Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team to Tackle Critical Issues at Rumney

The slopes below the famous cliffs of Rumney Rocks in central New Hampshire will soon resonate with the ringing of hammers, the whir of drills, and calls of slack, tension, hold! This may not seem extraordinary considering Rumney is a premier sport climbing destination, and new routes continue to go up in various corners of the mountain. However, when the Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team rolls into town in July, those sounds will represent something entirely different.

Photo courtesy of © Lee Hansche

The Conservation Team crew will arrive the first week in July to lead AmeriCorp and US Forest Service trail crews as they begin to tackle severe erosion issues at five popular crags, including Parking Lot Wall, Meadows Crag, 5.8 Crag, Main Wall, and Orange Crush, as well as numerous trails along the lower flanks of Rattlesnake Mountain. The goal: to set these popular cliffs up for long-term sustainable use.

“It’s critical that we begin to stem the tide of soil erosion, which has been growing more and more severe every year as visitation and foot traffic has increased,” says Ty Tyler, Access Fund Stewardship Director. “Trails are gullying out and approaches are becoming unsafe and unsustainable. Our teams need to get in there and mitigate vegetation loss, restoring ground cover species and large trees that provide both stability and shade to the base of the cliffs.”

Trail crews will build structures designed to funnel traffic onto hardened paths that will be able to withstand concentrated foot traffic, allowing surrounding vegetation to reestablish. The structures will be made from native stone and imported timber. The Conservation Team will also employ the expertise of welders and metal workers to fabricate a durable steel ladder system that will replace the aging wooden ladders at Orange Crush wall, which will extend to the top of the slab, discouraging travel on the steep slopes left of the slab where erosion from foot traffic is currently threatening trees.

These types of large-scale stewardship projects are costly. Access Fund, Rumney Climbers’ Association, and US Forest Service are committed to addressing these critical issues, but they need help from climbers to raise an additional $142,000 to complete these projects.

Special thanks to the hundreds of climbers and community members who have already donated to the Restore Rumney campaign, as well as to Sterling Rope Company, which donated $5,000 in cash and technical gear to ensure our crews are outfitted with the best gear possible gear to tackle the highly technical work.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today at www.accessfund.org/restorerumney and help lead the way on this historic effort. Stay tuned for volunteer opportunities once the Conservation Teams arrive and begin work. If you’re interested in hearing about volunteer opportunities and other project updates please contact Access Fund Northeast Regional Director, Mike Morin at [email protected].

Help Restore Rumney

Access Fund is shovel-ready, but we need climbers’ help to raise $142,000 to cover two seasons of professional trail crews and supplies.