Join AMC Boston Climbers for a trip to the best climbing the western Whites have to offer. Greg Spurr will be leading this trip and Chris Camejo has generously offered camping at his cabin just 30 minutes from Rumney, NH. Note that leaders are welcome to join for the weekend and climb elsewhere with or without new seconds. Partners and carpooling should be arranged on your own but we will facilitate via a spreadsheet and toprope groups as necessary. If you will not be joining for camping, plan to meet in the first Rumney parking lot on the right at 8:30 AM. Information on area activities, camping, eating, climbing, etc. are provided by Chris below.
All are welcome to attend but please register by filling out the registration form.
After climbing we will be having a BBQ at Chris’ cabin in Thornton, NH. Directions will be sent to those who register.
Climbers are also welcome to pitch a tent and camp out at the cabin Friday and/or Saturday night to shorten the drive to the crag in the morning or stretch it out into a full weekend of climbing.
Thornton is about 2 hours from downtown Boston without traffic, straight up I-93.
Rumney is about 30 minutes southwest and is one of very few sport climbing (i.e. bolted) areas in New England.
Kinsman Notch is about 35 minutes northwest and is one of the newest climbing areas to be developed.
Cannon Cliff and other Franconia Notch cliffs are about 35 minutes north. Cannon has some epic big wall (by Northeast standards) climbing.
There are also various crags along the Kancamagus Highway, Crawford Notch, and in the North Conway area. Lincoln and the western end of the Kanc is about 30 minutes to the north, the AMC Highland Center in Crawford Notch is about 1 hour northeast, and North Conway (Cathedral and Whitehorse Ledges are classic crags in that area) is about 1.5 hours via either the Kanc or Crawford Notch.
If you’re looking for an alpine excursion, AMC Pinkham Notch Camp on the east side of Mt Washington (where most of the rock climbs are) is about 1.5 hours northeast via Gorham.
The guidebook to Rumney has been out of print for years and goes for stupid money on eBay so Mountain Project is your best bet for beta at that location: https://www.mountainproject.com/v/rumney/105867829
Kinsman, Franconia, and Crawford Notch are all covered in a newly released guidebook called “The Notches” by Jon Sykes, available online here: https://www.eaglecliffpub.com/purchase/
Climbs in the North Conway area including the eastern end of the Kanc and Mt Washington are covered in (surprise) “North Conway Rock Climbs” by Jerry Handren, available here: http://www.northconwayrockclimbs.com/purchase-north-conway-guide.html
This is the season for peregrine falcon nesting so please check to see if the cliffs you’re planning to climb have any closures.
If you go to Rumney, the Rumney Climbers Association requests that you do not run topropes through the fixed anchors. Attach your own slings/biners to the fixed anchors so you toprope on your own gear of instead (this approach save lots of wear and tear on the fixed anchors given how popular Rumney is). It is OK for the last person to climb a route to be lowered directly off the anchors (i.e. you don’t have to switch to rappel mode).
Most of the parking lots in the White Mountain National Forest (including the Rumney Rocks lot) charge a few bucks to park (I think it’s still $3 but they were talking about raising it to $5). Payment is via an unattended strongbox so you can’t get change; bring a pen to fill in the envelope and a bunch of $1s to stuff it with. If you have a WMNF annual pass or one of the nationwide “Interagency” annual passes you can put it on your dash in lieu of paying for parking in WMNF. All the REI stores in the Boston area should sell both the WMNF ($20) and Interagency ($80) annual passes. The Interagency pass is worth it if you plan on doing a bunch of climbing trips to National Forests and National Parks over the next year (e.g. the AMC Acadia trip, the park entrance fee is $25).
Note that Franconia Notch and Crawford Notch are NH state parks, not park of WMNF. This is a double edged sword: most of the lots in the state parks are free, but when they are not free you won’t be covered by your WMNF or interagency pass.
Given the costs of rescuing people who get in over their heads outdoors and New Hampshire’s aversion to anything remotely resembling a tax, the state passed a law that makes negligent hikers liable for the cost of their rescue. If you’re going to be spending much time outdoors in NH you may want to consider buying a “HikeSafe” card which exempts you from that liability (unless you’re completely reckless). Cost is $25 for a year and all funds go to the Search and Rescue Fund. Available online here: https://www.nhfishandgame.com/HikeSafe.aspx
Besides the bears, I know there are coyotes in the area (I had 2 separate sightings today). If you bring a pet you should plan on keeping it in the tent with you at night so it doesn’t run off and join the pack (which, in reality, will kill a domestic dog given the opportunity).
Last I checked, WMNF (i.e. Rumney Rocks) has a “pets must be in control” policy. This doesn’t necessarily mean a leash is required, as long as your critter actually listens when you tell it to do something.
There’s a swimming hole down in the river so bring your water wings if you want to cool down after a hot and sweaty day of getting pumped on the cliffs. It’s a WMNF pullout (free parking) called “The Eddy” on Route 49, just west of the intersection with Burbank Hill Road.
There are plenty of hiking trails in case you want to take a day off from climbing: The trailhead for the Welch-Dickey Loop is just a few minutes down my road (there are also some slab climbs up there), and the trailheads for Tecumseh, the Osceolas and the Tripyramids (all 4,000 footers) are all in Waterville Valley, about 20 minutes away.
If you have Verizon you will likely get only 1 bar of 3G coverage at the cabin. Other carriers don’t seem to have any coverage at all. I’ll leave a note on the fridge with the WiFi details.
Plymouth, NH is a college town about 15 minutes south and has a Walmart amongst many other services. You’ll pass through it on the way to Rumney.
If you’re looking for somewhere to buy guide books or climbing/outdoor gear then your best bet is Lahout’s Summit Shop in Lincoln (30 minutes north) but even that will seem sparse if you’re used to the variety available at the average REI. There are many Lahouts stores in Lincoln, each with a different specialty, so make sure you head to the right one: it’s at 165 Main St, in the same plaza as the Subway.
Gas stations are few and far between up here, especially once you get past Lincoln heading either to Cannon or over the Kanc. Plan ahead and fuel up early.
Fireworks and/or gunshots (i.e. target shooting) are normal up here, especially on Saturdays. Welcome to New Hampshire.