Rumney Restoration is Underway

The Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team “East Crew” has been on the ground at Rumney for the past month, shoring up the steep trail to the ladders at Orange Crush. This area has been notoriously dangerous, as climbers making their way up unstable trails were unintentionally pelting the climbers and belayers below with loose rocks.

The Conservation Team crew has been working to address these hazards, and has already hardened and stabilized the majority of the trail along the steep slope by constructing a large stone staircase to direct traffic onto a sustainable route and reduce erosion. The team is completing all of this work using only native stone found onsite, a metamorphic schist that is challenging to shape and split. They have placed over 100 schist blocks, which were secured and moved along the mountainside to the work site using a highline system. While this commitment to using native materials is challenging, it will ensure the structures last for many decades and make future maintenance much easier.

An American Conservation Experience (ACE) contract crew just arrived onsite to assist with restoration efforts, and a second Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team crew will be arriving later this month. With this many trail professionals on the ground, we expect to wrap up the work at Orange Crush quickly and begin work at the Meadows, where extreme erosion and soil loss have exposed tree roots and is threatening to kill shade trees and destabilize the belay area.

The trail crews will be working to construct a tiered system of walls at the Meadows to stabilize the staging areas on the left side of the crag, as well as construct a set of stairs to stop gullying of the trail on the right side of the crag. The crews will then move on to address mud and erosion issues on the right hand side of the Parking Lot Wall and rehabilitate and install structures to protect sensitive vegetation around the base of the crag. We expect this work to progress rapidly and be complete before the Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team crew departs in mid-October.

Access Fund is still actively fundraising to complete this highly technical work. We’ve raised $30,000 to date through individual and corporate donations, as well as material and crew support from the US Forest Service. But we still have a long way to go to reach our goal of $155,000 needed to complete restoration efforts.

Thanks to the nearly 200 individuals and corporations who have made contributions to this project to date. Special thanks to supporting partners Sterling Rope Co., AMC Boston Chapter Mountaineering Section, Central Rock Gym, and USFS.

Help Restore Rumney

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support this critical restoration work at Rumney.

Rumney Stewardship Plan

Year One - 2019

Orange Crush

  • Address severe erosion issues on the trail accessing Orange Crush and the slab used to access routes from Crusher to Orangahang.
    • Reroute portions of the existing trail and install retaining walls to stabilize the steep slope that the trail traverses.
    • Construct a section of stairs to reduce erosion concerns along steep sections of the trail.
  • Construct and install a metal ladder system to replace existing wooden ladder, extending it to the top of the slab between the routes Crusher and Orangahang. — POSTPONED DUE TO INSUFFICIENT FUNDS

Meadows Crag

  • Construct a tiered system of walls to stabilize the staging areas on the left side of the crag.
  • Construct a set of stairs to stop gullying of the trail on the right side of the crag near Holderness Corner.

Parking Lot Wall

  • Address drainage issues and construct retaining structures on the right side of the wall to address mud and erosion issues.
  • Rehabilitate and install structures to deter the use of redundant trails to protect sensitive plant species.

Year Two - 2020

5.8 Crag

  • Remove the failing retaining structure, rebuilding it in order to stabilize the staging area and preserve trees and vegetation.

Main Wall

  • Stabilize the Far Right Side staging area and construct a passing trail.
  • Install control structures and visual cues to stabilize and contain the expanding impacts at Center Area.
  • Conduct root conservation on shade trees to prevent erosion.
  • Men in White Suits Area:
    • Construct an express trail that separates belays from passing traffic.
    • Construct a stone retaining wall and staircase for belay platforms to contain impacts.

Trail System

  • Create and install trail signage across the mountain to assist with navigation and limit the establishment of redundant trails.
  • Construct check dams, check steps, and stairs to address erosion issues.