June 28, 2023 Breakfast Meeting Notes

June 28, 2023 Breakfast Meeting Notes


Ladd Raine of Rumney Climbers Association speaks to the club.

Guests: Bill and Julianne, 2 long-time Rotarians who just moved to Holderness from Colorado


Tony trivia: I left my heart in Poland edition 


Bill won the 50/50. Our guest Julianne drew for the ace of spades but pulled another card so the game continues.


Ben Amsden presented our speaker, Ladd Raine of the Rumney Climbers Association, to speak about climbing in Rumney. He is president of Rumney Climbers Association, a 501(c)3 charity. The organization, which started in the early 1990s, was formed to buy land around Rattlesnake Mountain for climbing from private landowners and donate it to Forest Service to be protected in perpetuity. Note that if a private landowner charges for access, he is liable for injuries to climbers. If he allows free access, state law mandates no liability for the landowner. There is also no liability for public land, hence the importance of donating the land to the Forest Service.


Sport climbing, which the association promotes  involves placing bolts into rocks so people can safely climb. The rocks at Rumney are well suited to this type of climbing and the area is close to I-93, so it is a big draw both nationally and internationally. The association has 1300 routes on 26 cliffs, ranging from easy to very hard.


At this point they work a lot on environmental protection, including protecting the nesting peregrines, promulgating safe climbing processes and encouraging people to do the environmental right thing (for example, don’t bother the birds, and only eliminate in the toilets.) Camping is permitted if climbers are at least 1/4 mile from the road, and there is a campground just across the street. The association helps Audubon get to the falcon nest, band the chicks, and shoo off the crows.


The most recent projects have been to purchase the last 7 cliffs in the area,  and to build an additional parking lot and toilets. There will be 1000-2000 people climbing the rocks on a good weekend day,, so the additional parking was needed to help spread out all the climbers. This was especially important at the height of the COVID pandemic; the area was closed from April 2020 to April 2021 to help reduce spread of disease. 


The organization’s bylaws were amended in 2021. For the last 30 years they have worked at Rattlesnake Mountain, but now they have extended their resources to other state parks and the Forest Service to develop new climbing areas south and west of the White Mountains. 


The town of Woodstock owns Miriam Woods, which is used for agriculture, forestry, and recreation. Climbers put bolts in without checking with neighboring landowners. Woodstock is not happy about the fact that this was done without permission, and the abutting landowner wanted to cut all the bolts! The town voted not to do this. The Climber’s Association is working to make sure that this sort of problem does not occur in the future.


They partner with the Access Fund and the Appalachian Mountain Club for fundraising. A portion of their membership fees goes to the Access Fund, which helps land acquisition efforts. They will ask the AMC directly for financial grants and have found them to be generous. On the 3rd weekend of September they have an outdoor fundraising event at the campground with bands, vendors, and food.


Mike: He attended RYLA and had a great time. We will have our 3 RYLA students here on July 26th to speak about their experience. At next week’s meeting he and Beth will do a club health and engagement survey on the life of our club, to determine what members are interested in and where they think we should be directing our funds. There will be emails sent to people who don’t attend in person. 


Ken Evans sent out an email re: dues. You can pay by mail, by VENMO or in person. He will not be here until our meeting during the week of July 12th so you can pay him in person then if you like. 


Family Fun Fair: This will be held on Saturday July 8th on Smith Bridge Road. Send your name to Denise if you want to help. It’s a noontime event; you can start with setup at 9:30 or breakdown at the end of the day, as well as helping during the event. Please promote this event to friends ($5 max per family). 


Alicia has a Happy Dollar: She and Matt are getting married August 12.  They will be having a party at Wolfsburg Farm in Holderness afterwards from 5pm on. All are welcome.


Steve has been asked to create a budget for our club. He asked Mike and Beth to investigate members’ spending priorities.


Respectfully submitted,

Lora Miller, secretary