Mountain Project Logo
To save paper & ink, use the [Hide] controls next to photos and comments so you only print what you need.

Utopia Ledges (True Summit Ledges)

New Hampshire > Rumney

Description

The great fire incinerated plants and burnt trees dead. Lots of plants and small trees are competing for height growing like weeds below the tall dead trees. The ledges with this undergrowth can be an awful poor visibility bushwhack to find the area. Its not above Jimmy Cliff.
Utopia used to be reached starting at the top of Jimmy Cliff and going east beyond the next cliff band and up to ledges. Its really thick now with fallen trees and young trees. Utopia has plenty of clean rock. There's the east side, central and Freedonia side. Central has approximately 150-200+ feet of alpine trad rope climbing and the first fifty feet the steepest on all climbs. To the mountain summit are tree bands adjoined by slabs and by a little veering able to stay on rock. These are exfoliation slab ledges with short steep overlaps with holds or cracks. There's also a band of blocks to climb left central. They make up a 15-30' ground head walls about 40' long. The ways up here are extreme climbing beyond my ability and need bolts or pinned.
Freedonia is left and up from central. It begins at the next rock band over and has slab starts to fractured head wall to similar upper rock and tree bands to the summit
East side has long slabs to grassy ledges and rock gullies and upper 20-30' head walls. Furthest east the ground height is near equal to this head wall and not climbed yet.
The upper tree bands and gullies thicken east so directly or westward up the best higher slabs of rock to the summit. The actual mountain summit and trail are higher up.
Rescue from here is very difficult. Weather can be unbearably hot in summer or hypothermia cold by thunder clouds on the same day. Know the weather predicted before ascending. Loose rock is possible while hiking and climbing. I've been up and down much without any problems. There are many dog and a few dear ticks. Tree trunks often are charcoal. This gets on your hands and clothes. The new downed trees and their branches on the climbs continues. After fire, nature now doing its thing, young trees and tall plants competing for light in the incinerated enriched soil areas and rock cracks. There are nasty thorn plants.
The climbing season is best in October until the snow falls. Its very warm in the fall. Early spring has lots of ticks. Summer no vision ahead from leaves. Contend with there'll be an obstacle coarse on the approach and some climbs. Rock climbing to the summit has its bonus the view.
Don't go up there, unless you are capable of getting back to Buffalo Road. Worst comes to worst, there is the yellow marked hiking trail to the road but it'll bring you out several miles west on Buffalo Road.

Getting There

The old approach I have given up on doing because there are too many trees.
From the top of Bonsai trail, go up on connector trail east to cross woods and up left a rocky buttress.
Follow this buttress and go right under large boulder and ascend next ridge. Climb up it unmistakable and has to be done. On top is open slab. go down north west side through some rocks then forested meadow Ascend stream bed at boulder with a rock on top of it to identify it. The mountain summit and climbing area are a direct line up from here and come into view at the height of these forested slabs. Do not go left direct to the first crags you see. These are a fools gold and not good for climbing. This is the easiest approach to the base of the crags.
Much care is needed on this ascent not to disturb the moss, grass and forested slopes. Its doable and I have gone up it many days and left not trace. A little effort to not stomp and skid goes a long ways to keep vegetation in place. I do the approach in an hour or so. Most climbs are uphill left via the forested scree field finish. The east ledges are fifty feet to the east from trail top.
Cut logs are land marks before the stream bed going down from trail top. Same stream as Venus Wall. All the way down to Venus is complicated to describe. This is also the fire line trail and with a flashlight, I would find my way out of this area every time.
Hiking down from the east side ledges, the drop off ledges are at killer height as you weave your way back to the fire line trail.
There is also a overgrown trail on the western side of the mountain summit. When the hiking trail goes off of the rock, stay on the rock and go down to the edge of the steep slabs. Go across rocks and oak trees until able to crash through the woods to the top of the Monolith Crag (this became a learned experience and without any experience great potential for an epic doing it). At the Monolith the trail enters the woods before Monolith's edge, at some stacked fallen downed trees on the western side of the slab top. Trail is very exposed in places and a long distance to the road. Another access to the Monolith trail is to follow the trial down off the rocks west and take a little used side trail west. This goes to some open crags and pine. Go down the opening for a long ways until escape to woods left, east is reasonable over a few rocks. Experience again is very helpful going down this way. The longest way down is the hiking trail.
Rappelling 'Utopia' should only be a minor trouble with the small downed tree branches and small rocks should be cleared first the ropes might pull down okay. Likely easily doable.

