As one of the premier climbing destinations in North America, Rumney, N.H., might be the most popular, if not the busiest, crag in the Northeast. While most Rumney devotees will tell you the best times to climb are in the spring, before the arrival of black flies and heat, and in the fall, for improved friction and smaller crowds, I am a strong believer that the summer can be a fantastic time to visit.

While the heat and humidity this time of year may not be conducive to sending your project, longer days, world-class routes, and swimming in the Baker River are just some of the reasons for spending part of your summer vacation at Rumney. Before heading out there, however, take a look at our list of five must-have items guaranteed to help you make the most of your time:

Platypus Plus Bottles

Whether you’re warming up at the Parking Lot Wall, trying a test piece on Waimea, or have made the long hike up to the Hinterlands, there’s no escaping the heat and humidity of a New England summer. If you are planning to last on the rocks all day, you’ll need to keep hydrated.

Platypus Plus bottles are perfect for climbers with overburdened packs. The genius of the soft bottle is, it collapses as you drink and takes up nearly no space in your bag when empty! It’s also tough enough to survive the freezer, so you can pack a frozen bottle in the morning and get to sip cold water in the hot afternoon.

Chalk and a Chalk Bag

Summer can create challenging climbing conditions. Heat and humidity often make Rumney’s usually grippy schist feel like glass, and your sweaty hands only exacerbate the matter. Luckily, the combination of the Petzl Saka chalk bag and Friction Labs Gorilla Grip chalk can help you beat this issue by keeping your hands from slipping as you bear down on the smallest crimps, grab the slickest slopers, and jam the hardest cracks.

Helinox Chair One

No matter if you’re hanging out at the crag, in the parking lot, or at the swimming hole, comfort is key. The Helinox Chair One is small and light enough to take to the cliff and offers a pleasant alternative to sitting on a rock while you wait for your turn on the sharp end. Bring it to the swimming hole to have a relaxing place to sit between dips in the river, and then set it beside the campfire at the end of the day. Effortlessly transitioning from one location to another, this chair is at home just about anywhere, and will make you the envy of your friends.

Hydro Flask 16 oz. Insulated Pint Glass

Nothing says summer more than unwinding with a cold one as the sun sets at the end of the day. The 16 oz. Hydro Flask insulated pint glass is perfect for stylishly and inconspicuously housing everything from energy drinks to recovery cocktails to microbrews. Even better, thanks to its double-wall insulated construction, it helps keep beverages cool on even the hottest summer days.

O’Neill Hyperfreak Board Shorts

Did I mention swimming? The swimming hole located across the street from Rumney’s main parking lot is what, in my mind, anyway, makes Rumney one of the top summer climbing locations. Be prepared to rinse off the grime of a day’s climbing, soothe sore muscles, and beat the heat with a pair of O’Neill Hyperfreak Board Shorts. And, if you’re planning on swimming, don’t forget to bring along a super-absorbent Sea to Summit Drylite Towel to dry off post swim.


A well-executed trip to Rumney can be a highlight of the perfect summer. After all, what self-respecting climber doesn’t think the ideal day involves sending a classic clip up in the morning and spending the afternoon sitting in a peaceful river and spraying about your big send? While our list of five (okay, eight) essentials won’t help you cruise the crux on your dream climb, they will undoubtedly set you on the path toward a memorable trip.