New Hampshire rock climbing is known for its desperate trad climbing on exposed, steep, and high quality granite. The state moto is Live Free or Die. The climbing here is just that: free exposed granite. The routes are typically long and in many areas like the Kankamangus Highway, difficult to access. Many areas like North Conway have cliffs like Cathedral Ledge that offer 5 pitch routes a few minutes from your car–actually you can drive to the top. Rumney offers some of the best sport climbing in the state and bouldering there is pretty fantastic too. This state has some oldest history of climbing and some of the most foreboding and technically difficult granite in the east. Areas like Huntington Ravine on Mount Washington let you have an Alpine experience that is difficult to find on the East Coast.
If you can survive black fly season in New Hampshire, the climbing should be easy. From late spring to early July this season plauges many climbers and thwarts climbing trips for many east coasters. If you visit the state, this might not be the best time for you to have a climbing trip. New Hampshire rock climbing is some of the best in the best in the country and certainly the best in the east.
There are areas located all over the state and nearly every part of the state has high quality bouldering or trad climbing within a half hour or so drive. North Conway has long been a popular destination for big and long climbs. This Mecca has drawn climbers for several decades and offers some of the most diverse mix of sport, trad, long routes, and lots of cliffs to play on.
Cannon cliff is one of the few alpine destinations of the Northeast.
Season and Weather
It’s no doubt, New Hampshire has lots of popular climbing areas. North Conway is probably the most visited and has the most concentrated quality trad areas. Rumney Bouldering and climbing area has some of the best bouldering and sport routes and provides some fo the easiest access to sport and bouldering in New England or the East for that matter.
For alpineesque routes try Cannon Cliff Climbing Area or Mount Washington. The routes in both places are true alpine destinations that are unusual for the east coast.
Baring black fly season that is in late spring, Spring summer and fall are good times to climb here. Winter is long, cold but has great ice climbing. The summer can be hot and humid at times but is still pretty good and climbing is flourishing all summer in NH.
Areas at a Glance