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Rumney Temporarily Closed by USFS

Original Post
Peter Jackson · · Rumney, NH · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 445

The USFS has temporarily closed Rumney Rocks. I posted this on facebook today:

It would have been hard to imagine the RCA reaching a point where we'd support the closure of Rumney Rocks to climbing, but the current COVID-19 situation has made many unimaginable things come to bear.
 
The USFS has (temporarily) closed Rumney Rocks to climbing. The parking lots will be barricaded and signs will be posted with details.
 
 Remember that parking is also prohibited on Buffalo Road, and at the AAC Campground (they're closed too!)
 
 You cannot enter the area on foot: it is closed.
 
The penalties for entering closed federal land are steep. The USFS has a law enforcement officer assigned to Rumney, and that officer will be citing people and possibly towing / impounding cars.
 
 The WMNF Pemi District Office has been in touch with the RCA and we have been in touch with Access Fund. We are all hoping that this closure will be short. We will work with the USFS to get the climbing area opened back up once the public health crisis has passed.
 
 For now, please climb close to home or hike instead, avoid travel, and above all, stay healthy.

Joe Dillier · · Bristol, NH · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 15
Peter Jackson wrote: The USFS has temporarily closed Rumney Rocks. I posted this on facebook today:

It would have been hard to imagine the RCA reaching a point where we'd support the closure of Rumney Rocks to climbing, but the current COVID-19 situation has made many unimaginable things come to bear.
 
The USFS has (temporarily) closed Rumney Rocks to climbing. The parking lots will be barricaded and signs will be posted with details.
 
 Remember that parking is also prohibited on Buffalo Road, and at the AAC Campground (they're closed too!)
 
 You cannot enter the area on foot: it is closed.
 
The penalties for entering closed federal land are steep. The USFS has a law enforcement officer assigned to Rumney, and that officer will be citing people and possibly towing / impounding cars.
 
 The WMNF Pemi District Office has been in touch with the RCA and we have been in touch with Access Fund. We are all hoping that this closure will be short. We will work with the USFS to get the climbing area opened back up once the public health crisis has passed.
 
 For now, please climb close to home or hike instead, avoid travel, and above all, stay healthy.

I guess 20 minutes from my house is still too far away   

Peter Jackson · · Rumney, NH · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 445
Joe Dillier wrote:

I guess 20 minutes from my house is still too far away   

I hear you. I live across the street from the rocks and can see them from my house. Sad times.

Eli Buzzell · · Plymouth, NH · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 3,581

I’m glad there has been a closure, I just wish that all the Mass and Vermont folks could have self policed a little better. It’s a real shame your local crags get to stay open after your presence is the reason ours is shut down.
Please just do your best to stay in the radius of your local hospital and play safe. You’re in unprecedented times and you most likely don’t have a degree in epidemiology.

Dan Knisell · · MA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 3,742
Eli Buzzell wrote: I’m glad there has been a closure, I just wish that all the Mass and Vermont folks could have self policed a little better. It’s a real shame your local crags get to stay open after your presence is the reason ours is shut down.
Please just do your best to stay in the radius of your local hospital and play safe. You’re in unprecedented times and you most likely don’t have a degree in epidemiology.

There has been attempts to have folks not meetup and climb in MA. The message is not welcomed by everyone. We tried Eli. Until MA closes the parks people will continue to meet. Crow Hill has had an overflowing parking lot. Red Rocks MA has had an overflowing parking lot. My local mini bouldering spots have had overflowing parking lots. Perhaps not everyone is climbing.  Now that Rumney is closed it funnels even more people to those obscure spots. Some of those spots aren’t all that obscure but are seeing a substantial increase in traffic.

Eli Buzzell · · Plymouth, NH · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 3,581
Dan Knisell wrote:

 My local mini bouldering spots have had overflowing parking lots. 

That's the thanks you get for posting them up!
Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Peter Jackson · · Rumney, NH · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 445

The owner of the land that The Pound sits on has posted it "No Trespassing" in response to the pressure on the area this past weekend. The whole bouldering area is on private property (the town owns some of it, just not the big boulders). The landowner has indicated that the closure is temporary -- they also indicated that if climbers don't respect the closure, he might consider making the closure permanent.

Please steer clear of The Pound!

Russ Keane · · Asheville, NC · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 180

It concerns me that the closures could last through the summer.   Society is totally freaking out, and when you get federal agencies involved, like USFS, they are more prone to stagnancy/solidity of position.

Matt Desenberg · · Limerick, ME · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 160

That would really suck. I’m finally healed after two surgeries and 1.5 years of PT,
I just want to ****ing go climbing. 

Troy S · · Somerville, MA · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 25
Russ Keane wrote: closures could last through the summer.  

Where did that come from?

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 91
Troy S wrote:

Where did that come from?

A  reasonable concern, given that most things deemed impossible 6 months have now happened.

