Prepping for the Crag: Rumney, NH Edition

My arms are more floppy than a spaghetti noodle left in boiling water for too long and my climbing gear bag looks like that of a person going on a small walk in a city park. So, do I sound prepared for a weekend climbing trip in Rumney, NH or what? Regardless of my lack of muscle or gear, I’m amped to get back to climbing after not putting my hands on rocks for about a year (or more). If you happened to read my previous post, it doesn’t matter your skill level as long as you have awesome friends who are willing to help you out and have fun. These friends also happen to be beasts at climbing and blogging (hello, Senderella Story. Hit up her blog for how to get amazing at climbing while still being a stable, working adult). Check out the details below, and prepare yourself for next week’s recap post. I’m sure I’ll embarrass myself somehow, and I promise to give you the full exposé.


Rumney Climbing

It’s a huge place for sport climbing in the Northeast (sport climbing is where there are set bolts already in the wall so you don’t have to trust yourself with placing an anchor). The routes are mostly around Rattlesnake Mountain, which also happens to be very close to Mount Moosilauke (the first mountain in the Whites for NOBOs on the Appalachian Trail). I might get emotional about being that close to the AT.

Luckily for me, the routes range from a low 5.3 to a high 5.15. So, my friends can enjoy insane routes while I happily go up the easier routes. Take a look at Mike Bowsher’s article on Rumney climbing for the extra details.



Climbing Grades/Ratings (aka the “5 point whatever”)

The Sierra Trading Post defines climbing grades: “The American system of climbing grades is based off the Yosemite Decimal System (YDS), which ranges from class 1 (hiking) to class 5 (technical rock climbing) with the class 5 being divided into difficulty grades from 5.0 to the current highest grade in the world: 5.15.” So, if you’re rock climbing, the first number will always be a 5. The number after the decimal point tells you how difficult the rock climbing route is.


Senderella’s Crag Essentials

Senderella knows what to bring to the crag whether it be Pabst, quickdraws or anything in between. After climbing for four years, the gear list is pretty on point. Take a look below for what you’ll need on a weekend climb trip:

Kelty 3p Tent
Exped megamat 10
Exped megamat 10 duo
Big Agnes 14◦ – M
Big Agnes 14◦ – F
Camp Sheets
Camp Blanket
Camp Pillows
Hammock 1
Hammock Straps
Hammock Rain Fly


BD Orange 18cm quickdraw
Petzl Djinn Axess 12 cm quickdraw
Mammut Bionic Express 12 cm quickdraw
Petzl Spirit Locking Carabiner
Black Diamond RockLock Screwgate Carabiner
Petzl Arial 70M rope – RED
Petzl Arial 70M rope – GOLD
Black Diamond Dynex Runner – RED
Black Diamond Dynex Runner – GOLD


Double Burner Camp Stove
Pocket Rocket
2L Camp Pot
11″ Non-Stock Camp Pan
Lid for non-stick camp pan
Rubber Fish Spatula – BLUE
Coleman Propane – GREEN
MSR Isopro 8oz – RED
BIC Lighter
Paper Towels
Aluminum Foil
Sea-to-Summit pop-up bowl
Sea-to-Summit pop-up cup
Sea-to-Summit utensil set
Sea-to-Summit pop-up mixing bowl

A note from Senderella:

Shoes: La Sportiva yellow men’s miura VS, La Sportiva Solutions for women.

In the picture with my Gregory pack is also my camp chair, REI Flex Lite, in which I sit and drink crag beers in. As well as my skincare kit (the pink bag) which has nail clippers, tape, band-aids and a file for callouses.
Also, I love Joshua tree climbing salve.
I always bring my notebook with me because I write down what I do every time I go climbing!
I would have a guidebook, typically, but Rumney doesn’t have one yet!

How to Pack for a Backpacking Trip

There’s a crazy range of what people believe is necessary on a backpacking trip. First, you have Jerry. You’ll see Jerry hiking with a 75L pack, sleeping bag dangling behind him and maybe a full-sized skillet. The second individual you may see is Carl. I once ran into a dude, now called Carl, on the Appalachian Trail doing a thru-hike. He had one of those drawstring bags you used to tote your middle school gym clothes around in. That was his entire pack. He was living out of that for 6 months straight. Carl was an animal, and also was not amused at how many questions I was asking him about his gear. I’d love to be that lightweight, but I currently have a base weight of 16 pounds which is a happy medium. Here’s a breakdown of what will get you through a backpacking trip:*

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How to Overcome Dumb Thoughts of Inadequacy and do the Outdoorsy Thing

There you are. Staring at a picture of Alex Honnold completely smashing a route, with zero ropes of course, and you’re wishing you could rock climb yourself. It’s a feeling of desiring to do it, not knowing how to get into it and also not wanting people to think you’re an entirely incapable noob. What if you go to the climbing gym or hit up some outdoor routes and you suck? Isn’t that embarrassing? I know I’ve felt this way, but it’s time to slap yourself out of it and, thanks Nike, “just do it.” Here’s how:

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Remnants of a Thru Hike

Coming back from the AT, it seems as though I’ve been plopped in the middle of a bustling street as I wander slowly, a bit lost, through the throngs of people who have a destination. There’s an odd disconnection I feel that can’t really be explained. A trail friend was complaining how it’s been hard to participate in small talk. You can no longer ask people how many miles they did, talk about how gorgeous the view you all passed that day was or what they’re cooking for dinner. Even talking with some friends, I feel slightly off and removed. There’s this fog I’m trying to see through that appears to have no end. I’m stuck in the thick of it. I can hear others, but I can’t quite reach them properly.

As life does, it moves on while you’re gone. People have grown, moved away, gotten married or had children. I think this is all part of some culture shock that should pass as I spend more time away from trail life. Nonetheless, being done with a thru-hike has me feeling these type-a ways:


Shoot, it’s time to find a job.

I’ve spent nearly 6 months in the woods occasionally talking to the animals lurking within the forest. There was a stretch of 10 minutes where I did a call and response sequence with some crow on a branch. A crow. Luckily, no one saw me. Unfortunately, it’s clear that some signs point to slight delusion. How am I supposed to dress up, talk properly and impress someone in an interview?


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