The Fly (climb)

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The Fly
Map showing the location of The Fly
Map showing the location of The Fly
Location Rumney, New Hampshire, United States
Coordinates 43°48′15″N 71°48′48″W / 43.80417°N 71.81333°W / 43.80417; -71.81333Coordinates: 43°48′15″N 71°48′48″W / 43.80417°N 71.81333°W / 43.80417; -71.81333
Climbing Area Rumney Rocks
Route Type Sport/bouldering
Vertical Gain 25 feet (7.6 m)
Pitches 1
Grade 5.14d (9a)
Route Setter Mark Sprague
First free ascent David Graham, 2000

The Fly is a 25ft high 5.14d (9a) sport route or V14 (8B+) boulder located in the Rumney Rocks climbing area[1] (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 the Rumney area, as (at the time) they were at the cutting edge grade of physical difficulty in North America.[2]

Route Description[edit]

The Fly ascends a short, steep, lower portion of the 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.

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 November 7, 2003.

First Ascent[edit]

David Graham made the first ascent (FA) on April 7, 2000.[3] At the time, David Graham and Luke Parady proposed the tentative grade of 5.14d (9a). After further ascents and fine tuning of the beta (choreography) needed to climb it, the consensus has settled to approximately 5.14c/d  using the Yosemite decimal system or 8B/+ in the Font bouldering grade.


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

Kehl and Jorgeson, both known for highball bouldering, bouldered the route after practicing the moves on a rope. Although the route is not particularly high, the landing is dangerous with an uneven surface and the potential to fall off a larger ledge.[5]


  1. ^ Matt Samet. "Get Shorty - The 5 best miniature sport routes in America". 
  2. ^ Roberto Fioravanti. "Dave Graham". Planet Mountain. Retrieved March 15, 2018. 
  3. ^ 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]
  4. ^ Jeff Achey. "Fly Boys at Rumney". Retrieved March 15, 2018. 
  5. ^ a b Dougald MacDonald. "Two quick ascents of The Fly". Retrieved March 15, 2018. 
  6. ^ "Mike Foley sends The Fly". NEW ENGLAND BOULDERING. Retrieved 2015-11-16.