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Bolt Line

5.8, Sport, 70 ft (21 m),  Avg: 2.5 from 323 votes
FA: Bradley White, 1985
New Hampshire > Rumney > Meadows > Center Section
Access Issue: Note: New route moratorium area Details


Bolt Line is one of the longer climbs at the Meadows and offers approximately 70 feet of fairly sustained climbing at the grade. The common start (5.8) is right of the bolt line and works back left to the first bolt. There are a couple of alternative direct starts in the 5.10 or 5.11 range. Climb the face past seven bolts to the anchors. Fun route.


Located on the face just to the left of the prominent left-leaning flake on Beginner’s Route. Starts behind a large tree.


7 (possibly more) bolts to Quick Clip anchors.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Bolt Line (5.8, center), Cold Turkey (5.10c, left), Beginner's Route (5.5, right).
[Hide Photo] Bolt Line (5.8, center), Cold Turkey (5.10c, left), Beginner's Route (5.5, right).
Long line of bolts to the anchor
[Hide Photo] Long line of bolts to the anchor
Cleaning Boltline while high-fiving a prety rad kid who was climbing the unbolted face next to me.
[Hide Photo] Cleaning Boltline while high-fiving a prety rad kid who was climbing the unbolted face next to me.
Bolt Line
[Hide Photo] Bolt Line
Really FUN climbing
[Hide Photo] Really FUN climbing
Dave on Bolt Line and another climber in the back on Lies and Propaganda 5.9
[Hide Photo] Dave on Bolt Line and another climber in the back on Lies and Propaganda 5.9
A climber starting out on the some what bouldery start of Bolt Line...
[Hide Photo] A climber starting out on the some what bouldery start of Bolt Line...
Bolt Line in its original state (circa 1992) - 5.7 & with only 3 bolts.
[Hide Photo] Bolt Line in its original state (circa 1992) - 5.7 & with only 3 bolts.
Dave finishing a long and fun day on Bolt Line!
[Hide Photo] Dave finishing a long and fun day on Bolt Line!
Kristen finishing a TR on Bolt Line - Loving the slab
[Hide Photo] Kristen finishing a TR on Bolt Line - Loving the slab
Climber leading Bolt Line.
[Hide Photo] Climber leading Bolt Line.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Ri Fahnestock
[Hide Comment] Personally one of my favorites at the Meadows and an awesome intro into run out slab. Oct 26, 2007
Jay Knower
Plymouth, NH
[Hide Comment] Who says that sport climbers can't climb slabs?

