The Old Man of the Mountain and back to Rumney

Abandoning The Dacks as the rain arrived and temperatures dropped (further!) we headed back to Rumney for a revisit / return match. We’re nearing the end of the roadtrip and have managed to get to pretty much every major destination we’d had recommended (and a few gems we discovered for ourselves). The biggest single omission is that we hadn’t climbed on Cannon Cliff “The Proudest Crag in New England” and certainly the biggest bit of granite in The Granite State. We’d moved on in a showery spell on our route northwards, hoping to catch some settled weather on the return loop – the forecast wasn’t looking promising but we thought we’d detour via Franconia Notch to at least check it out.Arriving in heavy rain we checked into the Franconia Notch State Park campground, and had the whole place pretty much to ourselves – a great spot on this historic route across the White Mountains; pity about the noise from the Interstate. Dry but claggy the next morning, and Canon Cliff looked moody and uninvitingAbout a mile wide and with routes up to 7 pitches, this east-facing crag has an almost Alpine character, and a reputation for catching out the unwary. Clearly one we’d have to come back to on a future trip.Canon Cliff is famed way beyond the climbing community though, as it was once home to The Old Man of the Mountain – a craggy feature high on its flank that became the symbol of New Hampshire until it’s eventual collapse a few years ago (after decades of increasingly ambitious efforts to prop it up!)There’s a memorial viewing area with mini Old Men which you can line up to recreate the view (it helps if you can see the mountain though!)Onwards to Rumney, only 30mins down the road but with a completely different weather system! Here’s the view of Main Cliff on our arrival.Having experienced “Weekend Rumney” it was a delight to have the whole place to ourselves, and we revisited the Parking Lot / Meadows popular end, only constrained by which routes were dry, rather than which had the shortest “line”.We ticked our way through most of the 9s and 10s that we hadn’t got on previously. The pick of these were probably Hippos on Parade and Lies and Propaganda… and the runout slabs of Cold Turkey and Bolt Line:We figured we’d earned a beer and thoroughly enjoyed an evening in The Common Cafe and Tavern…… complete with tasting flights of local IPAs,great food and an Open Mic night.

4 responses to “The Old Man of the Mountain and back to Rumney

  1. Climbed Whitney Gilman Ridge in 2017
    My aunt lives in Bethel Maine
    She has tales of regularly climbing the Old Man of the Mountain before it fell down and would be a great local expert for your visit but… she’s coming over to meet us in the Costa Blanca tomorrow…
    Enjoy the granite.

  2. Fun to follow your adventures! Wondering if youre still in New England. IF you are, would like to cross paths to check out your Bimobil, which we’re interested in (we live in Vermont). Thanks .
    Chip Stone

    • Heading home soon, but we’re in a rented Cruise America RV on this trip anyway. Tempting to ship over our Bimobil one day – just need to figure out the logistics!

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