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Gary Fallesen
/ Categories: C4C New Hampshire

New Hampshire

Rummy Fall Romp

Todd Paris on Cold Feet (5.7) at the Hinterlands section of Rumney. Above him you can see the massive roof of Giant Man (5.12b). (Photo by Matt Shoemaker)

Director of Partners In Climb

We were blessed with beautiful weather for the first chapter fall foliage weekend at Rumney on Oct. 5-7. Although the turnout was small the fellowship was sweet. Late afternoon on Friday Alan Emery met me in the parking lot and we were able to get a couple of routes climbed before dark. It was just enough to get my fingertips reintroduced to the sharp Rumney schist. We headed over to the Rumney Baptist Church and met Ed who gave us the key and a tour of the former parsonage where we would be staying. After an awesome lasagna dinner at Plain Janes diner, Alan and I watched a climbing DVD and then turned in early for some shut-eye. The next morning Alan and I scored a free breakfast at the church due to a work day. Then we met Matt Shoemaker in the parking lot and headed up to the Hinterlands. After a couple of warmup routes Matt was able to onsite Jolt 5.10b. We then headed up and over to the Jimmy Cliff and raced up the 5.4 slab route, Pine Tree Crack, to check out the views. After a few more routes on Jimmy Cliff we decided we had enough for the day and headed for the parking lot. In the lot we met Charley, a climber from Pennsylvania, who Alan and Matt met at the Rumney Ruckus two years ago, and we talked with him for half an hour or so. I changed into a clean and dry t-shirt and we headed to the diner for some burgers. The dinner time discussion was great as we discussed many spiritual topics and I made the four hour drive home greatly encouraged. I can't wait until next time.

Matt Shoemaker leading Things As They Are (5.10c) at the Jimmy Cliff section of Rumney.


Saturday (the only day I was there) was super. Weather was superb, leaves were changing, company was great! I learned that I climb at least 5.4 in Crocs. I learned that it's time for Todd to start leading more. I learned that after a year off, Al is still probably stronger than I am. I most enjoyed the fellowship with Al and Todd, however. There are few sports like rock climbing and mountaineering where the opportunity presents itself so readily to getting to know someone so quickly. Dinner afterwards continued that trend.

Al Emery belaying Todd up Pine Tree Crack (5.4) on the left side of the Jimmy Cliff. (Photo by Matt Shoemaker)


Late Friday afternoon was a beautiful, sunny, and unseasonably warm afternoon as I finally pulled into the Rumney parking lot. There sat Todd, in his red van, waiting for someone to show up so he could finally put some rubber to rock! It was good to see my brother again. It had been almost four months since we last hung out together, as it also was with Matt.

With a smile on his face, Todd and I headed up to the Meadows Left and choose a couple of easy warm-ups to start the weekend. First was Truth in Advertising, a 5.7+. It had been awhile since I was on any rock, and the Schist reminded both of us just how positive every little wave was, by its sharpness. We both had fun and made it to the top without too much complaining and decided to climb one more before the sun went down. We stepped left to Easy Terms, a 5.8. Again, we sent this route in our usual style … “Ouch!” … “Sharp!!”

Thanks to Todd for touching base with the Rumney Baptist Church. They allowed us to use their old parsonage for the night and surprised us with a nice breakfast in the morning. It appears that they were having a workday and had planned on having a French toast and Sausage breakfast for the crew. What a blessing! No coffee and donuts today!

We waited for Matt to show up at the parking lot, and with in a few minutes, in rolled Matt, ready to send some of the routes he had on his tick list. I was excited to see him again, for unlike Todd, I had not seen him in awhile. I was also relieved to see that I could relax and just TR for the day … we had our rope gun!

The hike up to Hinterlands was as grueling as I had remembered. Steep, rough, and tricky was the measure of the hike, for the top trails had not yet been maintained as Rumney Climbers Association had hoped for. (This may be a way to introduce us to the Association … a thought.) As we reached the cliff, me in the rear, and Todd and Matt patiently waiting for me, we decided to climb the right side on easier routes for a warm-up. A nice dike line ran from the bottom to the base of an overhanging section, called Cold Feet, a 5.7. Matt at the ready, he moves up this “ladder” with no problem. Todd seconds it with us reminding him to “Breathe” … gotta do this, Bro, or you’ll burn out real quick! I was last, repeating this route for the umpteenth time. The view from the top of the route made it worth the trouble, for the trees had color that was another proof of the Glorious God we serve!

Matt wanted to do another before he tackled Jolt, the first on his list of challenges. He decided to do the first part of Hot Head, a 5.10c, which was only a 5.9 for him, for he did not pull the overhang to the anchors. He sent it again in style. Todd had no problem putting this on his list of routes and I, once again, happily took the rear.

JOLT! Matt’s dream was soon to become a reality! We walked over and looked up at the beast of a flake, not really sure where the route started. According to the book, and Matt’s suggestion, we stood at the bottom of the route and I thought it look too tall for the 60 meter rope we had, but he geared up and with a smile, up he went! Matt had no problem sending it. When I had sent it, the year before, I had found a nice knee bar where I could rest before going vertical, up the flake, but Matt refused any beta, for he wanted an on-sight. I thought he would burn for not resting, but he did manage to find a spot where he could shake out. Matt, you did one of the best sends I’ve seen on this climb! Yup … both Todd and I decided not to make fools of ourselves and thought it was a great time to have lunch …

After eating, we then headed up to have fun on Clip A Dee Doo Dah, a walk in the park 5.3, two-pitch climb. Todd took the lead and stick-clipped the first bolt … funny! Then he got lost and we did the newly bolted Pine Tree Crack, a 5.4. The view from the top was gorgeous! It could have been done solo, but we decided to have fun and do it in the safe way.

After taking in the view for a couple of minutes, we headed to the middle of Jimmy Cliff and did a couple of new routes, not in the current guidebook. I finally led one called Things I Should Have Learned in Kindergarten, a sharp 5.6. It was a nice climb for the grade and we all enjoyed it. Then Matt led Things I Never Learned, another sharp climb rated at 5.9. By this time, Todd had had enough, for he had been on rock for a few days now, so I cleaned and enjoyed the climb for the first time on it. To end the day, Matt yo-yoed Things As They Are, a stout 5.10c, with a tricky start.

After reaching the parking lot, we ran into a friend of mine for, Bill (who goes by “Charley”). I was to hook up with him and his group Friday and Saturday, but the timing was off and we never did climb with him. I would like to have spent time with him, but there is always next time. This reminds me that nobody else showed up that I had invited, so, as Matt put it, it was a great time with just the three of us to get acquainted as a team. Hunger took us over and we said our goodbyes to Bill and headed for food.

As we sat there, enjoying the last minutes of our gathering, it started to pour. I smiled as I thought of how great God was to move us out of the rain and into a nice warm restaurant, for we had thought of doing a few more climbs at Darth Vader, but felt they were for another day.

I will always hold this time close as we move into creating a larger Climbing For Christ base here in the New Hampshire and Maine. I am excited to move forward. For when I turned back to Christ, a few months ago, I thought I would have to give up my addiction to climbing and move on to what God had in store for me. Now, it appears He will be using my “addiction” to reach the lost for Him! Praise God!

Gary FallesenGary Fallesen

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