Warwick Castle (South Face, Left Side)

(37 routes)

Place info

Warwick Castle (South Face, Left Side)

(37 routes)

Warwick Castle is the distinctive crescent shaped formation on the east profile of the mountain as seen from New Plymouth. Most climbs are on the south face, which can mean a cool belay even on a fine sunny day.
This crag gives both excellent short routes at moderate grades as well as some of the best long routes on the mountain.

Most of the cracks on Warwick's Castle are filled with vegetation. If you want to climb any of them you'll need to clean them. It's recommended to prepare your climb on abseil before leading it. Climbing is best after a dry period.

Ice Climbing.
The traverse of Warwicks Castle provides a fine, interesting winter scramble with the top end offering mixed climbing at times. The South Face has a few good lines in the mid section where there is more moss.
Many of the larger cracks or mossy sections will freeze providing a winter line, the overall quality will generally be dependent on prevailing conditions and how keen the climbers are to tackle the new coating after a storm clears.

  • South

    Aspect

  • 1600m

    Altitude

Type: 
Crag
Aspect: 
South
Altitude: 
1600m

Warwick Castle is the distinctive crescent shaped formation on the east profile of the mountain as seen from New Plymouth. Most climbs are on the south face, which can mean a cool belay even on a fine sunny day.
This crag gives both excellent short routes at moderate grades as well as some of the best long routes on the mountain.

Most of the cracks on Warwick's Castle are filled with vegetation. If you want to climb any of them you'll need to clean them. It's recommended to prepare your climb on abseil before leading it. Climbing is best after a dry period.

Ice Climbing.
The traverse of Warwicks Castle provides a fine, interesting winter scramble with the top end offering mixed climbing at times. The South Face has a few good lines in the mid section where there is more moss.
Many of the larger cracks or mossy sections will freeze providing a winter line, the overall quality will generally be dependent on prevailing conditions and how keen the climbers are to tackle the new coating after a storm clears.

Access: 

It is about 30 minutes walk from Tahurangi Lodge, or about 1 1/4 hr up from the Stratford Plateau.

The best access is from the Stratford Plateau/Manganui Skifield. Follow the Round the Mountain Track under and past Warwick's Castle, follow a spur up on the northern side to arrive the top of the crag, between Warwick's and Lion Rock.

To descend either abseil off, or walk along the spine of the ridge towards Lion Rock. The spine or arête of the ridge is considered a good scramble and not to be underestimated. You may desire the protection of a rope at certain places. There are two naked anchor bolts at the top of BB Char.

NZMS260: 
P20 036 116
Topo50: 
BJ29 935 498
Reference Name Grade Quality Length Comments Actions
1
16
0
8m
Natural gear required
  Climb broken ground to crack on left hand side of the Possum Claws arête. Climb crack direct (crux).

Lionel Clay (solo), 08/04/85.

2
20
1.02
15m
Natural gear required
  Start as for This One’s a Twenty Two Too Chris and move right and surmount the small overhang then continue up the arête directly above. Continue up bolted line on sharp arête to top. The moves keep one thinking. The old, naked bolts - which require hangers or wires - don't look too flash, needs a rebolt.

Kevin Conaglen, Ross Hoffman, 14/03/93.

3
17
0
19m
Natural gear required
  Climb the right side of the first sizeable buttress of rock encountered. Climb the easy slab to the left trending hand crack. Hand-jam this crack through the bulge (sharp crux) at two thirds height.

Kevin Conaglen, Pete Swanson, 1981.

4
16
2.01
19m
Natural gear required
  A very pleasant route up the prominent open corner. Follow the wide shallow groove with the thin crack in the back of it. Climb past the peg, over the bulge and into the corner.

Lionel Clay, Richard Kirk, 04/84.

5
13
0
16m
Natural gear required
  Starts in a short broken left facing corner to the right of Anti-Climax. Surmount a large flake at two thirds height which is solid.

Kevin Conaglen, G Nightingale, 07/02/80.

6
16
1.02
18m
Natural gear required
  Starts in a short right facing corner to the right of Cardinal. From the top of the large block move right onto the arête and past the bolt at three-quarters height. Delicate moves over bulges with excellent pro at horizontal cracks.

Kevin Conaglen, Ross Eden, 01/01/98.

7
16
1.02
16m
Natural gear required
  This is the crack up the centre of the buttress to the right of Cardinal. A crack in a sloping ledge leads up and left to the crux. Follow obvious crack to the top.

Kevin Conaglen, Stuart Skene, 06/12/81.

8
15
1.02
17m
Natural gear required
  Up the large right facing corner to the top. Double bolt and abseil chain at top.

