Doug Hates Rumney

Doug enduring a day 

My friend Doug hates climbing at Rumney. I know this because that is what he tells me every time I suggest going there to climb.  The mere mention of climbing at Rumney sends Doug onto his soapbox with proclamations about everything that he dislikes about climbing there.  Even driving past Rumney on the highway will elicit an eye roll from Doug.  Over the past two years we have missed many a good day at Rumney due to Doug’s disdain for the place.  Another tragedy in this is that Mickey Spades had begun to parrot Doug’s anti-Rumney sentiments despite having only climbed one pitch there before rain chased us away. 

Mickey Spades on the sharp end

The funny thing about Doug’s dislike of Rumney is that he really does like climbing there; he just doesn’t know it.  He just remembers the one or two bad days he has had there instead of the all the good days he has climbed there.  He remembers the crowded parking lot, the noisy crags, and people lining up to climb routes.  What he forgets is that most of that stuff is easily avoidable if you have the ability to climb during the week or a little off season.  What is even funnier is that Doug loves bouldering at Rumney.  We have stopped at Rumney a million times on the way home from hiking or skiing to get in a session on Rumney’s boulders.  Doug has been working the Umbrella Traverse at Rumney for almost as long as I have known him. 

Doug at the Parking Lot Wall

This past Friday I finally talked Doug and Mickey Spades into joining me at Rumney.  By talked them into it, I mean we headed north with no real plan of what to do so I drove us to Rumney.  Despite some initial protests, Doug was immediately intrigued as we pulled into an empty parking lot.  We had the place to ourselves.  The weather was cold but we headed up to the parking lot wall (which was getting some sun) where we warmed up on Easily Amused, a short and fun 5.7.  After completing that, Doug seemed to be getting pretty excited about the climbing.  He went on to climb the 5.10a extension to Easily Amused.

Tim on the extension of Easily Amused
As the morning progressed, Doug became more and more focused on getting in a full day of climbing.  After picking off the extension to Easily Amused, we moved on to climb other routes on the Parking Lot Wall that Doug had tried in the past or was anxious to complete.  We all enjoyed the fun routes, the relative quiet (we were eventually joined by another party), and good climbing.  As the day went on Mickey Spades and I got colder and less psyched, turning our attention toward a warm meal. 

Mickey Spades belaying Doug
With the sun setting, the rock getting colder, and Mickey’s and my spirits getting lower, we moved to The Meadows so Doug could try a climb he did last fall.  After dispatching the climb, Doug moved onto a project and made attempt after attempt as Mickey Spades and I began the slow process of freezing.  As the sun sunk further, the temperature continued to drop and so did Doug’s chances of sending.  With Mickey and I nearing hypothermia, we headed toward the car as Mickey and I joked how long we would have had to stay if Doug didn’t hate climbing at Rumney.