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Weekend at Rumney Rocks

Join us for a climbing weekend at Rumney Rocks! Rumney is the premier sport climbing venue in New England and there are other trad climbing and hiking opportunities nearby in the White Mountains.

Chris C has a cabin nearby in Thornton, NH and has offered to let people use his place as a venue to camp out Friday and Saturday nights and for a cookout Saturday evening. Most people will head up Friday after work and climb both Saturday and Sunday but heading straight up Saturday or Sunday morning and meeting at Rumney is also an option.

Please note that everyone will be required to sign the AMC liability waiver.

Camping Location:

Chris’ cabin is off I-93, exit 28, about 4 miles from the highway. We will give the complete address and directions to everyone who signs up.

There’s a bunk room with 4 beds and plenty of floor space but it may get too crowded inside depending on how many people sign up so plan on bringing a tent to camp outside and consider yourself lucky if you get to stay inside. There is a grill, fire pit, and plenty of firewood available for burning.


The cabin has electricity, heat, indoor plumbing, a fridge, showers, a sauna, and all the other stuff you would expect in a normal house; except a microwave for some strange reason.


We will have a cookout on Saturday evening, all other meals are on your own.

There is a breakfast/coffee place by the highway on-ramp in Campton (Mad River Coffee Roasters), and various supermarkets (Hannaford, Walmart) and delis (Chase St Market, Biedermans) in Plymouth (on the way to Rumney).

Saturday Cookout

The cookout on Saturday evening will start around 6:00pm (Happy Hour!) with food ready to eat around 6:30-7:00pm. BYOB.

We will do it Crow Hill potluck style where everyone brings something to grill/eat/drink.

A-H: Dessert or beverage

I-P: Munchies or salad

Q-Z: Something to grill (plus rolls/buns to accompany)

Getting to Rumney (the climbs, not the cabin)

The parking areas are on Buffalo Road, west of Rumney Village.

To get there:

  • Take I-93 to exit 26, this will put you on Route 25/Tenney Mountain Highway heading west.
  • Follow Route 25 for about 8 miles until you see a blinking yellow light over the road (this is your warning that the turn is coming soon).
  • Proceed a little further past that first blinking yellow light and you’ll see signs for various Rumney related things (church, animal hospital, historic district) with arrows pointing to the right.
  • Turn right at the 2nd blinking yellow light onto Main Street.
  • About 3/4 of a mile up you’ll come to a 4 way intersection at Rumney Village, take a left onto Buffalo Road.
  • About a mile down the road on the right you’ll see the “Rumney Rocks Climbing Area” sign. This is the place.


There are 2 parking lots at Rumney Rocks, both of which have rudimentary bathroom facilities. The one at the Rumney Rocks sign is the larger of the 2 but requires a longer walk to all of the climbs except the Parking Lot Wall and the Meadows. Most of the parking lots in the White Mountain National Forest (including the Rumney Rocks lot) charge $5. Bring a pen to fill out the payment slip and cash, payment is via an unattended strongbox so you can’t get change.

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. 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 trip to Acadia where the park entrance fee is $25). This pass does not work for any state parks, just federal.

Both parking lots can fill up on weekends so plan on an early start. If both parking lots are full DO NOT PARK ON THE ROAD. This will result in angry locals, tickets, and/or towing. There’s a campground owned by the American Alpine Club across the street from the 1st (larger) lot that charges $5 to park, WMNF and Interagency passes do not work at the AAC campground.


There are many hundreds of routes at Rumney ranging from 5.0 to 5.15a (good luck with that one, tough guy).

We won’t be matching up leaders with seconds. However, we see this trip as an opportunity to continue the mentoring of the new seconds in our community, and so we would encourage leaders on this trip to take a new second out climbing with them at least one day of the weekend. The trip spreadsheet (more on that below) will have a column where leaders can indicate which day(s) they’d be willing to take a new second with them. New seconds, it is your responsibility to be proactive about contacting available leaders.

The local ethic is for the first climber up a route to attach their own personal gear to the anchors and lower or toprope on their gear. The last climber on a route can move the rope to the fixed anchor, clean personal gear off the anchor, and then lower off of the fixed anchor. Do not top rope on the fixed anchor or lower off of it repeatedly and unnecessarily.

Certain areas at Rumney will be closed for endangered ferns and nesting falcons. These closures will be posted on the bulletin board in the parking lot.

The most current guidebook is the 2017 edition of Rumney, by Ward Smith, available here: for $35.00.


You should have all your personal climbing gear: shoes, harness, helmet, chalk bag (optional), belay device and locking carabiner. Additionally a couple of extra "shoulder" length (24") slings and 2 locking carabiners would be useful if you want to second any climbs and need to anchor in to clean an anchor.

There are a few trad routes at Rumney but it is mostly sport so bring your ropes, quickdraws, and clip sticks if you’ve got them.

If you don’t bring bug spray, you’re gonna have a bad time.

Shameless Plugs

Rumney needs your help! Rumney Rocks is only available for climbing due to the efforts of the Rumney Climbers Association with help from the American Alpine Club and the AMC. Besides maintaining the anchors on the cliffs, the RCA raised the funds to purchase the cliffs themselves from private landowners, build parking lots and trails, and transfer it all to the National Forest. This work continues with the recent purchase of the “Final Frontier” area which will be added to the National Forest once the new parking lots and trails are built. If you enjoy climbing at Rumney please consider helping support the RCA in their efforts:

New Hampshire’s Search and Rescue teams also need your help! SAR efforts in NH have historically been funded from fees on the sale of boat, snowmobile, and ATV registrations as well as hunting and fishing licenses but lost and injured hikers and climbers, who don’t pay any of these fees, account for 60% of the SAR missions in the state. As a result the NH Search and Rescue Fund has been operating at a deficit for years and the state now seeks reimbursement for rescue efforts from hikers and climbers if it is determined that the subject acted negligently. You can buy a $25 Hike Safe card, good for the rest of the year, that eliminates the liability for SAR reimbursement and the proceeds from the sale of the cards go into the Search and Rescue Fund so we can continue helping lost and injured hikers and climbers.



Earlier Event: May 25
Acadia National Park Weekend
Later Event: June 2
One Day Advanced Skills