Tag Archives: New Hampshire

Daytrip to Rumney


Thursday, 14-May-15

Daytrip to Rumney with Johnny and Kirsten

<Ed Note: Pictures to be added later, when Ben actually has access to his desktop>


One of my favorite adventures last year was a mid-week climbing trip to Rumney with Johnny and Kirsten.

Nothing against the other adventures that I partook in – everything was amazing, of course – But this one was special because we had the place all to ourselves.  We could climb, explore, vacillate over what to climb, and do whatever we wanted.  All without having to stress about other teams stealing the routes that we wanted to get onto.

So, when I found out that I was going to be leaving Boston?  Of course, I had to try and get another mid-week trip in.


Thankfully, it turned out quite easy to plan, since Johnny and Kirsten both happened to have a Thursday off work coming up.  The morning did start out a little late when Johnny, ever the veterinarian that he is, stopped near their apartment to help a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest.  Definitely a good deed, but one that delayed our start by a few hours… which was actually ideal, in the end, since it gave Rumney enough time to dry out all the way, so that when we got to the cliffs there wasn’t much evidence of the rain that had hit in the days before.


Routes climbed:

All routes from The 5.8 Crag

The 5.8 Crack by the Road (5.7, Trad, led by Ben) – This is one of my favorite Trad routes at Rumney.  Tricky and challenging, there’s one move where you’re coming out of a mini-cave that’s really interesting… if by “interesting” you mean “annoying and awkward and scary”.  The rest is just solid crack climbing, which I love 🙂

Bolt and Run (5.9, Sport, led by Ben) – This one… I didn’t intend to lead this one.  I accidentally left a knot in the rope when I pulled down the rope for The 5.8 Crack by the Road, so I needed to go up and get it.  Since the only options were to re-lead 5.8, lead B & R, or lead a 5.10c… I went with B & R, since I wanted to get it done anyways.  A challenging route, with a few “hail Mary” moves that scared the daylights out of me.  But I go it cleanly, and I’m happy about that.

Ashbury Park (5.7, Sport, led by Johnny and Kirsten) – This one was super fun, though a little bit run out and delicate near the middle.  Both leads went well, though they looked to be a bit of a challenge.  I’m really happy that both Johnny and Kirsten could get the leads in though, since this route was a really solid “Rumney style” route – good face climbing, with more than one “wait, what do I do now?” moments.

Sunday River hiking ahoy!


26-Dec-14 through 28-Dec-14


I’ve been in the city for a while, at this point.  I mean… I’ve lived here for years, but I mean that I haven’t been camping and hiking in the great Maine/New Hampshire wilderness in weeks or months.  And that’s not acceptable.  I also haven’t seen Mike since Thanksgiving… which isn’t all that long, if you think about it.  But either way – sorry Boston, but we’re going North!


Friday, 26-Dec-14

I’ve got the day off work, so I take an easy morning before driving out to the rest stop in Lexington, meet up with Mike and his Dad/Step-mom.  Top down, jacket off, warm day of happiness is the theme – somehow, it’s super-warm out… It was honestly only in the high 40s, but somehow it felt amazingly warm.

With the top down, the drive was nicely fast… soon enough I was parked next to their truck, and Mike was hopping into the car. We drive North, with a quick stop in at Tilton to get gas, put the top up, and get some food into our bellies.  Tilton seriously does have the best milkshakes this side of anywhere, FYI.

As the sun goes down, we make it to Sunday river!  Actually… exactly at the same time that Mike’s family arrives… good, we’re just in time to help carry in the snacks, food, and booze.  And with those all in the house… it’s time to party!  And watch The Interview.  Then Archer.  With, of course, some delicious booze and sweet clementines to keep us entertained before bed.


Saturday, 27-Dec-14

Even though we had been up late, I somehow awaken around 10:00, and Mike and I have a nice breakfast while his Dad and Step-mom are out skiing.  We make sausages and eggs with a rough ton of clementines; simple and delicious.

Mike’s dad and step-mom get back just as we’re about to finish up, we hang out for a bit and relax before Mike and I head out for our daily adventure.  It’s been raining for the last few days, so the slopes are too wet/icy to really ski – so we’re heading out for some hiking on a trail that I know of near the Loj.  Nothing heavy, but enough to keep us occupied.

Drive out to Route 113, and park the Mustang at the gate where the road closes out.  They don’t really maintain much of it during the winter, though the parking lot is mostly cleared out.  And then, we start in down the trail, along the river, and through the woods.  Seriously – we do everything from rock hopping to yoga on the river; and then once we’ve had our fill of pushing down the Wild River, we headed back and tried to bushwack out to a good overlook ledge that I know of: The roost.

Unfortunately for us, what I thought was the roost trail was definitely not.  We were actually about a mile down-river from where I thought we were, so when we left the main road to ascend up “the trail”… we were really going down a dead-end logging path.

