Rumney Rocks Climbing
Aubrey has taken on a powerful approach and I am quite impressed with his dedication to the game.
Each time he joins me for a climb his goal is to clinic on the difficult routes at Rumney. Aubrey enjoys figuring out the complexities of the movements on steep, technical 5.10’s and 5.11s. All of these routes require the climber to think ahead, to use the power when needed and to conserve the energy for the final push to the chains. Our climbing clinics are lengthy lasting 5 or 6 hours on route after route.
Stacking the odds in your favor.
The preparation for these days should be well thought out. The body must be rested prior to the clinic – fresh and energetic is what one needs to push the body and mind to the limit. Equipment should be suited to the game, shoes are a personal choice but a highly important one.
My personal favorite is the Five Ten Arrowhead with Stealth Rubber.
A new standard in high friction rubber with unbeatable hardness for precise edging and stickiness for friction.
The Five Ten Elite team raves about the Arrowhead’s fit and performance. You will instantly feel the difference in the casually down-turned toe and heel cup that grips without pinching. The upper is a supple, breathable Cowdura™ that molds to the foot.
Gold bug Main Cliff another tricky 5.10 plus route.
Steep rock with wild moves up the flaring dihedrals.
Rumney schist – unusual grainy rock, with good friction, underlings – side pulls and many unusual holds.
Aubrey – great day working the routes with you.
Sean came to Rumney for a second time. This time was a check in to see if this was a sport he wants to pursue. Wenesday was a hot steamy day so we started in the shade of the forest at the 5.8 crag. A couple of routes were climbed quickly and we decided to climb at Jimmy Cliff for the views and two routes the Nuthatch 5.7 and a quick climb of the Clippidy Do Da. The check in for Sean included a variety of types of climbs which ranged from cracks, to a chimney, to delicate face routes and the multi pitch slab route. Our goal was becoming achieved – a well rounded day at the Rumney rocks area.
By mid day we decided to recharge so hiked out a took a short drive to the Common Cafe. A short lunch break with a well deserved ice coffee booted us up for the afternoon session at the Meadows Area.
The day was very productive and we climbed 8 pitches on a variety of cliffs. Sean was excited to get back into the sport. It’s now time to train back home in the local gym. The weekend adventures may become frequent activities refreshing the mind and body and Sean want to be ready to climb!
Thanks sean for a fun day at Rumney Rocks. I hope we climb again soon.
The transition from indoor climbing to the outdoor climbing world can be a challenge to the mind and to the body. The climbing routes are longer, the holds are permanent, and the routes are more difficult to view. Another view is you are outside on real rock, climbing, with fresh air and sunshine. There are a vast variety of climbs and areas to visit. Going to new areas to challenging ones self to rise to new heights is in itself is an awesome experience
Charlie made the journey to Rumney Rocks yesterday. By days end he was a tired but very happy climber.
Through out the day we climbed a variety of routes. Face and slabs opened up the morning, then by mid day we got after some of the steeper overhanging routes. Charlies day ended with a strong finish on the Arete 5.10C and the Holderness Crack 5.8.
A healthy lunch for us – hummus and pita bread.
Eating good food and drinking plenty of water are essential to staying energized during a day at Rumney Rocks.
Charlie climbing the technical Lies and Propaganda 5.9 and the Holderness Crack 5.8.
Thank you Charlie – it was a very fun day showing you around one of my favorite climbing areas.
Many climbers go to the cliffs seeking freedom. Freedom to go where you want, when you want to. You can choose the level of challenge, style of climb, even where in the world you want to go. There is no greater freedom than leading. Leading a climb requires the climber to not only be strong physically and mentally, but it requires an intimate knowledge of the gear and rope systems used to stay safe while on the cliff.
Nick and Rodger came out with Mooney Mountain Guides on a custom learn to lead course. It is important to have all the essential rope system skills in order to lead safely, and climbing with a professional guide is a great way to learn the most up to date information. Nick and Rodger are strong climbers, spending many days in the gym honing their climbing abilities. There number one goal was to take there skills into the outdoors and climb a cliff such as Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire.
Nick, Belaying after mock leading pitch two of Fun House, Cathedral Ledge.
Rodger Belaying top of pitch two on Upper Refuse, Cathedral Ledge NH.
Day one of the two day course was spent at Cathedral Ledge where we climbed from bottom to top discussing gear placements, belay systems, cleaning a pitch, mock leading (leading while on a top-rope), building anchors, and rappelling.
Day two was spent at Rumney. Rumney is a sport climbing area, meaning the protection for the leader is already placed in the rock. This allows for the climber to concentrate on the climbing and rope systems and not each individual gear placement. When learning to lead with a professional or highly experienced recreational climber, Rumney is an excellent venue to lead a lot in a short time. Nick and Rodger were able to lead many climbs, the goal to becoming proficient and then go out and climb at Rumney on there own.
