Scattered in the woods at the base of the hill, the Black Jack boulders offer some classic problems on great stone. The boulders start near the road and extend uphill almost to Waimea.
This area is complex as boulders lean upon boulders and caves abound. Take some time and explore this area and you will surely find some hidden classics as well as some first ascent potential. Must do problems include, but are not limited to: Zig Zag Crack V1, Umbrella Traverse V2, Black Jack Crack V2x, Spraguesorus V5, Pyramid Power V7, Satan on a Halfshell V10, and Satan's Choice V11.
The Black Jacks can be blissful on dry winter days, or torturous in the heat of summer. Since most of the boulders sit on or near lowlying marsh land, bug season arrives with a vengence in the Black Jacks.
Park in the lot. DO NOT PARK ALONG THE ROAD. Walk along the road single file to telephone pole 37 and follow a well-worn trail uphill into the woods. At the first big boulder you see, follow the trail left, through the Black Jacks. Or better yet, follow the graded path path from the small parking lot and take the Short Cut trail traversing the hillside west from the top of the wooden staircase leading to the left side of the Main Cliff. Once past the midway boulder, don't head up the hill like going to Bonsai, but continue straight, under Monsters until you reach the Blackjack's Entrance boulder. This is only 5 minutes more and keeps you off the road, keeping the locals happy and you not run over. Plus you go by more great bouldering.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Black Jack Boulders:
Black Jack Crack is the best trad route at Rumney. Never mind that some people boulder the thing.Locate the 30 foot tall splitter crack on the west face of the huge boulder. Follow the crack through various sizes to a crux at the top. Though it receives a boulder rating of V2, most people prefer to bring gear rather than face the offensive possibilty of a 30 foot grounder at the crux....[more]Browse More Classics in NH
Any reason the Blackjack's are divided up by specific boulder instead of considering the whole area one... um, area?
By lee hansche Administrator From: goffstown, nh Aug 22, 2008
it might have started because the Black Jack Boulder is like a mini crag... but i think it makes sense to break it down, makes it easy to navigate... would be great if someone would make a map of the boulders...
I think it is divided up because it is much easier to navigate, if you look at how the pound is set up it is confusing to figure out where some of the problems are, it would be really nice if the pound was split up by boulders.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Jun 6, 2010
To approach the BlackJacks it is better to take the Shortcut Trail than to walk along the road. That helps avoid friction with drivers on the small road. It is only slightly longer time wise and it also takes you right by the awesome boulders below Monsters. Take the main trail from the small parking lot running west parallel to the road (lots of boulders on the hillside above, below the Main cliff), and head up the wooden staircase like you are going to Armed and Dangerous. Break left before you get there following the blue flags and traverse the hillside above the 5.8 crag and below Monsters. The trail will pop you out right at the Entrance boulder at the beginning of the Blackjacks.
If you follow the trail uphill before you get to Monsters, you will come to the cool overhanging bouldering ledges to the left (along the trial from Venus), or go left there to the boulders above Monsters
For everyone who likes to winter boulder in Black Jack, I left a broom in the cave/hole to the right of the Umbrella Boulder. I plan on leaving it there for the duration of the winter and you are more than welcome to use it. I just ask that if you use it try not to break it and please put it back when you are done with it. Happy sending :)