Kevin Conaglen, John Edwards, 07/02/82.

9
17
1.02
18m
Natural gear required
  Climb the face between Sunrise and Five Mill, exiting directly through the overhanging blocks.

Ross Eden, Kevin Conaglen, 30/12/97.

10
16
0
18m
Natural gear required
  Move up the crack over the diamond shaped moss patch until under the overhang. At the top, traverse right into the next crack to avoid the overhang. Not a classic.

Kevin Conaglen (Rope-solo), 07/02/82. A direct finish (22) was done by Neil Parker, Simon Carr, 26/02/83.

11
18
1.02
20m
Natural gear required
  Climb the thin crack through a gentle overhang. After a steep and fiery start the crack is climbed direct.

Nigel Shepherd, Nick Banks, Kevin Conaglen, 18/04/82.

12
18
1.02
20m
Natural gear required
  Surmount the distinctive large triangular overhang to a ledge. Then climb the groove above with the crux at two-thirds height. Unclimbable at present due to vegetation.

Kevin Conaglen (second failed to follow), 13/12/81.

13
18
0
20m
Natural gear required
  This route takes the crack 2m to the right of Friend. Climb the overhang (adequate protection may be difficult to arrange) then climb the easier crack to the top.

Kevin Conaglen, Stuart Skene, 13/12/81.

14
15
0
20m
Natural gear required
 

To the right of Chuff is an easier angled groove, about 4m wide, called El Cap Groove, which yields the following two routes.

Climb the left hand corner of the groove onto a ledge. Then continue up the corner, over a rock spike to a large mossy ledge. Then climb the easier angled rock above to the overhangs. A direct route through a cleft in the overhangs (15) is possible. So too is an easy exit out right (13) but the original exit was between these. A deep two-finger hold solves the problem. Note: now very mossy!

Kevin Conaglen, Geoff Nightingale, 07/02/82.

15
16
0
20m
Natural gear required
  Take the crack right of El Cap which runs just right of centre of El Cap Groove.

Kevin Conaglen, S Barlow, 1982.

16
21
0
36m
2X bolts
Natural gear required
  Direct start project - 2 bolts. The face arête with lots of bolts. Maybe hard for the grade if you keep on the face and out of the crack on the left.

Kevin Conaglen, Lee Drew, 08/01/00.

17
20
3
35m
Natural gear required
  The crack right of the El Cap Groove which splits the prominent pillar. Jam and layback the crack. Excellent sustained climbing. Unclimbable at present due to vegetation.

Neil Parker, John Pawson, Dave Skilton, Phil Castle, 29/12/84.

17.5
26
3
20m
8X bolts
One or more images in route detail.
  The arete between Le Climb and Jam Gambit. Start on the left of the arete, in the LC corner (a 0.4 Camalot placement is available here if you want it). Excellent balancey and smeary climbing on friendly holds all the way to the anchor.

Kester Brown, 5 March 2016

18
22
3
35m
Natural gear required
  The crack right of LNOE. Climb the shallow square backed groove via the left hand crack. Technical climbing leads to a small ledge. Continue up on superb jams to the top. Unclimbable at present due to vegetation.

Neil Parker, John Pawson, 12/84.

19
24
0
35m
Natural gear required
  You had better hope you’ve got it!! (so says the notes). Takes the right hand crack in the square backed groove to the right of Jam Gambit. Technical bridging and finger tip locks and layaways with marginal pro. Take lots of large RPs, thin fingers, three cam units, small wires; a RP #6 would be handy. Beyond this group of cracks the crag steps in about a metre, with impressive overhangs running at 3/4 height. Needs a clean. Unclimbable at present due to vegetation.

Lionel Clay, Richard Kirk, 18/02/87.

20
18
0
43m
Natural gear required
  This route takes the corner on the left hand side of the section below the overhangs. Climb the left facing corner to the overhang. Turn the overhang by the crack on the left edge.

Nick Banks, Kevin Conaglen, 25/11/81.

21
16
0
40m
Natural gear required
  This is the crack one to the right of The Quick. Climb the crack to the roofs at three-quarters height which are then exited by traversing to the right and finishing up the thin crack.

Phil Castle, Neil Parker, Murray Langdon, K Chapman, 31/12/84.

22
18
0
40m
Natural gear required
  The thin crack immediately to the right of Dig This. A tricky start leads to some balance climbing with some superb bridging at the crux. Finish the same as Dig This.

Phil Castle, P Maxim, 02/03/85.