This was my one and only solo climb at Rumney. Never again...never again. Nov 1, 2007
[Hide Comment] I felt it was a little difficult for the grade, but maybe because I don't love slab climb as much as other types... May 26, 2008
Meredith, NH
[Hide Comment] this was my first 5.8 lead... that run out at the top sure was exciting its not so bad now but having never been on the sharp end on a 5.8 it was scary to say the route though Mar 22, 2009
[Hide Comment] Run out slab!! the first move is the only interesting one! If you like slab climb somewhere else! Rumney rocks because it avoid slab you find everywhere!!!! Apr 16, 2009
Meredith, NH
[Hide Comment] BiRD i agree this sint the best route in rumney but a no star rating dont know if it deserves that? IMHO Apr 16, 2009
Pal Pocsi
Budapest, Hungary
[Hide Comment] I climbed this yesterday and really enjoyed it. The runout at the end is not too bad either, it's definitely the easiest section of the route. Good slab practice. Whenever you think hand holds have run out, just work your feet higher and trust that hand holds will appear for you as you get higher. Sure enough, they do! Oct 18, 2009
Glenn Cilley
Laconia, NH
[Hide Comment] I use to put a very small nut in between the last bolt and the top of the cliff, when there was only 3 bolts, don't know if it would of held a fall but it looked good. Mar 19, 2010
[Hide Comment] It's a fun slabby climb, if you like those, I would do it. I found it scarier trying to get to the first bolt than I did that bit of run out at the top, much worse stuff to fall on before that first bolt is clipped imo. Jul 16, 2010
Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
[Hide Comment] Bolt Line felt a bit like a Tuolumne Mdws slab climb. A great slab climb, with excellent protection. It must have been great fun with just the three bolts. IMHO, getting to the 1st bolt was more traumatic than the runout to the anchors. Jul 27, 2010
[Hide Comment] I led this route back in the summer of 1993 or '94.
I remember using 2 or 3 trad pieces in addition to the bolts. It also seems to me that there were more than 3 bolts on this climb back then. Perhaps I was just bolder! :) The start (before the 1st bolt) got my attention, so did the ending (easy but runout and I did not place a trad piece). I should repeat the route one of these days. Jul 28, 2010
Matt Wilson
Vermont, USA
[Hide Comment] Talk about run out. This route got me thinking several times. It felt a tad harder than the slab section of Cold Turkey (or maybe the slab section of Cold Turkey just feels easy after doing the bottom?) Either way, a good practice for beginning leaders looking to improve their lead head (me being on of them). Apr 4, 2012
J. Albers
[Hide Comment] Very fun, featured slab climbing. I'm not sure why folks are calling this runout, because it is quite safely bolted. Apr 4, 2012
Matt Wilson
Vermont, USA
[Hide Comment] Oh it is certainly safely bolted. However, I think a combination of the consistent 5.8 climbing combined with the fact that most Rumney climbs are not slab and are more frequently bolted because of that, makes this one feel run out in comparison. Still, if it were up to me, I would not add any bolts. This is an excellent climb for the aspiring leader to work on their lead head. May 9, 2012
Jeffrey LeCours
New Hampshire
[Hide Comment] "85 for the date so they tell me. A face climbing slab started out with three hardware store bolts. I didn't realize at the time what a trend rappel bolting would become. The old timers then seeing what I had done to the practice slab said, "well, there goes the neighborhood". According to Ed Webster's 2nd Edition Climbing Guide, 1985 is the date. I'll have to believe that's the date. Also this date makes it the second rappel anchored route because 'Buried Treasure' was the first recorded route with a anchored bolt by rappel by Ted Hammond and Bob Pike in 1984.
'Bolt Line' was the first route entirely bolt protected though. In 2006 at the top of the Monolith Crag on the western side, there is a 2 bolt anchor that had to be done on rappel. The rest of the bolts could have been placed on the lead using radical hooking aid techniques or were also placed on rappel. The bolts are made from galvanized steel, have no hangers and are still body weight strong or stronger. The same bolts without hangers are on the 'Lone Ranger'. So the first rappel bolting was done by him or her way back when, then?"

Comment by bradley white on July 13th, 2008 4:46 am Jul 20, 2012
Hans Weber
Hudson, NH
[Hide Comment] Sunday afternoon I witnessed a kid take a 40 foot tumbling whipper while attempting to clip the anchors. He was knocked out cold for several minutes and suffered 2 gashes on his head along with a concussion, dislocated shoulder and broken collarbone. I had previously read comments about the lengthy run-out before the chains and wondered why an 8th bolt wasn't installed for safety reasons, especially considering this is a novice route. Maybe this kid and his belayer were a little too inexperienced to be lead climbing outdoors, but nonetheless, I feel like this was an accident waiting to happen. What's the protocol with adding bolts at Rumney? Any feedback would be much appreciated, thanks!

Aug 4, 2015
Matt Levine
Concord, NH
[Hide Comment] Hans, that's a shame you had to see that happen and I wish the climber a speedy recovery but I wouldn't necessarily call Bolt Line a "novice" route.

Was the fall actually 40 feet? I've unfortunately taken that exact fall by accident and it was lengthy but definitely not 40 feet. Aug 4, 2015
Hans Weber
Hudson, NH
[Hide Comment] Sorry Matt I didn't have my tape measure with me. Do you know who I can talk to about possibly adding another bolt or were you just trolling around the comments section? Aug 5, 2015
M Sprague
New England
[Hide Comment] The route was already retrobolted and is fine. The kids were in over their heads. It is impossible to make a climb completely safe for everyone. Aug 5, 2015
Matt Levine
Concord, NH
[Hide Comment] Hans, not trolling at all....not sure why you think that. It was an honest question.

