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Routes in Tumbledown Mountain

A.M.C. Route T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
A.M.C. Route Variation T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Central Groove T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13
North Peak Western Slab T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Paradis Gully (Ice Climb) T WI2 M1
Western Edge of East Peak. T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Unsorted Routes:
Elevation: 2,198 ft
GPS: 44.745, -70.552 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 11,092 total, 109/month
Shared By: bradley white on Jul 31, 2009 with updates
Admins: Ladd, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall
Getting weather forecast...

Description

[2017 Note by RHall, Admin.- Mountainproject user Ron Birk reports that " [in 2016] the [climber's path] was decent and easy to follow. It started at a clearing with good views of the cliff, on the left. You followed yellow/red blazes through the woods and boulder field (which had cairns) and led straight to the cliff and start of the routes." Thanks for the update Ron.

Since I climbed here about 20 years ago much has changed. Knees are older and the trail has eroded more. (Hurricane Irene?)

Yup, the Loop Trail is STEEP...Yup, where the abandoned trail veered off left at the "viewing ledges" [now the "climber's path"] 1/3 of the way up the Mtn is now grown in. The 2nd half of the "Loop Trail" is the continuously steepest trail I have ever done in 65 years of hiking. Only the Class3 ascent of Chimney Peak from the Pamola-ChimneyPeak gap comes close, and that was dry and short.

Let us now continue with Bradly White's excellent description, annotated with 2017 undates...]


Tumbledown Mt. is a massif mountain with three distinctive peaks West, East and North. The West Peak is gotten to by the Loop Trail. It's a strenuous hike. Below its summit is the 700+ granite cliff that is known as the Great Ledge by hikers. It has had a large recent rock slide. Not problematic to rock climbing.

The ledge is about 400ft and then a large tree band. After the trees there are many shorter sections of cliff below this summit that start as overhangs and steep corner chimneys before they're slab finishes. The main lower ledge has a steep slab section on it's western side. The central section is a giant v groove with tree band ledges and a series of overhangs are on it's eastern side. [2017 Note- It looks as if there's been a major rockfall in this "central section". RHall Admin. The climbs "AMC Route" and "AMC Direct" are significantly left of the obvious orange-colored rock scar left by this rockfall.] Far to the west of this ledge is another ledge that is shorter, approximately 300ft and mostly steep slab that terminates below the summit in forest. [2017 NOTE- I think that Bradly is talking about the "southwest slab(s)" when he says "far to the west". I think he means even far west of the old chimney hiking route that was abandoned about 20 years ago after rockfall there destroyed its iron rungs. ]

The East Peak isn't as high as 700ft of cliff but it isn't short either, possibly 500ft of uninterrupted rock climbing on it's most western side. The base of this wall is reached by the Brook trail. The central and eastern side of the East Peak are slab bands divided by tall trees. A rock climber below will just have to go up route finding as they go because below this peak the slab visualization is blocked by trees except the furthest western edge. When the brook begins to be seen on the trail about 1 mile up head west and the base will become noticeable.

The North Peak has no trail to it. From the summit of the East Peak it is easily approached. The southwestern slab has the only decent climbing on it, possibly 200ft. Quite easy after getting past the initial short steep start to gain the slab section.

There has been little to no activity on this mountain. There was an old A.M.C. climb but I believe it is mostly gone from the rock slide. [2017 Note- The AMC "Routes" are still intact, unaffected by either the rockfall of 20-25 years ago on the "chimney hiking trail" or the rockfall that created the orange scar. R Hall Admin.]

The approach to the Great Ledges and summit cliffs must be endured before the technical climbing begins. It is a steep couple of miles of steep hiking up the Loop Trail. [2017 Note- Actually, it is a couple of miles, but the first half of the trail is essentially flat, thus making the 2nd half even steeper. It is REALLY STEEP, think: "Wildcat A" from Carter Notch, or Huntington Ravine Trail". That being said, the upper half of the "Loop Trail" between the flat, open ledges and the summit area is even steeper! This UPPER HALF CAN NOT BE RECOMMENDED AS A DESCENT ROUTE WITH PACKS AND GEAR. RHall Admin.]

Tumbledown Mt. is not a true Alpine condition mountain but it is not an off the road excursion either. Summer climbing should always be safe from Albinism conditions because the summit is in the 3000ft range and bad weather approaching can be seen at a great distance. The rest of the year climbers should be prepared for the worst weather possible. Because of its location the environment is similar to the N.H. White Mountains environment before above tree line and above Cannon Cliff.

Basically the forest between cliff is gnarly pine trees.

