A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Rumney Climbing

June 13, 2009
Emilie Phillips

I went climbing with the NH AMC yesterday. Tyson had his own adventures since his knee can’t climb.

We went to Rumney. There were 10 of us, which is a bit much to fit at Rumney. The general forecast for the weekend had been partly rainy for most of the week. And there was even some talk of canceling the trip the day before, but miraculously the day ended up relatively sunny. And the rain may have scared off just enough other people to give us space to climb. This trip as with the last trip there were a few new folks I didn’t know, and there was a reasonable contingent of people about my age.

For starters, various of the more skilled climbers led up some routes to set up top ropes. I volunteered to belay since it takes me a while to work up the intestinal fortitude to lead. I ended up belaying Thor on Metamorphosis. Metamorphosis happens to be one of the few 5.8’s I’ve led. Back when Tyson and I took the lead climbing class last year, Tyson lead the first part of it, which is reasonably easy, and then had to back off at the hard part which is 2 bolts before the anchor. So then of course I had to go lead the whole climb to get my gear back.

Back to the present. So I belay Thor and he scampers up to the hard part, tries at it, backs down and hangs, tries at it, and hangs. Eventually he gave up because he was just too tired. My heckling may or may not have been helpful. This time it was his gear left up there. So then I figure, what the heck, “I’ll give it a try. I’ve done it before.” I was a little weirded out by the fact that Thor didn’t get it and he normally climbs a couple grades above me. The other interesting twist was the fact that the anchor had been moved farther up since I last climbed it. The climb was probably at least 20 feet taller.

Well, I managed the climb fine. It did take me a couple tries at the hard spot. And then a bit farther up, past where the anchor used to be I started to get some nasty rope drag. And at the very top, the good handholds were filled with water. But it wasn’t too bad.

Once that was done I caught up with what everyone else was doing on the other three climbs. One of them got pulled before I ever got to it, but that was fine because it didn’t look so interesting. Around about lunch time we had climbed out the climbs we had, but the mobs had shown up, so we weren’t sure we could find more.

Larry ended up finding one route at the back of a canyon that goes up a little arrete. I actually got kind of stymied by it, but I did make it up. The interesting thing over there was all the water though. One part of the wall that had been just mossy rock last time I was there was a huge waterfall. I forgot to get any pictures of it. A bit of the canyon also had water running and splashing down it which left two tiny dry belay spots. People rotated in and out one by one, but we didn’t stay there long

On the way back down to the main group, I passed a couple of AMC folks who weren’t on the trip, but I know reasonably well. They had already convinced Thor to try the 5.10 climb they had set up. I sat around and chatted and got commandeered into trying it also. Without all the beta (information on holds and route finding) I got, I wouldn’t have been able to do it on my own. It was overhung for a good stretch, and stopping to figure out the route would have tired me out. I seem to be doing 5.10’s more and more regularly. None of them clean (or in this case sans beta), but I must be getting better at climbing.

Most of the rest of the group had headed over to Meadows (a different section of the cliff) to find more climbing. The last of us managed to get lost trying to get over there. I knew a way to get up, but someone else thought they knew a shorter way. I also spent that time chatting in French with the one Frenchman on the trip.

My intent was to climb the classic 5.9 that and I had missed last time. The 5.7 I’d led last time and the route to the left of it got set up, but I wasn’t terribly interested in those, and I figured I only had one climb left in me. Thor was game, so he tried leading it, and got stuck. Apparently there is a flake that fell off making it a bit more than 5.9. I ended up belaying some of the easier climbs, so I didn’t see what all happened, but eventually Larry finished the lead. By then we had about run out of time, so I didn’t end up getting to climb it. Guess I’ll save that for another day.

[Edit:] Oh yeah and half the point of this post — the photos