Climb Like a Local: Rumney

09/13/2017

Categories: Climb Like a Local

From pumpy overhanging jug hauls to technical face climbs and airy arêtes, Rumney has something for everyone. With hundreds of sport routes—ranging from 5.3 to 5.15—tucked into a picturesque New Hampshire mountainside, this may just be the perfect fall climbing destination in the Northeast. And it’s right next to a bustling college town.


Photo courtesy of ©Lee Hansche

The Local Vibe: Super stoked (this is Joe Kinder’s home crag, after all). Most Rumney “locals” hail from all over southern New Hampshire and Massachusetts. They’re open and friendly, and will happily provide you with beta or directions if needed. They also love their home cliff and are willing to put in the elbow grease to improve and protect it.

Avoid the Crowds: Popular areas like The Meadows, Parking Lot Wall, and Main Cliff can get pretty swamped on the weekends. Head higher up the mountain to places like Jimmy Cliff and Crow’s Nest to get away from the big crowds. If you want to get send-y without a crowd, head up to The Final Frontier, a new set of crags on the northwest corner of the mountain.

Climbing Beta: You’ll find all sorts of styles, including overhanging pump-fests, technical dihedrals, spectacular arêtes, and techy face climbs. Rumney’s full of schist, making the climbing both technical and powerful. Expect mostly well-protected sport climbing (with a few trad lines and some great bouldering thrown into the mix).

Camping Beta: Rattlesnake Mountain Campground is one of the most idyllic climber campgrounds in the Northeast. For those not looking to rough it, the Little House Hostel is a great climber-friendly alternative run by a local climber (and Board President of the Rumney Climbers Association).

Parking Beta: Parking is tight on busy weekends. Expect full lots when conditions are good. Come prepared with $5 in cash (or a White Mountain National Forest Pass) since Rumney is a recreation area and has parking fees. If the lots are full, check across the street at Rattlesnake Mountain Campground where you can usually score a spot for a minimal fee.

Local Pet Peeve: Climbers walking along Buffalo Road. It’s seriously sketchy…just don’t do it. You’re endangering yourself and the safety of drivers. Use the roadside trail designed to keep climbers and hikers safe and off the road.

Watch Out! There are often seasonal raptor closures at Summit Cliff and Main Cliff during nesting season (typically March – July) to protect nesting peregrine falcons. Be sure to check the trailhead kiosks for up-to-date information. Also, there are sensitive plants all over the mountain, so stay on established trails so you don’t crush them.

Rest Day: Head into nearly Plymouth (home to Plymouth State College) to enjoy quirky shops, breweries, and restaurants. Take a hike in the White Mountain National Forest or cool off in the Baker River.

Good Eats: Get your morning cup of Joe and breakfast at The Common Café and Tavern in Rumney. Later in the day, head back for super-tasty pizza named after classic Rumney climbs at the upstairs tavern. The Last Chair restaurant and brewery in Plymouth also offers great food, and their home-brewed beer is the perfect end to a long day of projecting. The Rumney Village Store, just down the street from the climbing area, offers limited grocery items, drinks, deli sandwiches, ice cream, and, more importantly, the new Rumney guidebook.

Who’s Got Your Back: The Rumney Climbers Association represents the climbing community.

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