Monday, July 05, 2010

Rumney Day 1

Bob and I got back last night. We had a great trip but very tiring. My fingertips are shredded and Bob's elbow needs a lot of TLC. Last time I did a trip, I created a 'diary' of sorts but not on my blog. I figure this time I will try to publish something.

The town of Rumney is nothing more than a rural blip on the map. It has one intersection with a Cafe and a stretch of highway that goes by Rattlesnake Mountain. The climbing area of Rumney is spread over 15 to 20 individual crags on the Southern slopes of Rattlesnake Mountain. Access can be quite easy with a short jaunt up to an hour slog up the freakin mountain. The rock type is Schist which was way different than what we are used to.

We stayed at a motel in Plymouth, NH which was only about a 10 minute drive. We arrived late Tuesday night and were ready to climb Wednesday morning. We knew the weekends get crowded so we decided to climb the easily accessible crags during the week and the deeper ones one the weekend (less crowded).

The first crag we went to was called the Parking Lot wall, for obvious reasons, it was directly above the main parking lot. It had a good range of routes from 25 to 75 feet in height. I have no intention of boring you with all the details of every single climb but I will mention the highlights.

Glory Jeans (5.7) was a highlight for me. This climb was about 70 feet and the notable part was that it had a traverse with great feet but poor hands right near the top. It was a heady lead but because on 3 clips you were worried about the pendulum whipper. Really cool climb.

Bob soon after had a highlight of leading Easily Amused (5.6). It was important for Bob to get on the sharp end as soon as possible. He dealt with a mental crux on this one not because the climbing was hard but because there was a 15 foot runout over the last bolt to the anchors.

You can't experience accomplishment without experiencing defeat at some point. I had been having a great morning after climbing several routes including Glory Jeans and Curly for President (5.8) just a stellar line. Some one had recommended another great line called Bolt Line (5.8). Being on a high I thought 'Hell ya!'. To quote the guide "Excellent sustained low angle climbing (ie -slab route)" "This originally had only 3 widely spaced bolts. However, even with the added protection (total 7 bolts now) there is enough of a runout at the top to maintain that warm traditional feeling." "The direct unprotected start is about 5.10". Okay so it is a bad could it be. Well the first bolt was really high over a bit of a roof. After some farting around Bob and I managed to get the first bolt stick clipped. So then I get on lead. I manage to get over the bolt that was clipped and with a few dicey moves I can clip the next bolt. Well shit, the 3rd bolt is at least 15 feet away and all I can see are a few ripples and divots on about a 15 degree slab. This wasn't even the run out part. Waves of nausea and panic washed thru me as I thought about the cheese grater of a fall and the though of climbing higher. I felt pretty defeated as I lowered off one of my biners on the second bolt (pic is before I pulled the rope). Spanked!

We bailed soon after and came back that evening to a place called the Meadows. Again it had very easy access with a good number of moderates. I finished that night by sending a 5.10a (Mr.Popular) that finished on a small roof, really cool. Bob lead a 5.7 called False Modesty. Overall we had an amazing opening day. I lead 10 different routes and Bob lead 3 over 8 hours of climbing.

The other climber that were around for the most part were great. As mentioned before, I had lost my route guide and two sets of other climbers helped us out. Matt and Marie showed us a couple of other worthy routes. Katie and Chris were also really helpful. Chris actually helped look for the guide and then they invited us to climb with them for the rest of the day so we could use their guide. Good people.

We ate supper at about 9pm and were passed out by 10:30pm. That was our first day at Rumney.

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