Despite being known as a world-class sport climbing area, Rumney also has some excellent bouldering. The main areas include the Black Jack Boulders and The Pound, but other, more obscure, bouldering zones hide among the cliffs and trees. New problems are scrubbed off and sent every season, proving that there is still adventure to be found on the Rumney hillside.
Sit start with left hand on weird side-pull and right hand around the arete pull up to the rectangle hold that always has chalk on it, then work your way up to the top, using heel hooks and compression.This route used to be a mediocre V3 but a couple winters ago the starting jugs exfoliated leaving it in it's current state. It was done from a sit start to the top last fall and is said to go as a classic V6. ...[more]Browse More Classics in NH
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Jan 30, 2011
Here are a few other areas worth mentioning for bouldering:
The trail traversing from the area at the top of Orange Crush, going towards Waimea - The left end of Orange Crush has a short wall of overhanging huecos that you can traverse. Then, heading along the trail, aboute midway there is a short ledge with some good highballs (probably needs recleaning). The base is sometimes wet, as a spring comes out there. Continuing along the trail, there is sort of an amphitheater formed by more ledge, some of it steeply overhanging.
On the trail from the Venus wall, just before it connects into the "Cut Off Trail" near Bonsai, is a band of ledge with cool steep pocketed routes. I never understood why this spot didn't get more attention. It just needs some more cleaning.
Speaking of ledges, on the hillside above The Meadows and Parking Lot Wall, running between The G Spot and the little known Infinity Wall, are a bunch of small crags that are in that gray area, just too short to bolt and taller than most boulder. One, The 5.9 Crag, actually has a few badly bolted routes. If it was redone and the routes moved some, it wouldn't be bad. If you live in the area and want to explore, it is worth wandering around over there.
The area below the Main Cliff is full of big boulders, the flat spot closer to the road and the slope running up to the cliff. Some of this may coincide with what is being called the Schist Show boulders. Approach the upper area(the sprague boulders :))) by either coming directly down from the cliff, through the scree, in which case you may find some discontinuous stone steps from a trail I started years ago and never finished, or, come up from below by heading to the obvious boulder with the big orange arete on the beginning of the hillside and skirt around and up on it's left side. There are lots of good problems here, some I completed and others I chickened out on because of the highball top outs with funky landings. Lots of pads and spotters may make them doable or just throw a TR on and don't end up paraplegic.
If that highball orange arete hasn't gone yet, that is just sad. It is such a proud obvious line. It is definitely highball and on a steep slope, so if you fell you and your pads would go flying down the hill. It might be doable in heavy snow if you can build a flat landing. Set up a TR from the tree on top and you could also do the lines to the left with the nasty death landings.
Mark are the Sprague Boulders up above the Orange Arete? Or is the Orange Arete part of it? (Im not sure if that arete has gone but I have plans for it :) )
Also I hiked up from the path to the main cliff and there is an old ladder stashed up the hill by the big boulders above the boulder with the orange arete. Do you know any of the routes up there? They look cool, overhanging about about 45 degrees and they face in the general direction of the 5.8 crag?
I am excited to walk around and check out all these places you mention!
I personally don't think Rumney bouldering gets the attention it deserves. If a guidebook was published for Rumney Bouldering and we got info for the route that have been done but not on this site i think the is a possibility of have over 400 routes in that guide.
So come discover or rediscover some great lines in Rumney and lets add to the list of documented boulder problems in Rumney! I think 400 routes is a great goal!
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Jan 31, 2011
That's where the ladder got left! It has been migrating down over the last 10 years.. That overhanging boulder you mention is the one with the scary top outs. I only completed a few on it's upper left end. The overhanging boulder just to it's left that faces down hill has really good hard potential. I never had enough pads for topping that out, but with a little rebrushing up projects should be ready for strong bold climbers or TR.
I always considered that cluster as starting at the Orange Arete and going up. From the area described above, follow intermittent steps around left and up. To the left there are two good boulders with established problems. One was called the Internet Boulder (the right most of the two) Continuing up, steps will take you zigging through a tight spot with more shorter steep problems. There is a butt dragging one with a really cool project or two with slopers. The path then goes around just left of this gully area and steps up onto giant scree that takes you up to the cliff.
Before the NF got involved with the trails, my intention was to complete this trail to give access to the boulders and replace the trail to the Main Cliff going up the gully to the right that was always plagued by erosion. Unfortunately, I forgot to show it to the ranger when she was cataloguing the trails, so it didn't get listed as an official trail or completed. With the help of the AMC's heavy lifting technology it would have been a really good and scenic way to go to the cliff. There was only so much I could do with a bar and jack. As it is now, you have to scramble over rocks around the Orange Arete boulder, then it should be smooth going.
Some footage from a few days bouldering in Rumney this month (June 2012). We tried to document a few of the lesser known/shown problems of the area. Climbs shown are: '3 Speed On Vinyl' (v7/8), 'Bobby's Problem' (v8), 'Nowhere Man' (v7), 'Up Into The Green Silence' (aka Medicine Man Direct) (v4?), 'Firestarter' (v3), 'Moose Tracks' (v2), Cranium (v0), 'Smoke & Mirrors' (v6) and 'Spragueasorus' (v5).
I posted the video under a few specific problems where I thought it would be most useful, but I didn't want to bombard this section by posting the video under all of the individual problems. If anyone wants to post it under any other specific problems, feel free.
Hi. Can some please give me an address heading to go toward? Thank you much.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Apr 15, 2013
What do you mean? Like "Rumney"? or "Rumney Rocks Climbing Area"? Rumney is a little village and the climbing is only about a mile out of the center of town, very easy to find using the directions on the main Rumney heading. If you look just under the main Rumney title, click the blue "map"
I recently discovered some interesting bouldering potential along the left-hand walk-off trail from Main Cliff, somewhere roughly above Bonsai. There is a small (30' long) band of overhang with a super cool 10-foot deep cave that looked to have some potential for some easy to moderate grade problems. Does anyone know what I'm talking about, and has it seen any ascents? I thought I saw chalk but one can never tell.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Sep 4, 2013
I think you are talking about along the Overland Trail, which runs above the crags from Pulse Wall over to Waimea. There are a couple of bouldering ledge areas along it. The spot you are referring to is the western most one. Since it is right along the main trail a lot of people have played around there, including myself, but I don't remember any specific noteworthy ascents. Have at it and give us some names! I know at one time we cleaned the little wall off roughly above the Main Cliff's Venus Wall and I think we climbed pretty much every line there. I don't remember any names though. Some of them were pretty decent, with highball finishes.