The Mt. Blue Campground is nearby at Webb Lake. There are large sections of private land around this mountain. Camping nearby and on the the mountain would be trespassing.
This mountain is not for the sport climbing enthusiast. The trail is nearby the Great Ledges and rock trundling shouldn't be done on purpose.
Peregrine Falcons Details

Getting There

[2017 Note- From the west: Take Rt 2 eastbound through Bethel, ME continuing East through Rumford Point to Rumford. Take Rt 120 North about 3 miles and turn right to cross the Swift river, then left on Rt 17 north. (If you miss 120 you can pick up 17 in Rumford) Go about 9 miles north on Rt17. In Byron (at Coos Falls Park) turn right onto Byron Center Road, and in 1/4 mile bear left onto Dingle Hill Rd. Take this paved-and-dirt road up and over the height-of-land for about 4 1/2 miles to a dirt parking lot on the left for the Loop Trail. From North Conway NH, figure 2+ hrs solid driving.]


[...from the East: from Rt2 in Drydon (Wilton) take Rt 156 north 15+/- miles (Rt 142 joins at about 13 miles) to the town of Weld Corner, turn left at Webb Corner. Within about 1/2 mile, a logging road (Byron Road) leaves straight ahead in a 90 degree turn. The Brook Trail leaves Byron Road approximately 4.4 miles from Webb Corner. The Loop Trail also begins on Byron Road approximately 5.8 miles from Webb Corner. Both the Loop and Brook Trail heads are fairly well marked but use your common sense and watch the car's odometer.

Approach Hike: Take the Loop Trail, which is fairly flat for the first mile to a huge boulder, then climbs very steeply for 700-800 vertical feet (in about 1/3 mile) to a flat area with open slabs leading left off the trail. According to reports (see photos posted by Ron Birk), the climber's path leads off of these open slabs (the "viewing slabs", although in a couple of years the growth may prevent viewing!) to the base area of the AMC Route(s). I know 20 yrs ago the abandoned trail started here, the rocks for the once-huge cairn are now used to keep hikers on the main Loop Trail. When we recently hiked the Mtn it took an hour to reach this point with just day packs.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Tumbledown Mountain

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
WI2 M1
Paradis Gully (Ice Climb)
Trad, Mixed, Ice 2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
A.M.C. Route
Trad 4 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
A.M.C. Route Variation
Trad 3 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Paradis Gully (Ice Climb) WI2 M1 Trad, Mixed, Ice 2 pitches
A.M.C. Route 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 4 pitches
A.M.C. Route Variation 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 3 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Tumbledown Mountain »

Weather Averages

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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
I second Peter's comments. Tricam heaven up there (Pink, red, and brown in particular) and generally eats up small gear. Generally you can always find a place to plug in your #3, but most of the time not really necessary. Aug 8, 2017
Peter Lewis
Bridgton, Maine
Peter Lewis   Bridgton, Maine
In response to Dan M.S., on the AMC Variation a light rack to 2.5" is all you will need. Stoppers and Tricams work very well, and there are plenty of places for cams, but you won't need anything beyond a gold Camalot. We used some small Aliens and brass nuts, so make sure you have some smaller gear (of course, we also may have been off-route and lost in thin-gear-land). Aug 8, 2017
Dan M. S.
Buckfield, ME
Dan M. S.   Buckfield, ME
Does anyone have guidance about what sort of protection is needed? I'd like to do this in June, but only have experience putting cams and the occasional nut in sandstone...Not too much of an idea what to expect with Maine granite. Apr 18, 2017
Peter Lewis
Bridgton, Maine
Peter Lewis   Bridgton, Maine
Tumbledown is a very special place. Walking the ridge on top down to the little tarn feels more like being at 10k feet out west than on a small mountain in Maine. I would put this right up there with the Bigelows or the Moat Range traverse in NH (although both are longer). Quite rugged for its diminutive size and totally worth exploring (climbing or even just hiking). Jun 23, 2016
Correction: There is in fact a herd path that leads from the west peak to the north peak. Aug 31, 2015
Mikie  
FA on the crystally finger crack by Ryan Howes, a couple years ago. Dec 22, 2012
ccaissie
Whitefield, ME
ccaissie   Whitefield, ME
Winter is a great time to get up on top. Snowshoes up the steep Brook Trail puts you at the tarn on top. If the road into the park is clear of snow, drive to the trailhead, but otherwise the several miles in are skiable. Best to call the Weld General Store and get the update, promising to shop there when you arrive.

manta.com/c/mm21fbl/weld-s-…
Dec 17, 2012
john strand
southern colo
john strand   southern colo
The quartzy finger crack is indeed fearsome, and bloody. 12B ??? Dec 5, 2012
Anyone been here in winter?

Jim Dec 4, 2012
andyscott
Massachusetts
andyscott   Massachusetts
There is great bouldering on the loop trail I did here about two summers ago. There is one boulder at the beginning of the loop trail that is massive. It has good problems all around it. It has one small cave where lots of eliminates can be made. Also, there is a stunning overhanging finger crack, 30-40 feet tall, sharp, and crystally looking on the backside of the boulder opposite of the trail. I was VERY suprised when I stumbled upon this one. If anyone has any more information about bouldering here please tell! Feb 3, 2011
John Halupowski
Intervale, N.H.
John Halupowski   Intervale, N.H.
Topping out on this cliff rewards you with a 360 degree view of Maines lakes and peaks that is OUTRAGEOUS! Apr 11, 2010

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