Rodger leading, Rumney NH.
Nick leading, Rumney, NH.
Nick and Rodger are now ready to continue the learning on there own. As guides we are constantly learning and tweaking our systems to become better and more skilled climbers and guides. Maybe a custom course in “leading” is right for you.
Thank you Nick and Rodger for two awesome days on the cliff.
While Tuesday’s rain kept us off the rock, Thursday turned out to be ideal conditions for climbing. Tom, Virginia, William, and Malcolm made the most of their return to Rumney. They climbed a number of different routes, even taking a couple of laps of some, and tried out the gri gri, a brake assisted belay device with which they were less familiar. We worked some slabby routes, like Beginner’s Route and Bolt Line, and moved to steeper rock, like Hippos on Parade and Thou Shalt Not Covet. The different techniques, and sharper rock, created various challenges throughout the day, but the group handled them well and had a lot of fun.
Virginia starting up Bolt Line
William working a more direct start of Bolt Line
Tom adjusting smoothly to the gri gri
Malcolm starting up Beginner’s Route
Tom mantling up on False Modesty
Malcolm and Virginia resting between climbs
William working the under cling partway up Hippos on Parade
Thanks so much your enthusiasm and energy!
Cody and JoAnne are visiting family in NH. While on the East Coast Cody competed in Atlanta and they managed a few days to climb during the past week. Cody an ABC climbing team member finished 11th in the USA Sport and Speed Youth Nationals – which is just awesome – Congrats to Cody !!!
Today JoAnne and Cody were very excited to climb outside onsighting sport climbs on the overhanging schist. We walked right up to a few of the steep lines on the Main Wall and the fun began – today would be an awesome day climbing the best Rumney Sport routes.
JoAnne and Cody enjoying coolness in the forest.
Cody – ABC Team – shoe of choice Sportiva Solution –
IDEAL TERRAIN: overhanging sport routes, bouldering, gym climbing and technical face climbing
Codys 5 foot height did not slow him down on any of the reach moves. He has excellent footwork and his light frame allows him to use small crimps and edges to crank on and reach through to the larger resting holds. Above left Cody moves through the roof on Armed and Dangerous and on the right photo he is working the steep lieback flake on Scene of the Crime. Straight arms, dropped knees, and a slight dyno move was needed to reach the hidden jug.
JoAnne onsighting the testy Scene of the Crime.
Crux area of Scene of Crime.
Cody using a bit of chalk – hazy, hot and humid has been the norm for NH climbing the past few weeks.
Much needed rest and refueling before our afternoon session.
In addition to many fun climbs we focused on the technical aspects of climbing outdoors.
– Learning the Ropes –
Rope systems, belaying and lowering, tying in, rope management, and cleaning anchors are all components of a sport climbing day at Rumney.
Thanks to Cody and JoAnne it was great to climb and see them both for the day.
Today was a hot and humid day. Not the best weather for sending a project but a good day to work on and refine movements on difficult sport routes. I think of today as a training day, a day to learn the moves, to refine the routes, to be ready for the return of cool temperatures and crisp rock.
Aubrey and I went to the Five 8 Crag and did just that. We choose a few of the steep, technical routes in the 5.10 and 5.11 range to project on. Progress was made on each line and we will be back in a few weeks to check in again. Each time we return the goal is to push our limit a bit further until we finally can send the route in good style. Who knows how long it will take, we will keep at the goal and have fun along the way.
Romancing the Stone 5.10c – a steep, technical climb
Bolt and Run 5.9+ – a tough bulge mid way spits many a climber into the air.
Aubrey getting ready for the first crux.
Aubrey enjoying the steep schist at Rumney Rocks.
A great day in the heat of the summer.
Mindfulness signifies presence of mind, attentiveness to the present.
Climbing requires a mindful approach for all of your rock and mountain climbs. If a climber loses this presence of mind movements will be sloppy and irregular with the result leading to a botched send, potential tension, hanging on the rope.
Through out this past weekend mindfulness was a common word used by the team members to each other at the busy areas of Rumney Rocks. As a team of 5 rowdy guys on vacation we were using “be mindful” to check our overall presence and minimize impact to others around us.
Another way to view mindful is for each of us move into the higher levels of rock movements and rock climbing techniques a focused presence of mind is required. A focused presence does not appear out of nowhere! A focused presence starts at each of our home areas studying, practicing and training for the rocks and mountains. Whether you live in the city or country area climbers can develop a specific training program to include regular physical training, a balanced diet, and plenty of rest and recovery time. With a regular training program at home one will reach new heights each time they climb.
This weekend the team did an excellent job rock climbing and reaching two high peaks in the area. Now the team is back home – to each of you – enjoy the continued Mindful approach. Train for climbing, be consistent, the pay off is success on the rocks and in the mountains.
The Team – a day at Rumney Rocks.
