
Wow. Until just now, I didn't realize that Underdog, Sweet Polly Purebreed, and Simon Bar Sinister were all related (aside from adjacent on the wall to each other). Now I must ask: where's Riff Raff? Feb 17, 2013
Matt Wilson
Vermont, USA
Matt Wilson   Vermont, USA
Thanks for confirming that... I still don't know of all the climbing forums yet :) Apr 18, 2012
M Sprague
New England
M Sprague   New England  
I know I haven't redone them and haven't heard that Chris has been up there. If somebody does, thought should go towards continuing up the corner that the rockfall revealed and also how it would integrate with new anchors for the last pitch of Ironman (shared?), which needs to be retroed. It is tough to do work up there since it needs a good cleaning of loose rock by Ironman and there are almost always people below unless it is horrible weather. Even drilling and bolting three pitches above a crowd is sketchy Nov 18, 2011
matthewWallace
Sandwich, NH
matthewWallace   Sandwich, NH
Does anybody know if 'The Thang' has received new anchors yet? There were draws hanging from the route the other day... Nov 18, 2011
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
all cliffs are open, there is no sign of nesting activities anywhere in rumney... May 16, 2011
matthewWallace
Sandwich, NH
matthewWallace   Sandwich, NH
Does anyone know if the falcons have moved to another section of cliff? May 16, 2011
M Sprague
New England
M Sprague   New England  
The anchors of The Thang were lost in the rockfall and need to be replaced. Most of the most obvious loose rocks left over have been trundled except a big dangerous one to the left of Rock du Jours. There was still a lot of dirt and gravel up there last I saw that needs to be swept off. Until then, the top outs on Gold Member and the second pitch of Golfbug will be unpleasant. If you are hanging out below, remember, it is not a safe place. Apr 13, 2010
E thatcher
Plymouth/ North Conway (NH)
E thatcher   Plymouth/ North Conway (NH)
I climbed one of the multi-pitch routes to the right of the Iron man area this afternoon and saw the origin of the rock fall. There still seem to be some very sketchy blocks hanging out up there. I'm going to go about talking to some folks who would know what to do for trundling or checking out those blocks (Mark, any ideas?). In the mean time I thought I'd give every one a heads up that there is still some potential danger.
Mar 9, 2010
M Sprague
New England
M Sprague   New England  
I didn't do it : ) Mar 8, 2010
Andrew Mertens
Berkeley, CA
Andrew Mertens   Berkeley, CA
So, having not seen these posts, I was rather surprised to see the crazy devastation at the base of main cliff. I couldn't see damage to any of the routes I know, but I did find a bolt with two large steel quick links connected to it in the rubble. So be very careful climbing anything right of gold bug or any of the 2nd pitch routes, cause one's missing at least one of the anchor bolts, if not both. Mar 5, 2010
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
so i had another look at the main cliff rockfall and it looks like one or two of the upper pitches may have been affected... it seems like a bunch of rock may have fallen off of the last pitch of Rock Du Jours above the right leaning ramp, it doesnt look like the fun final wall was messed up at all...

to the left of that route there is a fresh orange area of rock and i cant remember if it was already like that or if thats new too... Mar 4, 2010
matthewWallace
Sandwich, NH
matthewWallace   Sandwich, NH
That is great that no routes were affected! I will have to hike up there soon and check out the wreckage. Mar 3, 2010
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
from what i could see no routes were affected.... looked like the rock came off the top maybe and cleared the routes before hitting the ledge and the trail... Mar 3, 2010
E thatcher
Plymouth/ North Conway (NH)
E thatcher   Plymouth/ North Conway (NH)
Lee, were any of those route affected or was it above that? Can we go scavenge for bolts in the rubble? Mar 3, 2010
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
looked like most of it came off in the area between say, goldbug and rock du jours... it looked like you would have been fully safe sitting on the ledge under thinman etc, what a show that would have been! Mar 2, 2010
nhclimber
Newmarket, NH
nhclimber   Newmarket, NH
Wow, first big rock fall i think i've heard of at rumney. Where did it fall from? Mar 2, 2010
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
I got word a few days ago that there was a major rockfall off of main cliff during the big storm we had a few days ago... i went to check it out and was not disapointed... crazy damage to the forest and trail below main cliff... really there isnt a trail there any more just broken trees and rubble... also the ledge that seperates main cliff center and the right end was stripped of its trees and many rocks... here are some pictures of the desruction zone...





That would have been a sight to behold... Mar 2, 2010
matthewWallace
Sandwich, NH
matthewWallace   Sandwich, NH
what route is right of gold digger? it bolted? I may have just missed it in the list, i hear its around 5.8.

EDIT: i figured it out Sep 17, 2009
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
Main Cliff is open!!! the birds nested else where!!! Apr 18, 2009
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
according to chris martin who is in charge of the peregrine project the closure begins between mar 20th and april 1st depending on the bird activity... but its always too early regardless... Mar 25, 2009
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
i climbed 12 pitches on main cliff today from 5.6-5.12 and every winter day i climb there i appreciate it more... what a great thing... a south facing overhanging cliff with moderates under it that are always dry... Jan 29, 2008
Ladd    
It came out about 18 feet off the deck, so I guess it was at or around the second bolt. There was already a hole of sorts there I think and the block fell out of the hole after someone whipped and hit that spot with their feet during the fall.

It came out just right of the main line (I think).

Jay,
I wasn't on the climb, I was warming up on Polly Purebred, I watched as the block fell, hit the belayer (he was relatively unhurt but shaken) and luckily stopped on the upper ledge. If it had continued to fall it would have come down on 4 unsuspecting folks lounging below on that nice flat spot by the slab routes. May 15, 2007
Jay Knower
Campton, NH
Jay Knower   Campton, NH  
Ladd, where exactly was this block? I was on the route the other day and noticed that the fingerlock/jug from which you clip the fourth bolt had crumbled a little, making the clip a tad harder. Or was the block pulled out lower, maybe by the second bolt? May 15, 2007
Ladd    
A 3ft by 3ft block fell out of the Skewer (12c) on 5-12-07. It changes the jug before leaving the finger crack but I don't think it changes the grade. May 15, 2007

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