New England’s sport climbing gem, Rumney offers the best sport climbing in the Northeast, hands down. With classic climbs at every grade from 5.6 to 5.15a and friendly, safe bolting, Rumney should be on every climber’s itinerary when passing through this part of the country. The climbs tend to be on the shorter side with hard, bouldery cruxes, though a few long pumpy classics can also be found.
There’s not a lot to say about the climbing at Rumney other than that it’s awesome, fun, and incredibly varied. Waimea, Orange Crush, and The Hinterlands are crags not to be missed.
There are two main parking areas, with a $5 per car self-service fee for each. Regardless of where you park, try to use the nicely carved out trails through the woods to get around rather than walking on the road.
There is a fun swimming hole basically across from the Main Cliff parking area (please don’t park here if you’re going climbing) that is great for hot summer days.
Ward Smith’s guidebook is helpful to navigate the somewhat complex network of crags spread out over Rattlesnake Mountain (don’t worry, you won’t actually find rattlesnakes here). However, the Mountain Project page for Rumney is also quite comprehensive.
- Underdog 5.10a
- Centerpiece 5.10d
- Flying Hawaiian 5.11b
- Black Mamba 5.11c
- Peanut Man 5.12a
- Flesh for Lulu 5.12a/b
- Giant Man 5.12c
- Flying Monkeys 5.12c
- Predator 5.13b
- China Beach 5.14b
Climbing at Rumney is possible most of the year except for the coldest winter months (December through February), with the Fall offering the best temperatures, conditions, and incredible foliage in September and October. Summer is hot but you can always find shade and jump in the river to cool off at the end of the day.
There are a number of good camping options nearby Rumney, the closest being Rattlesnake Rocks right across from the bigger campground. Baker River, Mountain Pines, and D’Acres are also all a short drive away from the climbing. For those looking for more comfortable options, the Common Cafe has rooms with beds.
There is no water at the climbing area, so get some before you come at a restaurant, grocery store, or campground.
Other than the nearby Common Cafe, the best food options are located in and around nearby Plymouth, NH. The Common Man and Biederman’s Deli are two standouts, but several other good options abound in downtown Plymouth.
Most of the campgrounds offer showers. If you’re real desperate, you can also jump in the river!
The White Mountains of NH also offer some beautiful day hikes not far from Rumney. The Franconia Ridge traverse, Mt Moosilauke, and Cannon Mountain are all about a 30 minute drive north of Rumney.
By Tyler Wellman