Have a good one. Again, sorry you had to witness that as I'm sure it wasn't pretty. Glad the kid didn't end up any worse. Aug 5, 2015
Hans Weber
Hudson, NH
[Hide Comment] Sorry for being a jerk Matt, I apologize. I'm not sure if it was 40 feet, but it sure looked like it to me. He was at the anchors and when the rope caught him he was hanging below the 4th bolt. I see a lot of nasty stuff in my profession so it didn't bother me much, but the other witnesses were quite shaken up to say the least.

And M Sprague, the kids probably were a little over their heads, you're right. I just thought that I could help make this moderate line at a very popular crag a little safer, that's all. Aug 5, 2015
M Sprague
New England
[Hide Comment] I understand Hans. Once you start placing fixed gear it makes sense to have them bolted reasonably safely, and I have been a party to upgrading many routes at Rumney. There is a point though.. Sometimes at Rumney it is necessary to have quite close bolts to keep leaders from hitting a ledge, but if you try to make it so safe that even somebody completely over their head and with a bad belayer can't hurt themselves, it ends up detracting from the enjoyment of the rest of the climbers.
If it was a brand new route I was putting up, I might use one more bolt, but it is a Bradley White route put up in the '80s, and has already had some bolts added to get it out of the R rating. I don't think it needs to be completely neutered. Bradley seems to be around, so it ultimately is up to him, being his route. Aug 5, 2015
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
[Hide Comment] Again, with empathy to the injured climber, my mind goes directly to how to better educate new climbers rather than how to dumb down the climbs to better suit unprepared parties.
I try to do my part to teach safe climbing practices which is what i personally do for a living but it is something the entire community should be united in. I don't see it as much as i once did... or perhaps its the sheer mass of new climbers out there that makes it hard to reach people. Aug 5, 2015
[Hide Comment] We were there to help, it was a party of 3, one was not a climber, they only climbed 3 other climbs ever, is what one of them told me unless I miss-understood them. The belayer was really shook up bad and as stated above the climber didn't fair so well. At least there was plenty of good help around, guides and emt's just happened to be near. Best wishes to all of them for a quick recovery. Aug 10, 2015
Hans Weber
Hudson, NH
[Hide Comment] I don't think they were very experienced and maybe operator error played a part, I just hope people are aware of the run-out and properly prepare themselves before attempting this route (and all routes for that matter!).

And I agree Lee, the overall focus should be on teaching necessary skills and educating ourselves about the dangers of the sport, rather than making climbs fool proof. However this particular route just seems a liiittle too spicy for a bolted moderate... but we can agree to disagree i guess :)

Glad the PG-13 rating was added, thanks Mark! And a speedy recovery to the injured climber!

Aug 12, 2015
Jay Morse
Hooksett, New Hampshire
[Hide Comment] I did this route today and there were a few new glue-ins. I can't remember exactly where the old bolts were, but there is no longer a runout at any portion of this climb. My opinion is that the PG13 tag can be removed.

Personally, I'll miss the old runout. but oh well. Feb 28, 2016
Robert Hall
North Conway, NH
[Hide Comment] Got on this today, thinking it was a 5.7 I'd done before. (Don't get old! Memory goes! No Rumney guidebook... We'd first gone to Echo; it was soaking, dripping wet.) My buddy had "confirmed" it as 5.7 (guess he's getting old too). I kept on thinking I'd gotten old...damn those moves seemed harder than 5.7.
Anyway...There's no longer a run out to the top (as mentioned above), although I think if you're short it might be a reach to that final glue-in below the anchors.
Beautiful climb, and quite the climb with only 3 bolts. [Way-to-Go, Bradley !] May 10, 2016
Semi Sendy
Chattanooga, TN
[Hide Comment] Hopped on this blind thinking it looked like a super easy warm-up. Starting directly below the first bolt felt pretty stiff and a bit spicy getting to the first bolt. I noticed afterwards it appears more people start just right, and the comments here confirm this. I'd have to admit, for a warm-up the climb really kept me on my toes, literally. Certainly not the typical bolt ladder that much of rumney seems to suffer from. It was nice to have something less gym like and slightly more heady. Definitely one of my favorites from my brief two day tour-de-rumney. Jul 5, 2017