Routes from Left to Right

5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R
 1
Maze
Trad, Alpine
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R
 1
Makamah Road
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 1
Rumney Rocks Climb
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c R
 1
Beeker
Trad, Alpine
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13
 1
Freedonia
Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
 1
Lost in Utopia
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
 1
Dystonia
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R
 2
Jesus Nut
Trad, Alpine
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R
 1
Hannah Flower
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13
 1
Bumble Bee
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
 1
Skywalker
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
 1
Ora the Explorer
Trad, Alpine
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 1
The Stones
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
 1
Smashing Pumpkins
Trad, Alpine
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c R
 1
Jack O'Lantern
Trad, Alpine
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
 1
Jack Knife
Trad, Alpine
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Maze
 1
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R Trad, Alpine
Makamah Road
 1
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Rumney Rocks Climb
 1
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Beeker
 1
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c R Trad, Alpine
Freedonia
 1
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13 Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
Lost in Utopia
 1
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Dystonia
 1
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Jesus Nut
 2
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R Trad, Alpine
Hannah Flower
 1
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Bumble Bee
 1
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13 Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Skywalker
 1
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13 Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Ora the Explorer
 1
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R Trad, Alpine
The Stones
 1
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Smashing Pumpkins
 1
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R Trad, Alpine
Jack O'Lantern
 1
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c R Trad, Alpine
Jack Knife
 1
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R Trad, Alpine

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

proximity path up and down
[Hide Photo] proximity path up and down
The short central ledge is 'Dystonia' and above right of it, the over lap section nearly to top of first pitch of Hannah. The dark section below this slab is where Lost in Utopia begins
[Hide Photo] The short central ledge is 'Dystonia' and above right of it, the over lap section nearly to top of first pitch of Hannah. The dark section below this slab is where Lost in Utopia begins
A lot of acreage. <br>
Upper central left side slab is Makamah Road. Lower slab on right side is Hannah. Right of the tree trunk in the foreground   is some of upper Jack L'Lantern in the background.
[Hide Photo] A lot of acreage. Upper central left side slab is Makamah Road. Lower slab on right side is Hannah. Right of the tree trunk in the foreground is some of upper Jack L'Lantern in the background.
Dismembered tree from a recent wind storm. Much of the area is in the photo. One of the ways to get on this tongue of rock is the bottom left side.
[Hide Photo] Dismembered tree from a recent wind storm. Much of the area is in the photo. One of the ways to get on this tongue of rock is the bottom left side.
'Freedonia' starts lower left of the blue plastic bottle. At the same tree ledge, Beeker starts on its left or west side.
[Hide Photo] 'Freedonia' starts lower left of the blue plastic bottle. At the same tree ledge, Beeker starts on its left or west side.
Central west side
[Hide Photo] Central west side
East and below Freedonia
[Hide Photo] East and below Freedonia
'Freedonia' One of the furthest ledges uphill to get to the start.
[Hide Photo] 'Freedonia' One of the furthest ledges uphill to get to the start.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Jeffrey LeCours
New Hampshire
[Hide Comment] Nice adventure Bradley :) Apr 18, 2010
MattWallace
Meredith, NH
[Hide Comment] Bradley,it is cool to see that there is still more potential in Rumney, is there a lot more potential up there? Apr 28, 2010
[Hide Comment] There are some short ceiling cracks that are higher level climbs. Lichen on some. I'm not into the cleaned wall appearance up here. I had reservations on posting it. It's posted. I trespassed. I left a trace of my chosen foot holds and hand holds through some lichen filled sections. It's an ecological way to go about ascents. As usual the steeper stuff will be safer by bolting. Critically dangerous rock isn't as much. To bolt or not to bolt? Most ground up cracks stop at unprotected slab to climb. Most are short or shorter like 'Darth Vader' in height. The ceiling cracks end up on the slabs that have abundant lichen sometimes. No protection(perhaps soft pins in horizontal crack bands) and it's a mind game of easy climbing. Avoid rope drag. Some walls are detached and overhanging. 'Hannah' ceiling has a committing ceiling crack onto the slab. I haven't done anything involving flexing because of my hurt wrist. It's better now. Its really buggy up there and ticks spring through summer. Its alpine adventure. Apr 29, 2010