The Fly (climb)

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The Fly
Location Rumney, New Hampshire, United States
Climbing Area Rumney Rocks
Route Type Sport/bouldering
Rating 5.14c/d or 9a
Route Setter Mark Sprague
First free ascent David Graham, 2000

The Fly is a 5.14c/d/9a sport route located in the Rumney Rocks climbing area (commonly known by climbers as "Rumney") Rumney, New Hampshire, USA. It is located at the Waimea Cliff.

The Fly was first envisioned and bolted by Mark Sprague in 1995 as an open project for all to try but did not see a free ascent until David Graham, an 18-year-old American climber from Maine, climbed it in April 2000. It was quickly repeated by his climbing partner Luke Parady. These ascents were milestones for the young up and coming climbers and Rumney, being, at the time, at the cutting edge grade of physical difficulty in North America.

The Fly ascends a short, steep, lower portion of the famous Waimea wall, gaining a large ledge (the E-Ticket Ledge) and a bolted anchor about 25 feet up. The climb is very fingery and powerful, 'bouldery' in climber's terms.

The route is quite short by sport climbing standards, essentially a rope protected boulder problem, with its two protection bolts being placed before the now common use of many stacked 'crash pads' to protect the dangerous landing. Most ascents make use of the protection offered by the bolts, usually preclipping the rope to them both, though after practicing the moves on a rope, the climb has been 'bouldered' (sans rope), first by Jason Kehl, on 7 November 2003.

At the time of the first ascent, David Graham and Luke Parady proposed the tentative grade of 14d. After further ascents and fine tuning of the beta (choreography) needed to climb it, the consensus has settled to approximately 14c/d using the Yosemite decimal grade or 8B/+ in the Font bouldering grade.

David Graham made the first ascent (FA) on 7 April 2000.[1]

Other early ascents were by:

Both Lamiche and Sharma pre-clipped the second bolt on their redpoints.

From, "according to both Luke Parady and Tony Lamiche, The Fly is essentially a bolted boulder problem that'd weigh in around font 8B+." Note the difference in route grades and boulder grades. For example, Steve McClure stated that "...font 8A is way harder than French 8a." "Font" refers to Fontainebleau, the bouldering mecca southeast of Paris.

Sharma almost 'flashed' The Fly, falling on the last move of his flash attempt.

Kehl and Jorgeson, known for highball bouldering, bouldered after practicing the moves on a rope.


  1. ^ He apparently made a typo while transferring his notes on his ascent in his scorecard from the route to bouldering category, changing the date from 2000 to 2001. See interviews such as [1] and archived first mention of The Fly from 10 April 2000 [2]
  2. ^ "Mike Foley sends The Fly". NEW ENGLAND BOULDERING. Retrieved 2015-11-16.