Russ Keane · · Asheville, NC · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 180

"Where did that come from?"

From the general trend of the society lockdown.  Being near other people is going to be frowned upon for a good long while.  What I personally predict is a release of the home-stay order at some point (end of May), so people can go back to work (sorta), then we will enter of a prolonged period of "only essential" activities.   I could see recreation being shut down because it's not important.   No gatherings, no sports, no fun, just go to work and come home.

Peter Jackson · · Rumney, NH · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 445

It surely could happen, in particular if the perception is that climbers aren't respecting the closures. The assistant district ranger in charge of Rumney is very reasonable, though. He's a former climber himself -- I discussed the closure with him and he wants to see the rocks open as much as any of us do.  

The good news is there were only 3 or so groups of people who trespassed this past weekend, and a warning from USFS Law Enforcement was enough to clear the issue up. Law enforcement was a little flexible -- I think because of the proximity of the closure date to the weekend. I expect the flexibility to wane as the closure progresses.

If folks would stop stealing the closure signs, though, that'd be great!

Jason Evertts · · Manchester, NH · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0
Troy S wrote:

Where did that come from?

https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/20/social-distancing-must-last-end-year-chief-scientist-says-12430631/

Oregon has also closed many of its outdoor recreation areas until September:

https://thatoregonlife.com/2020/03/trailheads-hot-springs-and-more-in-oregon-close-until-sept-30/
Neil Benson · · Foxboro, MA · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 197
Peter Jackson wrote: If folks would stop stealing the closure signs, though, that'd be great!

Wow...this is horrifying. These are the same people that will continue to boulder at the Pound and get it closed permanently.

Trevor Taylor · · Seattle · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 251
Neil Benson wrote:

Wow...this is horrifying. These are the same people that will continue to boulder at the Pound and get it closed permanently.

The pound is pretty decent, but why would you drive all the way to a closed area to do high ball boulders. There is so much climbing in New Hampshire that isn't rumney that people could still climb at not be totally disrespecting the closures. 

Neil Benson · · Foxboro, MA · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 197
Trevor Taylor wrote:

The pound is pretty decent, but why would you drive all the way to a closed area to do high ball boulders. There is so much climbing in New Hampshire that isn't rumney that people could still climb at not be totally disrespecting the closures. 

I agree, but the people doing this sort of thing aren't exactly paragons of logic and reason. As long as there are people violating the closure at the main area, I'm all the more worried about private land that's not held by the FS. The Pound isn't the best thing about Rumney or even Rumney bouldering, but it'd be nicer to be able to climb there than not, and crap like this is how areas get closed.

Peter Jackson · · Rumney, NH · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 445
Neil Benson wrote:

I agree, but the people doing this sort of thing aren't exactly paragons of logic and reason. As long as there are people violating the closure at the main area, I'm all the more worried about private land that's not held by the FS. The Pound isn't the best thing about Rumney or even Rumney bouldering, but it'd be nicer to be able to climb there than not, and crap like this is how areas get closed.

Trevor Taylor wrote: The pound is pretty decent, but why would you drive all the way to a closed area to do high ball boulders. There is so much climbing in New Hampshire that isn't rumney that people could still climb at not be totally disrespecting the closures. 

Spot on all around. I can't see trespassing to climb Ships Prow.

There is still a lot that is open and relatively low risk for those who need to scratch the itch. The important thing, now more than ever, is to keep a low profile and not piss people off.

Trevor Taylor · · Seattle · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 251
Neil Benson wrote:

I agree, but the people doing this sort of thing aren't exactly paragons of logic and reason. As long as there are people violating the closure at the main area, I'm all the more worried about private land that's not held by the FS. The Pound isn't the best thing about Rumney or even Rumney bouldering, but it'd be nicer to be able to climb there than not, and crap like this is how areas get closed.

Yeah that would be very tragic. However there is probably a high probability of bored kids in the woods are doing the damage, since if I were a kid right now, I would just go wander aimlessly in the woods and climb up the boulders.

Peter Jackson · · Rumney, NH · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 445
Trevor Taylor wrote:

Yeah that would be very tragic. However there is probably a high probability of bored kids in the woods are doing the damage, since if I were a kid right now, I would just go wander aimlessly in the woods and climb up the boulders.

Maybe. I think the Pound is not exactly a place you come across by wandering through the woods aimlessly, though. The area is right off Quincy Road in Rumney, and the parking pad was jammed with cars sporting climbing stickers.

It's really important to point out that the landowner has no problem with climbers or climbing. It's overuse and the current social distancing guidance. 

Eli Buzzell · · Plymouth, NH · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 3,581
Trevor Taylor wrote:

Yeah that would be very tragic. However there is probably a high probability of bored kids in the woods are doing the damage, since if I were a kid right now, I would just go wander aimlessly in the woods and climb up the boulders.

I think it has more to do with the zeitgeist of climbing being a counter culture sport and the associated baggage.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northeastern States
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