Come clip bolts with us for a weekend at one of the premier sport climbing destinations in the country: Rumney Rocks in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest. There’s something for everyone, with hundreds of routes ranging from 5.0 all the way up to an intimidating 5.15a. There are also trad climbing opportunities nearby in case sport climbing isn’t your thing, including Kinsman Notch, Echo Crag, and the closest thing New England has to Big Wall climbing: Cannon Cliff.
There will be a registration fee of $26 that will cover both Friday and Saturday night camping at the AAC Rattlesnake Campground plus a $10 per person donation to the Restore Rumney campaign. The campground can accommodate 35 people. If you would rather make your own overnight arrangements or come up just for the day and meet at the crags, that’s cool too but please consider making your own donation as well. It’s important for us to help support the otherwise free climbing resources that we use so that they remain available.
There will be a potluck BBQ starting at 6:30pm in the barn on Saturday evening. You can buy food at the Hannaford or WalMart in Plymouth on the day of so you don’t have to worry about refrigeration. All other meals will be your responsibility.
Suggestions for Potluck items: last names starting with:
A-H: Dessert or beverage
I-P: Munchies or salad
Q-Z: Something to grill (plus rolls /buns to accompany)
A Grill will be available. We provide plates, utensils, napkins, cups, condiments, and trash bags.
Getting to Rumney
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 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.
Anyone camping with us can park at the campground for free, which is across the street from Rumney’s main parking lot. For those making their own arrangements, there are three parking lots at Rumney Rocks: one at the Rumney Rocks sign (the Main Lot), on a little further down (the Small Lot), and a new one waaaaay far down (the Final Frontier lot). The Main Lot and Small Lot cost $5 per day, bring a pen to fill out the payment slip and cash; payment is via an unattended strongbox so you can’t get change. The Final Frontier lot is free (for now).
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.
The parking lots can fill up on weekends so plan on an early start. If the parking lots are full DO NOT PARK ON THE ROAD. This will result in angry locals, tickets, and/or towing. There is a day lot at Rattlesnake Campground that charges $5 to park. WMNF and Interagency passes do not work at the AAC campground.
There are hundreds of routes at Rumney ranging from 5.0 to 5.15a (good luck with that one, tough gal/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 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 at http://www.rumneyclimbing.com for $35.00.
You should have all your personal climbing gear: shoes, harness, helmet, chalk bag (optional), belay device, double-length sling, and two locking carabiners.
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.
New Hampshire’s Search and Rescue teams (the people who will be carrying you out if you get injured at Rumney or anywhere else in the White Mountains) also need your help! Search and Rescue efforts in NH have historically been funded from fees on the sale of boat, snowmobile, and ATV registrations but lost and injured hikers and climbers, who don’t pay any of those fees, account for 60% of the Search and Rescue missions in the state. As a result the New Hampshire Search and Rescue Fund had been operating at a deficit and the state now seeks reimbursement for rescue efforts from hikers and climbers if it is determined that they acted negligently. You can buy a $25 Hike Safe card, good for the rest of the year, that eliminates your liability for Search and Rescue 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. See here for more information on search and rescue in the White Mountains.