Adel, Sean, Steve.
Sean on the move up the stone – being belayed by Erik.
Sean and Steve climbing high above Baker River Valley on the route named Lady and the Tramp.
Erik guiding Adel on Clippidy Do Dah.
The Egyptian Stallion readying himself for Nuthatch at Jimmy Cliff.
A very pumped up and excited Sean after his completion of Nuthatch.
The balanced team Adel being belayed by Erik on the climbing route called Bonehead Roof.
Adel working the lower crux on the Bonehead Roof.
Climbing is largely about progression, and one of the most significant progressions many climbers will make is taking their climbing from indoor gyms to outside cliffs. Gyms are often closer to would be new climbers. They’re more accessible and offer a safe, easy to access learning environment to experience the thrills of climbing in a digestible format. Folks who catch the bug in the gym eventually want to take their passions to outdoor playgrounds. This is a serious step. It is a less controlled environment, requiring a greater level of knowledge to climb safely, and a corresponding increase in the required personal responsibility. New techniques, ethics and systems must be learned, and trusted. The best way to do this is to ease into it with a guide/ teacher, showing you the ways, being their to reassure, and helping you wade through the ethics of climbing at outside cliffs.
In the past couple of days I had two opportunities to help groups begin this progression. This post is to demonstrate some of the ways to take your gym skills to outdoor cliffs in a safe controlled manner, as well as to highlight what these folks did.
First up were David and Caitlin Lewis. They started climbing this winter at Evolution Rock Gym and quickly progressed through the grades and into leading on the sport walls at the gym.
David On Blustery Day
Having the full day, David, Caitlin and I started by hiking up to Upper Darth Vader crag. This location is fairly shaded and cool on summer mornings, and offers a handful of fun moderates to warm up on. One of the bigger cruxes of the gym to crag progression is learning to look for holds in the rock, as opposed to fluorescent colored shapes on a wall. This can be a serious challenge as holds outside often don’t look like holds at first. The presence of climbing chalk can help out times to identify a hold, but how to use it, and whether it is a good one or not, still needs to be determined. Additionally, it is a new environment, and climbing outside for the first time can often be a little scary because of the new unknowns. This area provided us an opportunity to get use to this new environment, and start reading the rock for how to climb it.
Caitlin on Dirtigo
For the afternoon we moved to the now shaded Dirtigo area. This part of main cliff offers some very safely bolted easy climbs. When learning a new system, usb as leading, it is good to strip away all other challenges in order to focus on the one that you are trying to learn. There are three easy climbs here that are great for learning to lead, as the main challenge becomes leading, instead of the difficulty of the climbing. Caitlin had lead regularly in the gym prior to this, but never outside. We went over how to clip the draws to the rock, and then the rope to the draws, and how to manage the lead rope so that it was in a safe location. Caitlin then put this new knowledge to use rope gunning to great climbs for her Dad!
If you’re coming to the outdoor realm with no indoor leading skills, then a great way to learn is by mock leading. This is were you are on top rope, for safety, but clipping bolts and managing a lead rope for practice. A group of four friends from Windham High joined me for a half day of learning to lead at Rumney, and this is the approach we took.
These guys were coming from Vertical Dreams with varying degrees of experience and skill. We worked through out our day to get them all on a climb where they were able to practice leading skills safely, as well as a climb or two where they could challenge themselves on real rock, as this was all of their first times outside.
Going for the clip
As a guide, my best days are when my guests are able to progress. Both of these groups were genuinely excited to improve their game and learn new skills, and form my perspective they were able to do both. Thanks to all for two great days, and I hope to see you out on the cliffs soon!
Jonathan and Jackie joined Mooney Mountain Guides for a half day afternoon rock climbing adventure at Rumney Rocks. Sunday was the perfect day to be outside hiking and climbing in the White Mountains. Our rock climbing tour began with a leisure warm up hike up to the Jimmy Cliff area. The route called Clip a Dee Doo Dah was our objective. Clip a Dee Doo Dah is an inviting beginner climb that takes a direct line up the lower angle slabs to a high point on Rattlesnake Mountain. This was Jonathans and Jackies first outdoor climb at Rumney and they were excited – they both climbed easily and quickly following my leads to the top. Once back at the base we roped up once again for a second climb on Pine Tree Crack. Two climbs to the top with amazing views of the Baker River Valley below brought smiles to us all.
Great times on the rocks with Jackie and Jonathan!!!
Climbing high on Clip a Dee Doo Dah.
Knots to tie, ropes to manage, belaying the leader. Jonathan took on these tasks with ease.
Climbing up Pitch Two and the Summit attained. Nice work.
Jackie on our last climb at the Meadows Area – steeper rock and lots of climbers.
Thanks to Jackie and Jonathan for joining me at Rumney Rocks. It is always a good time meeting new guests and taking them on a first time climbing experience outdoors on the rocks.