But we had fun, and were nicely worn out by the time we did head back to the Condo.  With a quick stop in to get ourselves some coffee… since clearly that’s what needs to happen before sitting and hanging out, eating BLTs… We actually arrived back at the same time as Mike’s old friend Ryan, so we sat around and caught up /relaxed with Ryan while waiting for the night to really start.

And the start of the night?  Dinner, of course!  Mike’s step mom cooked up some fish that they had caught off their boat earlier in the year, and put into deep freeze for the winter – she fried the fillets up with potatoes and some other deliciousness, and we all scarfed them down right quick.

And with food in our bellies we head out onto the town!  The Funky Red Barn is calling to us, and we must go.   Ryan and I start the pool-hall challenge – it starts out well enough, with a few amazing rounds… then Mike lays some smack down, and Ryan and I play a single game that lasts nearly 45min, since we can’t hit anything for crap for some reason.

We continue on through the night at the Barn – the original plan was to move on another bar, but we hear stories that it was pretty dull from the other patrons, and we get to see a bit of a cool ski movie where they get a first descent on a hellishly steep mountain, so… may as well stay until it gets late, and we head home, right?

Well, then it gets late.  So we take the bus back home, and somehow convince him to stop in at a gas station to get us some snacks.  Snacks in hand, we then spend the night drinking and watching more Archer.


Sunday, 28-Dec-14


Since Mike and Ryan are skiing today, I get dragged from a pleasant dream by the sound of two rhinos putting on ski clothes.

No, honestly they weren’t bad – but I’m a light sleeper after a night of partying.  Not sure why.  But the result is that we got moving fairly early on Sunday – before I was really completely awake, we’d already had breakfast, packed up, said our goodbyes, and I was heading out to do some final hiking before the drive back down to Boston.

The goal of the day was to actually summit The Roost – forget the long walk, forget the snow, forget everything.  It’s a simple, short hike.  I refuse to let something I’ve walked up a dozen times beat me just because there’s 6″ of snow on the ground.

So… I did.  I walked along the river for most of the trail in, thanks to the snowpack being pretty brutal on the actual road.  It was quicker, and rock hopping is always a fun way to move along a trail – somehow it just seems quicker and more fun, I’m not sure why.  Probably because I’m running and hopping half of the time.  But the danger of rock hopping along a frigid river… well, my boots were already a bit wet by the time I found the suspension bridge, and started up the main trail to the summit.

But, while my old boots aren’t as waterproof as I’d like, they stayed warm… probably due to some good wool socks.  Take note kids: wool socks while hiking in the winter.  Pretty key.

The summit was pretty, though the exposure definitely dropped the temperature down ever farther than I’d expected.  So I took my pictures, listened to some music, relaxed… and made tracks back toward the car.  I dunked my feet into the water a few times on the way back (totally on purpose… yeah right), so I was definitely thinking about the dry sneakers sitting in my trunk for the last mile or so.  

And after that last mile was done?  Warm socks and shoes, and a gas pedal that brought me back home to Boston.





Climbing in the backwoods of New Hampshire



You know it’s going to be an interesting day, when the directions to the cliff face read, “park on the pullout, and walk behind the shooting range”.

Rachael and I had driven up to New Hampshire for the weekend of Columbus day.  The plan was to stay at Kirsten’s folks place, and do a bit of climbing… but since no one really knew the area too well, we’d consulted Mountain Project, and picked a cliff nearby that looked excellent.  The first night was chill, followed by a good (if late) breakfast and a quick / short drive out to the cliffs… or at least, the shooting range below the cliffs.  Always an adventure, this stuff.

But, even after a long hike, and an unnecessary rock scramble (seriously… I could have SWORN that the trail went to the right…) we found ourselves at the base of a cliff that easily could challenge Cathedral or The Gunks for it’s shear excellence. it wasn’t excessively massive… maybe a half mile long in total, with a max height of ~180ft, according to the guidebook. But it was gorgeous, with horizontal cracks running throughout, and nice roofs interspersed to make it more interesting.

And this was Columbus Day weekend – one of the busiest weekends for climbing in New Hampshire.  Yet there was only one other group of climbers here with us; an older guy and his kids, just having an afternoon on the rocks.  If we’d been at Rumney, you can be certain that we’d have waited in line for hours, just to get onto one of the medium popularity routes.

Link to the area: http://www.mountainproject.com/v/longstack-precipice-/107651935

The climbs:
Coyote Rain (5.6) – Trad, lead by Ben x2 – This was amazing. An extremely fun and well protected climb, that has a huge (2.5 ft or so) roof near the top. You’d think that roof would make it much harder than a 5.6… but the holds were amazing, and it wasn’t difficult at all.

Rona’s Roof (5.8 – 5.9) – Top roped, set up from Coyote Rain – This one was… unpleasant, in my opinion. Everyone else loved it, but I disliked the ridiculousness of the roof. The feature from Coyote Rain continued over toward here, but instead of big holds and cracks to move over the roof, we had… nothing, basically. The rest of the climbing was 5.6 or 5.5, but the roof itself was easily a 5.8, if not a 5.9+. Just… excessive.