GPS: 43.802, -71.837 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: lee hansche on Sep 18, 2009
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall

Description

Summit Cliff is a huge chunk of schist high up Rattlesnake mountain in the north west area of the Rumney crags. About 200 feet tall and hosting over a dozen routes, its a great place to shake off the crowds.

Much of the rock here is clean, high quality stuff with interesting, demanding and sometimes quite long routes. As you approve the crags via the gully between Yellowknife Buttress and Prudential the first routes you see are on a toe of rock that is about vertical. The right hand route Three Bump Dumper 5.11a is super good, pumpy and a bit commiting in parts. There are a few more climbs up to the left but the majority of the climbing is up the main gully to the right. Routes from 10a to 12a dominate but there is a fun 5.7 as well.

The coolest climb I've done at Summit is Path of the Righteous a 16 bolt 5.10b that might be one of the best 5.10s at Rumney. There are a couple routes that require one to scramble up a slippery green slab/gully to access at a bolted anchor. Two of these routes are hard open projects just waiting for a lucky climber to clean up. While the Summit Cliff approach might scare most away, those with an adventurous nature might enjoy checking out this gem which seems hidden regardless of the fact that you can see it as clear as day from Route 25.

Getting There

Follow directions to Prudential or Yellowknife Buttress then find the gully between them and thrash your way up the fixed rope to the base of the lowest part of the cliff.

Keep in mind that you are in a big funnel with a lot of acreage and plenty of loose rock above, so find a protected spot to hang out. Big chunks of ice come flying down in the early spring, sometimes ending up below the level of Prudential.

..and please don't piss in or around the Buddha Cave at the top of the gully!

18 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Summit Cliff (The Highlands)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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M Sprague
New England
M Sprague   New England  
The Summit Cliff aka The Highlands - There are some great routes up here along with a few projects and more potential. Some of the routes may need a bit of cleaning, as they were not in the old book so have not had much traffic since they went in. Sep 24, 2009
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
drat! closed for nesting season i was just startingto explore this place... oh well i bet it will still be there in the fall... Mar 23, 2010
M Sprague
New England
M Sprague   New England  
I have two projects all the way up at the top of the gully, that anyone is very welcome to go for when the birds are out of there. They are potentially great routes, but unfortunately it is a bit nasty to get to them. They are to the right of Cosmic Realignment and can be approached by an easy bolted dirty slab. At one point I had the slab cleaned off, but its location makes it grow back and get filthy in no time.
The right hand project is all bolted and goes at about 12d. I linked it on self belayed TR , but never got back to lead it. One clip is a bit difficult, but manageable. The original clipping hold blew off. It is a long steep and pumpy route. If it was lower down the hill and not in such an odd location, it would be popular I am sure.
The one to the left, next to Cosmic was not completely bolted and will need more cleaning. I think most of the bolts are in and it does have an anchor. I think it will end up as some kind of hard 12 also. May 6, 2010
M Sprague
New England
M Sprague   New England  
While you are up there, check out the Buddha Cave. It is at the top of the main gully, where The Gospel .. starts. Walk in and you can chimney up and come out on a great ledge with a big birch like Buddha's banyan tree. Just hope the big blocks you are chimneying through don't shift or you will be seeing your maker very quickly.

Need it be said, don't relieve yourself in this area. If you must pee, go way down the gully and even further, out of the gully if you have to crap and bury the results. Sep 13, 2010
twellman
Cambridge
twellman   Cambridge
That left-angling chimney looks pretty long and wild. Has anyone climbed it? Is it climbable, or full of muck? Aug 15, 2012
M Sprague
New England
M Sprague   New England  
That's Giant's Chimney. Andy Tuttle climbed it, but he is crazy :). It would be great if it was retroed, but is pretty sketchy as it is; bad gear, run-out, dirty and often wet. With some bolts and cleaned it would be a 3+ star 5.9, very dramatic. He probably would be all right with it being retroed, but somebody should check with Andy first. Stainless glue-ins would be the way to go. Aug 15, 2012
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
I took a closer look at it the other day than i had in the past and that chimney looks gnarly! the right wall looked very mossy but the other wall was more clean and featured... looked like back against the moss and feet on the rock kinda thing... VERY intimidating... i saw at least one pin and it looked pretty rusty... i really want to climb it but i dont think i would do it ground up at this point... i agree, safer gear (bolts) and this thing would be priceless! major props to andy for the style he did it in! Aug 15, 2012
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
I replaced the rope up the gully today the old one was rotting through... Oct 17, 2012
S. Neoh  
Will this crag be OK to climb at late Oct / early Nov? Does it get afternoon Sun then? How's the wind chill effect up here? Sep 23, 2013
Ward Smith
Wendell MA
Ward Smith   Wendell MA
Soon, I just did Where the Wild Things Are on Saturday. I think that the crag would be great in cold, sunny weather, but better in the morning as it faces southeast. Just get there early, it is a short hike lol. We hiked in by Northwest Territories to Prudental, left a buch of stuff there and went up the slippery gully via fixed rope with lighter packs. Wild Things Are is a great warm-up, and Path of the Righteous (10) starts in the same place and is also good. Then definitely do Three Bump Dumper (11a).

Ward



Oct 8, 2013
S. Neoh  
Thanks for the info, Ward. Much appreciated. Oct 9, 2013
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
He said yes! All NH falcon closures have been lifted! Have fun up there! Great cliff! Aug 15, 2014
Eric Leclerc
Montreal
Eric Leclerc   Montreal  
Thanks Lee! I went to Summit Cliff on Saturday and was able to send 8 of the routes.
Too bad not enough people go up there. Some really beautiful long routes.
The only one I didn't enjoy is The Boy Who Cried Wolf 10c because was too much overgrown.
The amount of lichen is insane. Aug 17, 2014
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
YEAH! looks like you had a great day! i dont know if i will ever get 8 new rumney routes in a day again haha... i'm running out of routes haha...
I remember the boy who cried wolf being ridiculous in its filthiness... Aug 21, 2014