23
25
0
35m
Natural gear required
  The arête left of Tees Line. Start from the mossy ledge to the right. Climb up and left to a peg then on up to a bulge. Place two friends in a crack to the left, then crank up past the crux to a bolt. Go up past another bolt, and then finish—still on the arête. ‡ Bolts are unsafe and are overdue for replacement.

Lionel Clay, 15/03/87.

24
19
0
40m
Natural gear required
  Crack and groove to the left of The Disappointed. One peg is in place at the crux. Superb route. Mostly small and medium wires.

Simon Carr, R DeVelice, 09/02/85.

25
16
1.02
43m
Natural gear required
  About 19m down El Cap Groove are a pair of large blocks, leaning over to the left, one on top of the other. Start from on top of these blocks. Using the crack on the right, climb the wide flat backed groove to the top. A fine route for the grade—considerably better than The Elated.

Kevin Conaglen, Nick Banks, 25/11/81.

26
17
0
40m
Natural gear required
  This route shares its middle third with The Elated. Start up the crack left of The Elated which leads you into The Elated. At two thirds height tend left into the groove.

Hugh Logan, Chris Morris, 03/87.

27
16
0
45m
Natural gear required
  Starts 2m to the right of the base of the leaning blocks, the start of this climb is by a steep broken face. Then climb up over the blocky bulge into the awkward crack out to the large ledge (possible belay). Climb the obvious crack above, turning the bulge on the right. Good jugs lead to finish on easier ground. Rope drag and running out of pro can be problems when this climb is done as a single pitch.

Phil Roberts, Neville Dickson, 18/12/83.

28
21 ,
0
38m
Natural gear required
 
  1. Climb The Elated until just above the roof. Traverse right at the obvious line. Then climb the nice crack up to the big belay ledge.
  2. Climb the roof via the crack above the ledge, continuing up this to the top. After the roof the wall lays back to a slab and the route eases considerably. There is also a direct start avoiding The Elated.

Chris Morris, M Brown (alternating), 02/03/85. FFA by Neil Parker, John Pawson, 01/02/86.

29
18 ,
0
39m
Natural gear required
 

Climbed as a two pitch route skirting the right hand edge of the roof above the large belay ledge. Start in the obvious crack which is two to the right of The Elated.

  1. Climb the strenuous start and up the dirty finger crack to the off-width bulge. Do the final 6m to the belay on face holds, or via the off-width.
  2. From the right hand edge of the ledge negotiate the roof via the shallow right facing corner formed by the crack line. Then up the same crack.

Chris Morris, M Brown (alternating), 02/03/85.

30
19
0
40m
Natural gear required
  Climb left up the ramp to gain the finger crack. Surmount the roof (crux) then follow the crack. Interesting moves.

Simon Carr, Carol McDermott, Pete Manning, 07/02/93.

31
18
1.02
30m
Natural gear required
  Located by the distinctive arch-cum-roof just above the track. Use the crack to ascend the left hand side of the roof. Then continue up the crack. Hand jamming to half height.

John Pawson, John Skilton, 01/01/85.

32
20
0
30m
Natural gear required
  Starts to right of same roof as for Firing On. Climb right hand crack through roof (crux). On first ascent the initial crack under the roof was full of mud, and a single point of aid was used get off the ground.

Simon Carr, D Johnson, 09/02/85.

33
16
0
30m
Natural gear required
  A chow-mein of Bop Girl and Aerobic Delight—a variant taking the easier sections of both routes. Commence Bop Girl but follow the strong left trending feature into Aerobic Delight.

Hugh Logan, Chris Morris, 03/87.

34
18
0
36m
Natural gear required
  Climb the crack above the detached leaning flake, about 3m to the left of a large overhang. Where the crack divides, start up the left crack, and then swing into the right crack, a shallow pod. Difficult moves (crux) lead to a crack followed on bridging moves to the top. Excellent thread belay. Climb onto the top of the crag or abseil off.

Phil Roberts, John Edge, 08/01/84.

35
17
0
35m
Natural gear required
 

The next two routes go through the blocky ground to the right of Bop Girl.

Takes the prominent and open corner and roof to the right of Bop Girl. Climb the crack up to the groove below the overhang. Climb the groove, then take the overhang out left and up the left hand crack.

Kevin Conaglen, Richard Kirk, 10/02/90.

36
18
0
35m
Natural gear required
  The last line before a 30m section of broken and grassy ground. Climb the moss for about 6m to a groove with a loose block below a small overhang. Climb the groove then move over the overhand on good jugs to small cracks. Take the left hand crack (crux), then up onto a one move fist jam crack, and onto the top!
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