It’s that time of year when the air starts feeling crisper, the days start getting shorter, and the sends somehow feel easier. Fall is here, and what better way to ring it in than this year’s Rumney Craggin’ Classic?

With a less-than-stellar forecast earlier in the week thanks to Hurricane Lee, climbers headed into the weekend expecting soggy tents and even soggier rocks. What they got instead was some of the best conditions of the season and the best of what Rumney has to offer.

Sunset at the Craggin' Classic
Credit: Samantha Coetzee

What is the Craggin’ Classic?

The Rumney Craggin’ Classic is a three-day climbing festival held at the mecca of New Hampshire sport climbing: Rumney Rocks. The event is hosted by the friendly folks at the American Alpine Club (AAC) and put on at their Rumney Rattlesnake Campground.

Dirtbag climbers will be happy to learn that a weekend pass only costs $75. Camping is another $20. Although you may consider ditching the camping to save a few extra bucks, don’t. Who wouldn’t want to post up in a field with dozens of other climbers? (Just think back to the old Yosemite days.) Plus, the unlimited beer provided by Twin Barns Brewery with the price of admission, or the Tin Cup Whiskey Happy Hour, may leave you wanting a shorter commute at the end of the night.

If you still think the price tag seems a little steep, knowing that the money directly benefits the AAC—along with a crag you cherish and take advantage of—might incentivize you to cough it up.

Craggin' Classic after dark
Credit: Samantha Coetzee


Check-in for the Craggin’ starts at 11 a.m. on Friday, which is a great time to hitch it up to Rumney if you signed up for a Friday clinic. The AAC had some stellar choices for clinics this year, whether you were a seasoned crag rat or wanted to try climbing outside for the first time. Intro to Crack Climbing with Matt Segal, Intro to Outdoor Climbing for Women and Nonbinary Climbers with Jenny Legaspi, Outdoor Adaptive Climbing with the Adaptive Climbing Group and the Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School and so many more were all on tap this year. If any of these sound interesting to you, keep them in mind for next year because clinics fill up fast!

Climbers rolled into the campground throughout the day and checked in at the barn. Tickets for a raffle were on sale and enticing for anyone hoping to win some sweet gear. After checking in, folks started to file into Vendor Village. Tents from groups like Rumney Climbers Association, La Sportiva, Camp Equipment and so many more were set up in a ring in the field. The area is a great way to bump into other climbers and chat with the folks running the booths who work every day to make the climbing community better.

Another highlight of Friday night was the games. How fast do you think you could coil a rope with a plunger on top of your helmet? Or how long could you hold a rock straight out by your side? Maybe you were interested in playing chalk bag beer pong, or you just wanted to spin a wheel to see if you could win some sweet Joshua Tree Skin Care chapstick. Activities for the night were endless, and the bass-heavy tunes of DJ JTreeLife served as a soundtrack for everyone prepping for a long day of climbing on Saturday.

Slacklining at Rumney Craggin' Classic
Credit: Samantha Coetzee


Saturday is what you make of it at the Craggin’ Classic. Cafe Monte Alto had a tent set up on the hill, slinging their coffee for bleary-eyed climbers who maybe didn’t get as much sleep as they would have liked. Bagels were generously supplied to everyone trying to carbo-load for the day’s adventures.

Folks who signed up for Saturday clinics took off for the day, while others dispersed to different areas of the crag to clip some bolts, plug some cams, and try some multi-pitch routes. Saturday is a great day to explore, whether you rarely come to Rumney or come all the time!

After a full day of adventure, tired and hungry climbers made their way over to the two food trucks that were options for dinner at this year’s Craggin’ Classic. Dinner is included in the price of admission, but a warning to any future visitors: bring extra food. Last year, the hordes of hungry dirtbags overwhelmed the local food truck, and a small pizza wasn’t enough for many people to feel full. This year, there was a similar incident. People who got early meal tickets to the Cheese Louise truck made out like bandits with a full sandwich, chips and guac, and salad. Like all good things, this came to an end; eventually, the sides ran out. The folks who chose FoodHound for their dinner fared worse with a slice of pizza and a napkin as all they had to show for a day’s worth of hard climbing.

As the night went on, people forgot about dinner. Spirits lifted as music was playing and beer was flowing. Many gathered to watch a slackline competition which culminated with the winner doing a backflip off the line. A climbing film highlighting Matt Segal had folks huddled around an inflatable projection screen bundled up in puffy jackets and fleeces in more colors than exist on a rainbow.

With the sun finally down, everyone made their way back to the bonfire, maybe to reminisce on the day or just to get warm before tucking into their sleeping bags. After they decided they had enough for the night, they headed back to their tents, but not before admiring the stars and the view of the Milky Way from the field.

Bonfire at the Craggin' Classic
Credit: Samantha Coetzee


Many folks swiftly packed up their campsites on Sunday, but not before grabbing more of Cafe Monte Alto’s delicious coffee. Others decided to take the morning slow and stretch it out in a group yoga class. Some people stuck around for a stewardship project, which built new stairs at the Orange Crush wall.

Climbing at the Rumney Craggin' Classic
Credit: Samantha Coetzee

Why Attend the Rumney Craggin’ Classic

The Craggin’ is a perfect place to renew your excitement for the sport of climbing and the community that comes with it. It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent the year crushing projects or taking time off to pursue other interests—there’s always a place for you at Rumney. And always more fun to be had at next year’s Craggin’ Classic.